Random neuron firing, lame philosophy, literary pontificating, movies, sex, clothes & other femme stuff

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Vicissitudes of history

Isn't this pretty much how the Arab Street sees us nowadays?

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Another crash on Mulholland Drive

I'm totally depressed.

My ibook crashed again. Same problem. Just won't boot. Fortunately, I can get into Mulholland Drive, at least, by using it as an external hard drive for one of our other computers. So I don't think I'm gonna lose anything, except patience, peace of mind, pastimes, pleasure, playfulness, and purpose.

and all my mirth.

Worse, my old reliable standby, the G4 powerbook I dropped on the floor ages ago, transforming it from lap- to desktop, is now starting to have bootup problems of its own. It actually refused to boot up for about half an hour, just now. Oh dear.

That leaves just Greta's powerbook. I hope they're not all coming down with a virus. . . .

Posting may be erratic until these problems are . . . rectified. (You may remember I have associations with that word.)

Friday, April 09, 2004

Smoked fish

I really like it. All kinds. Especially with hot mustard or tabasco sauce.
Always read limetree first

Even as I posted selections from Elvis Mitchell's sprightly execration of the new Dawn of the Dead a couple of days ago, I thought I should check Kasey's estimable lime tree first. He had mentioned teaching a course recently on zombies (or, I guess, representations of them), and it occurred to me he might be quick to post smart and interesting observations on the new film. My ADD butterfly, however, flitted enticingly past. I ended up posting before I checked. Oots. Sure enough: as I feared. If you took the time to read the bits of Elvis Mitchell's review I posted here (notable more for enthusiastically snide nastiness than for those verbal pyrotechnics of his I'd been lauding), then you might want to read Kasey's lucid and knowledgeable discussion of the same film.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

The return of the repressed

Er, she's back. With some others.

I always kinda liked Troy. I hate Nick.

What a pathetic choice! Either run a Jessica Simpson concert or a golf tournament? Uh, can I shoot myself? At least I'd have a lot more enthusiasm for the project.
Onward Civilization Marches

I knew Japan's was a patriarchal society, but . . .

via erosblog

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Sidetracked by Celebrity Jeopardy

I was starting to tell a story that would eventuate in a rollicking discussion of this fabulous page devoted to musical modality, including some wonderful ancient and medieval theories of modality and also a catchy original composition called "The Phrygian Paraquat Dirge," when I got sidetracked by SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy. This is what I had written:
Greta and I were looking over the fabulous list of exotic "L"-words I linked to yesterday to provide those in need a definition for "lupanar." "L"-words is one of those
If you're familiar with SNL Celebrity Jeopardy, you'll probably see right away what my association was. I suddenly had the urge to link to Sean Connery picking "Swords" (which I copied from here):

Connery: Ah, I'll take Swords for $400.

Trebek: It’s, actually, not Swords, sir. These are words that begin with "S". The answer is: Popeye is this sort of man.

Reynolds rings in

Trebek: Burt Reynolds.

Reynolds: What is… Popeye?

Trebek: No.

Connery rings in

Trebek: Sean Connery, and remember, these are words that begin with the letter "S", not swords.

Connery: Saber.

Trebek: No.

Connery: It began with a bloody "S"!

Jerry Lewis rings in multiple times, laughing

Trebek: Mr. Lewis.

Lewis: I got the answer, Alex. You want the answers, it's simple. They're terrified of a perfectionist, they being the people who are running the studios this week. - time buzzer rings.

Trebek: I'm sorry, Mr. Lewis, time's up. "What is Sailor?" was the correct response. Tough start for everyone. All three celebrities are 800 dollars down.

Connery: The hell if I'm going to pay you a bloody 800 dollars!

Anyway, Greta and I proceded to waste more than hour rolling around, wailing, and crying exorbitantly while watching the entire Celebrity Jeopardy series, posted as rm files here.

