Silflay Hraka

1/18/2003




Super-hero trade-off of the day

Okay, yesterday was Daredevil, today is Professor Charles Xavier.

Would you want Professor X's mental powers if it meant you had to spend the rest of your life in a wheel chair?Here's the breakdown on Chuck's abilities:

Superhuman mental powers: Professor X ordinarily possesses vast psionic powers, including telepathy; the ability to induce in others mental illusions, temporary mental or physical paralysis, and loss of specific memories or total amnesia; the projection of "mental bolts" to stun or render a person unconscious; astral projection; and the ability to sense other superhuman mutants within a small radius.

I had a tough time with this one. I mean, I think having telepathy, telekinesis, etc. would be among the coolest "super" powers to have, but I can't imagine being confined to a chair the rest of my life. Maybe there are those of you out there that are already confined to a chair. If you had a choice between getting up out of that chair or being given super mental powers, which would you choose?

I am thinking I would have to decline the powers in favor of mobility. What is the consensus?


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Going Zsa Zsa On Their Asses

There are always people in the news (or my daily life) who irritate me for one reason or another. The faces change from day-to-day, as do the reasons. In this spirit I have decided to create an ongoing compilation of persons whom I would love to bitch-slap. Feel free to add your people and your explanations as the weeks pass. Perhaps we can put up a daily list, and it will begin here. Today's recipient is:

BITCH-SLAP LIST
1. George W. Bush - he makes my list today not because of his policies, but instead due to his feeble attempt to convey a gun-toting, shoot-from-the-hip, cowboy persona. It is stupid and lame. The other day I heard him say, in reference to Iraq, "I am sick and tired....." Presidents should NEVER used the term "sick and tired" in a sentence. It comes across as more gay than anything else (not that there is anything wrong with that!!). Hey, George. You have speech writers for a reason, USE THEM!!!!! I'm sick and tired of hearing you talk about being "sick and tired." Am I alone on this one? The man is the most powerful person in the world, and sounds like he is riding shotgun with Barney as they patrol Mayberry looking for Ernest T. Bass to break another window. Give him his one bullet and let him shoot it at Iraq already.


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1/17/2003




More on Race

Little Tiny Lies has a Little Tiny Lesson on racial profiling;

For those who have not suffered through three years of being yammered at by testosterone-deprived liberal law professors, I have an important bulletin: racial discrimination is perfectly legal. Shut up, yes it is. Read a book instead of going through life relying on reflexes and the grace of God.

The government--the people in charge of things like airport security--can discriminate on the basis of race and/or religion--even the blessed Religion of Peace--as long as they have a damn good reason.That's not how the courts say it. They say "compelling government interest." And the discriminatory behavior has to be "narrowly tailored" to solve whatever problem it addresses. That's today's Cliff's Notes lesson in Con. law. If these conditions are satisfied, the feds can discriminate.

Yes they can, yes they can, I don't give a damn what you heard on MTV.


Link via Andrea

And, as an extra special bonus, the liberal argument for getting rid of affirmative action;

It's often mediocre white students like these who are the most vocal in arguing against things like affirmative action not because they truly worry about fairness or anything but because these affirmative action programs provide them with a very convenient crutch upon which to lean while making excuses about their own failures. They seem to be saying that they didn't succeed because society had it in for them.

Someone else took my "spot."


I fully agree. Let's rid ourselves of this excuse generating system, so every student, whether they are black, white, yellow or green, will know they face a system that doles out advancement on merit alone.


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Three Shits, If You Ask Me

Subway finds a better ad campaign.


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Right After I Finished The Tubers, Too.

Damn. Now in order to keep up, I must go and overclock my citrus fruit, as well.


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mmmmm......geeeeky

Sadly, someone has mixed up my Clitorin with my Arsole. Sigh.

At least I still have all my Cummingtonite.

Link via the WorldWideRant


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Super Hero Trade-Off of the day

Would you give up your sight if it meant you gained the powers of Daredevil?

I would. In a minute.

Okay, what if you got the powers of Daredevil AND got to date her?


