Saturday, May 11, 2002

Correction

Happy Fun Pundit wishes to apologizes for possibly accidentally giving readers the impression that East Coast bloggers are lame. Having reviewed the evidence, a select Happy Fun Committee has concluded that the Easterners bloggers are actually cute and, in some cases, even perky. We apologize to anyone who may have been led to think otherwise by any ill-chosen words on our part. Plus, as alert HFP reader Jason R. puts it:

don't do it!

Remember what happened with the rivalry between the east and west coast rappers.

Remember Biggie Smalls! Remember Tupac!


Happy Fun Pundit: airing our dirty laundry in public, not least because it keeps the buzzards away.
Massacre at Yavin?

In a surprise move that has left the world shocked and dismayed, the Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Empire's Death Star, claiming that the latter was an instrument of oppression and violence. The Empire has issued a press release staunchly denying this, claiming the Death Star was a hospice facility, and calling for an investigation into the massacre of thousands of Imperial hospice workers at the hands of the Rebels Alliance.

A spokesman for Jabba the Hutt also issued a statement, proclaiming that such actions by the Rebel Alliance are "unhelpful to the peace process."
Guest Commentary: Ancient and Modern Romance Languages

Well, well, it turns out that a school cannot legally act as an arm of the church when it comes to one boy taking another to his graduation. Roman Catholics have been having such a tough time of it in the news. The truth is painful like that.

It kind of struck me as strange that this family chose to have Marc Hall attend separate school, knowing how the Roman Catholic faith generally views man-boy love, at least in public. (Privately, of course, it protects its own with a tenacity found only in organizations which are both broadly institutionalized and generously funded, a distinctly blessed and sought-out status which eludes most not-for-profit tax filers, and that and ten Hail Marys will buy ya a cuppa coffee.) Marc Hall's family got in bed with the wrong funder, so to speak, a funder that would care with whom he got into bed. Rather than slapping their foreheads and exclaiming, "D-oh!" when the inevitable happened, they chose to go toe to toe with the system and try to change it, and succeeded. It's an interesting hobby, no getting around that.

To my way of thinking, the funniest comment about the whole event came from a self-described friend of Marc's: "Marc's a good friend of mine, so I'm glad he's able to go," said Jen Kreisn. "But a lot of people are upset about it. As long as he doesn't engage in any sexual practices with his boyfriend, I think it'll be fine." Well, bully for you, Jen, for stating the obvious. I assume that she means at the dance, as opposed to in general, Marc should refrain from engaging in sexual practices with his boyfriend. But does this really need to be outlined beforehand? Are sexual practices of the hetero nature encouraged, then, on prom night? Or does Marc just need to get himself to a larger urban centre and find some more tactful friends?

Elsewhere, school mate Chantal Phillip warns: "As long as he doesn't bother me or make a scene about it, I guess it'll be OK. I hope he won't rub it in everyone's faces."

There's nothing wrong with that, just keep it out of our faces. Don't push your stuff on me, and I won't bother you. This faintly pugnacious argument comes up whenever people find that someone they thought was "one of us" really isn't. It's what we say when we are threatened by learning an acquaintance is gay, or a co-worker is born-again. Let's keep those people where they belong -- on the defensive. Come to think of it, it's no wonder these two groups are found in bed together so often. After hearing so much of the same brand of knee-jerk atavism thinly disguised as tolerant politesse, they speak at least one language in common. Too bad for the Pope it ain't Latin.

- Trish

Friday, May 10, 2002

Palestinian Poetry Course Under Fire

Berkeley University is offering a new course this fall: "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance". Quote:
Course Description: Since the inception of the Intifada in September of 2000, Palestinians have been fighting for their right to exist. The brutal Israeli military occupation of Palestine, an occupation that has been ongoing since 1948, has systematically displaced, killed, and maimed millions of Palestinian people.

And yet, from under the brutal weight of the occupation, Palestinians have produced their own culture and poetry of resistance. This class will examine the history of the Palestinian resistance and the way that it is narrated by Palestinians in order to produce an understanding of the Intifada and to develop a coherent political analysis of the situation.

This class takes as its starting point the right of Palestinians to fight for their own self-determination.


