What if they gave a war and nobody paid?

Clearly, the best reason to go to war is for the praise.

We’ve put a lot of deposit into this situation with Iraq. And to think that we are so disrespected and they have so little fear of the United States that there would be nothing that we would gain from this … We are there as the nation that liberated these people. And that’s the thanks that the United States is getting after 4,400 lives were expended and over $800 billion? And so on the way out, we’re being kicked out of the country? I think this is absolutely outrageous. – Michelle Bachmann

Those ungrateful A-rabs.1 After we had the grace and generosity to share our principles with them. Of course, the United States has a long standing tradition of sharing by force. What’s that? How many Iraqi lives were expended? I don’t see what that has to do with anything. Speak up, I can’t quite hear. Who can remember why we went to war in the first place? It was so long ago.

Will Saletan called this sort of rhetoric imperial. He’s not wrong, but I think he’s giving it too much credit.

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What else would you call taking it upon yourself to “fix” someone else’s problem and then expecting, not only to profit from it, but to be thanked for your troubles. Or am I giving her too much credit by drawing any sort of comparison to Monty Python? No, I take it back, the Pythons saw her coming years ago.

BEDEVERE: Tell me … what do you do with witches?

ALL: Burn them!

BEDEVERE: And what do you burn, apart from witches?

FOURTH VILLAGER: … Wood?

BEDEVERE: So why do witches burn?

SECOND VILLAGER: … Because they’re made of wood…?

BEDEVERE: Good.

ALL: I see. Yes, of course.

BEDEVERE: So how can we tell if she is made of wood?

FIRST VILLAGER: Make a bridge out of her!

  1. Who needs ‘em? The blacks and jews, too. []

The Penis Mightier

So, some people want to make circumcision illegal. They call themselves “intactivists.” The argument goes: girls are protected from genital mutilation in this country, why not boys? Now, circumcision is not a clitoridectomy, but it’s not a fucking haircut either.

It’s more like a clitoridotomy or hoodectomy. You’re not eliminating the capacity for pleasure but you are affecting it. You’re cutting away living tissue, healthy living tissue which usually serves a function. The foreskin is a marvel of engineering. I’ve grown quite attached to mine over the years. Much like the eyelid, it evolved to protect moist, sensitive tissue. Anybody think walking around without eyelids sounds like fun?

I’m not for one second saying that we don’t have superflous body parts. Appendices are just one example of evolutionary dead weight. I’m just saying if you want to cut off a piece of my dick you better have a good case.

“In the past, we’ve said newborn circumcision has benefits and risks,” Dr. Douglas Diekema, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, told CNN last year. “Given the fact that neither the risks nor benefits are particularly compelling, this is a decision to be made by parents.”

Nope.

Excepting all but the most extreme cases, parents shouldn’t get to make decisions about their kids sex organs. Especially before they even get a chance to use them.1

See, circumcision used to be a matter of hygiene. And you’ll forgive me, but I get uncomfortable when people say that sexual organs are “dirty”, whatever the rationale. Whether you’re doing it because it’s immoral for women to feel lust or from a fear of disease, it springs from the same impulse. There is something wrong with genitals the way they are and you need to fix them. When YHWH made us in his image did he forget some things?

Also, how is that not the most insulting thing you could ever say to a man? We don’t trust you to keep your dick clean so we’re going to whack a piece of it off to make it easier for you.

Thanks.

Naysayers will point out that statistically, pricking infants ears is more dangerous than snipping their pricks and that to ban one without banning the other would be hypocritical. In one sense, the comparison to ear piercing is valid, skin is resilient, it will grow back. And of course, ear piercing is just as insane and arbitrary a custom as circumcision. There is no pressing reason for humans to cut holes in themselves in order to insert shiny baubbles. It is an accident of culture and circumstance that we find some forms of body modification to be normal and others to be crazy.

But, unless you have really sensitive earlobes, the similarities stop there. To keep your ears pierced actually requires your active consent. To grow back your foreskin requires years of dedication and various contraptions.

The root of the problem, however, is the proposed legislation seems an awful lot like it would impinge on the freedom of religion that we occassionally remember this country was founded on. This particular naysayer takes it one step further.

As I see it, the proponents of a circumcision ban challenge more than basic religious freedoms; they contest the relationship between parents and children.

Good.

We don’t let parents do whatever they want to their children. If the state has a reason to suspect you are endangering your child they will investigate and if need be, forcibly remove them from you. That is part of the price for living in the state. Children are not property.