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The Pulse of America

In an (unscientific, no doubt) poll of Americans (at least those subscribing to AOL):

68% believe that war with Iraq is inevitable
21% don't believe that war is inevitable and
9% don't know

..............polls like this are so stupid. Who the hell cares what Americans think about the inevitability of war? The truth is 100% of us don't know. We think we do, but we don't. Ask us if we support a war with Iraq, or if we support the president's handling of this situation, but don't ask us if war is inevitable.

Moral: Really rich companies can ask really dumb questions.

Sidenote: I am a Democrat, and I am not gung-ho to blow the shit out of Iraq. That said, if we go, I am supportive of the president and all our men and women in the armed forces. Hope we all can at least be that bi-partisan.


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It's Not Racist When Liberals Call You Names

Rice Helped Shape Bush Decision on Admissions

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice took a rare central role in a domestic debate within the White House and helped persuade President Bush to publicly condemn race-conscious admissions policies at the University of Michigan, administration officials said yesterday.

Any guesses on how long it will be before someone on the Left starts tossing around terms like "House Slave" and "Auntie Tom"?

Update: Philosoblog, with whom I share a weird post affinity, writes about diversity in hiring;

The lie is to deny that if you are alive and have food and shelter and haven't been injured by anyone, you have no right to be angry, indignant or agrieved at any injustice. The lie denies that just being alive and in minimally decent condition affords one an awesome gift of an opportunity for a fulfilling life. The lie claims that a minimally tolerable life, and hence justice, requires that one's way of life, one's culture, be praised and applauded by the rest of society. If you are not morally and psychologically healthy enough to reap the full value of being alive, then you need to blame the unhappiness on the unwelcoming cultural hegemony of the established culture. You will therefore lie, saying that, as a matter of minimal decency, others have a duty to welcome your way of life and applaude it. You become an advocate of diversity because this cloaks your selfish scheme and gives you a coalition, power in numbers. If you feel shut out and excluded, of course you won't want to admit that what has shut you out is the basic gut level at which you connect to reality. It is less depressing to think that it is some oppressor.


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Bring It

Palestinians Threaten Americans at Pro-Iraq Rally

Americans go "ooooooooo, scary."

Muslims and Arabs will attack American targets everywhere if the United States goes to war against Iraq, a senior member of the militant Islamic movement Hamas said in Gaza on Friday.

He made the new threat during a march by 3,000 Palestinians through the winding streets of Gaza City on the 12th anniversary of the 1991 Gulf War. Some protesters fired shots shot in the air and others held portraits of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"If Iraq is attacked... all American targets will be open targets for every Muslim, Arab or Palestinian," Mahmoud al-Zahar, told reporters.


Mahmoud, dude! Have you been reading the Koran, or smoking it? Jews kick your ass up and down all day long! They have been for over fifty years, and you want to take on Americans? The last guy who did that is either dead or so shit-his-pants scared he won't even appear on videotape anymore.

You do remember Osama, don't you? I heard he dresses in women's clothes so often now that Al-Jazeera is casting him the in Arab version of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Have you thought about maybe starting at the bottom and working your way up? I hear the French are free, and easy.

"Any attack against Iraq will be answered by resistance everywhere and American interests everywhere will be targeted. We say that all American targets will be open targets to every Muslim, Arab, or Palestinian," he said.

If Sharon can dance, he's dancing now. I take that back. He's probably been dancing for some time now, because God has blessed him with only morons for enemies. The first American you kill, we take him off his leash. I understand you think he's been unleashed already, but we've already established the fact you're a dimbulb. Sharon has never been unleashed. You kill Americans, and Sharon will have you for dinner. You kill Americans, and if you're lucky, this time next year you'll be begging for dinars in Amman, along with all your people. Every time you open that toothless, fly ridden gumhole to spew some more hate, you bring the Greater Israel a little closer to existence.

Don't get me wrong, Mahmmy. I believe in a Palestinian state. I support a Palestinian state. I just think you and your people need to be scattered the ends of the earth first. I think you should be made to wander for 2000 years. Then you can have a state. Maybe we'll arrange it so you and your ilk are plopped down in Saudi Arabia, or Egypt, because Arabs love nothing more than to be forced to live cheek and jowl with people who had their asses kicked by heathens and Jews.