Go there. Now. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll pee in your pants.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Do Be Cruel

I don't know if I've ever mentioned that my favorite film-reviewer is Elvis Mitchell of the Times (you may need to register --free-- to read Times stuff).

His writing pops and snaps and spins deliriously, always wise, wry, and deliciously surprising. Plus I almost always agree exactly with him. Plus he's dead gorgeous, as you see.

For about a year, I've been collecting files of some of my favorite reviews of his. What prompted this post, however, was reading his review of the new remake of Dawn of the Dead. I loved George Romero's original film and would teach it sometimes in American Studies courses. A chronicle of four people taking refuge from an Anacharsis Clootz procession (nurses, hara krishna people, mommies, policemen, businessmen, etc.) of American zombies in a shopping mall, eliminating the "savages" to make way for their "civilization" (and loving it, as Agent 86 used to say), the film invokes so many quintessentially American motifs (not least the interracial homosocial pair at the story's center whose prominence in American literature was chewed over delightedly by D. H. Lawrence and later Leslie Fiedler) and has such fun sending up the American mass media's reflexive disaster response.

Anyway, here's some of the fabulous Elvis on the latest Dead taken from the Times:
A Cautionary Tale for Those Dying to Shop

Correction Appended

The original 1978 horror splatter-comedy "Dawn of the Dead" had an idea that played like cast-iron satire: zombies invading a mall. The one good exchange from that film is repeated in Zack Snyder's single-minded scare-tactic remake: when someone asks why the zombies congregate there, the response is: "Memory, maybe. Instinct."

Otherwise, Mr. Snyder's blood feast is strictly by the numbers: this second-rater could be the world's most expensive Troma film. . . . [T]his is the first studio picture to exhibit the tacky Troma influence, which means —— something, like the end of shame in Western civilization, perhaps. However, since "Dawn of the Dead," which opens today nationwide, doubtless thinks of itself as a reimagining rather than a remake, the concept of shame was probably obliterated the moment the script got a green light from Universal.

"The Dead" — with apologies to James Joyce — notches its frights early, before the introduction of the, excuse the euphemism, characters. The first undead we see is a little girl with part of her face rotted away, who goes right for her dad's neck. The mother, Ana (Sarah Polley), barely escapes the house intact and drives away through an apocalyptic version of the dozy suburban tract neighborhood she had come home to the night before. The graphic point of zombielike conformity was made earlier with an overhead shot of the neighborhood.

. . . .

Milwaukee, the home of the bubbler, is transformed into the subdivision of the living dead. Ana runs into Kenneth (Ving Rhames), a uniformed cop, who makes her speak. It's one of the few ways to tell the zombies from the living — though with dialogue like this, who's better off?

. . . .

C. J.'s intolerance is evident early, when he calls Andre "Shaq." His ragtag minimum-wage squad is determined to keep the zombies out, especially once Ana figures out that the life-free scourge is spread from a zombie bite. Isn't it always funny that people in zombie movies have never seen zombie movies, so they have no information whatsoever?

. . . .

[W]e're left with a movie dependent on generating its small amount of sparks by setting an order in which to eliminate the annoying cast members. A scene in which weapons have to be liberated from a gun store so the group can carry out a plan to get to a marina and sail away to safety — don't ask — shows why zombie pictures aren't unsettling anymore. The flesh-eaters are picked off like video-game targets.

The eventual video game is bound to be a lot more fun — and less slowed down by bad dialogue — than this "Dead."

Mitchell often mocks the required end-of-the-review statement clarifying its MPAA rating. He's what he wrote, for instance, at the end of his Black Hawk Down review:

''Black Hawk Down'' is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian) for a barrage of violence, dismemberment and mayhem, and the usual accompanying panicked strong language.

Here's what he wrote for this one:

"Dawn of the Dead" is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has scenes of limb slicing, blood spewing, flesh chomping and decapitation. Oh, yes, and strong language and sexuality.

