Saturday, March 31, 2007
Companion post to the lovebot post below is this piece about the Reaper, a successor drone to the Predator. Whereas the Predator largely looked for six foot plus tall men rummaging around garbage dumps in Afghanistan, the Reaper is designed from the bolts up to blow stuff up.
More in the Danger Room.
See Keeper (my character) ain't so far off.
Reminds me of Scott Adam's post:
In yesterday’s post, I asked how many of you guys would have sex with a robot if it was indistinguishable from a hot human woman. About 95% of the hetero guys said they would. The other 5% expressed a strong preference for lying.
Personnaly, I think she's more attractive:
Whatevs your preference, it seems Annie Mae's in for some competion. In fact, we all are.
Once, the adds offered me advice on building a trebuchet, which could come in handy, you know.
I like targeted adds because they make me laugh. Earnest little bits and bites, trying to get my programming right.
The best thing to do is assume a blissful smile, and proceed thusly:
"What do you think about murderous wars of aggression?"
"All war is bad, Susie (go pound sand)."
"Do you support Peace(TM)?"
"All right thinking people support peace (bite me)."
"Will you stop crushing my dissent?"
"(Will you stop laying in front of my car?) Sure. Bye."
Then disengage, quickly.
Well, a buddy of mine called earlier today. He's an Army recruiter and it's his job to go to campuses of dialectic education and convince supple young minds to join the Awesome Death Dealing Machine that is the U.S. Army. Needless to say, he often comes up against alot of brick
In the course of his duties, he sends out alot of spam, and gets a variety of responses ("I'm gay";"I'm canadian";"STOP EMAILING ME!!!"). Well, recently, he sent out an email to the effect of your more likely to get killed walking butt naked down the streets of a major Merkin city with only ben franklins covering your naughty parts than you are to be disaggregated on the streets of Baghdad. What he didn't know was that he touched upon one of those religious meme's sifting through the memesphere.
So he gets this call. From a Fact Checker at one of those nooszines. And man, she's pissed. Told him he was negligent, wrong and ignorant of statistics. Said she was researching blogs, and that he had to have gotten his information from the blogs. Said she had a Harvard Educated Statistician (Lies, damned lies, and....) who could prove him wrong. (Remember, she's a Fact Checker)
Well, my buddy gets a bit hot and ends up falling for the "gotcha." Which is unfortunate. He's calling me up to ask me what I thought.
Dood, you got, got.
Never try to out argue a member of the Fourth Estate. They'll write whatever they damn well please. That's not judgemental, it just is.
Hopefully, nothing will come from this, as Scooter Libby and Alberto Gonzales may attempt to flee to Canada in the next week or so, Persia might spontaneously explode or something.
But still, instructive.
If the press comes a knocking, best to start walking.
Right now, we get our enter/infotainment from Comcast, Netflicks and the Web. Occasionally, we'll go to a theatre, and watch something we both want to see.
Last night we watched Superman Returns from Netflix. Monday, I'll stop by a maildrop, and make sure he does. The movie sucked.
So IBM, the company that brought us.....,um, punch cards, is developing a 160GB optical chipset. Which means, we'll be able to download movies in about one second, an almost acceptable rate of speed.
With HD movies bloating to about 30-40 GB, that means we're pretty tapped out after d/ling and having a look.
Probably someone like Netflix will get bought out by Comcast and go digital at that point.
Lord knows, I won't be able to store that much data, not on my budget.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Blood thirsty murderess she is, she told them that she supports the trupes. Those currently serving in Iraq.
Got me thinking. As a class, the vets of vietnam were demonized, spit upon and broken. Now, as a class, they are presented as objects of pity, worthy of support (dracma$).
Man, I can't see any trupe today, desiring their lot.
Anyways, Defense Tech covers down on a new report from Irak, by Two Banger Barry.
We will also produce another generation of soldiers who lack confidence in their American politicians, the media, and their own senior military leadership.