They’re not full fledged human beings either. We restrict children’s rights constantly, both for their own protection and because we recognize the limitations of their brains.2 They are prohibited access to certain substances, their education is compulsory according to guidelines set by the state, and quite sensibly it would seem, they are not allowed to participate in any matters of importance. Except one. We’re not allowed to vote until we’re 21 but we can enter into an eternal convenant with god after 8 days? Is choosing a president that much harder than choosing a deity? OK, maybe recently.

That the state has any say in matters of custody at all deeply offends the anarchist in me. The thought that their powers might extend to what can and cannot be done with a penis understandably leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And yet what’s the alternative? Children may not be property. But the government ain’t your mama. The issue is a complicated one.

Matters were only made worse by a comic strip featuring a very nordic Forsekin man battling a sinister looking Monster Mohel. This is clearly anti-semitic and seeing as I always assume the worst of people, I don’t think for one second that anti-semtism isn’t playing a part in this. But just because you’re a racist, doesn’t mean you can’t have good ideas.

I’m not going to pretend to know what it’s like to be a member of a group that has survived centuries of persecution. As a devout atheist, I’d have no idea what that’s like.

“No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

- George Herbert Walker Bush

And I’m not going to condescend to millions of people3, by saying they’re overreacting, but I am going to respectfully ask that you consider how the practice looks to outsiders.

A week after your males are born their fathers or their preapproved proxies hold them down and cut off a piece of their flesh, sucking out some of the blood in the process, all because of a deal some dude made 4,000 years ago with a wrathful sky god who promised you great things were just around the corner.

Um, not for nothing, but I think you guys got the short end of that stick. If you’re going to commit a ritual sacrifice at least have the balls to call it that.4 No offense guys, I don’t want any trouble. I know all about krav maga.

Where does that leave us? Right back where we started.

Is the practice cruel and barbaric? Yes, but no more so than parents all over the world forcing their religions on their unsuspecting children. So, until some brave government outlaws that, I think we find ourselves in détente. May I suggest a compromise in the spirit of peace? Why not wait a little? Make them earn all that Bar Mitzvah money.

Speaking of Jewish weiners…

Hold the phone, a politician’s dick got him into trouble? Inconcievable!

I get it Anthony, believe me I do.

I can still remember the feeling of wonder at discovering what my penis could do. The sense of pride mixed with confusion and a looming sense of anxiety foreshadowing many things yet to come. Granted, I was six at the time, so cut me a little slack.

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What strikes me is that, clearly, he wasn’t wrong. The only person more in love with Anthony Weiner’s penis than Anthony Weiner is every single news anchor in America.5 Which brings me to a particular pet peeve of mine.

I’m personally much more offended by “respected” news organizations calling this “scandal” Weinergate than by anything the weiner in question actually did. Why have we allowed journalists to get away with this for so long? Just tacking -gate on the end of something doesn’t add any meaningful information. It’s not cute, it’s not funny, it was a HOTEL. I know language evolves and no usage is ever entirely wrong, but this is just so lazy! I don’t care what Merriam or Webster say, a gate is a door or passageway.6 But it’s not just politicians dicks we can’t get enough of. No, it runs much deeper than that.

It should come as no surprise that when it comes to penises, men are actually the ones who can’t let go. Part of it is hard wired. This is a heat map generated by tracking where people hold their gaze when looking at images of people.

Why would this be the case?7

Sperm whales have enormourous brains, but relative to their body mass they’re actually tiny. If you were to plot out ratios of brain mass to body mass for primates, a line emerges. Humans are a clear outlier. You know what else humans have a lot more of relative to other primates? Besides tits.

You guessed it! But the question remains, did our dicks get bigger to keep up with the sexual demands of smarter and smarter women or did our brains get bigger so we could think about our dicks all day long? You know what they say, give a man a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.

So you can see, the lovely Kristen Schaal notwithstanding, how it would be hard to accept everyone else isn’t as fascinated as we are.

That’s still no excuse for sticking it in anything that moves, Congressman. Wait, he didn’t actually fuck anybody? What the hell is all this commotion over?

What is he actually guilty of? Not being the master of his domain? Taking perverted pictures? It’s never wrong to take a picture of your own genitals.8 For that matter, it’s never wrong to take a picture of someone else’s genitals, assuming you have their consent. But it’s never fun to have genitals (or their pictures) forced upon you.

Hey, I can relate. I’m pretty sure a guy once told me to look at his dick while he was taking a piss in a Chiptole bathroom.9

Is it a crime to be monstrously horny and not very good at sexting? What ever happened to good old fashioned phone sex by the way?

And if you have your heart set on sexting10 there are less dangerous ways to go about it.