My personal favorite line out of this pile of steaming crapulence is this one: "[Israel] has systematically displaced, killed, and maimed millions of Palestinian people". First of all, it's a lie. But it's a common propaganda tactic to include one lesser, but widespread charge with much more serious (but rare) ones in order to blur the distinction between them while skating the truth. Consider this statement: "Under George Bush, millions of Americans have gone to work, eaten dinner, and have been executed by the American government". Not exactly a picture of the truth, is it? And yet, only under a very strict parsing of the sentence can we call it a lie.

As for the last sentence in the course description, please remember it when you hear Berkeley claim to value diversity. For this course, only those who share a very specific political viewpoint need apply.

It should be clear by now that this isn't so much a legitimate course in poetry as it is political propaganda masquerading as scholarship. But in the spirit of inclusiveness, I have written my very own Palestinian poem. I hope they use it in the course:

Pieces

I want to be in pieces,
I want to see my parts.
I want to blow myself to bits,
And eviscerate my heart.

I want to launch my finger tips,
Far up in the sky,
I want to disconnect my lips,
And kiss my ass goodbye.

I want to be a martyr,
There's nothing else to do,
'Cause diplomacy is harder,
Than blowing up a Jew.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

Drooling Idiot Holds High Office

'Anything we could do, we will do,' Chrétien says of the siege of Church of the Nativity

In response to a reporter's question about Cuba's inclusion in George W. Bush's "axis of evil", the Prime Minister of Canada tentatively volunteered to take in the thirteen scumbags currently holed up in the Church of the Nativity.

Words cannot begin to describe the jaw-dropping sense of unreality hearing this induces, although Damian Penny makes a valiant attempt. Is Jean Chretien so far gone that he believes his own bullshit and thinks this is a good idea? Is he grandstanding for the press? Is this a radical cabinet shuffle? The question had nothing to do with Israel or Palestine or refugees. Was he just sitting there thinking "Oh, somebody say something about foreign policy so I can show what a magnaminous country I lead?"

Actually, re-reading the article, my interpretation is that when Jean says "we", he's referring to himself and his cabinet... presumably, then, the terrorists will be billeted with cabinet members, sleeping on their couches, eating with their families, etc. Dat's da Canadian values, you know.

Really actually, I'm sure if Jean isn't cynically posturing (and heaven knows he's never done that before) his plan is something more along the lines of "We'll give dem da refugee paper and hide dem somewhere out West; dose guys dere don' vote for me anyhow."

Listen to this f***ing idiot:

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister later expanded on Mr. Chrétien's comments, saying Canada has a "positive refugee policy" but that the Palestinians would not be given special treatment.


No special treatment? Phew! That's a goldarn relief. I was pretty worried that there'd be favouritism, since these are high-initiative individuals who formed and executed a plan to engage the Israeli army then retreat to a sacred shrine and take priests and monks hostage. Used to be, guys like that would get an extra pair of shorts in their "Sorry To Hear You're a Refugee" kit that the Chretien government issues to poorly-documented-but-presumed-benign refugees from regions that specializing in exporting terrorists.

Honest to God, people, we gotta take our country back.

UPDATE: And there's not a freakin' word about this on CBC's website as of 7:50 PM EST.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

World Celebrates

Despite continuing turmoil in the Middle East, the world took a moment to acknowledge the birthday of one of Canada's favourite expatriate sons by staging an insane stock market rally that increased my personal net worth by at least the price of a used car. I know it was a lot of work for all you Wall Street guys, and I wanted you to know that I really appreciate it. I also appreciate the fine coffee and cigars that arrived on my desk early this afternoon --- thanks, you-know-who-you-are, and rest assured that I'll deliver you the rest of your Christmas present one of days. The rest of you can join me in hoping that my Gumby DVD box set is waiting on the porch when I get home.

I'd like to say that thirtycough years on this planet have left an indelible mark of wisdom and maturity on me, but... well, you're reading this blog, so you know that's a crock. Analogies to fine wine are also out of the question. "Like grains of sand..." is too maudlin and induces discussions of Sew-crates and his friend Sew-cratic Method. "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow"... no, been there, done that, got the fax. Maybe the most appropriate thing to say is that, after all this time, nobody has named me the "clown prince" of anything, but I've still got lots of years left.

