Saturday, April 24, 2004
We will return soon.
Friday, April 23, 2004
After several exasperating discussions with a creationist about the difference between science and pseudo-science, I decided to go to the source on the issue of creationism. I stood on the roof of my Hollywood apartment building, looked to the skies, and asked for guidance. Actually, I asked for an interview. I said His name several times, getting louder each time. But there was no response. But then, I asked the right question ...
MMC: God!? Oh, God!? How come you'll talk to Pat Robertson but you won't talk to me?
IHVH: (grumbling) Good point. You got me there. You journalists ...
MMC: I didn't really think that would work. You really talked to Pat Robertson?
IHVH: Well, he's pretty persistent.
MMC: Did you really say George W. Bush would win the election in November?
IHVH: Not exactly. But you know how Pat is. He only hears what he wants to hear and the Bible only says what he wants it to say.
MMC: I see.
IHVH: What I said was, there is only one way that George W. Bush would win in November. And that would be if all Americans who think for themselves were poisoned in their sleep before the election.
MMC: Oh, uh ...
IHVH: Yeah, I'd be worried, too, if I were you.
MMC: I really wanted to ask you about evolution.
IHVH: Don't get me started! Those creationists really fry my hat! The cosmos is a beautiful, wondrous thing, so intricate, so complex. Not just what you can see, but what you can't see. Every chemical change at the molecular level, every dying star, its a beautiful dance. Beautiful choreography. Sorry to toot my own horn and all, but you mortal creatures can't really appreciate it.
IHVH:And the intricacies of natural selection! I was really into designing that part of it. I put a lot of thought into that. DNA, evolution, extinction and all that. And the creationists just sort of shrug their shoulders and sneer! Just because it's too complex for them, they act like it's too complex for me! Hmmmph!
MMC: They do seem to be lacking a little humility.
IHVH: I'll say! They worship things written in a book instead of looking around them and realizing the beauty of the universe. The Bible was written down and compiled by men. Then it was translated and re-translated. Some of the men who worked on it were ignorant, some were imaginative, some of them were very sincere. But they all had prejudices and they all had an an agenda to protect the authority of the tribe or the church or whatever. What are the odds that it could really be the literal Word of Me above all other books?
MMC: You work in mysterious ways.
IHVH: Bollocks! That's just a convenient and tiresome cliche to throw in when the questions get tough. You could use the same reasoning to say "Gigli" is the word of Me! THAT would be mysterious!
MMC: Well, all things are possible in you, O Lord.
IHVH: Except evolution, apparently.
MMC: Well, some things aren't for men to know.
IHVH: That's for sure! Everything won't be revealed to you guys, no way! It will all be revealed in about sixty million years to some highly-intelligent, mobile plants! Very colorful folks, them! They'll have evolved on one of the moons of Saturn and they're much more deserving of enlightenment than your species. But you'll be long gone by then, not even a memory.
IHVH: Oh, poop! I've said too much! Uh, I better go, I have to pick up the boy from a barber appointment. He's probably already standing on the curb, looking to the heavens, saying, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" So dramatic! Good-bye. And listen to your mother!
MMC: One last thing! Who's going to win the play-offs?
IHVH: The Knicks! All things are possible in Me!
The Knicks! I find it easier to believe "Gigli" is the absolute and unarguable Word of God!
Thursday, April 22, 2004
YOU MIGHT BE A REPUBLICAN IF…
You believe the government has absolutely no right to interfere with an individual’s privacy — except their sex life or their personal choice of artificial stimulant, of course.
You love guns, but you haven’t gotten around to joining one of the “well-regulated militias” that the Second Amendment was created to protect.
Your idea of ethnic diversity is a room full of white males running the country while the “WB” is on in the background.
You’re not an isolationist, but you think the U.S. might have been a little too interventionist in World War II.
“Pro-life” means that when a sniper is shooting at an abortion doctor, he should try not to kill the doctor's kids, if possible.
You believe that a president who goes to college overseas to avoid Vietnam is a coward, but a president who joins the National Guard to avoid Vietnam is a real patriot.
You think your child’s science teacher can get most of his lesson plans out of the King James version of the Bible.
The only evidence that convinces you that the Earth may be older than 6,000 years is the existence of Strom Thurmond.
You didn’t really experience the 1960s: you had the 1950s twice and skipped straight to the 1970s.
You still don’t realize that Rush Limbaugh really is a big fat idiot.
You would drill for oil in Eden.
You think there's something in the Constitution that protects your right to possess an AK-47.
You’ve always disparaged illegal immigration, while chastising your Ecuadorian nanny and your Mexican gardener for being late.