The best part of the review, however, is probably not written by Mitchell at all. It's the following quotation that seems like an intentional caricature of the latest incarnation of the much-wrangled-over New York Times corrections policy (discussed with respect to columnists in this article, or here, if you can't easily load that one) as it leaps yodeling breezily off a cliff:

Correction: March 25, 2004, Thursday

A film review of "Dawn of the Dead" in Weekend on Friday misstated the relationship of one zombie to the heroine, Ana (Sarah Polley). That zombie, a little girl, is the child of a neighbor, not Ana's daughter.
Foxy Ladies

Earlier in the week, Mia had circulated a call to go out Saturday night to strip clubs in Providence (where, unlike in Massachusetts, you can legally have haptic relations (albeit highly ritualized ones) with professionals displaying their labia), so I skipped the final banquet of the Philly conference and flew home. Greta met me at the airport and we zoomed down to Providence, where, more or less feeling about in the dark, we stumbled upon a very nice restaurant, Z-bar, at which we realized we'd eaten a couple of years prior, on what may well have been our last Providential ecdysiast safari. It was the time, anyway, Greta borrowed a stripper's, um, costume (which, in accordence with The Universal Law of Sex Attire, took exponentially longer to don than doff) and shed it thoroughly during an amateur set garnering fifty-odd dollar-bills and the manager's instant offer of a full time position.

I don't know whether it's that we're polite or dress weird or exude pheromones or something but everybody is always astonishingly nice to us, even without our offering to shed clothes. We made great friends at Z-bar with the hostess and waitresses, who zippily supplanted Greta's medicinal orange-vodka "breakfast [sic (and sick)] martini" ("I forgot to tell you the bartender says nobody ever likes them") with a substantial Sapphire and gave us interestingly precise directions to the Foxy Lady.

When we got there, veteran strip club maven Sherman and enthusiastic disciples Mia, Desirée, and Eliza were already dollar-stuffing garters big time. It made me really happy that Mia said she liked being Mia in Mikarrhea. And Eliza lamented that she didn't yet have a blogonym, so after a few moments we came up with "Eliza," which Eliza said she'd always wanted to be called, so I promised then I'd call her Eliza in this sentence here, now.

I like the Smullyanesque tempero-referential unheimlichkeit of that sentence.

Speaking of unheimlichkeit and venues where flesh is sold and sex and smoke swirl you breathless: isn't it hilarious that Freud's whole theory of the "uncanny" germinated from his reaction to unintentionally finding himself three times in succession wandering among Viennese lupanars?

Oops! Vat am I doink in zhe prostitute district? Better make zis vay home. Achtung vher I'm goink! [zwanzig minuten später] Oops! Vat am I doink in zhe prostitute district again?! Must haf taken a wrong turn somevher. . . . Now vee goink shtraight home right away! Mach schnell!. . . . [zwanzig minuten später] Ach, du Lieber! Wiedermals! Again, zhe Vienna district for connecting up with zhe prostitutes[Die Wienerprostitutenanschlussbezirk!] Vat is zhis funny feelink I'm haffing? It's, ja, it's the uncanny!

The big difference I noticed in the couple of years since I've been in a strip club is the unremarkable inclusion of female customers, both those "escorted" by males and those not. (What a wonderful word, escorted! It's very insistence on platonism doomed it to an ineluctable tarring with sexual meaning by onrushing language's ironic swipers.) In the admission line behind us (a line otherwise, I concede, sequencing forty-or-so testosterone-twitchy butt-pocketed wallets) there was a pair of conventional (i.e., plainly presenting neither as obvious sexworkers, nor lesbians, nor sex-scene-makers) young women in bland jeans, sweatshirts, and long straight hair, looking like they might as well be queued for the late show of the remake (whose idiotic idea was that?) of Walking Tall, starring the Rock (who on SNL once looked really cute--and, well, almost passable in a Cory Eversonish way--decked out in drag doing a skit with Drunk Girl). I'm not saying they weren't lesbians or sexworkers or whatever, just that they weren't presenting themselves that way, and that fact was taken totally in stride.

