July 21, 2007
Romney has his geography wrong
Oh, wait, never mind. Now I get it. Romney's just stupid.
July 19, 2007
And now, quite possibly, the greatest thing I've ever heard in my life
By Jon Lovitz.
Dear J. K. Rowling- shut up.
Attn: Ms. J. K. Rowling
Giant Money Bin
Dear Ms. Rowling-
While you are a talented writer and your Harry Potter books have been a boon to encouraging people of all ages to read more, it would be very much appreciated if you would cut all the pretentious shit related to your massive delusions of grandeur over the importance of your book.
Your ire this morning is focused on the New York Times, which, in a grievous offense to the massive marketing hype for your book, reviewed a copy of it. That is to say, they actually went out and got a copy, read it, and reviewed it before it was being sold, almost as if they, as book reviewers, had the audacious impression that their job was to tell people if a book was worth reading before buying it.
Despite the fact that, being professional critics, they didn't actually spoil any part of the story at all- something crucial to the hype your book series has prided itself on- you found it "sad" that the Times subverted your publisher's quasi-Orwellian month-long PR campaign of generating free press over nonsensical stunts like hiring armed guards and guard dogs and GPS devices to "protect" sealed and locked bundles of the book by, well, walking into the store and grabbing a copy some clerk mistakenly put on the shelf two days early.
With all the stories about lawsuits filed and injunctions threatened to prevent the release of your book to the public to your exact personal specifications, you must have been livid. In fact, you went as far as to say "I am staggered that some American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly children ... I am incredibly grateful to all those newspapers, booksellers and others who have chosen not to attempt to spoil Harry's last adventure for fans." As you know, the primary demographic of the New York Times' book reviews section has long been 12-year-olds, who must equally have spat their lattes across the page discovering words printed about your book and then, via the hypnotic powers inherent in printing ink, been forced to read all of them.
I find this funny, given the numerous coincidences related to your mannerisms about the book and their consequential affect on media hype. For example, your coy wink-wink interviews last year about how you "might" kill a character... or not. Or how you love to mention how children love to attend midnight parties, which just happen to help craft the concept of a mass-orchestrated media event to begin with. All of this, swirling into a year-long tease campaign designed to convince people- mostly underage children- that they should be obsessed with this book. A lesser man might note that a certain desire to make as much money as possible out of a book that would otherwise join thousands of others in the young adult fantasy bargain shelf might have something to do with that.
I understand that as an artist, you have a passionate desire to protect your work and the characters you created. I also sympathize completely with the reality that there exists a copious supply of mean-spirited and cruel people who would want to get advance information about the book so they could spoil it for other people. Hopefully I'm clear that I'm certainly not advocating that.
But it is, honestly, just the sheer audacity of your attitude that enrages me. That you wouldn't even consider the idea that perhaps your book is meant to be reviewed, as if it's just another book, fascinates me. For all the hype that you're promoting, all the media coverage your publishers want to push into this, it's still just a book. And it might be a very good book. But I don't know, because you seem to think it's ludicrous for someone to actually review it, and now you're angry the Times didn't give a damn about its self-important mystique. In fact- and I am emphasizing that you claim to be an author when you said this- you feel that people in the publishing industry, such as booksellers, reviewers, and other writers- you know, the little people- have no business offering their opinion on your book.
At least, of course, until after the registers have opened.
So in short, Ms. Rowling, kindly shut the fuck up. May everyone who wants to read your book be able to, and may it sell out in record time, well-reviewed or otherwise, so I can stop the fuck hearing about it and how goddamn spectacular you are.
August J. Pollak
Leader is never wrong. Leader is the light and the path
1. Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.
3. Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".
5. Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.
6. Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.
-Rick Ross, Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader
What's interesting, I think, is that the news outlets that are pushing this story are not conservative. They seem to think that the story will somehow discredit Thompson among conservatives, presumably because conservatives are too dumb to understand how law firms and the legal process work. The appropriate response from the right would be, I think, a yawn. So far, that's what we've seen.
-John Hindraker, cult member
Billing records show that former Senator Fred Thompson spent nearly 20 hours working as a lobbyist on behalf of a group seeking to ease restrictive federal rules on abortion counseling in the 1990s, even though he recently said he did not recall doing any work for the organization.
According to records from Arent Fox, the law firm based in Washington where Mr. Thompson worked part-time from 1991 to 1994, he charged the organization, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, about $5,000 for work he did in 1991 and 1992. The records show that Mr. Thompson, a probable Republican candidate for president in 2008, spent much of that time in telephone conferences with the president of the group, and on three occasions he reported lobbying administration officials on its behalf.