Maybe we'll arrange it so that your sons and daughters come here, so we can infect them with our decadent ways. And we will infect them, Mahmmy, even if we leave them where they are. As good as we are at kicking your ass, we're even better at corrupting your proud sons and virtuous daughters. It's what America does best, Mahmmy. When it comes to corrupting the yokels, Mahmmy, we are Sauron, and we have the Ring. We'll have your offspring walking around in next to nothing, eating pork, drinking beer and sleeping with heathens faster than you can say "Assalaam Aliakum." You know what's even worse, Mahmmy? Sometimes, when they are busy sleeping with your enemies, your daughters will be on top. That will be the only time the name of Allah passes their lips, Mahmmy, ever.

I'll tell you what, Mahmmy. We'll do that to your people even if we don't kick your ass. Odds are the worst you can do is annoy us, you powerless monger of hate. We're going to invade Iraq, and you'll do very little about it, or nothing at all. You will shout your slogans on the street corners, if we let you do even that, and then go home and wonder why Allah has abandoned you. You'll eat hate and drink misery and die early from your diet of wretchedness, and be cast into the darkness.

And while you are floating alone there in the eternal dark, we'll be turning your people in godless pacifists. That's right, Mahmmy.

We're gonna make them into Germans.

So come on Mahmmy, bring it.

Update: Great minds think alike.


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Welcome to My Norwalk House of Death

Yes, the birth of a new child is quite a miracle, and I was lucky enough to go through that experience last week (thank you for kind words from some of our visitors). This was my second child; first is a girl, this one is a boy. When the first one came along I really didn’t know what to expect from the whole experience. I mean, I knew what the end result was going to be, but I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like in the delivery room, from here on referred to as ground zero.

The first child was delivered so quickly I hardly had time to get squeamish. We went in to the hospital, got my wife her epidural, pushed twice and BAM!!!, there she was. I didn’t watch a lot of the real action and when asked I refused to cut the umbilical cord. While I did record the doctor holding the baby up and saying, “It’s a girl,” I did not videotape one second of action that I would not show to a complete stranger. I just did not picture myself sitting down to watch that over and over again.

This time the delivery was equally as smooth (I realize this is my opinion, not my wife’s) and equally as painless, since the doctor gave my wife the epidural very early. But this time I did watch more of the actual process (although once again not filming it). I saw the head pop out, not too different from the alien jumping out of Sigourney Weaver’s stomach in Aliens 3, just a lot less upsetting. He pushed his head out and wiggled around slowly, then rushing out once the head had escaped. It is a miracle, but also a process which makes us seem much more like the rest of the animal world than many of us would like to admit. I cut on the camera to hear the doctor tell us it was a boy and once again declined the opportunity to cut the umbilical cord of my newborn child (after all, what the hell am I paying the doctor for?).

We only stayed one night in the hospital, partly because my wife is tough, and mostly because we will pay a percentage of our total hospital bill. We got home, let our daughter show our boy around his new home and settled in for a few days of adjustment. My folks were there for a couple of days so we did have some help managing our little family…………then it all went to hell.

We came home on a Thursday, and in the middle of the night I heard my daughter crying so I went in to check on her (at approximately 2:30am). She had yacked all in her bed. I cleaned her up, her sheets and her bed and got her ready to put go back to sleep………..when she threw up again. She then continued to throw up every 15 minutes for the next 4 hours. It was bad. Around 6:30am she went to sleep and so did I.

I woke up and saw that she had thrown up one more time in her sleep, but only a little bit of water. I guess she had no more “chunks” to offer. I cleaned her up again, gave her a bath, and prayed she would be better. She spent the next 2 days with diarrhea and a slight fever, but at least she wasn’t throwing up. So my folks went home and the in-laws came over for the weekend. That night my mother got sick with the same virus and was up all night hurling, etc. and felt like crap for the next 3 days.

Sunday came and I got it, throwing up and running frequently to the bathroom (my time improved by .46 seconds in 2 days). It was ugly. My in-laws left and my mother-in-law got it, while my wife started having problems as well. Three days after that my father-in-law started showing symptoms. Not only do you puke, crap and feel awful, but it is difficult to eat anything even days after most of the symptoms have disappeared.