In the "old" days, take it from veteran strip-club maven Mika, the customary demeanor of the one or two female customers --always accompanied by a male-- in a crowded strip club was a visibly game performance of polite interest, edgy raciness, and the desire to show willingness to dutifully accompany her guy into the very bowels of masculinity. That's a figure of speech, of course, not a euphemism for fisting, a propensity for which neither dyad member would ever be advertising. Performers either ignored the female partner, assuming a lack of real attraction, or offered her a few perfunctory spread-legged genuflections in the interest of feminism, before venturing on with erotic fires ablaze again before the penis-obliged wallet perched woozily on the stool next door. Female customers would never ask for, let alone receive, lap dances.

A few years ago, when we would go to the strip clubs somewhat regularly with Sherman, the situation had changed markedly. Some performers would perform enthusiastically for women, some wouldn't. Some would gladly give you lap dances, many would decline and look at you with the offended superciliousness of mainstream homophobia.

But last Saturday at the Foxy Lady, women totally ruled! Not a single performer in any way stinted any of the women in our gang. On the contrary, the women got boobs rubbed all over their faces, faces in crotches biting the insides of their thighs, clitorises rubbed on the backs of their necks, totally wild pitches at arousal--and the guys mostly got the standard ritual face rub between boobs. The women on stage and the women in the audience were totally bonding around real (ok, controlled, but much more real than the men's) sex!

As we left, our scantily clad waitress, who was gorgeous, said to Greta, "I don't usually do this, but I wanted to give you this." And gave her her phone number. Her name is Sarah.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Error message

My friend James from Omaha sent the following instructions, which return a clever result:
Go to google.com, type weapons of mass destruction and click feeling lucky and check out the error message which appears.
Everything's fine

Greta picked me up at the airport & we went to a strip club in Providence. More on that later.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Airport Hilton

Here I am in my room at the Philadelphia Airport Hilton, a bit overhung. Since Thursday I've been attending the annual convention of the International Foundation for Gender Education. This is the fourth hotel room I've occupied in two weeks-- Wyndham Orlando, Sugarloaf Grand Summit, Millennium Bostonian, and Airport Hilton. And this is the only one with unencumbered high speed internet access.

Why did I stay at the Bostonian, when I live in Boston? Greta & I went to see David Bowie on Tuesday; afterwards we hiked to the Bostonian bar for a drink. They have really spectacular martinis. I mean really spectacular. It's hard to make what is, after all, merely a glass of cold gin really spectacular, but trust me, they've got it down. After a couple of them, staying at the hotel seemed much more appealing than trudging back to the car.

Bowie's penis (an article in which I take some interest) was still in evidence, I can report, having studied his jeans carefully through my binoculars.

Greta & I were even more desperately over-in-love (isn't that a phrase from somewhere? noel coward?) than usual in recent days. Marissa was visiting Greta while I was away with the kids last weekend, and the night after I got back we stayed up all night making out with her. She is one of the world's greatest kissers. It's like you're strolling casually along a tropical beach, letting warm waves wash over your toes, when suddenly a rogue wave big as a house overwhelms you and rips you far out to sea.

We took her to the bus station in the morning and basically started having sex in the car on the way home. When we got there, we put on a porn dvd and were deliriously drowning in each other for what seemed like a year. I had these weird extended orgasms or chains of orgasms or something that kept exploding on and on and felt like the universe had turned completely inside out several times like a windsock in a cyclone.

We didn't want to stop touching each other for the next two days. My first night here, Greta left ten messages on my cell phone, saying how much she loved and missed me. We talked into early hours of the morning. She said she'd try to get a flight here the next morning.

