Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I got a pocket full of quarters, and I'm headed to the arcade

Happy Winter-een-mas Everyone! Warm up your thumbs and kick it old school.

In completely unrelated news, am I the only one who finds something disturbing about the character assassination of Condoleeza Rice currently disguised as a confirmation hearing? Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who has already so much as called Dr. Rice a liar to her face during previous testimony, has requested an hour of time today all to herself. Lord only knows what she'll do for an encore. Perhaps she'll ask if Dr. Rice knows about birthin' dem babies.
senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) has also requested a full hour for himself, leaving only 7 for the rest of the entire committee to ask questions. One wonders what Sen. Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, will need to do in order to top Sen. Boxer's bad mouthing of a prominent african american woman... Maybe he can hold a press conference on the Capitol steps by a tasteful display of burning crosses. I hope he at least dresses up in his best sheet today.

All I know is that I'm going to need a whole mess of Galaga to wash all this hypocrisy down.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Who can turn a cap into a cape?

Holy crap, we're one step closer to the apocalypse tonight kids. I just saw a commercial for the MacGyver season 1 DVD box set. No, I'm not kidding. How much longer can it be until we have true justice, and Mr. Belvedere graces store shelves nationwide to bring meaning into our pitiful little lives?

Everyone collect some matches, spare bicycle parts, and a bottle of asprin then gather the kids around the big screen and learn how to make a tank or something! Huzzah for wacky plot devices! Huzzah for increasingly improbable "situations" for good ol Mac to extricate himself from!
Mourn for Brian Blessed choking down his own vomit for the sake of a paycheck.

That being said, if you ignore the "show" part of the show and just ponder the essence of MacGyver, you have to admit it was pretty damn cool. Just the concept itself makes you want to scream it in as many public places as you can find. Shout "MacGyver!" at the top of your lungs... feels good doesn't it? That one word is a conversation unto itself. OK, so the cops won't get it, and they'll probably ask you to leave the premesis... but the cool people like me, and probably you... we're down, yo. We'll just nod understandingly and say (all beatnicky-like) "MacGyver, man... MacGyver."
And you know what? We'll have really said something that day. Something that means something. Something profound indeed.

MacGyver, everyone.

Monday, January 17, 2005

You don't have to follow me, only you can set me free

Good morning (more or less) readers. It's a rare occasion when I drag my kilted carcass into the daylight willingly, but today is a worthy exception. If you are a regular visitor to the blog (or capable of clicking on the archive links) you'll know that I don't exactly care for stupidity. I'm no friend to deception or idol worship either. In point of fact, I'm a firm supporter of truth. Therefore, while many folks throughout the nation will be celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. today, I the Stew will not.

If you like your public figures lionized and placed upon pedestals with slavish unthinking worship, then read no further. Just claim that I'm a racist and a bigot and move on. You're not going to listen to anything I might have to say anyways.

Now, on to the matter at hand. For someone that's been held up as a model of virtue and a great thinker of our times, Mr. King falls far short of the traits he's been attributed with. There are plenty of internet rumors circulating with all sorts of claims (the white supremacist group Storm Front has some particularly nasty ones, and is regarded by many as being the source of many of the chain letters you see in your inbox) I'm more concerned with the verifiable charges that have been proven through documented research.

chiefly, I'm disturbed by his lifelong pattern of plagiarism. As someone spending thousands of dollars a year to obtain a college education, I find it sickening that simply because Mr. King was famous, he was given a complete pass on plagiarism in his doctorate thesis by Boston University. This is well-documented by The King Papers Project, an extensive review of Mr. King's written work, which uncovered it in the late 1980's. It should be noted that the project was initiated with no animosity towards Mr. King, and indeed was an attempt to collect all of his works for publication by the King Center. If they had any bias regarding Mr. King, it almost certainly was pro-King. Of particular note is the project director's article regarding King's history of plagiarism found here. His co-director backs this account here. Or try Theodore Pappas's book on the subject. Or, well, you get the idea.
I know if I'm ever considering a doctoral degree, I'll stay away from BU. Though it would be nice to get my diploma in half the time, it would be worth less than one from ICS. A theological degree from BU has zero integrity so long as they acknowledge Mr. King's rampant theft, yet still refuse to revoke his doctorate because of political sensitivity. (and the backlash from potential donors) I'm certainly not famous, left-wing, or dead enough to get away with a massive plagiarism campaign.

During the FBI's surveillance of King throughout the 60's, he was connected with both communist party members and numerous accounts of infidelity. Plenty has been written about this by more informed souces than I, so I merely point you to them.
To paraphrase Walter Sobchak, "Say what you will about the tenets of communism, Dude. At least it's an ethos." While I firmly believe communism has been a terrible scourge upon the earth, responsible for uncounted millions of deaths and exponentially more suffering, other people choose to gloss over this and feel good about believing in "equality." Mr. King is on record as being anti-capitalist and privately referred to himself as something of a Marxist... during a time when neither one of those beliefs were very healthy at all.
I have to say that this was the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover, who is noted for the zeal with which he pursued even the whiff of communism in public society, so take it with a grain of salt. Nobody but those involved in the investigation will really know what was in Mr. King's FBI file until 2027, when they are unsealed by the National Archives. I think there's at least a kernel of truth in the rumors, but time will tell.