Mr. Thompson's work for the family planning agency has become an issue because he is positioning himself as a faithful conservative who is opposed to abortion.
No, Mr. Thompson's work for the family planning agency has become an issue because he lied about working for it. As if I needed to say it, I'm pro-choice. I'm not offended that Fred Thompson lobbied for a pro-choice group for pro-choice legislation. I'm offended that I, and people in the actual media, are being cowed by some obsessed lunatics in the right wing who declare that any negative news story about Fred Thompson is fraudulent or unfair because- and I have grown to simulaneously love and lothe the utter preciousness of this line- "we are afraid of Fred Thompson."
Again, media, you don't need to tiptoe around this. He's not actually a candidate, remember? By his own choosing. You don't need to taint perception of "fairness" to candidates because he's not a candidate. Also, because it's, you know, news.
Liar. Thompson is a liar. A liar is someone who lies. Fred Thompson lied. If the media isn't going to come out and say this, I don't see how the Branch Thompsonians are going to come to terms with this.
July 18, 2007
The people who want to run the country
The most common question a cartoonist is asked, even a political cartoonist who draws on current events and real life topics, is "where do you get your ideas?"
In the case of my strips about the College Republicans (here and here), one doesn't need to go very far. If there was just a faint part of you that held hope I was just making that crap up, I am so very sorry to disappoint. These people really are the most pathetic little cowards on the surface of the planet.
(via Matt Bors)
July 17, 2007
Starve the 'terns
It's that time of year again when Campus Progress tortures its interns by forcing them to go without any food other than what they can get completely for free at DC events. Luckily, Wednesday is the annual event hosted by the meat lobby (yes. Big Meat.) where you can get tons of free hot dogs, and harassed by PETA. Every now and then, Washington is livable in the summer.
Fuel to feed the press machine
Richard Nixon's on his knees
He's sent so many overseas
He'd like to know if you and me could help him in some way
An 18-year old who enlisted in the army at 17 was killed in Iraq this weekend.
Pfc. Christopher D. Kube, 18, of Macomb County's Shelby Township died Saturday in Baghdad. He was one of two Michigan soldiers reported killed in Iraq last week.
Kube was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colo., the Defense Department said.
"He volunteered for that mission," his mother, Debbie Krupski, said Monday from the family's home, about 15 miles north of Detroit. "My son wasn't even supposed to be there."
Kube was a gunner and the only soldier killed in the explosion, Krupski told The Detroit News.
Skipping for a moment that the army even considers it okay to allow children- fucking children- to enlist in the army as long as their parents say it's okay, it's even more horrible to think that Kube might have the "honor" of being the youngest American killed in Iraq.
Or at least that's what I thought until I looked it up to see if I thought right, and found this story.
Family members gathered to say their final goodbyes to Private First Class Le Ron Wilson. Wilson died earlier this month in Baghdad when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb.
Just 18-years old, Wilson was one of the youngest U.S. soldiers killed in action.
The Patriot guard riders also paid their respects as the young soldier's funeral got underway with full military honors.
Anna Lisa Fecentese, a family friend, said that Wilson died a proud soldier.
"He always wanted to go there," Fecentese said, "to win this battle."
"He was living his dream," another friend, Daniel Rafael, agreed. "He passed away so early."
Born in Trinidad and raised in Queens, Wilson realized his dream just last year. He was only 17 when he joined the Armed Forces and his mother had to sign a waiver that allowed him to serve.
The date of the article was... this morning.
As of March 2007, there are over 80,000 people under 20 in the U.S. military. Of those 80,000, over 7,300 are under 18. And if that bothers you, it might be a comfort to know that the army did decide to change their policy and forbid sending soldiers under 18 into active battle zones.
...In April. Of this year.
That was then, yada yada yada
You can, of course, imagine the complete surprise that Republican senators have suddenly discovered how much they love filibusters.
IKEA has a couch for ANY purpose!
My new favorite porn spam e-mail subject line ever: "Make sure your penis fits on your sofa."
Do people... often have this problem?
July 16, 2007
"Where we didn't go on our summer vacation"
A special hello to both the U.S. Congress and the Iraqi parliament this week, who are both planning their month-long vacations for August. This is because, as you already know, we still don't have troops in Afghanistan, Iraq isn't a cesspool of death, everyone in New Orleans has since moved back to their rebuilt homes, and the speedy investigations, trials, and imprisonments of pretty much everyone in the Bush Administration with any authority beyond a reserved parking space have been completed. It's good every now and then to just send them some postcards from all the places they've done suck good work.