Can you pick The Onion without hovering your mouse over the links? Not much of a challenge really, but if you just looked at the headlines you’d have an easy 50 / 50 shot at being wrong. At lottery-fixing trial, prosecutor wants Bigfoot kept out IOWA CITY, Iowa — Three friends involved in buying …
Dec 23 2015
Odds or Onions Challenge V
Jul 21 2012
Weaving Reality VI: On the Thickness of Skin
Some of you may have observed that I have been sharing my WeaveMothers series elsewhere…or maybe it’s better to say I have been presenting it and most people have been ignoring it. The offerings are here:
Picking up the rhythm
Nebulous answers to cogent questions
Looking back at the present
This is the sixth episode, originally published as part of Cafe Discovery:
The Storyteller took a deep breath and cast back for another memory, another story to tell. The Listener was patient, but did require the occasional feeding. The Storyteller chuckled at the observation. The Engineer glanced backward and nodded. And the Train switched to another happentrack.
The Storyteller began to sing. The Listener leaned forward. The passenger turned over, but otherwise remained sleeping.
One day Sun found a new canyon.
It hid for miles and ran far away,
then it went under a mountain. Now Sun
goes over but knows it is there. And that
is why sun shines–it is always looking.
Be like the sun.
Dec 10 2011
On The Question Of Virginity, Or, “Starter? I Can’t Make Her Stop!”
I got a weird little story about my friend Blitz Krieger to bring to you today.
He’s had a crazy car problem, he has, and over the past few months he thought he had found a solution – in fact, he thought he had found the solution of his dreams – but in the end, he’s discovered that the things you dream about often don’t go according to plan.
The way it’s worked out for him so far, it’s been a lot of anticipation followed by a sudden wave of frustration, but I feel like he’s a lot better off having his particular problem with his car…because if he’d had cancer instead, he’d surely be dead by now.
Jul 27 2011
Hitler Holds News Conference, Blames Balanced Budget Amendment For U.S. Defeat
(FNS – Washington, New Germany, April 17, 1947) America’s new Führer, Adolf Hitler, announced today that his official War History would in fact acknowledge that one of the biggest contributing factors to the defeat of the Allies was the insistence of the former United States of America on sticking to its Balanced Budget Amendment, which left them unable to fund the wartime conversion of the US economy for the benefit of the Alliance.
“All those ideas Mr. Roosevelt spoke of”, said Hitler, “Lend-Lease, modular shipbuilding, War Bonds, secret weapons…in the end, all of them were just words, since the Americans’ Congress was never willing to allow the country to fully fund its war effort.”
As has been previously disclosed, Waffen SS historians have already located caches of documents in Washington describing plans to fund a massive military expansion in the former United States by selling War Bonds.
These debt instruments would have allowed the Roosevelt Administration to spend up to 40% of the Gross Domestic Product of the former Nation in defending itself, the former United Kingdom, and other nations against the Fatherland, but for reasons that are still not well understood Conservative politicians demanded that the former US Government never “take on debt for outsiders”, or, in the words of Mae Cadoodie, leader of the American Tea Party movement, “Never invite a foreign entanglement that raises our taxes”.
Had the Americans been allowed to sell War Bonds, or to raise taxes to fund the War, it is estimated that they could have provided tens of thousands of aircraft, millions of military vehicles, and hundreds of ships, but the Balanced Budget Amendment prevented any of that.
This represents the end of a series of political arguments that had been taking place since the 1930s, when some American economists were suggesting that a new idea called “deficit spending” could be helpful in bringing the former USA out of the Great Depression; at that time the Roosevelt Administration was unable to establish agencies such as the Work Projects Administration, which would have built public works projects throughout the USA in an effort to revive the moribund economy.
Mae Cadoodie and others fought back successfully against these ideas, pointing out that the last thing the US economy needed in a bad economy was new taxes; they made the same arguments when the Roosevelt Administration first proposed Lend-Lease as a war emergency measure.