One of them mentioned, unrelated to the trial, that Loosiana, a state recently in the noos for some weather bother, followed the Code Napoleon.
Oh, I mentioned, that's why they suck.
See, there are two codes that animate western thought. English Common Law and the Code Napoleon. ECL evolves, looks at precedents, and changes over time. The NC (PBUH) is final, codified and good for all time.
Countries that follow ECL grow and develop. Countries that follow NC, generally, suck.
Loosiana. Originally the intent wast to buy the land. Instead, we wound up with the people and a Napoleonic Code, that persists to this day.
Which is probably why Mississippi recovered a hella lot quicker than Loosiana, after hurricane Katrina.
I'm just saying.
Opinions may differ. Means testing does not.
Fifteen Brit sailors were taken by the Most Deranged Republic of Persia.
Tony Blair, prima inter pares of Brit legislators is so mad, that he's referred the whole mess to the United Nations, a sort of talk shop where nothing seems to happen. It's the How Stuff Works, in these modern times. And old and stately matron, declining gracefully, is faced by the Paris Hilton of international relations. Persia decays from inherited wealth (oil) and assumes the rules no longer apply to her ("geneva convention: now improved for troop protections!!"TM)
O.K. Good luck with that.
I've mentioned before, somewhere on this blog, that my cultural programming is slightly off. Me, I'd be designating fifteen high value targets in Persia (like that coastal Nuclear Power plant they don't seem to be using...Bruce's Hair, or something), and steaming my little Ark Royal Jump Jet carrier around to start attriting those targets.
I realize that war is not the answer (what's the question?), but that would just be me. Of course, the Persians would respond with attacks in Basra, activation of Militant Activists (TM) cells in Country X, and whatnot, but then....so?
At least there's a conclusion.
Instead, Britain will telegraph further weakness by pitching the ball of responsibility to the high panjandrum's of international relations. And the Persian Mullah's will strengthen.
I'm not a Baby Boomer, so I do believe actions have consequences.
Blair, who's turning into my next Schroeder, will disappoint. Soft power? In reality, no power.
But we'll see.
Grab some popcorn. This will be interesting to watch.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
It's a great way of focusing people minds. You get into these conversations, conversations where the persons first point is a fact he or she may not like but can not change.
And I answer, "so?"
Not to be an butt hole, but get them thinking, "o.k., so what are you going to do about it."
Today the Congress voted to send a bill compelling retreat from the battlefield, retreat in a war with nihilistic murderers.
Today congress stated a fact, one they don't like. War sucks.
Looking forward to the procedure.
I'm all about self improvement, especially when it only requires that I lay very still.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Via Instapundit, we learn of this bicentennial:
On March 25, 1807, two hundred years ago today, Parliament passed An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
Today, this cat informs us:
Knife-wielding smugglers forced 450 Somalis and Ethiopians overboard into stormy seas along a remote stretch of Yemen coastline at Ras-Alkalb in the Gulf of Aden last Thursday, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement.
No Amistad docks tonight.
Call them what you will: reavers, slavers or re-primitivized man.
Call us what you must: anglos, westerners, or my preferred, freeman.
It's our burden against their depravity.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Comicspace. You'd be surprised how much great talent is out there. The link is to the galleries. Just scroll.
Animationarchive. Great stuff from prehistory.
On My Desk. A little inside baseball, but nice to see how others create.
Drawn. Done by Canadians, but don't let your prejudices stop you from checking them out.
Savage. He's a chicken.
Gapingvoid. I fell in awhile ago.
Anyways, that's just a few. I really need to order my bookmarks.
Seems there's this Sailor, who probably hasn't served in Iraq, but:
“I think she thinks she was in Iraq,” he said. “I don’t think she was trying to pull the wool over our eyes.”
It's like we're living in an age of magic. It's true, if only we believe. GMAFB!
Water is still wet; the ground is still hard.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
The National Review Online is increasingly turning into a blog collective that publishes a magazine. I've never held an NR on Paper in my hot little hands, but I have consumed reams of digital content. How they make money from that is their challenge, not mine.