I have since learned that in Virginia they are calling this virus the “Nora” (sp?) virus, which is obviously kin to the Norwalk virus which has plagued the cruise ships in recent months (to Bigwig’s credit, he identified it as part of the Norwalk virus immediately after hearing of the symptoms, and I’m sure would want to be acknowledged for it). My daughter got better and went to stay with my folks for a couple of days while my wife and I quarantined ourselves and scrubbed every inch of our house, trying to disinfect the entire thing as best as we could. We opened doors and let out that “sick funk” which has taken over.

Now about 8 days after the problems started, we think we are all over the sickness, and while almost everyone got it, thankfully the newborn was spared, apparently juiced up on mama’s immune system. This virus SUCKS, and if you have plans to see someone who is dealing with it, my advice is to avoid them at all costs. If you take them dinner, treat them like lepers and leave the food outside and let them come and get it after you have long ago left the driveway. Perhaps only for my children and wife would I sit in their vomit and possibly get this again. It is hard to remember exactly, but I think my episodes of pneumonia were more pleasant.

I know one thing, if this problem is not taken care of completely, I damn sure won’t be going on a cruise any time soon.


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And The Host of The Party Loves His Air Conditioning

John LeCarre is harshing Cold Fury's mellow;

I've always loved his books, and have all of them. Shit. How can so many people who are so damned good in their chosen field of endeavor (Patrick Stewart comes to mind immediately, too) be so completely obtuse, and well, just plain stupid when it comes to politics and world events?

Sheryl Crow also comes to mind, as does Viggo Mortensen, Martin Scorcese, Robert Redford, and the gold standard of celebrity idiocy, Barbra.

In answer to CF's lament, I think that it's something along the lines of Absent Minded Professor Syndrome. To be very, very good in any field of endeavor necessitates that other fields are neglected. People with that kind of focus just don't have the time to think in depth about many things, and it shows when they stray from their narrow field of knowledge. Stupid celebrities were around long before 9/11, though the Maria Carey story is, sadly, false.

Celebrities are actually more likely to do this than others because very few of them are likely to run up against someone who will tell them they're an idiot to their face, because that would interfere with getting into their pants/wallet.

Here's a scenario: Heather Graham* has been talking to you for the last 15 minutes at a party. She's giggly, on her 4th gin and tonic, and keeps sliding in and out of your personal space. She's got this gold spaghetti strap thing that's about the size of a napkin, and people on the other side of the room can tell she doesn't have a bra on. Every now and then she gives your arm a little caress, like she's smoothing out a wrinkle. If she says something moronically stupid about the War on Terrorism, are you going to call her on it, or are you going to shut your yap and get her another gin and tonic?

If you aren't getting her a drink, well, you're a better man than me.

Zod: And that's before he remembers the roofies in his pocket, folks!

*If you don't care for Ms. Graham, feel free to insert an adultery-tempting celebrity of your choice. I hear George Clooney is nice.


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1/16/2003




Setting Up the Tar Baby

North Korea Warns Sanctions Mean War

Let's take Donald Rumsfeld at his word and assume that the US has the ability to fight a two-front war. Just because we have the ability doesn't mean that the we're going to launch a preemptive invasion of North Korea. There's barely enough support for an attack on Iraq.

But let's take George Bush at his word, as well. There's no ranking of relative evil among the three states he named as part of the Axis of Evil, so shouldn't he be of the opinion that overthrowing Kim is at least as important as overthrowing Saddam? I'll leave Iran out of the argument for the moment, as right now its regime looks to be the most like to collapse due to internal pressure.

I'd argue that the administration is of the opinion that overthrowing Kim Jong-il is at least as important as overthrowing Saddam, but that its strategy is constrained by by three factors;

1.) An almost total lack of support for an attack on North Korea from the American public,
2.) The likelihood of very strong opposition from China and Russia to such an attack, and
3.) The presumed existence of North Korean nuclear weapons.

If one feels a fight is required, but you can't strike the first blow, or feel that you shouldn't for reasons of appearance, then you must force your opponent to attack, or at the very least, make it look like he's attacking you, as Germany did just before invading Poland in 1939.