IN DEFENSE OF MEL GIBSON
I oughta come over there and kick your bald ass. How dare you say those awful things about Mel Gibson. A man who created such works of art as "Lethal Weapon" and its various sequels. Unafraid to tackle the big issues of our time like, Why do Christian hate Jews anyway? In situations like this, I say to myself, "WWMD" - "What would Mel do?" and I think he would pull out his automatic weapon and blow your vile head off. However since he is a closet homosexual, he might try to suck your socks off. This quandry leads me to inaction until I can telepathicaly contact Mel. So, watch your back you fascist bastard, or all the good Christians who love Mel will be waiting for you, either to orally pleasure you or kill you, depending on the judgment of the divine and holy Mel!!!!!!!
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
My mother doesn't say too much about my blog but she does read it. And she did comment on my use of profanity.
"You don't have to use profanity," she said. "It degrades the user to use words like that. People will judge you based on the way you use language."
I was a little baffled when she said that. I couldn't remember using any profanity. My spoken English is sprinkled with a lot of objectionable words, but I have been pretty careful with the essays I've published in Mushtown Media Corp. Maybe I said "damn" or "crap" or "woo-woo" or "tinkle," but I couldn't remember going even that far.
"Are you upset that I called the president 'an inbred barn cat?'" I asked. "I retracted that statement."
"No, no, that's okay. Even though I'm a Republican, I frequently call him worse things than that," she said.
"Well, what else did I say? I thought I'd been careful," I said. "Give me something a little more specific."
"You shouldn't have called Mel Gibson ..." and here, she went down to a whisper, " ... an asshole."
Mother, I agree with you in principle, but I think a writer has to use the right word. And if the right word is a profanity, then the writer uses the profanity. This writer does, anyway. And "asshole" is clearly the right word for Mel Gibson for more reasons than I care to go into right now. Anyway, I think there's a blog called "Mel Gibson is an Asshole" that goes into all the reasons why Mel Gibson is an asshole.
The policy of Mushtown Media Corp. on bad words is not very exact. As a matter of fact, I'm making it up right now as I go along. Basically, we think that bad words have a lot more emphasis if they're used carefully and sparingly. If I called everybody an asshole and used the word on this Web log every day, then it wouldn't mean so much that, so far, the only person I've called an asshole is Mel Gibson.
I would never call George W. Bush, or any of that bunch, an asshole. The word doesn't even begin to be adequate to describe them.
You also won't see weird euphemisms in these essays. I will never say "the F-word" when I mean to say "Fuck." I think if you're going to say "Fuck," you should just say, "Fuck." It really fucking bugs me that the fucking Los Angeles Times won't print "Fuck." Grow some fucking balls! It's a major metropolitan newspaper and they're afraid to print "Fuck!" What a bunch of spineless fuckers!
Same with words like "shit" and "cock" and "cunt." We will make every effort to restrict the use of these words. But we will not hesitate to use them if we think they are really necessary to make a fucking point.
Like in this article.
Thank you, mother, for bringing this issue of obscenity to the attention of Mushtown Media Corp. We will now strive to keep our little corner of the Internet free of gratuitous profanity.
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
But nobody noticed. Nobody said anything. It's not that difficult to make a mistake like that. After all, the New Orleans Hornets used to be the Charlotte Hornets. But, the thing is, the only people who noticed the change are people in Charlotte. And maybe a few of the people in New Orleans.
Why did this change go unnoticed? Because it happened in the Eastern Conference, of course. For Western Conference fans, what happens in the East is largely irrelevant. To be more accurate, what happens in the East is wholly irelevant.
And the Eastern Conference was even worse than usual this year. Making the playoffs was not much of a trick this year when so many of the Eastern Conference teams that made the playoffs were below .500. It was quite embarrassing! The Indian Pacers led in the East by 6 games or more most of the season. They clinched a playoff berth months before any other team in the NBA was even close.
But that was a dubious achievement because they were mostly playing Eastern Conference teams. They didn't do so well against the tough teams in the West. They did beat the Lakers once. But, honestly, so what? The Lakers played like crap far too much of the time. It was very easy to attribute their loss to the Pacers to one of their bad nights.
The Eastern Conference segment of the playoffs seems like a mere formality. It's mostly just an exercise so that the Pacers can stay in shape for the finals. Who can even remember the other Eastern teams in the playoffs? The Knicks, the Celtics, the Nets, the Pistons, uh, um, it's like trying to remember all of the seven dwarves.
Hopefully, the battle for the Western Conference will be such a bloodbath that the winners will be exhausted by the time they face the Pacers in the finals. I'm not putting a lot of money on that, mind you ... but such faint hopes keep sports fans interested.
And at least these hopes aren't as faint as those of the Knicks and Celtics fans. Those people are just deluded.
Monday, April 19, 2004
Recruiter: Are you satisfied with the American occupation? Would you like to see Iraq return to its traditional Islamic roots? Are you better off now than you were under Hussein?
Mohamed al Harrad: Yeah, things are okay. I'm okay with American occupation.
