Thursday, June 23, 2005


Just what the world needs... another column on manners! Actually, it couldn't hurt... in fact, it could do a great deal of good.

Deroy Murdock at National Review Online: "How Rude!"

Reading his list made me think of a few extras... however, some of them are rude themselves. Sometimes you must fight fire with fire. ;)
5) Before exiting a bathroom, close the toilet — lid and all. Leaving the lid or seat up makes the next guest contemplate whether you stood or sat during your visit. Spare him or her that imagery.
Most men's rooms are filthy. Why? Even in the nicest restaurants and swanky establishments many men couldn't give a damn if they dribbled their urine on the side of the urinal, the floor, or even on the wall. For Christ's sake, you jackass, wipe! Yes, wipe the edge of the urinal if you make a mess. I know cleaning bathrooms is beneath you, but so is the staining of porcelain with your piss! That goes double for flicking snot you recently plucked from your caverous nose... either flick it into the water or clean it up. While I'm at it, whoever if plucking hairs... save it for home you crass pig.
7) "Please" and "thank you" are not vulgarities. Use them generously, especially around children. They need to learn two of the language's finest words, even if adults say them less than they should.
I love hearing those words... however, I hate hearing "thank you" in response to my "thank you". The proper, and logical, response to "thank you" is of course "you are welcome". If you must say "thank you" to someone who has just thanked you, give them one of these:
Me: "Thank you, sir."
You: "You are welcome, and thank you, too."
You respectfully accept someone's thanks. You do not ignore it to show your own graciousness. That's selfish and rude.
11) Control your kids. It's not cute to let children run amuck on airplanes, kick the backs of people's seats, and holler uncontrollably. Teach your children to restrain themselves in public rather than terrorize grown-ups.
Letting the little brats run all over stores, movie theaters, and restaurants is also a pain. Whenever I see a little darling blocking my way, shouting, and generally oblivious to the reality around them I firmly and politely ask them to get out of the way of my giant shopping cart, to clear out of the path to the bathroom, to stop splashing water in the sink, and so on. Of course, when I walk by the parent, I let out a weary, "Madonn'!" just to let them know they are an ass.

Speaking of movie theaters, I don't expect the audience to remain entirely silent. However, if you're going to talk lean into the person you want to speak to, keep it short, keep it fairly quiet, and try not to start changing to topics like your bills, your health, your home repairs, etc. If not, I feel free to speak softly (yet loud enough for the jerk behind me to hear) the following words:
"Wow, I'm sure glad that moron behind me stopped talking... this movie's getting good!"
However, if the person in question is large or packing heat, I usually just say, "Quiet please."

Is that too much to ask?

UPDATE: 8:43 AM, Friday June 24, 2005

Mr. Lileks starts today's Bleat with a little comment about how wonderful it is to hear important people in his local cafe.

Not only that, Salon has an article about the non-apology apology: the 'Sorry if' apology. You know the type of person who dishes 'em out like they are candy. Keep in mind that it quickly drags a silly environmental frog-death-guilt passage into the framing of apologies, not to mention a *subtle* hint of Blame-America-First... so you should probably have a large cocktail while reading it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hollywood Desperate for Attention

See a rather interesting column about Tom Cruise, celebrity publicity, high-profile relationships, and the current slump at the box office...
The Independant: The Age of Celebrity
Regarding the newly engaged Cruise and Katie Holmes:
"You can easily imagine how the deal was set up," one publicity executive at a major studio said. "She is told she will be turned into a major star in the next five years. In exchange, she is expected to play the perfect partner and do the other things he asks, like convert to Scientology. Perhaps they will get married. Perhaps they'll even adopt a kid ...

"The entertainment press will go along with it because they don't have a choice. Nobody will ask any questions they are not supposed to ask, because they know that would be the immediate end of their access to Tom Cruise, or any other Hollywood celebrity. Everyone has to make a living, to pay the mortgage and feed their children."

Somehow it's surprising, yet we always knew this was the game in the artificial town where they make artificial reality.