The fact is that we're not going to attack North Korea first, but it would be extremely convenient from a policy viewpoint if North Korea suddenly attacked us. It would take care of the first two constraints on our ability to act immediately. Any attack on American troops is going to galvanize the American public, especially if it looks like we were attacked in spite of our peace overtures, and insulate us from any Russian or Chinese objections, because no country is going to question the right of a nation to defend itself.

So the question for the administration becomes not "How do we get support for an attack on North Korea?" but "How do we get North Korea to attack us?"

One of the pressures forcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was the oil embargo the United States had imposed on Japan following her invasion of Indochina. Japan was faced with the problem that if nothing was done, in 18 months all of the Japanese oil reserves would be gone, at which point nothing could be done. Tojo had to use it or lose it.

North Korea faces the same choice, as of December of last year. The North Koreans do get some oil from China, so the pressure is not is intense as it otherwise would be, but not enough.

Pyongyang depends on the heavy oil supplies for about half of its national consumption.

So if North Korea had enough oil for 12 months before, they now have only enough for 6, or perhaps 9 if China can step up its rate of resupply. The needle is inexorably headed towards "E" on the North Korean gas tank, and the only thing China can do is slow the pace at which it travels.

If that pressure isn't intense enough, an army travels on its belly, and we've cut off food shipments. North Korea may not have been in a technical state of famine since 1998, but they've not been far from it either, and a reduction in oil supplies will further impact the regime's ability to harvest crops.

We've cut off the oil that the tanks need, and cut off the food that the soldiers need. The military will still get first choice at the oil and food, but the quality of the supplies available is going to start degrading rapidly. George Bush is betting that when faced with a choice of "Use it or Lose it", Kim Jog-il is going to use it.

The beauty of the bet is that if he's wrong, George still wins.

Once the pressure forcing North Korea towards war is in place, all the United States has to do is look like it is attempting to solve the crisis, while actually not doing anything to solve the crisis. Essentially, as USS Clueless has pointed out, this means engaging in European style diplomacy. It's a purposely slow process, and North Korea cannot afford the time. The process entails making what from that government's point of view is a worthless proposal. North Korea rejects it, we shake our heads in pretend regret, and say to the world "Gosh fellas, we're trying our best, but they're just not interested.". Then we offer another useless proposal, one that's been slightly tweaked to make it appear new, and the dance begins anew.

Now, it's possible that the above analysis is dead wrong, but South Korea is starting to act as if something like this is going on, and it may not matter. For the scenario to be true, the Bush Administration just has to appear as if it doesn't have a coherent policy on North Korea, and it is already doing an admirable job at that. Not having a coherent policy has the same effect over time as pretending not to have one does. Either approach takes more time than North Korea has available.

The danger here lies in constraint #3. North Korea still has nukes.

North Korea's problem is that they can't reach any target the U.S. is going to consider critical other than the 37,000 U.S. troops south of the DMZ, and there's not a lot of point in nuking the areas the regime needs to control, as that would render them economically and agriculturally useless. Empty, radioactive land is useless when it comes to propping up a regime. North Korea could throw a nuke towards Tokyo, but from a strict realpolitik point of view, Tokyo is not a critical military target, and nuking Japan will only bind them closer to us. The same logic holds for every other country in the region.

The best use for the North Korean nukes would be to launch a conventional attack, and hold them in reserve in case that attack goes bad. They are the last defense against an invasion of the northern half of the peninsula by U.S. and ROK troops. Such a use gives our forces time to either locate the nukes and capture or destroy them, or to destroy the command and control systems needed to launch them. Our last defense, and one that we hopefully wouldn't count on, is a combination of local missile defenses and the expectedly shoddy quality of the N.K. devices.

The N.K. nukes might even be so big that they can only be delivered by aircraft. In any war with the U.S., that option is going to disappear in a matter of hours.


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The #1 Reason the U.S. should press for "regime change" in N. Korea

I found the article absolutely horrifying. I do not think one single ounce of aid should flow to North Korea while the current regime is in power. This is an issue worth fighting to correct.



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Here Comes Peter Cottontail........

Ever heard of easter eggs? Not the kind left by the Easter Bunny, but those found on some dvd's? They are similar to game codes found on certain video games (playstation, etc). These are codes that you can plug in that will enable you to see special information found on the game. The same is true on some dvd's. Plug in the specific code and you may find certain movie trailers not seen in the U.S., secret clips, or even a game. This website does a good job letting you know what is available and what codes to use.