“We cannot inflict punishing new taxes on American industry at this fragile time in our recovery” Cadoodie said in a famous speech in 1939, “and if the market is really there for this military materiel, if it’s not just some boondoggle manufactured by Roosevelt to take money out of the pockets of the American people, then I’m sure the British will be able to find the funding they need from the markets or from charitable donations”.
Cadoodie was unavailable for comment, as she and most other former American politicians are still serving on the Eastern Front, and will be for the foreseeable future.
In a related story, the conversion of the remainder of the American industrial base is underway for the fight against the Russians, and millions of otherwise unemployed Americans are being drafted into the military services in preparation for the final assault.
Jul 10 2011
Huck Finn and the Hunger Games
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Are you a teacher upset by your school’s resistance to allowing the original version of Huck Finn? I may have the solution–The Hunger Games.
I admit, I read the first page and thought I would hate it. The book is written in first-person present tense, has simplistic prose and starts with a huge load of back story. After the first chapter, though, I was hooked. The novel is bullet paced and winds through twists and turns that, for once, I did not anticipate.
So what does that have to do with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? Well, Mark Twain’s 127 year old classic has racism as its theme: A young white runaway realizes he has more in common with a runaway black slave, than with affluent whites. The problem is that Twain was a product of his time and uses the “N-word” liberally throughout the text. Although class struggle and racism don’t bother school boards at all, the N-word apparently does, and the book is frequently banned from school libraries, English classes and social studies.
Enter the Hunger Games–a modern book with the theme of class warfare and imperialism that has an almost spooky resemblance to the Jasmine Revolution. (No small feat given the book’s copyright in 2008.) Because it is a futuristic novel, the N-word is no where to be found. In fact, there are no black people at all. That takes care of that. Instead, the former US is split into 12 Districts that are pitted against each other in a reality show that is must see TV. I mean the government makes you watch. Two children ages 12-18 are chosen by lottery from each district and forced to compete in a kill or be killed game for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Capitol district. Throw in media control, massive government spying, police state, and the exploitation of the periphery districts by the Capitol district and the themes of this modern novel should provide more than enough material for a discussion of the problems of modern society and how they are portrayed in literature.
And if you still miss the racism aspect of Mark Twain, well how about talking about the foundation of racism–artificial adversarial relationships that keep those without power from forming solidarity for the benefit of the powerful.
Jul 08 2011
The Bostonians: A Review
The late 19th Century American novelist Henry James commented on the emergent First-wave Feminist movement in his novel The Bostonians. In 1984, James’ book was adapted into a movie. Itself a selection of the Merchant Ivory school of period piece dramas, the film promises more than it provides, but is a minor gem nonetheless. James was a skeptic of Feminism and feminists, revealing both to be nothing more a collective of than uncompromising, ideologically polarizing fussy old maids. However, the author is also highly critical of the counter-weight to these passionate reformers, the charming, but manipulative Mississippi lawyer and frustrated writer, Basil Ransome. We will be formally introduced to him later in this review.
May 17 2011
On Sunday Drinking, Or, Has Satan Been Rendered Irrelevant?
I know better than to go drinking on Sundays, but it’s just been one of those weeks, and I figured I’d grab a few beers, no big deal, and then head hone and get some real work done.
Of course, the reason I don’t drink on Sundays is because that’s when Satan likes to go hang out at my favorite bar – and to be real honest with you, lately Satan’s getting to be a real drag to hang out with once he gets drinking.
I mean, it’s depressing: he’s always talking about how he gets blamed for the economy, even though he claims he has no control over Wall Street, and atheism is a bit of a sore subject – and he’s forever complaining about how all his best customers have been outsourcing more and more work to Varsavarti.
But if you think all that’s a drag to have to deal with…you should hear him complain about Republican Presidential Politics.
Apr 19 2011
crossposted from The Wild Wild Left
The crunch of the sand seemed intrusive to the pre-dawn still of the morning, as she dragged the row boat off of its little wooden dolly that served as a trailer for the riding mower. “If the mower didn’t wake up the world, this surely won’t,” she thought.