I didn't hear from her the next day. I figured she probably had a hangover and slept all day. After my sessions were over I called her cell. She was at an art opening with the lovely Bart, whom, you may remember, she had sex with not too long ago. I called her later and they were at a restaurant. I was drunk and unhappy. She said she'd call me when she got home. She didn't call. She may well not have made it home. I really do hope they didn't have sex again. I used to like him fine until he started having this big crush on her.

Now she's calling.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Wisdom in times of terror

The odds against there being a bomb on a plane are a million to one, and against two bombs a million times a million to one. Next time you fly, cut the odds and take a bomb.

— Benny Hill

via Great Aviation Quotes
Is there a typo here somewhere?

An ingenious, if poorly denominated, piece of furniture from IKEA.

via Grow a Brain.

Monday, March 29, 2004

I love Richard Rorty (II)

The reason I posted some classic Rorty in full throat in the previous entry is that I wanted to post this equally characteristic jeremiad published this week in the London Review of Books without seeming to be singling him out in a gloomy moment. It's not that I disagree with him at this moment as that I find him overly eeyorish. Eeyore was nothing if not pragmatic (in the Dewey, Peirce, James sense), however.

The progress humanity made in the 19th and 20th centuries was largely due to the increased role of public opinion in determining government policies. But the lack of public concern about government secrecy has, in the last sixty years, created a new political culture in each of the democracies. In the US and in many of the EU countries, an elite has come to believe that it cannot carry out its mission of providing national security if its preparations are carried out in public. The events of 11 September greatly strengthened this conviction. Further attacks are likely to persuade those elites that they must destroy democracy in order to save it.

In a worst-case scenario, historians will someday have to explain why the golden age of Western democracy, like the age of the Antonines, lasted only about two hundred years. The saddest pages in their books are likely to be those in which they describe how the citizens of the democracies, by their craven acquiescence in governmental secrecy, helped bring the disaster on themselves.
I love Richard Rorty

Here he is in full flower:
As I see contemporary philosophy, the great divide is between representationalists, the people who believe that there is an intrinsic nature of non-human reality which humans have a duty to grasp, and antirepresentationalists. I think F. C. S. Schiller was on the right track when he said that “Pragmatism….is in reality only the application of Humanism to the theory of knowledge.” I take Schiller’s point to be that the humanists’ claim that human beings have responsibilities only to one another entails giving up both represenationalism and realism.

Representationalists are necessarily realists, and conversely. For realists believe both that there is one, and only one, Way the World Is In Itself, and that there are “hard” areas of culture in which this Way is revealed. In these areas, they say, there are “facts of the matter” to be discovered, though in softer areas there are not. By contrast, antirepresentationalists believe that scientific, like moral, progress is a matter of finding ever more effective ways to enrich human life. They make no distinction between hard and soft areas of culture, other than the sociological distinction between less and more controversial topics. Realists think of antirepresentationalists as antirealists, but in doing so they confuse discarding the hard-soft distinction with preaching universal softness.

Intellectuals cannot live without pathos. Theists find pathos in the distance between the human and the divine. Realists find it in the abyss separating human thought and language from reality as it is in itself. Pragmatists find it in the gap between contemporary humanity and a utopian human future. In which the very idea of responsibility to anything except our fellow-humans has become unintelligible, resulting in the first truly humanistic culture.

If you do not like the term “pathos”, the word “romance” would do as well. Or one might use Thomas Nagel’s term: “the ambition of transcendence”. The important point is simply that both sides in contemporary philosophy are trying to gratify one of the urges previously satisfied by religion. History suggests that we cannot decide which form of pathos is preferable by deploying arguments. Neither the realist nor her antirepresentationalist opponent will ever have anything remotedly like a knock-down argument, any more than Enlightenment secularism had such an argument against theists. One’s choice of pathos will be settled, as Fine rightly suggests, by the reasons of one’s heart.