But the NRO has recently started a NAWB: Not another War Blog.
It's called the Tank. And the reason I like it is because it's not another "All Irak, All the Time", blog.
The Tank looks beyond the current "quicksandy quagmire" and reaches out for the rope. Which is what you have to do if you want to win the war of ideas.
Seems Kip Ward, an Army four banger, is poised to take over the new AFRICOM. He did time as the USAREUR deputy commander, made a sojourn to Israel as an advisor in the Palestinian Moveable Feast, and went back to Europe, currently serving as the Deputy Commander Four Banger for EUCOM, the Damn Merkin european (read NATO) occupation force in Stuttgart, Germany. Good stuff, that.
Africa is in play, in the GWOI (Global War of Ideas).
Hope we can help.
Even better, is a Tank piece on "Why Africa?" Seems they've got some ideophiles posting there.
In the words of Borat, "I laaake."
Check it out. Enjoy.
Soon, this mwanamume juu ndege. Digital content will be all I have.
It was funny at the time.
Look, full disclosure, my wife, the household hottie, is European. I say that for those who may assume that I associate ideas with peoples. I do not. If you have and implement a good idea, you succeed. If you have and implement a bad idea, you fail. Period.
Genetics (as we will see in the next few decades) is a fungible measure of success.
It is, and will always be, about ideas.
So the E.U. corporatist are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the "Idea of Europe." Bring out the fiddle boys, because "it's gettin' hot in here."
Look, I like europe. I like it's people, and had a good time living there. But that shouldn't stop me from pointing out that this idea of "Europe" stinks. And yes, I'm talking the E.U., the constitution, the EUROMED Partnership, the Battlegroups, Galileo, the A380 and the like.
Europe is enamoured of this idea that big is better. That government, like father, knows best. Dress it up however you want, from the Napoleonic Code, to Nazisim, to Communism to it's current multicultural malaise, Europe has continued to shoot itself in the foot over the past two centuries over the idea that the state is sovereign over the individuals. Pity.
As the world gets smaller, our friends come close and our enemies closer, the E.U. spends time and money gassing up the Hindenburg by building the A380. A plane that goes from "A" to "B", while Boeing is building the Dreamliner, a plane that goes from "A" to "Z" and points in between. A hella more flexible, adaptable model. One that can evolve, for you darwinians out there.
Then there's Galileo, the GPS system the E.U. is building. Unless they can seduce the CHICOMS into investing in it (by handing over the codes for military applications) the Galileo system is going to be so much orbital trash. Who's going to want to buy GPS from Galileo when they can get it for free from the Damn Merkins.
EUROMED? Oooops? Another bad idea. By seeking to counterbalance the U.S., you've begun priveleging some very savage ideas. Note: not people. Ideas. Retrograde thoughts issuing forth from a dark continent and a barren desert. Again, savage ideas. It's why we Damn Merkins had to adopt Hirsi Ali. And Hitchens. And by proxy, Steyn.
Battlegroups? Been all over the proposed MTOEs and to be honest, they are less about power projection and more about dissent suppression. By design. We'll let that thought percolate for a few years and see what happens.
The Berlin Declaration? Here's where the fiddling gets good.
At the end of the day, europe's going to, yet again, have to determine who's supreme. The individual or the state? Really, that's the only argument. Choose the state, and it's going the way of the palestinians. Choose the individual, and there is hard road ahead, with better days to come.
I mean, that's it.
Everything else is cramming angels onto the head of pins.
Good luck with that.
Show their asses:
Captioned: Portland, Oregon: “Bye-bye, GI. In Iraq you’re gonna die.”
I'm cool with that. Refreshed, actually. Wordmongers spend so much time "massaging the message" that it's nice to see some clarity, every once in a while.
