Saturday, September 06, 2003

Now for good news 

Bush's ratings suck. Yay.

Brian Mulroney is gay 

Canadian Alliance leader Stephen Harper accused Chretien of secretly stacking the courts with pro-gay marriage judges: The federal government orchestrated court losses on same-sex marriage in order to legalize gay weddings "through the back door," Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper charged Thursday.
He said Ottawa feigned a legal battle against same-sex marriage for years while stacking the courts with liberal-minded judges and plotting to redefine matrimony.

Well, of course it's supposed to go through the back door...never mind. Anyways, even Canada's conservative editorial pages are giving this conspiracy theory the ridicule it deserves. As one paper points out, Harper "brushed off the fact that judges from Ontario Appeals Court Justice Roy McMurtry to the three B.C. justices who ruled to recognize gay marriages had been appointed by the Conservative Brian Mulroney government, long before Chretien took charge. When one is trying to spin a good conspiracy yarn, why bother with little things such as the facts?"
Mulroney and Chretien (and Svend Robinson) are obviously in cahoots. The dastardly scoundrels!
Confidential to Stephen Harper: Nothing wins Canadian elections like telling the truth about secret gay agendas. Accusing the last two PMs of covert plots is also a sure winner. Many thought the Alliance lost the last election because they were too homophobic, but don't listen to those people, Stephen. The problem was you weren't homophobic enough. Next step: accuse Mulroney, Chretien, and Paul Martin of having had a hot threesome. The votes will come. Trust me.

Abu Mazen takes my advice 

And I couldn't be sadder about it. But at least he's still alive. Still, his resignation really sucks. Mazen now seems like the Palestinian Jimmy Carter; the sort of nice person everyone thinks should be in power, but too ineffectual to stand up to violence. Not that he had much help from anyone:
In a statement, as before the legislators, he lay the blame primarily with Israel, saying, "The fundamental problem was Israel's unwillingness to implement its commitments in the road map." He said Washington had not pressed Israel enough.
But, in a clear swipe at Mr. Arafat and the rest of the Palestinian leadership, he also complained about a "lack of support" for his government and "harsh and dangerous domestic incitement against the government." On Thursday, when Mr. Abbas presented a summary to legislators of his first months in office, masked men spray-painted the walls outside with slogans denouncing his government, and dozens of protesters chanted against him.

Those masked men would be the Arafat supporters. Confidential to Yasser Arafat: Fuck you, asshole.
Just in case you didn't think this means a few more years of intifada, Israel has decided to take this opportunity to try to kill Hamas' leader, Sheik "spiritual paraplegic" Ahmed Yassin.
The senior Israeli security official said if Mr. Arafat did not reverse course and empower Mr. Abbas, "Arafat's personal destiny might change." He said Mr. Arafat might also feel pressure to bring him back because of "the understanding that many Palestinians share that if Abu Mazen resigns it might be the end of the road map."
It was shortly after Israel issued its statement that a bomb struck the Gaza City apartment building where Sheik Yassin, a paraplegic, was meeting with other Hamas leaders. Sheik Yassin was lightly wounded by shrapnel in his right hand.
In response, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, another leader of the group, said, "Our operations will strike everywhere. There is no sanctity to a house, to a street, to a car, nor to a politician, when it comes to an attack on a leader like Sheik Yassin."
That 'personal destiny might change line' isn't some sort of a threat, is it? Despite the fact that Yassin is a disgrace to humanity, I doubt assassination is a wise tactic. You can kill every member of Hamas, but you will never destroy its indomitable spirit. Contrary to romantic myths, there is nothing noble about indomitability when that stubborn will is only to continue killing innocents. And Yassin never actually killed anyone (he was just following Allah's orders!), he just encouraged others to kill themselves. With bombs. In public places.
Long story short: We are all doomed. Well done, everyone.