The realist conviction that there just must be a non-human authority to which humans can turn has been, for a very long time, woven into the common sense of the West. It is a conviction common to Socrates and to Luther, to atheistic natural scientists who say they love truth and fundamentalists who say they love Christ. I think it would be a good idea to reweave the network of shared beliefs and desires which makes up Western culture so as to get rid of this conviction. But doing so will take centuries, or perhaps millenia. This reweaving, if it ever occurs, will result in everybody becoming commonsensically verificationist—in being unable to pump up the intuitions to which present-day realists and theists appeal.

To grasp the need to fall back on reasons of the heart, consider the theist who is told that the term “God”, as used in the conclusion of the cosmological argument is merely a name for our ignorance. Then consider the realist who is told that his explanation for the success of science is no better than Moliere’s doctor’s explanation of why opium puts people to sleep. Then consider the pragmatist who is told, perhaps by John Searle, that his verificationism confuses epistemology and ontology. All three will probably be unfazed by these would-be knock-down arguments. Even if they admit that their opponents’ point admits of no refutation, they will remark, complacently and correctly, that it produces no conviction.

It is often said that religion was refuted by showing the incoherence of the concept of God. It is said, almost as often, that realism has been refuted by showing the incoherence of the notions of “intrinsic nature of reality” and “correspondence”, and that pragmatism is refuted by pointing out its habit of confusing knowing with being. But no one accustomed to employ a term like “the will of God” or “mind-independent World” in expressing views central to her sense of how things hang together is likely to be persuaded that the relevant concepts are incoherent. Nor is any pragmatist likely to be convinced that the notion of something real but indescribable in human language or unknowable by human minds can be made coherent. A concept, after all, is just the use of a word. Much-used and well-loved words and phrases are not abandoned merely because their users have been forced into tight dialectical corners.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

And there again

Ooops. Leaving again for the next few days. Back here on Sunday, I think.

What's the opposite of robbing the cradle?

Teenage boys go to worst extremes just to get some head.

and below via Dave Barry
How would you fancy the chance to fire a rocket-launcher at a cow?

Go to Cambodia.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

There and back again

Sorry for the paucity of posts. Last Wednesday night I booked a trip to Orlando with my son, Max, leaving the very next day. Surprisingly, I managed to get about the same prices as I would have, had I booked weeks in advance. The "hotel" (Wyndham Orlando "Resort"--a congeries of embellished motel buildings sprawling loosely around a couple of pools and a "conference center") had a dial-up port on the room phone, but i never used it, because they charged a silly amount for it, I didn't want to bother hunting down the Orlando local dial-up numbers, Max and I exhausted most of our trip peripatetically exhausting ourselves, and the time we did spend in the hotel consisted mostly of recuperation (at least on my part, and it's still not completed). So I passed four days ignorant of anything of life outside Universal Orlando except what I could glean from those headlines that happened to be visible above the fold of a passing USA Today.

I want to post more about what this theme park vacation set me thinking about, but I don't have the time now. One thing the vacation reminded me of, though, is that I gave a talk many years ago (1997) on an American Studies panel regarding things Disney. I looked over the text when I got back, and still agree with some of it. So despite the fact that it's absurdly short (breezy panel-talk-length with slides), screamingly out-of-date, and idiotically lacking the slightest reference to Universal Studios (which I hadn't yet visited), I figured I'd post it here.

A couple of non-Disney paragraphs from it:

The modern amusement park trades on the pure enjoyment of transportation technology for its own sake. At most parks, you disembark from one form of transportation only, after much waiting in line, to embark on another--monorail, train, boat, tram-- in the end having an experience not structurally very different from commuting. But this round of transfers is enlivened and commodified as an end in itself by its pleasurable context, its arrangement with our joy rather than our job in mind. And much of our pleasure takes the form of marveling at the sophisticated machinery required to bounce and fling us around with such secure precision. Every amusement park--and Disneyworld all the more so--serves, if nothing else, to testify to the ultimate rightness of technological progress.