Friday, March 23, 2007
They had Former Deputy Undersecretary of Assistant State Stuff Richard Armitage on pushing a new brand of bottled diplomacy called "SmartPower(Now with Quinine)TM". Seems like a kind of "soft power" in comfortable shoe. Transcript available for purchase, here.
I thought to spark up a conversation about the values of soft versus hard power.
Instead, he tells me he doesn't listen to NPR. And as a counter, brings up "The Daily Show." I asked him if he got his news from "TDS." Told me no. He also watches CNN.
Which is like TDS without the humor.
Kids these days are funny. Still ornery, still aggressive, still Merkin. But their dataflow...TDS, CNN and the like, combined with a lack of basic grounding in How Stuff Works, is going to make for some interesting times, ahead.
Oh well. That's life.
Try as I might, I can't see how this will matter. Look, the House of Representatives is part of the process, not the end. See, they pass a bill that says "Feces doesn't stink." Well, now the Senates got to get in on the action and pass a bill that says "Feces is a little unsettling." Then they have to get together and work out a compromise. This bill then gets sent to the Executive, who will likely Veto it, and neither House is able to muster a Veto proof passage of the, let's say, Feces 2007 Out 'O Irak By 2008 Bill. So it dies.
That's How Things Work.
So I can't figure out the intent of the House in voting for this particular bill. Is it to satisfy a base of activists, who, if they tried, couldn't get elected "World's Best Dad" by their own children? Probably. Look, I don't think the House is full off loons. They're regular, down to earth free spending, power mad demigods fighting over tiny little fiefs. Salt of the earth, really. But they're need to privilege a loopy base is driving them apart. Think Critter Obey.
It's definitely a headline generator. It's spun as "bold", "decisive" and "in your face."
As a measure of performance, it's pretty weak. As measure of effectiveness, the bill will never be felt.
Passing the bill is like kissing your cousin and expecting grand kids. Doesn't happen.
File this under "Whatevs."
Thursday, March 22, 2007
"Ethos Water?" I mean, we've gone from bottled water to super oxygenated water to this? Maybe is infuses those interstitial spaces with a superior ethic. One which lets you slip the binds that bound you and touch the very face of Bob?
I dunno. Me, I always liked the lemon-lime stuff.
Long week, again. I carry a picture of my wife, so I know who to expect when I come home.
UPDATE: Above is the picture. Here's the thousand words.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Like everything else.
See, my innerwebs works, so caring about someone else's loss of connectivity is really silly. Right?
How can connectedness ever, truly matter?
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Felt good. Night.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Via J.C. I learn that former Paypal Excec "Elon" is preparing to launch a homebrew (or as near as we can get) rocket into space. I also learn that, in a six degrees of seperation deal, that "Elon" is also involved with Tesla Motors. Bezos needs the competition.
Perhaps, the world is not improved by people burying talents in the ground.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
My wife and I watched it last night. Pretty good, considering. The wife was a bit surprised that the Spartans could be, well, dicks. Told her to consider, this was some twenty five hundred years ago, when the virus of individual freedom was just kicking off. Things like this take time.
Seems "The 300" passed the 100 million dollar mark. Not surprising. You just have to peek at the black market, and see what people are trying to "acquire." The numbers of leechers have gone down, on "the 300" torrent, largely because all the torrents out there are bogus. Last time I saw something like this, was when HBO flustered torrentdom by seeding bogus copies of "Rome."
Me, I can wait for the DVD. But it's funny that desire has well outstripped the ability to deliver. That's how you get black markets, in the first place.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Classmates always asked me what I doing. Me, I knew what I drew, remembered it, and could always draw it again. Well, sometime around college, I stopped smoking crack and started saving stuff. Which is why our house is a veritable firetrap of bad ideas.
Dug up some old (decade, at least) stuff, to trigger some ideas.
Here's how I learned DNA replication.
This one escapes me. Pretty sure it's a bunch proteins interacting with a lipid layer. Meant something, I guess.
More conventional toons.
Proof that I am, indeed, colorblind. I mean, what's up with that pink chicken?