About two weeks ago, I overheard some folks at a party talking about the Cruise/Holmes hook-up... they were sooo shocked that he was 18 years older than her. I pointed out that the engagement (and potential marriage) was entirely fake... something that would allow Cruise to borrow Holmes' celebrity and publicity and Holmes to borrow Cruise's celebrity and publicity. I declared that you can't trust anything coming out of that town.

Someone threw in the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie rumors and said they liked her and that she's supposed to be very smart. (I couldn't believe it, these people were putting 'Kick Me' signs on their own backs.) I said that Hollywood isn't the kind of place where many people go if they are smart, want to become smart, or want to display their cleverness... at least not many actors. They only act smart as long as they can remember and cough up the smart lines they are given by smart writers and publicists. Of course, one of the sheep had to ask a pointless question. (I shall paraphrase.)
"Can you do what she does? Can you remember lines? Can you act?"
To each questions I said, "No"... (in spite of the fact that I have taken one or two acting classes, dabbled in acting, worked in radio, and occasionally get paid to act and do voice-overs in commercials) ...but the "No" somehow meant to him that I was unqualified to criticize Hollywood actors.

First of all, the man was a bit tubby, wore his shirt unbuttoned at least to his chest, exposed a liberal dose of chest hair, displayed a silly looking gold charm on one of his gold chains, and generally looked a wanna-be 70s macho sex-machine yet acted like a catty little school girl on the cheerleading squad. Not that this description helps my argument, but if I looked and acted like that he would have brought it in somehow. ;)

Second, let's say I don't have any experience remembering and delivering lines... how does that make dumb people smart? It doesn't. Mr. Tubby therefore gets a box-full of stinky ping-pong balls dropped onto his head.

(To be fair, I can't call all Hollywood actors dumb... but I can say that a good chunk of them are clearly not as smart as we are led to believe.)


Monday, June 20, 2005

Fish In a Barrel

Interesting story... confirms what some of us suspected...
No Faking Female Orgasm in Scientific Research
...and there's at least one pounchline in there. ;)

Friday, June 17, 2005

American Gulag... in Cook County, IL?!?!?!

What? A gulag on Sen. Durbin's doorstep? Surely you can't be serious.

John in Carolina makes aninteresting observation in light of Sen. Durbin's comments... but don't call him Shirley. ;)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Google, Your Bias is Showing

Little Green Footballs mentions an editorial decision by Google... and I guess it doesn't surprise me.

Google uses a picture of V.P. Cheney with the line, "U.S. V.P. Cheney Says Torture Facility Will Stay Open", however the source material (Daily India) uses the word 'alleged'.

Do the people behind Google even know what news is? I'm sure they know what 'bias' means... they've demonstrated enough of it.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Crook Mayor to Resign

Minnesotans might know the story of the Albert Lea mayor Jean Eaton accused of crookery... specifically she fraudulantly returned clothes.

(From the June 7, 2005 Pioneer Press)
Eaton, 53, was accused of stealing $800 worth of clothing from Marshall Field's stores in Rochester, Edina and St. Cloud in an alleged clothes-swapping scam.

Authorities said she bought new clothes and then used the price tags from those items to return used — even stained — clothing.

Earlier this week, the Pioneer Press featured a story about the case's resolution, however the mayor refused to step down. In fact, the mayor will not have a mark on her record. No fellony, not even a misdemeanor. She must undergo some kind of counselling (surprise, surprise). She even made some nonsensical statement.
"I deeply regret the attention and distraction my personal situation has caused," the mayor said in a prepared statement Monday.
Prepared doesn't even begin to describe that statement.

Meanwhile, Joe Soucheray from Garage Logic (weekdays at 3:00 PM on AM 1500) mentioned this story when it broke last year as well as this week. In his Wednesday column in the Pioneer Press the Souch said she should have done the right thing and stepped down... if not in December then certainly now.