Update: Haggai thinks Mazen's resignation is a tactical move to force America and the EU (who just declared Hamas a terrorist organization; what took them so long?) to reinstate him. I really hope Haggai is right.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Plato is Gay 

So Ion, the greatest poem-reciter in Greece, and Socrates, a feckless layabout, are having a nice, friendly, chat making small talk. Ion brags about his Homer-reciting ability: I think I speak more beautifully than anyone else about Homer; neither Metrodorus of Lampsacus nor Stesimbrotus of Thasos nor Glaucon nor anyone else past or present could offer as many beautiful thoughts about Homer as I can. Those lines should be the literary critics' credo.
Then Socrates just has to start questioning Ion's most deeply held beliefs. Reading Plato, I always want to smack Socrates. Check this asshole out: Surely you are the wise men, you rhapsodes and actors. As for me, I say nothing but the truth, as you'd expect from an ordinary man.
Nothing but the truth, he says. Stick your head out of that twelve-year old's ass and get a load of yourself, Socrates. No wonder the Greeks killed him.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

My First day of school 

My first two days, actually. The theory class was great. Disregard my rant (especially the stuff about Foucault's ass. I will never speak a word against that man again). Our teacher warned of the Theorybog, the sense of being lost we will all experience when reading Derrida. She is willing to admit that some of the stuff is beyond moratl understanding, and we shouldn't take it personally. You expect a theory prof to be jargon-ridden and pretentious, but instead she was very down-to-earth. We also got a rant against the corporatization of UBC ("The university is not a business. It is not a shopping mall. It is not a real estate agent."), a rant against Power Point, and an exhortation not to take notes. Good stuff. We start with art-hating bastard Plato. I'll post some excerpts of my reading shortly.
Our teacher also works in anti-censorship legal theory, defending Little Sisters. She is herself the subject of a ridiculous lawsuit, by a Christian miffed that someone in the class mocked Stockwell Day. She wants ten million dollars. Jeebus, take responsabilty for your followers.
The pretentious politics actually came in my CanLit class. Check this excerpt from the syllabus: Are Canadian works advantageously positioned to question the cultural hegemony and military hubris of larger powers? Whichever larger powers could he mean? Besides, all the books we're reading are set in India for some reason. But rest assured: while you may have thought Rohinton Mistry's Family Matters was a brilliant realist novel about a dysfuctional Parsi family in Bombay, it is actually about the war on Iraq. What a lunatic (watch for an upcoming post in which I prove that Harry Potter is actually about the war on Iraq).

A virgin on 'Like a Virgin' 

The best discussion of the MTV awards came from one Ben Shapiro, the youngest conservative columnist ever. By best, of course, I mean worst. (But not the weirdest- click on Matt Drudge's here for that. Please click on it.) The column comes with a great disclaimer: Note: Some language may be offensive to some readers . Not to my readers, I reckon. An excerpt from the fulmination against Britney's pseudo-lesbianism: Spears and fellow Mickey-Mouseketeer-turned-slut Christina Aguilera joined Madonna in a tribute to "Like a Virgin." Spears and Aguilera were dressed in mock bridal gowns, with Madonna dressed in black, as the groom. After the three danced around like strippers starved for tips, Madonna turned to Spears, Spears opened her mouth, and the two played a round of tonsil hockey. When she was done cleaning Spears' teeth with her tongue, Madonna turned to Aguilera, and they shared an open-mouthed kiss. Throughout the lesbian orgy, the crowd roared its approval.
Apparently slutty lesbian orgies are a bad thing: Society doesn't just demand rebellion and over-the-line behavior from its entertainers. It demands that girls (and boys) have sex before marriage, at younger and younger ages. It demands that young women (and men) "experiment" with their sexuality. It demands that biblical values be kept out of schools and that condoms be kept in them. Society demands that dignity take a back seat to salaciousness.

Who is killing dignity? MTV surely plays a role. Aug. 28's raunchy sex-fest drew 10.7 million viewers, garnering the highest ratings from the 12-to-34 crowd of any cable show this year to date.

I want my dignity back, MTV. Won't someone stop the salaciousness? Think of the children!!!
Wait, Shapiro did: Thousands of little girls idolize Britney. Who knows? After this display, they might aspire to make out with Britney some day. We can only hope, Ben. We can only hope. But the scientific evidence looks good.

(Link via TBOGG. You must click on it.)