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A Bit Too Fond of Darney, If You Ask Me

Tis a far, far better thing that I do then I have eve done before, Tis a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever...
Thunk.
Thunkthunkthunkthunkthunkbump.

Boyd? Are you in there? What was that noise? Here, what's in front of the door? Boyd? Aieeeeeeee!


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Think On Your Own Time

Iain Murray of the Edge of England's Sword, has been fired, ostensibly for blogging. The Sainted Wife is always worrying that this will happen to me, despite the fact that I never blog from work (cough, cough).

Something close to this happened to old Friend of Hraka War Now! a while back. As Australia doesn't have quite the free speech laws you would expect from a Anglosphere country, and Bruce occasionally commented on workplace issues, that wasn't quite as surprising as this. I only occasionally read Iain's blog, so I have no idea if he did the same. Andrew Sullivan has also lost work due to his blog.

Given the above examples, I don't comment on UNC issues, despite the tempting nature of some of the targets. My basic rule when it comes to blogging is "Don't shit where you eat."

That said, nothing that was done to any of the guys above is even remotely just. I sent Iain $20 out of general principles. Other have sent that, and more.

Zod: So the only way to get paid for blogging, is to get fired for blogging?
Looks like.


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1/15/2003




Soccer Player Killed By Exploding Flying Bosom.

Police interviewing silicon manufacturers, masectomy recipients.


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The Perfect Cover

President George Bush today declared Sunday, January 19th, to be National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Upon finishing the short announcement, President Bush, unaware of the open microphone nearby, turned to presidential spokemen Ari Fleisher and commented "Tell Tommy the show's on for Sunday. That Iraqi bastard will never expect it, now."


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Spoons and Blogatelle

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you 'till we meet again.


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Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Budget Woes Force 'Porn Czar' Job Cut

Paula Houston, the State of Utah's porn ombudsmen, will lose her job on the strangely appropriate day of April 1.

Ms. Houston is keeping her options open, having lined up several interviews with other groups needing a humorless busybody to pry into people's private lives.

Among the jobs Ms. Houston feels qualified for;

1. MADD Snitch - Job requirements include skulking in the shrubbery outside of people's houses, going through their garbage, (Just like I do now!" commented Ms. Houston) and reporting bar patrons who order a second beer.
2. Mormon Elder, Sacred Underwear Inspector Division. The job description includes peeking under the clothes of random passers-by on the street, and reporting any person sans protection. "The pay is good, but there's always the chance that I might see bare skin, and without anyone to report that instance of pornography to, I'm sure to get frustrated."
3. Neighborhood Association Enforcer - Job requirements include reporting families with off list trim colors, unlicensed or impermissible pets, lengthy grass, unwashed vehicles, or Democratic political signs. Applicant must lack any smidgeon of imagination, humor or empathy. "Now, this is my dream job, but I have to be realistic. Half of the people in the the state fit that description, so the competition will be fierce."


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Transmissions in Seventeen

Carnival of the Vanities #17 is up at the Friend of Hraka Greeblie Blog. Thanks, Dave!

Upcoming stops include;

1/22 Yourish.com
1/29 Ipse Dixit
2/5 Plum Crazy
2/12 Dissecting Leftism
2/19 The People's Republic of Seabrook

If you'd like to host the Carnival, drop us a line. Information on how to join the Carnival can be found here.


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1/14/2003




Britain's Hunt for Child Pornography Users Nets Hundreds Besides Pete Townshend

Most also claiming to to be working on autobiography.

In a shocking turn of events today, Scotland Yard released over 1000 suspects previously arrested in the recent child pornography crackdown after they claimed their interest in the illegal material was nothing more than autobiographical research.

"I mean, be fair," said Yard spokesman Constable Clive Pepperlingus. "If we accept that explanation from the rich and famous, we have to accept it from everyone."

Constable Pepperlingus showed Her Majesty's several examples of the accepted works in progress, including several written in extremely small letters on the backs of pound notes, one composed entirely of spittle and letters torn out of magazines from the waiting room of the Old Bailey, and another pricked out onto toilet paper by a straight pin dipped in the author's blood.