In today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune we learn she plans to step down. Finally, some shame at last! Wait, read the story... does she have any shame at all?
"The environment in the past several days has become very disruptive and in direct interference to the needs of this community. I cannot allow the needs of the community to be compromised,'' she wrote in a letter released Thursday afternoon.
Mayor Eaton makes it sound as if she had no role in the disruption... and that she's taking the high road. The bold-faced gaul of the woman! You may ask what kind of disruption she's talking about. Some members of the Albert Lea city council signed a declaration stating:
"If you choose not to resign immediately, the City Council will shut down government by boycotting the City Council meeting on Monday night, June 13, and each Monday night thereafter''
At least someone stood up to this idiot.

Perhaps Soucheray might write more about this in his Sunday column... he'll certainly talk about it today on his radio show.

UPDATE: 12:17 PM, June 13th, 2005

Well, I didn't catch much of Joe's Friday show, but he did mention this story a little bit. The Pioneer Press ran a follow-up story in the Saturday edition.

Eaton apologized to residents in her letter. But in a statement, Eaton's attorney, Faison Sessoms, attacked the council, and member Jeffrey Fjelstad in particular, for orchestrating "this political coup."

"The lynch mob is alive and well and serving on the Albert Lea City Council," Sessoms wrote.

City Manager Victoria Simonsen said the council will vote on accepting Eaton's resignation at its meeting Monday and begin planning a special election.

Ah, yes... the ever so clever use of "lynch mob" to deflect blame. That reminds me of the G.W. opponents who whip themselves into a fury whenever they describe him as Hitler. (It is almost like they are trying to achieve a political-commentary-orgasm, if you'll pardon the phrase.)

What purpose does it serve, really? That crook-mayor and her attorney merely make themselves look rediculous... and they do nothing to quell the opinion that politicians and lawyers are corrupt.

Get thee to a nunnery you punk-ass, dim-witted jerks. ;)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Fix Me, I've Been Broken Since Puberty!

So, it has come to this?
Read on, I'll comment later.

MSNBC: Sexploration- Plastic Surgery on Private Parts
Some go to extreme lengths in the quest for bigger and better

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Fashion Nonsense

This is why I believe real news doesn’t exist anymore… at least not in any consistent form.
If you want to read my little rant please read the entire article first.
Move over Rambo, you're cramping new man's style
Okay, does the article even make any sense? Probably not, this is AFP after all and a feature story on fashion no less. First of all, I wonder exactly what the so-called study told these people.

I suspect that most folks who want to swap girlfriends, wives, or (to use the ever ambiguous term) partners are not in the habit of wearing tailored suits to business meetings, a simple blue shirt to the factory, or a flannel shirt to the lake. Of course, that’s pretty presumptuous of me… whatever.

Even the title sounds silly and clearly written by a Frenchman. “Move over Rambo”?!?!?! Rambo left the common consciousness about ten years ago, Froggie. This is lazy writing and lazy thinking… or the kind of thinking that looks down the long, gin-blossomed nose of a condescending Frenchman… or any non-English speaking European. Later in the article the writer holds up Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone as some kind of familiar name and image for the modern man. I’m sure the writer and the interviewee thinks so… such folks love to think these guys represent us in America. They probably believe it fits because both men do not appear to be very articulate… at least not at first glance anyway. (Just remember Arnold’s speech at the Republican Convention last year.) If you want modern men with bulk, known for being tough guys just look to the Rock (who has a great sense of humor, by the way), Vin Disel, maybe Ving Rhames and Michael Clarke Duncan… all of whom have yet to really become TV and film icons as big guys but they fit the physical mold. The long and the short of it… you Euros are SO stuck in the 1980s. Considering they are in the fashion business, that’s pretty funny.

PARIS (AFP) - Macho man is an endangered species, with today's male more likely to opt for a pink flowered shirt and swingers' clubs than the traditional role as family super-hero, fashion industry insiders say.

What a horrible sentence. I guess fashion industry insiders believe certain people prefer wearing a specific style of shirt to raising a family. (As opposed to the fashion industry’s outsiders?) No wonder why this industry has long since lost the pulse of normal people.

If you look ahead you’ll notice the study actually focused on young men aged 20 to 35… and European men at that. Sort of makes the lead graph look over-generalized. Hey, that’s modern news for you! ;)
"The masculine ideal is being completely modified. All the traditional male values of authority, infallibility, virility and strength are being completely overturned," said Pierre Francois Le Louet, the agency's managing director.

