Friday, February 25, 2005

Nine hours on a bus...oh my!

Hi everybody! Just wanted to let all of you know that I am leaving tomorrow morning for a trip to Arkansas with the UL track team. I'm not sure they have the Internet in Arkansas, so I might not be able to check in for a few days. According to my trip itinerary, we should be back by 2 a.m. on Tuesday. Just in time for morning classes! So will someone please pick up my mail and newspapers? Thanks.

And while I'm thinking about it, a parting shot: Hotmail must die. In recent weeks, Hotmail has caused me to miss more than one journalistic deadline, despite filing as much as an hour in advance. Half the time, they seem to be completely offline. And with a click of the mouse, my entire account (two megs' worth of messages dating back to 2000) appears to have vanished. This particularly pisses me off because I just received a kickass letter from a fan of my column and I wanted to print it for posterity. And now it's gone for good! What the hell?

So anyway, feel free to peruse some the quality content below in my absence. And try not to steal anything in the meantime. You'll be disappointed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Fear by windshield wiper

Yesterday, UL students had the pleasure of finding this on their cars:

Almost here? The Doors recorded that 32 years ago! Posted by Hello

The above is a typical ad in the October 2004 issue (!) of The House of Yahweh Newsletter. The front article is entitled "Forty Nations Now Have Nuclear Capabilities: What Does This Mean for World Peace and Safety?" Here is a stirring excerpt:

I recently read the laws that the health department sends to morticians and was amazed at the number of diseases one can get from the dead body of a human being.

About fifty years ago when I was in college, I worked in a funeral home. Comparing the laws from then to now, I was amazed at the increase of the risk factor in touching the dead because of all the new diseases, viruses and parasites that have been created and mutated by the unhealthy habits of mankind in the past fifty years.

These diseases, viruses and parasites were created and mutated by mankind because they have broken the Laws of health.

So there you have it, folks! The world is threatened with nuclear winter because of our bodies' audacity to grow rank after death. Oh, how I pine for the good old days when men were men, women were pure and everyone was so clean that you could eat off their corpses! Too bad those bastard diseases had to go and violate our laws against them (I think that's what he's saying).

But what I find even more amusing is this group's attempt to scare us into apocalypse mode by showing us this picture:

I know...I drive by it every time I go to Baton Rouge Posted by Hello

I hope we avoid another holocaust as much as they do. Seriously. But I don't think Louisianians are going to be scared to piety by a picture that looks like the entire expanse of the Atchafalaya River, especially since the Cypress stumps in that river are considered vital examples of Louisiana beauty.

The Jewish Holocaust was one of the worst tragedies in world history. And the threat of war and disease is very real. And these are precisely the reasons why we need to examine these issues in a far-less-kooky context. Still, for what I paid for this newsletter, I got my money's worth. I can't wait to see what will be left on our windshields next!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson dead

Gonzo Journalist suicides at home in Aspen

Apparently this just happened...

In other words...

Rob Guillory is a Vermilion cartoonist and a good friend of mine. His blog is here and his collection of cartoons can be seen at Flyboy Press. Responding to a Christian group's protest of Chris Rock as host of the Oscars, Rob posted this awesomely angry letter (parental advisory--explicit lyrics):

Dear America,

I'm so tired of this anti-vulgarity bullshit. When are you gonna realize that words like "fuck" (which I LOVE, by the way) are only given power because YOU give it to them.

For example, if someone had to call me a nigger or some shit, I'm sure I'd be a little perplexed at first (I mean...come on), but because I realize that that word is but a sound emerging from ignorant lips and not a declaration of my being, I can't say that I would be emotionally shattered by the word. And if I had to say "fuck" on live national TV, I'm sure the fabric of reality would not tear, though the media would no doubt make it seem like it had.

Here's a reality check, America: Just because you censor a word like fuck (f**k) or even better, asshole (censored on TV as ass****), the word still comes to mind in the eyes of the audience. They KNOW you just said fuck or asshole. So in a way, you might as well have just SAID "fuck" uncensored, you idiots.