OK, he lied. About things that are none of anyone’s damn business. No, the only convincing argument I can see is that any public official with the last name Weiner that plays fast and loose with his dick pics is too stupid to hold office. Somehow, I don’t think that’s why people were calling on him to resign.

I, for two, do hope he runs for reelection. I even have a campaign slogan all set up.

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  1. Masturbating in the womb doesn’t count. []
  2. If only we could recognize ours as easily. []
  3. You know what’s cool? Condescending to billions of people. []
  4. Unless they were included in the fine print. []
  5. At least this finally proves Jews don’t control the media. []
  6. Like a urethra. []
  7. Dick devils! []
  8. Just maybe don’t do it at a press conference. []
  9. There may or may not have been perception altering substances coursing through my veins, but I stand by my version of events. []
  10. Remember when it was just called cybering? I miss you 90’s. []

So it’s come to this.

This ad won’t stop running in L.A. Its creators are implying either that Poizner is so stupid he accidentally donated money to the wrong candidate or that to ever support any politician not of your party is grounds for immediate dismissal and ridicule.

I know nothing about Steve Poizner or Meg Whitman or Californian politics in general but this ad is so stupid it makes me want to vote for Poizner straight away. Beyond how insulting this reasoning is, even the most depraved teabaggers can’t have already forgotten who the alternative was.

Racist is the new black

In contemporary America, calling someone a “racist” is now the worst insult you can hurl. I suppose this is progress from claiming that someone is black being the worst insult you can hurl1.


A bunch of really good guessers.

I’ve been meaning to write something about irony and humor and what happens when people aren’t quite cunning enough to understand irony and what their reactions are but this is an altogether new wrinkle I had yet to consider: when irony is unintentionally sincere. Is even the most dripping and obvious sarcasm still sarcasm when it is factually accurate?


HAHA, so ridiculous! Hello?!? There’s a black president.2

I seem to recall going on about this at some length. It’s like you guys aren’t even listening or something!

Terrorist may still be a popular bogeyword, what with the Magneto Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial looming large, but it has a powerful contender in ‘racist’. I long for the day when ‘racist’ will have no more negative connotations than the color of someone’s hair3 not because we have eraced racism, but because we’ve all accepted how universal it is. To call someone a racist is little more than calling them human. We may differ in the degree of our humanity but at the end of the day we are all at least a little bit human4.

Now, don’t think I’m saying we shouldn’t care about racism or ignore it because it’s widespread; I just think we need better insults. If someone is a genuine RacistRacist, then surely that’s no longer an insult, it is simply true. Calling a hateful person hateful hurts them how exactly? And if they’re just racist the way we’re all racist then it is simply trivial. So what to do if a loved one or coworker or neighbor’s toddler tries to pull the sort of warped idiotic tactics in this video? Just call them a queer and see if their head explodes.

  1. If Philip Roth is to believed anyway. []
  2. And to think all these baseless allegations come up today, potentially ruining the anniversary of “intern an oriental day”. []
  3. As long as it’s not red. Can we start a “Hug a ginger day” to make up for any unfortunate ugliness? []
  4. We all have a little human inside us. I call mine Hugo. []

Let me be Frank

Henry Waxman is alright as far as Congressmen go, but Barney Frank is something else.


(via The Rumpus)

What with this and the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act I think I see New Bedford in my not too distant future.

Not in Amurrica

I have basically no faith in the human race. I think almost everyone I meet is stupid, ignorant (primarily of how stupid they are), small-minded, and weak-willed. That being said, on this Fourth of July weekend, a time I would normally spend in quiet contemplation and wrist cutting, I will offer literally the only patriotic sentiment I can muster.

Americans may be stupid, but they were not stupid enough to elect their Queen.


(Zina Saunders)

Flying Spaghetti Monster Bless Amurrica.

Undisclosed bunker offers little protection from nuclear zings.

If 3,000 Americans had been killed on your watch, in an attack that could have been prevented, perhaps you’d be a little hesitant to accuse anyone else of endangering America. And if you had advocated torture, and the torture produced false information that you used to mislead America into an unwise, unjust and unwarranted war, you might be a tad sheepish about defending the use of torture.

Not Dick Cheney.

Paul Begala

I now pronounce you President and Presided.


And then I go and spoil it all, by saying something stupid like faithfully.

In case you’re not aware of the lunacy, Chief Justice Roberts misplaced an adverb and swapped a preposition while administering the oath of office last week. Surprisingly enough, Satan has not risen from the depths of hell ushering in an new era of unspeakable misery and despair. In fact, he’s been looking rather sickly lately.