Instead today's males are turning more towards "creativity, sensitivity and multiplicity," as seen already in recent seasons on the catwalks of Paris and Milan.
What a load of nonsense. Le Louet claims authority, infallibility, virility, and strength are traditional male values. (How would he know, he’s French? Not really a culture known for authority, infallibility, and strength… although we all know how virile the French are, they’d bonk anything.) He then suggests that creativity and sensitivity are not traditional male virtues and thus implies that a male cannot hold qualities from either group. Those two sets are hardly polar opposites.

Now I’m not sure, but I suspect Le Louet may use the qualities of creativity, sensitivity, and multiplicity (whatever that is) as a euphemism for something he leaves unsaid. What could it be? Hmmm… promiscuity? Maybe homosexuality? (Obviously, the two are not mutually exclusive, but folks say there is some cross-over.)

So this Le Louet is suggesting that more young adult Euro guys want to dress a little more fashionable and have access to a wider color scheme? I guess that suggests creativity and sensitivity. Wow, I’ve got a nice light purple shirt in by wardrobe… apparently I’m in touch with my feelings and I want to jump my friend’s wife.

Look, folks have been saying that men are getting away from the macho image and moving toward their sensitive or feminine side for quite some time. I seem to recall hearing this as a kid in the70s… not to mention in the 80s, the 90s, and a couple of times since 2000. Someone always pushes the concept that strong (and traditional) male images won’t fit in the modern day.

“As seen… on the catwalks of Paris and Milan”… when has that ever represented reality?
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are being replaced by the 21st-century man who "no longer wants to be the family super-hero", but instead has the guts to be himself, to test his own limits.
So traditional men don’t have guts enough to be themselves or to test their limits? Right. Tell that to Sinatra.
"He is looking for a more radical affirmation of who he is, and wants to test out all the barbarity of modern life" including in the sexual domain, said Le Louet…

Huh?!?!?! No man wants radical affirmation of who he is, unless he’s got no clue about himself. I’m only lukewarm on the idea of getting regular affirmation of who I am from too many folks, let alone radical affirmation. Who in the world is that clingy?

…adding that Reebok with its "I am what I am" campaign had perfectly tapped into this current trend.

So Popeye the Sailor Man was a metrosexual?

But even though society is changing, Jean-Pierre Fourcat, a director with consultants Sociovision specialising in discerning social trends, believes there are some common threads.

"There is an increasing desire for people to be in charge of their own lives, and an intolerance for any lack of autonomy," he told the debate.

People want to be in charge of their own lives? Wow, a real departure from the traditional world.

Today's consumer wants to feel pampered, but also to be able to take time out, feel good and feel alive.

I hate it when someone says people want to feel alive. That’s like someone saying they love life. What a useless phrase. “I love life… I want to feel alive.” Extremely deep these fashionistas and consultants are. Where would we be without them?

UPDATE: 8:35AM Friday June 10th, 2005

Lileks' new section, Screedblog, includes comments on this very article... look for 06-09-05, you're sure to see it.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 06, 2005

Just Give Me a Lousy Piece of Pizza

Soucheray occasionally mentions that he just wants a Lousy Cup of Coffee... in fact, Garage Logic has a little coffee shop called The Lousy Cup of Coffee. It's a tonic for the coffee fad... you know, the half-caf double-mocha-chino with extra foam? Sometimes you just want coffee... no major choices. Occasionally, you actually want an espresso or a cappachino (which folks insist is actually expresso or cuppachino). Custom made pianos have less complicated orders.

I heard something about this strange pizza joint last week, and I even saw a quaintly costumed pizza delivery freak on the road yesterday... but Lileks comments today in The Bleat.

What kind of whiney-woo actually chooses pizza based on their (fringe) political philosophy? Just give me a lousy piece of pizza, for Christ's sake. I don't want the shop to save the planet... the planet will be fine. Should this pizza joint be operating at the time of the next presidential campaign you're going to see and hear it get interesting. ;)

Perhaps I ought to help start The Lousy Slice of Pizza shop... guaranteed to not give a damn.