It's about a bunch of FOCI's "Introducing New Students to Social Justice in DC and Beyond."
So, of course, they dress up like Greek Gods.
Caption: FOCI leaders, clad as Greek gods and goddesses, pose with the participants.
Maybe it's just me, but somehow that just fits.
But man, it was boring. This guy drives around on patrols, up Mosul way, and doesn't get shot at, RPGed, IEDed, or chase terrorists or come face to face with Osama Bin Laden in classic cage death match where two men enter, and only one survives:
Anyhow, I went on patrols most every day, with 1-9 Cav, and 2-7 Cav, respectively. The MSM had geared me up to expect RPGs flitting about like ginormous mosquitos, but I gotta tell ya, I couldn't draw a single shot while I was there. The troops wanted me to hang around, as I had 'Jesus Fire' about me, etc.
In other words, he offers another perspective on Iraq. Bad. In places, yes. But strum und drang? Hardly. It's kind of like when you hear those reports about "the whole world" hating American, you kind of just nod, and say whatever.
I look forward to his cartoon characters going to Iraq. It'll open up another information stream.
Chris went as part of Bill Roggio's not for profit, Public Multimedia, Inc. PMI raises money to send people over to (for know) Iraq, to walk about, look around and report back. Adding to the pool of blogger/writers like Michael J. Totten and Michael Yon.
The ultimate demonstration of the MSMs credibility gap is not the fisking of badly written articles, the growth of blogs and the establishment of wholly online media sources, from PJM, to Huffington Post to IraqSlogger to Instapundit to LGF and Daily Kos.
The ultimate demonstration is folks getting up, walking over there, and seeing for themselves.
For a long time, someone's been peeing in our collective data pool. The push back proceeds apace.
Friday, March 16, 2007
I mean, is she suggesting some kind of strategic overwatch, post insurgency. Some kind of Middle East NATO, oriented on the crazy eddie threat?
Weird. I dunno.
Seems like we get to peak under the skirts of our panjandrums, without getting the, as they say, full meal deal. Confusing.
Here's a picture of the super
That what where my mind is, whenever I read stories like this:
"Mars is unlikely to sport beachfront property anytime soon, but the planet has enough water ice at its south pole to blanket the entire planet in more than 30 feet of water if everything thawed out."
Mars. It's like a backup hard drive.
Actually, that's not accurate. I still haven't heard back from the fifth. So it could even be unanimous. I've been submitting submission to the submittee's of late, and receiving in return, rejection letters.
The last one I actually liked, because she at least took the time to log on and look around. So I've received six rejections in two different fields in the last four months.
And I'm cool with that. Motivated, actually.
Just like pain lets you know your alive, rejection let's you know you're trying. I often say that COL Sanders was in his fifties, before he learned how to fry chicken. That day to give up, in any endeavour, is the day after you die.
I also believe it's impossible to spread yourself too thin. Unless, of course, you're on a spaceship accelerating at fifty G's when the gravity field fails. Paste city.
So I'm expanding the list of things I do. In order:
1. Good hubby.
2. Get better at day job (which involves depriving little children of candy)
3. Continue writing and illustrating "Most Serene Republic." I like the toon, and it likes me. Plus, I get to expunge my inner demons without the bimonthly visit to the witchdoctor who drills holds in my head to "let out the foreign demons out."
4. Finish Project X, so I can start competing for rejection letters in a third field.
5. Start Project Y, which will be a three panel, semi regularly published webtoon that will let me look at some issues that don't necessarily fit MSR.
6. Oh yeah. Blog.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Her mom gets her news from local Latvian sources. She hears that Merkin Soldiers are in Afghanistan, getting high and abusing the locals. Or something. Anyways, she starts bashing U.S. Imperial Forces, and my wife, who I've mentioned is a bit to the right of me, starts going to town on her:
"Listen more to those communists and you will really know what's going on!!"
Well, her mom eventually changed subjects, and they moved on to other topics.