I am so smart, S-M-R-T 

Because I figured out this 'psychic' site. You plebians will probably be mystified by it, though.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

The real Arnold Schwartzenegger 

Fearlessly researched by America's greatest living writer. I won't post any of it here, as it is a little bawdy.

The contest for the best song of 2003  

Is now over. Outkast won. "Hey Ya" is the song of the year. It might be the song of the century. By the way, the song signals yet another genre invented by Outkast (the count is at about 7 now). Some (i.e. Saelan at a party last night) think the key to Hey Ya's genius is the line "Shake shake shake it like a polaroid." Me, I love that gospel chorus. Everyone else should just not release anything until January. If you can't compete, why bother?

C. Delores Tucker can eat a big fat... 

An entertaining Salon article about the lifestyle of Snoop "Doggy" Dogg, and how it has changed now that he has decided to soften his image. It does contain some self-aggrandizement from that concerned black woman in the title of the post: Snoop was, as Tucker put it in a recent phone chat, "committing genocide on our children, and I had to stop him." Snoop is now Tucker's victory medal. "They're stopping all that gangster business now. Rappers are turning gospel," she asserts.
Right. Tucker denounced Doggstyle in 1994. In 2002, Snoop pretended to quit smoking pot and released a love song. Well done. (But is he still killing black babies? There's no good way for Snoop to answer that question.) If Tucker attacks Get Rich or Die Trying now, maybe 50 Cent will attempt to alter his image in 2012.
The next lines are even sillier: Gospel? Not quite, but Tucker has a point. Dr. Dre, mastermind of "The Chronic," an album that is to gangsta rap what "Ulysses" is to modernism, has long denounced any association with the genre; he's now the legendary producer behind today's top two rap acts, Eminem and 50 Cent.
If Dre is rap's Joyce, that must make Biggie its T.S. Eliot. And Lil' Kim is its Virginia Woolf! It's all so clear now!
Anyway, Dr. Dre is now producing the two most controversial and offensive guys in rap. There's no change. The amazing thing about Dre (we're ignoring the music here) is his ability to find the most offensive unkown rapper, from Ice Cube to 50 Cent, and make him rich, famous, and denounced by Joe Lieberman. Genius like that should be financially rewarded in some manner.
Sadly, Snoop himself is no stranger to making stupid comparisons. When asked by some goofy interviewer (I saw this on Much Music) if he was the hip-hop Spielberg, he was like "Hell, no! I'm the hip-hop Scorcese!". Some day our children will be taking a film class titled "From Taxi Driver to Girls Gone Wild: The Genius of American Film". And then Snoop will have literally committed genocide on our children. If only someone could have stopped him.

Marek goes home 

Marek and Kellen walked from Ladner to Vancouver, and lived to blog the tale. With very nice photos. Go look at it.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Death by Theory Anthology 

More exciting adventures from the exciting world of textbook purchasing: I bought a Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (I actually bought it twice, for reasons best left mysterious). It weighs in at a stupendous 2624 pages. I also happen to possess the Norton Anthology of English Literature. 2984 pages. It's the first of two volumes. It contains every word written in English published before 1790. I just blew my mind.
Literary theory is not known for its clarity of prose. Random sentence test: But this does not mean that the struggle to overcome the anti-realist traditions of the era of imperialism is over.
That actually wasn't so bad, if you discount the fact that it was written by a Stalinist. Let's try a more modern entry (that last one was from page 1058): If, on the other hand, under changing condition and in competition with newly produced and other re-produced works, it continues to perform some desired/able [academic use of the slash key must be stopped] functions particularly well, even if not the same ones for which it was initially valued...so sleepy...
Not really that bad either, I guess. It's from a book by the name of Contingencies of Value. Because, like, literature is just another economic system, man! Just another tool of the Man to keep oppressed Palestinians down! Take your canon and shove it!
Moral of the story is, if I still like studying English after swallowing thousands of pages of this shit, I will become an English prof. If, by the end of the year, I want to use this textbook to anally discipline and punish Michel Foucault, the world of English departments will be denied my brilliance.
I've always been afraid of theory, to tell the truth. But I believe that one must face their fears, and bravely fight them. Here I come, literary criticism. I'm going to tear Queer Studies a new asshole.

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