Bias, Ironically Enough, Denies Bias

Susanna Cornett protests o'ermuch about being tarred with the "mod" brush, but let's look at the facts. A quick search on Biasblog's front page shows three occurences of the word "rock", versus a whopping SIX uses of the syllable "mod". No, no bias there, nosirree. Mind you, the smart and funny Susanna (who, I will point out, is two weeks behind on Saturday Rambles, which strikes me as very mod, and I don't want to hear any excuses about thesis proposals) is hardly alone in having an unacknowledged mod bias:

BiasblogVodkapunditYe Olde BloggeJoanne Jacobs
"mod"6523
"rock"3001


The big surprise here is Ye Olde Blogge, curated by self-described "rock snob" Andrea Harris; evidently, there's a few Kinks records in Ye Olde Modde's back room. Vodka, well, you kinda knew, but sorta pretended you didn't. Nobody should be surprised that red-haired stiletto-heeled Virginia Postrel comes in 7 to 5 in favour of rock, due mostly to discussions of David Brock. Over at Instapundit, the score is rockers 1, mods 0. The inestimable James Lileks and today's Bleat are silent on the matter, but I can't believe that the man who wrote the immortal words "Bleached, washed, plucked Scalp of Klingon" could be anything other than a rocker. Andrew Sullivan scores the same as Biasblog, 6 -3 for mod... whodathunkit?

Sorry to "out" everybody this way, but there's too much at stake these days to go on pretending.
Performance Artist Sanguine About Gut-Wrenching Show

Franko B, a London performance artist, has received government funding for a show which will involve people looking at him naked with a self-inflicted wound across his tummy. In this way, Franko hopes to challenge "audiences to reexamine their own notions of what’s beautiful and what’s suffering." An article in the Times says:

In a previous work, the artist had two taps inserted into veins in his arms and bled on to a piece of canvas.

This time he will make an incision of up to 10cm across his stomach, causing a superficial wound, from which blood will trickle during the six-hour "performance". A doctor will ensure that the wound does not heal until the show is over.

The audience will be invited to file into the room one by one, each spending a couple of minutes with the artist.

Mark Ball, the festival’s director, said: "He is an artist whose main canvas is his own body and whose main material is his own blood."

This is welcome news for thousands of eight year old boys around the world, who have been struggling to legitimize other controversial body-fluid art forms such as "show you my scab for a nickel" and "peeing my name in the snow", not to mention "turning my eyelid inside out", a stunt which has been around for hundred of years but is only now being embraced by mainstream audiences.

Militant cheerleaders were less enthusiastic about the new forms. "One two three four, does body hair matter any more? Five six seven eight, does this Franko masturbate?" said one militant cheerleader. After a long pause for thought, she added "Nine ten eleven twelve, blood and urine do not delve", but declined to explain what the hell that meant.

In a related story, Happy Fun Pundit's California bureau is seeking funding for a multimedia performance piece called "Shaving", in which audiences will crowd into my bathroom while I shave and utter bon mots such as "Now this is what I call a close shave!" and make obscure references to old commercials where the guy from the next apartment reaches through the medicine cabinet and steals my shaving stuff. If that's not enough to wow 'em, I can jazz it up by using an old-fashioned shaving mug and brush, or maybe stop and take a leak during the show, or play Billy Idol songs really loud. Really, what I want to do is challenge audiences to challenge their preconceptions about what's dull and stupid and what's merely insipid, plus trim five bucks off each of them.

Interested sponsors (I use a Gillette razor, but am very flexible on this) can contact steve@happyfunpundit.com.
Return of the Radical Cheerleaders

On a bored Tuesday evening, I was killing time perusing our archives when it occured to me: Whatever happened to the radical cheerleaders? Because as far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many radical cheerleaders.

So I did a little web searching, and discovered some radical cheering sites, like this one: Radical Cheerleaders.

According to the site:
Radical Cheerleading is protest and performance! It is activism with pom-poms and combat boots! It is non-violent direct action in the form of street theater. And it's FUN!

To be a Radical Cheerleader, you do not need to be an actor, a singer or a dancer - you just have to want to yell!