The little electric motor was blessedly quiet as she slipped around the first sand bar and headed out of the cove into the lake proper. The sky was still silver, the water inky with the beginnings of the fingerlets of mist striving to break free from the confines of their fellow molecules in the lake. It was already warm, going to be a scorcher. The air smelled soft and thick as the birds started announcing the arrival of the first light.
She cut the motor and drifted into the second sandbar at the point. She needed the stillness and to think. She slipped off the shirt and shorts covering her bathing suit and stepped off into the water. Water always felt like home. It brought the inner quiet that brought the clarity the city sounds always drove out. Out in the water, or in the woods; it was a different world, a world in which there was only you and the everything. It made one feel both infinitesimally small, and immeasurably connected.
There was no better place to be at the crossroads in your life.
Feb 28 2011
Campaign Manifesto #3: On The Road, Defending Social Security
So it’s Day 3 of my fake campaign for Congress, and we’ve run into our first obstacle
The Fake Campaign, as you may recall, is fake headed for Wisconsin, to show solidarity, and we’ve fake hitched a ride on a delivery truck headed for Rush Limbaugh’s Florida broadcasting studios-but we fake found ourselves caught up in the all-too-real Giant Grip Of Winter that has seized the Midwest over the past week.
We’re back on the road now, but we were stuck for darn near a half-day there at Wall…and if you know anything about South Dakota, you know there are really only two things to do in the City of Wall: you can shuffle back and forth between Gold Diggers and the Badlands Bar, partaking of numerous intoxicating liquors along the way…or you can head on into Wall Drug (the same one that’s on all those bumper stickers and signs) and partake of the finest display of Giant Jackalopia on the planet.
The Campaign, naturally, chose Jackalopia-and that’s why today’s Manifesto is all about the fake impromptu 5-cent-coffee-fueled Social Security Town Hall that we held in the Wall Drug Mall for several hours while we waited for I-90 to reopen.
Feb 20 2011
Howard Beale’s Nightmare
“We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true. But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube. You eat like the tube. You raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness — you maniacs! In God’s name you people are the real thing, WE are the illusion.”
– Howard Beale from the movie Network
When the movie Network was released 35 years ago it was considered a satire. No one at the time could imagine how far the standards of television, and society in general, would decay.
Today it is considered prophesy.
While the character Howard Beale touched on the merging of fiction and reality, I doubt that creators of the movie could have dreamed where it would lead us today.
Nov 11 2010
Republicans unveil plan to fix the economy
Republican leaders unveiled a new, multi-step plan that will remake the American economy and turn the country into a capitalism utopia virtually overnight.
“All it takes for this plan to work is for everyone to believe hard enough,” explained Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. “Otherwise it will be all the fault of the Democrats when it fails.”
The Republican plan for fixing the problem of the long-term unemployed involves relocating them to Glittenwood, the magical land of jobs.
Sep 24 2010
Imagine it’s the year 2020
Imagine it’s election season in 2020 … you look around the economic and political and media landscape in America — and you’re asking yourself “What Happened?”
VP Paul Ryan is Leading in all the Insta-Polls.
Ryan is considered a shoe-in after spearheading President Pence’s Ultimate Govt Diet Plan for the last 8 years. Even though Ryan’s only real accomplishment was leading American Prosperity’s many market research programs.
Ryan must be credited with figuring out exactly How to Sell the Dog Food — and making it “palatable to the majority of the people”. Afterall, the Pundit Class was stunned when Mike Pence eked out that Win in 2012 — given how he insisted on running on the GOP original slogan: Time to Deconstruct Run-away Government.
With that surprise upset-win, which sent Obama packing, VP Paul Ryan seized the opportunity to get out of the number-crunching business, and move into the world of high-octane Messaging …
Who knew that an Ultra-Conservative — turned Marketing Guru — could actually become the “Leader of the Free-Market World“?
The 2020 Polls are ticking …