An analogy: It's like having sex while your kids are sleeping in the same bed. Sure, maybe they're tucked snuggly under the covers, but with all the bed-rocking, springs-creaking and moan-making, they know you're fucking, dude. Think about it.

Please, for the sake of all that is good, get over this conservative uber-Christian sex-repressed, linguistics-fearing, ignorantly pre-packaged blindfold mentality. Realize that just because someone says the word "fuck", it doesn't mean they're tugging on the strings of all that is good an decent in an attempt to unravel it.

I say "fuck" all the time, and I don't drink, smoke, do drugs AND I'm a deliberate virgin (Gasp!).

So please, you "moral majority" fucks....TELL ME I have no morals or ethics. I AM the proof that your argument has NO grounds. I am the exception. A moral, "liberal" who believes in true love, but curses like a sailor. AND I'm NOT white. (Gasp! Not white?!!!)

Loosen the fuck up and start realizing what I realized as a friggin' five-year-old :"Sticks and stones break bones. Names don't mean shit."

Start looking around at the world we live in and tell me what's done more damage: My use of "fuck" or your lack of balls.

Okay...rant over.
Have a lovely day.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Have some heart!

Pump it up Posted by Hello

It's Valentine's Day, the one day out of the year where you're allowed to love somebody. So love them, dammit!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl Dreams

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, a day in which the entire nation gets together over junk food and drinks to watch the purest show of Americana that exists today (You thought that was the State of the Union address? Hah!). I've written lots of stuff on football, particularly the Super Bowl, and yet I continue to mine the game year after year. That's easy to do, considering how much the Super Bowl speaks of our society at any given time.

First, a couple of Super Bowl facts:

--The Super Bowl owes its name to a bouncy ball and a blurt. Sometime around late 1968, Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt had seen his daughter bounce a rubber ball over the roof of their house. Amazed, he asked her what it was. She told him it was called a "Super Ball." Later that day, Hunt was in a meeting with event organizers and referred to the game as the "Super Bowl" without thinking. Thus Super Bowl III became the first game to carry the name, with the previous two games receiving the title retroactively. The rest is history.

--The first-ever SB touchdown was scored by a hung-over playboy who could barely see straight. Green Bay Packer wide-receiver Max McGee was so sure that he would not play in Super Bowl I that he spent the previous night and that morning grabbing ass and getting wasted. Of course, this being a TV show--one carried live by both NBC and CBS--karma dictated that McGee had to take the field. So wasted he couldn't even find his helmet (he borrowed one from a surprised teammate), McGee nevertheless scored a one-handed 37-yard grabber to land the first six-pointer in SB history. I have this catch on tape, and it's a wonder that the drunk wide receiver didn't plow straight into the goalpost--especially since the goalposts in those days were inexplicably in the front of the endzone. What was that all about?

--My brother was born on the same day as Super Bowl XII. In a cosmic coincidence, he later played football. In an even weirder coincidence, his younger brother also played football despite having no connection to the Super Bowl and possessing only 133 pounds of body.

--The Saints have never been to the Super Bowl. Optimistic stance: the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't win a Super Bowl championship until their 40th year of existence. Pessimistic stance: the Super Bowl didn't exist until the Steelers were almost 40 years old.

And now, I present to you my list of observations/predictions for this year's game, along with links to relevant columns I have previously published:

--The Philadelphia Eagles will win. Why? Because they have Donovan McNabb, who Rush Limbaugh thinks is overrated. Oddly enough, McNabb has enjoyed his best career run since Rush said that about him, thus proving for the first time what a lousy prognosticator Rush is. See also McNabb's Rush Attack from 10/15/03. The main reason that I think they'll win, however, is simply because I want them to. But alas, because my support is the kiss of death for anyone's success, I offer the following declaration:

--The New England Patriots will win. Why? Because they have our local high-school legend Kevin Faulk, who played for my high school's archrival, and who clocked my lineman brother on his way to what I'm sure for Faulk is a long-forgotten touchdown. I also don't care for football dynasties (please understand...Saints fan here!) or a team led by a quarterback who once hooked up with Tara Reid. I once joked that, in the wake of 9/11, the Patriots would be allowed to win no matter what (Patriot Games, 9/4/02). Crazy how things work out, huh?