All of the above being said, it's undeniable that Mr. King did help to improve a lot of people's lives in the course of his work. He faced violence and hatred for what he believed in, regardless of what that was. I grant him a measure of respect for that, without being further disgusted that it was all built on a pack of lies. What I find particularly galling is that the King Center, and Coretta Scott King in particular, demand licensing fees and royalties on work that her husband stole in the first place. Way to keep your meal ticket intact there, ma'am.

I'm not going to pretend that I made many friends today, and I'll certainly miss any of the ones I've lost. If after all this time, you pick this one issue to decide to hate me over, you should re-examine why you were originally my friend at all. Martin Luther King Day is simply one day out of 365ΒΌ, so let's not blow it too far out of proportion.
Still, thanks for reading this far with an open mind. Now go enjoy your Monday.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

If you believe they put a man on the moon

Remember all those kind words I had to say about Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, and their homeskizzles in the NBA? yeah, well Randy Moss.

I'd pick his 4th-grade-reading-level ass apart with a fine-toothed comb, but I've got no damn idea what he said in his recent "interview." Seriously, someone needs to beat the holy fuck-all out of him with a grammar stick... or a shovel. Either one is good, really.

My favorite part:
"If you can't have freedom of expression on the football field, come on," DiTrapano said.
DiTrapano would be Moss's two-dollar whore of an agent that fails to realize the football field in question is the property of the Green Bay Packers and that "Straight Cash Homey" is an employee of the NFL. You name me one employee that gets to moon customers on the job, in their place of employment (outside of my favorite strip club, The Dirty Blonde) and then we'll talk, DiTrapano.
Furthermore, since the Packers are a corporation with shareholders and whatnot, it's quite likely that "SCH" mooned most of the owners of the football field. So, no, DiTrapano, your client can't come into the business I own, and start pretending to moon everyone.

Oh, and once SCH's goalpost ass rubbing career is over, Eddie Steeples better check his six. Because damn - Cut your fucking hair, Buckwheat.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Is the cup half empty, or is the cup half full?

I'm going to indulge in a little blog activism today... No, no, you don't have to handle snakes or give out flowers at the airport. (though if you do, watch out for Robert Stack)
I just want to tell you about an intersting AI experiment involving the game of 20 Questions. Over at 20Q.net they've got just such an eerily fun project underway. I've been playing it all day, and I'm somewhat addicted. I've been throwing everything I can think of at the game, and getting some surprising results. After I ran through a laundry list of common office equipment to ask it about, I thought I'd get tricksy and tried a Lemur. Wrong! It nailed me in 14 questions.

Go experience the little jolt of excitement you get when a machine knows what you're thinking about... and then feel the hairs on your neck rise up a bit.


Actually, don't let that creep you out too much. Sure, it's still happening to me everytime the game guesses what I'm thinking of, but then once the game is over, it lets you peek behind the curtain a bit. It's funny to see what the game's current opinion about a subject. Take the aforementioned Lemur, for example:
Uncommon Knowledge about a lemur
Is it used during meals? I say Probably.
Can it run fast? I say Yes.
Is it black and white? I say Yes.
Does it smell good? I say Yes.
Can you jump on it? I say Yes.
Is it made in many different styles? I say Yes.
Does it have keys? I say Probably.
Does it hop? I say Yes.
Is it printed? I say Probably.
Does it open? I say Yes.
Does it come from an animal? I say Doubtful.
Does it like to run? I say Yes.
Is it an absolute state? I say Probably.
Is it worn? I say Yes.
Does it bounce? I say Yes.
Does it have striped fur? I say Yes.

So there you go. We're still the dominant species... Well maybe not this guy, but the rest of us are doing alright. Now, retrieve your keys and put on your synthetic lemurs... it's time for dinner.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Until our darkest hour, when the light will save us all!

It is the year 2005. The treacherous Decepticons have conquered the Autobots' home planet of Cybertron. But, from secret staging grounds on two of Cybertron's moons, the valiant Autobots prepare to retake their homeland.

Happy New Year, evverbody! For those of you keeping score at home, that's a 1-2-3-4 day long aftereffect from my partying, but I gaurantee you it was well worth it. What party was I at, you ask? Truth be told, I just stayed home, but Regis was creeping me way the hell out, so I hit the bottle hard.
Damn, but that steak-lovin motherfucker would NOT stop talking! The confetti is long since swept up, but I've been hearing him for days now. Mind you, it could just be the alcohol talking... but I wouldn't put it past Regis to rent the apartment next to mine and start piping his hyperactive voice through the ductwork. He's been known to do that, you know. He's also been known to gnaw on people's legs as well.
OK, maybe not, but what a great mental image that was, right? Admit it, you could picture it perfectly in your mind's eye.

Sleep is for now, good people. Try not to get your planet eaten.