Funny thing, perceptions. If someone keeps telling you it's hot outside, eventually you start believing them.
Counter Perception Operations will go a long way towards mitigating that effect.
Nice to see, via wretchard, that MNC-I is jumping on the youtube bandwagon. Next up, "The Myspace Wars?"
See, eventually you got to go where the people are, in order to shape effects. Today, the Sunday Morning Talk Circuit commands fewer iBalls. "Sixty Minutes", the once all powerful talkmagazine, barely registers in the memesphere.
Powers shift. Influence wanes. New masters arise.
I wonder what they'll look like.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I convinced her to slip out to Mega-Grocery Corp to pick up some cake and little ice cream. Used my crying face.
As she was brushing her hair in the bathroom, I over vocalized, "hey, hey...I got my wife in check."
Sometimes I can be a dick.
I did apologize, but I was only joking. She knows that.
I've got a buddy, he met his wife in Prague.
I think he's the only one I know who can legitimately say, "I got my wife in Czech."
My job requires that I do so. Did I mention that I'm an international jewel thief?
So when I interact with my merry band of thieves, I'm always lecturing them precision. Attention to detail. Peeling the onion back so far, you cry. Keeps you out of jail, I reason.
So yesterday, I had what could be best described as a significant emotional event. We have a mission for next week. Yesterday, I asked my subaltern for an update on where we were. Didn't like what I heard, so I lit him up, gathered the tribe and basically went to town.
At this point, it got ugly.
Well, they're a good crew, and working hard to recover. We'll be good.
But the experience brought out a little tick in me. Namely, the "Well, he said...."
"He"? Who's "he"? God, Buddha, the guy who mows my lawn. Folks tend to over use pronouns, and it makes for bad communication and mission failure. I'm working really hard to squash the use of pronouns, at least when conversations start.
He would be pleased.
So know I have pronouns and passive voice usage to add to my list.
Precision is not about limiting collateral damage. Precision is about destroying your assigned target. I think we've inverted that thinking.
Verbally, I mean.
When I was growing up, one of the greatest controversies our Science Guys had difficulty achieving consensus on was the existence of life outside of America.
Since then, our merchant vessels have travelled to western and eastern asia. They've been to afrika, and spied natives on the continent of austral-asia. We've established missions to the european tribes, encountered the han expanse (cute little capitalist masquerading as communists) and hunted the fierce koala doom beast with the austral-asians.
There are wonders in this world.
Now we've sent our rocket planes past the man on the moon, and spied ice flows on Mars Home. And today, we know that fluid flows on Titan.
It really is an interesting universe, if you're inclined to get up, and look around a bit.
Monday, March 12, 2007
South Park may not be your cup of tea, but I loved that last episode (if you missed it, too bad). Made me laugh.
Ha ha ha ha. O.K., O.K., Al Sharptons aside, turns out a bunch of the kids at work went to see "The 300." A few of them were even let out of work early, to see the midnight show.
Got into a discussion with a near peer competitor, and it centered around the role of the Hunchback in "The 300." Dood thought the Hunchback got short shrift (sic?). Me? Well, I figured Leonidas gave him a fair offer, commensurate with his abilities. Not the fault of the King that the hunchback rejected the offer, and turned (spoiler alert!) traitor.
Look, if I tried out as a center for an NBA team and was turned down, it wouldn't be because of who I am, but probably because I suck at B-Ball.
Just the way it is.
Put another way, in my Most Serene Republic, it's wrong to hold people down. It's equally wrong to prop people up.
Something about unintended consequences.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Recently, I saw a contest for more free Scalzi stuff. So, of course, I had to enter.
The B/W's the entry. The color one, I'm still working on. I really need to learn how to photoshop.
That said, I lik Scalzi, Stross and Simmons not only for what they write, but also because they blog, in a way that says "I can't believe I'm doing this...look, here's how it's done...."