"Certainly, these authors were driven to write, " commented Andrew "Loco" Motion, England's Poet Laureate. "When faced with such a driving, powerful muse, such as the one possessed by myself and these other artists, no terroritory can be considered sacred, no action out of bounds. Why, downloading pictures of nude children forced in degrading sexual acts must be considered the absolute cutting edge of Modern Art. These brave souls should be subsidized, not penalized."

Mr. Motion has composed a new poem in support of the misunderstood artists;

Carla's Belly

She gave good head, ate spunk, but never learned
of a love other than the pain of rectum-burn.
Her stomach wall is drowned and semen clad:
choking, crying, making, Art for Dad.

Other Motion inspired poems can be seen here.


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No Surprises Here

President Bush's job approval has slipped to 58 percent in a new CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll
........
Six in 10 said he's paying enough attention to the war on terrorism


Four in 10 think George is not paying enough attention to the war on terrorism, and almost the exact same percentage disapprove of the way he's handling his job. Yep, the longer we let Saddam, Kofi and the Saudis have the initiative, the lower Bush's approval rating gets.

Somehow I doubt this particular interpretation is going to be very widespread.

Zod: That's because you're monkeying with the numbers!
I'm using the numbers they published.
Zod: But you're not drawing the correct conclusion!
What is the correct conclusion?
Zod: It's the one they tell you..........wait a minute.
Take your time, Frenchie.
Zod: I'll do you for that.


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Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

1/13/2003




ffttt, ffttt, ffttt!

I ate his liver with a cold borscht and a nice Stolichnaya.


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Whatever You Do, Don't Think About Waterfalls

Blogging might be light and slow today. Ngnat woke up today with a fever, runny nose, and upset stomach. I'd name the flu shot as the culprit, but the documentation that came with it seemed to think that any reaction would have occurred before now.

That's why blogging might be light. Blogging might be slow because she won't sit anywhere other than on my lap, leaving me just one hand to type with. She fell asleep an hour ago, which is good. But I had two latte cups of coffee before that, which is bad, because now I have to pee, really badly.

Zod: Raindrops keep falling on my head....
Quiet, you.


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1/12/2003




2 Down, 1 to Go

Joe Strummer. Maurice Gibb. God help me, I know who's next.

The first album I ever bought was London Calling. I bought it at the TG&Y in Louisburg. Why a fourth level retailer in a two-bit rural North Carolina town had a copy of London Calling, I'll never know, but I plunked down my $14.50 anyway, and cursed the album when I got home because I couldn't find Train in Vain on the album listing.

It was the first album I ever bought, but it wasn't the first I ever owned. The first album I ever owned was the Bee Gees' Children of the World. It was the second place prize in a talent show. First prize was Aerosmith's Toys in The Attic. There was no value judgement here; Toys was just the album the first place winner chose out of the ones available. I was next, and I took the Bee Gees album, not that I had any idea who they were. Third prize ended up being a Teddy Pendergrass album, which is what I would have ended up with if my classmates had judged the contest instead of my teachers.

Did I mention there were only three acts actually in the talent show? No? It's a pretty fair indication of what my talent level was. My friend Jack won, I forget what he did. He went on to smoke a lot of pot in high school. Two black girls, Penny and Elizabeth, finished in third. They did a lip-synching dance thing that was more polished than either my act or Jack's, at least to my eyes. I don't know why they didn't win. They both got pregnant our senior year.

I sang a song I made up, "Parking Meter"

Parking meter, he's a real big cheater
You put in a penny, you get out a (something that rhymes with penny)
Oh,oh,oh,oh.

Parking meter, he's a real big cheater
You put in a nickel, you get out a pickle
Oh,oh,oh,oh.

You get the point. I hit every stop all the way up to a buck. I remember thinking it was pity there was no seventy-five cent piece. Everyone other than myself and the teachers hated it, and I don't know what was wrong with the teachers. But it got me a Bee Gees album. As I said, not that I knew who they were.

The girls in the Catholic family up the street did, though. They came over and listened to Barry, Maurice and Robin tell them them they should be dancing, and dance they did. In my den, to my music. They taught me to dance. In my den, to my music. I learned how to do The Bump, as I recall.