I followed this story with as much fascination and incredulity as the next guy, actually being surprised by the level of sanity present in most of the news coverage. Ignoring for a second that the sanest thing to do would have been to commit suicide on air after being told that this was a story that be should reported. I forget the anchor in question, but after the segment on this “scandal”, he editorialized, saying basically that of course Barack Obama is President adding that the oath is not a spell from a Harry Potter novel. The comparison, while apt, is not pointed enough.

This is not magical thinking, this is religious thinking.1 Well, really this is just dangerous, antiquated, backwards thinking.2

The conceit of rule by divine right seems to die hard. I get it. If you believe in a god(s), it’s tempting to think s/he/it/they approve of your choice in your leaders. So it’s hard not to think of our presidents as kings. Frankly I think Barack Obama would make a pretty decent king, but this is not medieval Europe and John Roberts is not the Pope. Jesse Jackson is, however, still the Emperor of black people.

But it makes sense that there are plenty of people out there who think it’s the oath and not the votes that make a (wo)man president. Well those people are in all kinds of luck.

You know what time it is kids?

Hypotetical Time!!!

Let’s say I had access to hi-tech futuristic spy gear.

Right as Barack Obama took his last non-presidential leak, I ambush him and take his place. Masquerading as still President-elect Obama, and waiting until the oath is completed, I rip off my mask. Would I be president?

Remember, there’s no love lost between Roberts and Obama. What if John had woken up that morning with a severe case of the fuck-its? Can the Chief Justice swear in like 50 people on Jan. 20 and they’re all President? Could Congress be the President of the United States? Wouldn’t that save some time? Could Roberts have sworn himself in? What if John McCain had slipped him a hundy earlier?

Alright children, hypothetical time is over, just bang your heads quietly on your desks.

The next day, knowing a vocal contingent of his new employers wouldn’t shut up about this3, Obama and Roberts had a do-over. But, of course, something went wrong.

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Gretchen Carlson is not sure if he’s really the President. I’m not sure if Gretchen Carlson is really a carbon-based lifeform.4

So if Obama serves his term(s) and makes decisions and affects the world as President, in four or eight years, will he really have been the president if he didn’t suck all the souls out of a middle eastern book of magic? Since he won’t really have been the president, we can just open up that grimoire, say the appropriate spell, click our heels, and it will all go back to the way it was before, right?

Go ahead and keep doubting the legitimacy of the first African American president, a fact which I’m sure has no bearing on your newfound sense of civic duty. See what good it does you. Although, the more I think about it, the more sense it starts to make. After all, I heard Michelle was really holding a Qur’an. I mean it was Lincoln’s Qur’an, but still. Fine, he’s not really president.

You know who else wasn’t really president?

You’re not president because some guy in a wizard’s robe says you are. You’re president because we say you are.5

I know this story has pretty much blown over, but there are still people out there6 that will use this as justification for not only stoking their hatred for Pres. Obama and the “left”, which was going to happen regardless, but also for checking out of the political process entirely. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to check out of the political process entirely, but this is not one of them.

This is also indicative of a pointless preoccupation with words themselves, of people letting scratches on their cave walls get the best of them. I seem to recall a rather erudite fellow expounding on this somewhat recently.

We forget that if words are a form of magic, they derive their power from us. When we ignore this fact we do ourselves a great and dangerous disservice. When we let simple words and names get the better of us, they rob us, impoverish and weaken us in an already impossible world.

Words are just tools, “tools, of course, can be the subtlest of traps.”

- Me

It’s not getting any better.


(via videogum)

And then I go and spoil it all, by saying something stupid like barnacles.

Guh. This is just demeaning to pickles.

Words don’t matter. Meanings matter. And until we can all beam our wi-fi thoughts about our latest matrix Kung Fu lesson directly into each other’s brains, in lojban of course, that will remain the case.

Words can mean more than one thing. We don’t always mean what we say. Context, body language and inflection can all alter our meanings.

THIS is the magic of language.

Never forget. They’re just words people.

  1. There’s a difference? []
  2. There’s a difference? []
  3. Why did you want this job again, Barry? []
  4. No, I am. She’s not. []
  5. With one notable recent exception. []
  6. If Fox News anchors can rightfully be called “people”. []

History welcomes you, sir.


(via The Big Picture)

Throw it down, big man! Throw it down!


(via The Big Picture)

That expectant look on the face of the guy in blue? Get used to that look Mr. President.

Just Barely

Is George W. Bush Still President?

Tick Tock Motherfuckers!


(via The Big Picture)

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