Oh, good. For a minute there, I was worried that there might be a shred of actual talent involved. But nope. Just put on your combat boots, grab your pom-poms, and get ready to overthrow the imperialist state while shaking your groove thing to classic lines like this (and please bear in mind that I am NOT making this up):
Women's Rights

We're hairy
Throw those arms up in the air
Let me see that armpit hair
We don't shave or use that nair
Sleek and chic, we do not care

We're hairy-- got hairy legs
We're hairy-- got hairy pits
We're hairy-- got hairy hair
And we pick our noses too!

HEY! Stop edging towards the 'back' button. I'm not through with you yet. You will sit there like a good Happy Fun Pundit viewer and frantically hold back your peristaltic urges while I read to you some more from the book of radical cheer. And hey, wasn't there a ZZ Top song about radical cheerleaders?

Legs - ZZ Top
She's got legs,
Don't know how to groom them,
She never shaves,
Don't know how to smooth them.
She's so fine,
She's all mine,
The girl is hirsute.


That was one of my favorites, along with "Sharp Pierced Girl", and "Gimme all your Cheerin'".

Back to the Radical Cheerleaders. Here's one of my personal favorites:


Canada is Not Okay

T AND A all the way canada is not okay
no borders no states
we just want to masturbate
no borders no states
we just want to masterbate
T and A all the way
canada is not okay

There are a number of serious questions posed by this excellent cheer. First, while I'm willing to concede that Canada does not in fact have states, I'm pretty sure borders are involved in some capacity. But the really interesting part is the conflation of T and A, Canada, and masturbation. The relationship is unclear. Is Canada preventing masturbation in some way? Or is it that you must make a choice between liking Canada and masturbating? A tough decision indeed. I hate to think that Canada is forever closed to Peewee Herman, although it does seem like an effective and reasonable anti-George Michael policy.

And yet, it disturbs me to think that there is a world full of hairy, lesbian cheerleaders frantically punishing themselves in a frenzy of Canadian antipathy. Surely, there are more important things to hate, like malaria, terrorism, or Michael Bolton.

And of course, you can't be a good radical cheerleader without being totally current on matters economic:

Free Trade No More

1,2,3,4, we don't want free trade no more!
5,6,7,8, we don't want your corporate state!
9,10,11,12, we'll run the system by ourselves!
13,14,15,16, what the hell is Cretien thinking!
17,18,19,20, next election you'll loose by plenty!
21,22,23,24, radical cheerleaders at your door!

It's the 9,10,11,12 part that scares me. I figure we'll make it to about 9.2 before mass starvation sets in, and by 10 we'll be rioting in the streets in protest of the mandatory piercing laws.

And we Canadians have until '12' to prepare ourselves for the invasion of the screaming hordes of combat-booted radical cheerleaders, looking to free Canadian T and A, leg hair aflutter, buzzing in unison. Our only hope is that their batteries run out.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Media Bias Watch

Once again, the overwhelmingly imbalance of thought in the mass media can be seen in this headline, plucked from Drudge:

FBI SEARCHES FOR 21-YEAR OLD ROCKER IN CONNECTION WITH PIPE BOMBS INVESTIGATION...


I, for one, am sick of this kind of thing. When was the last time you saw a mod pipe-bomber named as such? Never! But we have to know that this troubled young man is a rocker, because heaven knows, those poncy mods would never lift their feeble butts off their scooters long enough to plant bombs in mail boxes. Frankly, it's time someone spoke out against the mod-dominated media, who for years have been giving a false impression of rockers as brooding leather-wearing slackers who do nothing but collect unemployment pay and sing "Be Bop A Lula" in bathhouses, whereas mods are perky, well-dressed go-getters who are building a brighter tomorrow for us all.

Susanna Cornett, call your office. But turn down "Quadrophenia" first.
Farewell, Jimmy The Goat. We Hardly Knew You

Canadians in Afghanistan had found a new mascot. After their sweep through Tora Bora, a scraggly goat began following them. No matter where the soldiers went, the goat would never be far behind.

The local villagers kept taking back the goat, affectionately named 'Jimmy' by the Canadians (and affectionately named "Dinner" by the Afghans). But Jimmy knew a good deal when he saw it: Better to be a mascot for a bunch of homesick Canucks than to be dinner for someone else. So Jimmy kept escaping and coming back to the Canadians, his little goat eyes pleading with them to save him from the stew pot.