But even more pleasure, I think, comes from our relishing the infantilized position in which these rides put us. Where else before, but in the arms of some early caregiver, have we voluntarily experienced, let alone taken pleasure in, such swinging and tossing, such frightening encounters with gravity, all with the absolute certainty that the caregiver maintains total control of the safety of the experience? Amusement parks commodify what Russel B. Nye calls "riskless risk." They sell the illusion of being in grave danger--along with the guarantee that it is only an illusion. The guarantee is every bit as important as the illusion, and the one could not be sold, or at least not mass-marketed, without the other. The park designers underscore our infantilization through their strategic deployment of intricately varied lighting, overlapping auditory effects, and other teeming design devices (not least being the dependably multifarious swarm of customers themselves) to ensure that our perceptual field is always busy to the limits of comprehension. Only infants, or psychedelic-drug users, ordinarily have the experience of receiving far too many perceptions at once to make coherent sense of--yet something like this state of sensory overload becomes the norm for the typical amusement-park customer.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

They are Devo

Bad Attitudes links to this charming AP story:

Posted on Wed, Mar. 17, 2004

Tenn. County Wants to Charge Homosexuals

Associated Press

DAYTON, Tenn. - The county that was the site of the Scopes "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution is asking lawmakers to amend state law so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature.

The Rhea County commissioners approved the request 8-0 Tuesday.

Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who introduced the measure, also asked the county attorney to find a way to enact an ordinance banning homosexuals from living in the county.

"We need to keep them out of here," Fugate said.

The vote was denounced by Matt Nevels, president of the Chattanooga chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

"That is the most farfetched idea put forth by any kind of public official," Nevels said. "I'm outraged."

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas' sodomy laws as a violation of adults' privacy.

Rhea County is one of the most conservative counties in Tennessee. It holds an annual festival commemorating the 1925 trial at which John T. Scopes was convicted of teaching evolution. The verdict was thrown out on a technicality. The trial became the subject of the play and movie "Inherit the Wind."

In 2002, a federal judge ruled unconstitutional the teaching of a Bible class in the public schools.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Unconscious penis

When I created through Blogger the downpointed arrows below, they didn't look like a unnaturally long ascii-art penises, I promise.

At least in the browser I use, now that they're posted they do.

Or, I guess, if you think so, that says something about your psyche.
Psycho killer, qu'est que c'est?

I got this from Agenda Bender and copied it exactly as he did. He had copied it exactly as he got it in his e-mail. The Work of Art the Age of Digital Reproduction! But it's not art at all! OK, fine. I had originally left off "Work of Art," but I had so many relevant links I added the extra words.

The answer to the puzzle is in the post below it (the earlier post, that is.)

Sorry To Hear About Your Sister

The best viral office email I ever got. And it's been sitting unread in my inbox for over a week. I was tempted to re-word it, but I have copied it here as it came to me, its artifactual essence intact. I'm skeptical of the history of this test, but I want to believe, so I will. Keep any Snopes' debunks to yourself:

A puzzling question

Read this question, come up with an answer and then scroll down to the bottom for the result. This is not a trick question. It is as it reads.

A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met this guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing, so much her dream guy she believed him to be just that! She fell in love with him right there, but never asked for his number and could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What is her motive in killing her sister? (Give this some thought before you answer)

\\\ ///
\\\ ///


This is the answer to the above post, which should be stamped with an earlier date than it. If you're reading this one first, quit and go to the later post instead.

\\\ ///
\\\ ///

She was hoping that the guy would re-appear at the sister's funeral .

If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This was a test by a famous American Psychologist used to test if one has the same mentality as a killer. Many arrested serial killers took part in the test and answered the question correctly. If you didn't answer the question correctly good for you.

The Mystery of Britney Spears' Breasts

A shockwave video documents the puzzling rise and fall (and rise) of Britney Spears.

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