So, to summarize:

Jack - Aerosmith, Toys in the Attic. Went on to smoke a lot of pot. He also co-wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper published at one point, in which he defended Led Zeppelin against the vicious onslaught of Muzak. His co-author's main claim to fame was that he once ate an entire light bulb during band class, then washed it down with rubbing alcohol.
Penny and Elizabeth - Teddy Pendergrass - Got pregnant.
Moi - Bee Gees, Children of the World. Touched my ass to those of multiple older Catholic girls, repeatedly. Thank you, Maurice.

For the next few years, I bought every album by the Bee Gees (until Sergeant Pepper, when it finally dawned on me that perhaps they weren't quite the thing anymore), and every album I could find by the Clash. My grandmother gave me the Star Wars soundtrack for Christmas, so I added John Williams to the list, and religiously bought anything scored by him, as long as it was also Star Wars related.

My parents had an old cabinet stereo that would allow me to pile 6 LP's on the center spindle, and through the magic of 1960's American technology, play one, then drop the next one down on top of it. When the last record in the pile had finished, I would flip the entire stack over and play the other sides. I eventually replaced Children of the World in the playlist with the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, but that was it. I played other albums, but when the time came for a long afternoon of reading or fuming alone in my room, those albums were the ones spinning on the turntable.

Three albums with less in common have probably never been so closely associated for so long a time. They were the soundtrack for my early teen years. They played in the background the first time I drank a beer, and the first time I read Lord of the Rings. Pity me, for I will forever associate the passage of the Mines of Moria with Night on Disco Mountain.

The order was set in stone;

Side one of London Calling, Side one of Saturday Night Fever, Side one of Star Wars. Side three of London Calling, Side three of Saturday Night Fever, Side three of Star Wars.

In other words; Joe, Maurice, John. Joe, Maurice, John.

Now, two of the three have dropped. I know who drops next. I'm sorry, Mr. Williams. Had I only known my power, I would've bought Off The Wall, instead.


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Stayin' Alive No More

Saw this via the Associated Press:

Bee Gee Maurice Dies at 53

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 12) - Maurice Gibb, a member of the famed disco band the Bee Gees, died Sunday at a Miami Beach hospital, his family said. He was 53.

Gibb, who joined with his older brother and his twin to harmonize their way to becoming one of the best selling musical groups ever, suffered cardiac arrest before undergoing emergency surgery for a blocked intestine. He was admitted to Mount Sinai Medical Center Wednesday and underwent surgery Thursday.


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Granny gasses

When my grandmother was first diagnosed with Parkinson's, I used to vibrate my body for a second or two every now and then, just to mess with her head. Yes, I know I'm going to hell, but so far it's been worth it. I like to think that I made up for part of it by the Christmas gift I gave her two years ago, a book of post cards from all the places she'd lived, from Yuma to Abingdon to Lake Mattamuskeet. She loves Ngnat to death, but Ngnat regards her with some suspicion, as we haven't seen her enough to move her into my daughter's long term memory. She was a minister's wife, and as such has always been very proper. I have absolutely no ability to picture her farting in public, unlike Deb, who will always have the The Great Card Mart Fart Panic of 1988

At some point in the middle of the stuffed animal selections my grandmother had managed to locate the "perfect" present for me, her only granddaughter of seventeen years:

This grand find was apparently so hilarious my grandmother immediately began to howl with laughter, and at that moment due perhaps to age, colitis and poor sphincter control, also cut one of the biggest goddamn farts she or my mother had ever perpetrated, much less witnessed from anyone else, in public.

It is now believed her outing with mom earlier at the McCrory lunch counter had resulted in some gastrointestinal artillery that proceeded to shell-shock the entire store with it's magnitude. So, the longer she laughed, the more she farted. Unluckily, it came out as a seemingly never-ending blast, as my mother noted from her vantagepoint amongst the heavy-paper stock and envelopes. The entire store skidded to a goddamn halt when the loud resounding fart continued unabated and the old-lady screams of my maw-maw's laughter mixed with the rap! raaaaaaap! grrrrap! from the plush toy aisle. Somehow, even with all the loud hustle and bustle of the shopping season, she had managed to create a thorough, appalled silence in CardMart once she finally had stopped her farting.


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