But it was not to be. The villagers finally grabbed Jimmy for the last time, and turned him into goat burgers.

Farewell, Jimmy. If there's a billy-goat heaven, you know it would make a hell of a barbecue.

Monday, May 06, 2002

Libertarian Candidate Wants to Hang Congress

No, really. Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Rick Stanley wants the members of Congress hung for treason.

Memo To Libertarian Party: Two words: quality control. You've already managed the amazing feat of being on the ballot in all 50 states, while still getting less than 2% of the popular vote. Keep this up, and you'll wind up with less votes across the entire country than old Clem Hayseed got after running for dogcatcher in Hooterville.
Canadian Sniper Offered Medal by U.S, Court-Martial by Canada

The United States military wants to give Master Cpl. Arron Perry a Bronze Star.

The Canadian military wants him court-martialed.

The Americans want to give him a bronze star along with four other Canadian snipers, for their role in several exceedingly dangerous missions where they operated with distinction, exposing themselves to live fire to achieve objectives, and saving a number of American soldiers. Among their achievements is the longest confirmed sniper kill in combat history, at 2430 meters (about a mile and a half), breaking the previous record held by legendary sniper Carlos Hathcock in Vietnam.

The Canadians want to court-martial him because a Chaplain overheard him say, "F*ck Him" while pointing in the general direction of the Chaplain after a stress debriefing.

I was going to make a pithy comment about all this, but words fail me. All I know is, if I run into Master Cpl. Perry in one of the local watering holes (he's from my neighborhood), I'm going to buy him a beer or two.

More details: Bad soldier, or war hero? - Edmonton Journal
We Get Letters

Dear Happy Fun Pundit,

Look, I really don't have anything against Israel. I was at Palestinian headquarters to deliver a Ham on Swiss and a Fresca, and got trapped in here. Do you KNOW what it's like to be in a room for OVER A MONTH with Yasser Arafat? He smells like an over-ripe avocado at the best of times, but after a month the odor has taken on the distinct scent of wet collie. And he spits when he yells. And he's ALWAYS yelling. I swear, his eyes bug out with rage when he's ordering a pizza. By the end of the siege I was slipping around on Yasser-spit like Nancy Kerrigan on a bum leg.

Have I mentioned the smell?

Signed,

Sleepless in Ramallah


Dear Pundit Scum,

Do you know how you can tell how powerful I am? Let me tell you - I am so powerful that I can shoot a shotgun into the air with one hand. Here, watch this:

[BAM]

Holy Crap! I think I broke my damned wrist! Oh, man, that's it. I'm going to torture someone tonight for that.

Saddam


Dear Happy Fun Guy Dudes,

Hey, did you hear? I'm going to anchor This Week! Me, little Georgie! My mom said that if I was really good and pretended to be all objective and everything, something good would happen. Thanks, mom!

Wait until Joey and Skipper hear about this. I'm going to go to the arcade and tell them right now!

Signed,

George Stephanopoulis

Sunday, May 05, 2002

Death to the Infidel Pigs!

Not to be outdone in the translation of goofy Arab stuff, Happy Fun Pundit is pleased to present this excerpt from a document captured during the recent Israeli action in the West Bank:

4 pork chops, cut 3/4 feet thick
1 quart sun-dried tomato salad dressing
18 tablespoons Jalapeno Tabasco sauce

1. Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper, may they sting the eyes of our enemies. Heat a large nonstick skillet over unbearably high heat for a thousand days of suffering, slightly longer if you're using an electric range. Martyr the chops in the hot skillet, about 2 minutes per side, as long as it takes for a Jew to drain the blood of a child to make dessert with.

2. Add one gallon of water, dwarfed by the tears of humiliation cried by our people, to the pan. Reduce the heat to "only faintly fanatical" (there being no "medium" on Intifada stoves), cover, and steam until water is mostly evaporated, as the Jews steal our pride and honour; about four minutes, dependent on your altitude.

3. Add the dressing and jalapeno Tabasco and heat to an angry stone-throwing simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside until the infidels are driven into the sea, or at least five minutes. Serve the chops topped with the sauce; this goes very well with rice.

Serves thousands and thousands. Quick, nutritious, and guaranteed to upset Jews.
Source: Abetty Al-Crocker's Quick 'n' Easy Fatah Cookbook