Recruiter: What do you mean things are okay? Didn't you lose any friends or family during the U.S. invasion?
Mohamed al Harrad: Well, yeah, there's that. My wife lost both her legs but she doesn't have as much work to do because all our children were killed during a bombardment. My brother Omar is missing. My sister was gunned down accidently when she ran out of a burning mosque. What's your point? They're bringing democracy to the Middle East.
Recruiter: (whispering sinisterly) I'll have to try back later.
Mohamed al Harrad: You again? Look, things are fine. I'm not interested in your organization.
Recruiter: What do you mean things are fine! How can you say that? How respectful are the Americans toward Islamic values?
Mohamed: Well, they could be a little more polite. They could stop staring at the women. I wish they would let us open up the church or the mosque which they have desecrated by taking them over and turning them into barracks. And it would be nice if they hired a few more Iraqis for some of the positions. Unemployment is so high and many of us our highly-qualified to provide certain services, clerical, administrative, medical, technical. And we would work pretty cheap. It would save the U.S. a lot of money. But I'm sure they have a good reason for neglecting us.
Recruiter: (whispering sinisterly) Curses! Foiled again!
Recruiter: Are you ready to join in the jihad and push the infidels into the sea?
Mohamed al Harrad: Whatever for?
Recruiter: What do you mean? How are things going for you and your family?
Mohamed al Harrad: Well, things could be going a little better. We haven't had electricity or water for almost a year and the sanitation has completely broken down. I'm not sure why the Americans haven't fixed it. They must be busy finding Saddam. So my poor widowed daughter has lost both her children to disease and malnutrition. I still can't find a job and i'm really worried about this gangrene in my leg that I can't get seem to shake. But, you know, it's the price we pay for democracy.
Recruiter: (whispering sinisterly) This guy's tough!
Recruiter: Hello! Al Qaeda Recruiting Office.
Mohamed al Harrad: I'm ready to join you guys. This is Mohamed al Harrad.
Recruiter: Wow! What changed your mind?
Mohamed al Harrad: The liberal media! I heard there were war protests, which means that the Americans are not united. So that, more than anything, makes me want to join al Qaeda!
Recruiter: Ninety-seven percent of our new recruits cite the liberal media as the number one reason for joining al Qaeda. How did you hear about the protests, considering that the mainstream media doesn't cover them very much?
Mohamed al Harrad: I heard it in the black market bazaar when I was trading my last jewelry for a few chickpeas. I also heard that some of those liberals are being critical of President Bush and some of his associates. If they are so lame that they can't put a stop to a little dissent, then it should be easy to push them out of Iraq! And some of those liberals are so annoying! Al Franken is just a smug jerk! And he's not funny! And Michael Moore takes so many cheap shots! After we kick the invasion army out of Iraq, let's go flatten Air America!
Recruiter: We won't have to worry about that! (whispering sinisterly) Thank God for the liberal media, the al Qaeda recruiter's best friend!
Sunday, April 18, 2004
The NBA playoffs started yesterday and, for basketball fans, that means a complete and utter inability to acknowledge all other news. For Laker fans, the Lakers' difficult and precarious win over the Rockets is surely far more disturbing than anything reported from Iraq or Afghanistan. (Did I spell that right? It's been so long since anybody mentioned Afghanistan that I'm not sure it really exists. Maybe I dreamed the whole thing.)
This sports distraction is necessary for the maintenance of good mental health. If Mushtown Media Corp. always focused on the incompetence of the Bush Administration, it might get very boring. No matter how stupid and corrupt they are, making fun of them gets kind of old and political writers can get kind of demoralized at the sorry state of the nation and the poor quality of leadership.
So the NBA playoffs have come just in time for everybody, including the Bush Administration! Professional basketball has the longest play-off season of any professional sport. As a matter of fact, the NBA playoffs are actually longer than the entire season for some sports! So we can all be happily and blissfully distracted for the next three or four months! Then, really serious sports fans can look forward to being distracted by the Olympics! (Actually, I think the Olympics will have been over for a few weeks when the finals are held.)
So now, sports fans will have to rely on non-sports fans to keep us informed. If the Bush Administration decides to take advantage of the playoffs to drop a nuke on America's true enemies (France, for example, and American sports fans won't notice because all they play in France is soccer), it will be up to non-sports fans to call us and tell us. During commercials, of course!
(By the way, I'm rooting for the Pacers! And I picked the Spurs to knock out the Lakers in the second round. I'm a big fan of the Lakers, but I have to face reality. Yao Ming may look a little tired. But he doesn't look anywhere near as tired as Phil Jackson.)
(Note: As a courtesy to all non-sports fans of Mushtown Media Corp., the editorial board will provide a glossary to clarify some of the terms and concepts presented in today's post. But not right now. The Miami-Charlotte game is on!)