The game offers a uniquely American conundrum: we're divided once again, this time on Patriot-Eagle lines. Both teams' mascots represent revered symbols of our nation's heritage. If you root for the Patriots, then you have no respect for our national bird. Likewise, if you let the Eagles soar, then you're clearly unpatriotic. What kind of un-American jerk are you anyway?

More predictions:

--At the end of his halftime performance, Paul McCartney will expose his breast, which will have "Fuck the FCC!" written on it. I can dream, can't I? The last Super Bowl gave me so much material that I spread it over two columns: Stupid Bowl Propaganda (2/11/04) and Janet's Breast, Part Two (2/18/04). This year's halftime lineup is not quite Janet/Justin (or even Ashlee Simpson), but any upheaval will do.

--That naked streaker won't be back. But he'll be at home, watching the game with grossed-out family and friends.

--At least one (and probably five or more) commercials will send the typical right-wing "mexed missages" about why sex, marijuana and file sharing are evil while crotch-biting violence, beer and Viagra are just dandy. A metaphysical certitude.

--Someone will get drunk tonight. Call it a hunch.

Go Eagles! Soar like you've never soared before! From rocky coast to golden shore! Let the mighty Eagles soar!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

He Hate Me...and Him Hate Me Too!

In tribute to Groundhog Day--a day when we celebrate a creature who lives its life buried deep in dirt--I give you today's piece from Vermilion conservative columnist John Hinson. After 13 months of column writing, he has finally honored the time-tested rule so faithfully and repeatedly executed by his two conservative predecessors:

Vermilion statute 3.016 (d)-- Re: Columnists: When out of original ideas, obsess incessantly over and write (preferably false) gossip about Ian McGibboney.

"I cannot imagine taking, for example, the cynical, satirical, and often tactless approach of Ian McGibboney. I firstly do not need that many enemies, and secondly, it does nothing for his actual position. He makes his point, but it often comes off as more of an afterthought. Is McGibboney attempting liberal conversions? Let me just say from the numerous people I have come up to me with 'death warrants' for him that he is not winning hearts, but perhaps he does win some minds on occasion."

He also quotes one of his acquaintances as saying this:

"'The liberal guy is walking all over us. You need to stand up for us conservatives!'"

What he needs to do is stop turning in his political-science notes as columns and really get incisive with his writing. But that's just my opinion. I'm no expert on walking all over people.

And as a bonus, here's a sampling of several e-mails I've been receiving from a colleague in the English department (not John Hinson):

"Personally, I'm looking forward to your graduation so that I, and the rest of us that get totally annoyed with our discussion board being used as a political blog by you and a few others, will see you heading on for greener pastures - away from here."

He then followed up that message with a political post on that same discussion board. Poetic.

Oh yeah, he also said this, which in no way describes anyone else on that forum:

"I, and several of your peers here in the department, find your constant 'know-it-all', my-way-or-the-highway rhetoric to be exhausting at best. Frankly, we're all a little sick of it."

And this...

Now, I don't know about you, but the way I see it is that your 'view of facts from observation of things' is called opinion - the furthest thing from fact (at least that's what I teach my freshman). Also, 'understand that you'll never believe a word I say unless I have 5,000 words from someone else backing it up' - that's called 'supporting an argument' - something else that I teach my freshman. See, I'm not an expert on generational demographics - so I found empirical information so as to make an informed argument. Now, in the case of this little discussion, I was pretty sure I knew you were full of shit - so, to be sure that I wasn't full of shit before posting something, I provided the empirical data to back up my claim - somehting I learned in 5 years of working as a journalist (again, something you should really consider) - wait, no, something I learned in high school.

Somebody mentioned that the above was an example of something called "condescension." Can somebody please explain what that means? I'm pretty stupid, so use small words.

But the dumbest thing about all this? It all started when someone posted a CNN report that cited scary numbers on the apathy of high-school kids regarding the First Amendment and freedom. I said that such ignorance was a bad thing that transcended politics. How rude of me!