The MSR is locality independent, and more a state of (my deranged) mind. In time, it takes place somewhere upstream from now, but my reckoning, at least seven minutes from now. Less about where we are, and more about where we might be going. As I see things.
I was ripping off Ray Kurzweil before I knew who Ray Kurzweil was. I'm that good a thief.
Kurzweil talks alot about our biocentric, or as the Lifeboat Foundation might put it, nanobiological future. Which works for me. In college I studied (in addition to the Karma Sutra) the biological sciences.
So you have my main, bubbleheaded characters. Gidgets. Or, genetic widgets. People. Those tubes sticking out of there head, well, in my shorthand, a sort of EVDO card.
That's these guys below:
Of course, you have the female variant. They have two EVDO cards. Women are better at multitasking. When I want a stronger, role model womyn, I draw her taller. With bigger boobies. And a gun.
After that are the War Doods. Keeper is one of them. I haven't figured out if he's a robot, or a cyborg. He is beginning to replace the "Roman" soldier I started out with. I like keeper better. Here's the variant as he looks know. I'm not a big fan of this variant, and will probably change him.
Here are some rougher sketchs of Keeper. I like these better. We'll see.
Then there's my technikals. Gummint types. The cynics. These guys show up every once and awhile.
Then there are the recurring symbols. The "peace" symbol. The fishhook and the pen. A gun. A bomb. And a nuclear warhead tipped spear. Which is not a very practical weapon, unless you can run very fast. But hey, life's about options.
I didn't scan up a copy of my Crazy Eddies/Man Jammie Jihadi's. You can find them, and some of my other drawings over at my Comicspace hangout.
Ultimately, MSR is about a bunch of war doods standing bodily between the gidgets he loves and crazy eddie.
In other words, it's fantasy.
'Cause stuff like that never happens in the real world.
Should be pleasing to the Ephors of H-Town.
Perhaps they'll make more movies along this line? Naw. Expect the Persian perspective, The 10,000: Flags of our Immortal Fathers, to come sluicing down the pipe.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
After we left the theatre, I decided to drive over to our local book emporium, and see if I could buy Frank Miller's graphic novel, "300." I did, and read the novel. Pretty much what you saw, or will see, on the screen is what you'll find in the book. Well thought out scenes, and tight dialogue, sprinkled with laconic wit. I also went and downloaded a couple of the snappier tracks on iTunes. This modern life. But back to the movie.
Written in 1999.
Criticized in 2007. Dean Barnett links to Slate critic Dana Stevens, who takes the french root of embarrass (to show ones ass) to heart:
A Movie Only a Spartan Could Love
The battle epic 300.
By Dana Stevens
Read the whole thing, as THEY say, then come back. Below, you'll find nothing more than my half baked ToE.
I will say this. It is my thinking that many will take offense at "300," for many of the same reasons folks found "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy distasteful. It takes black and white themes, and demonstrates them in technicolor. It praises honesty, integrity and commitment while damning cowardice, avarice and betrayal.
On the whole black and white (colors of the rainbow) thing, well, I read somewhere that modern racism is a relatively recent (read within the last five hundred years) innovation. Tribalism, sure, nationalism, o.k., city-statism, yup. But good old fashioned race hating is pretty new to the scene. The Greeks, the Romans, even the Arabs, cheerfully enslaved their own races and others. They also provided ways out. Greek slaves could become metic citizens, and eventually parents of free citizens. Roman slaves could buy their way out, or be given freedom. Arab slaves could find a way out by conversion to Islam. Of course, there were levels of equal, some being more equal than others, but you get the point. The whole idea of a Master Race, seems to me, something the tribes of Europe came up with as a way of binding themselves together, against the rest of the world, as they ascended through the Renaissance to Industrialism and finally Colonialism. Then autocide. Racism is a weak glue.
Like anti-american/zionist/capitalism is today. But that's another post.
M. Stevens takes a couple of swipes at "chiseled white doods." Now, I'm making the assumption that M. Stevens is white. Why? Because if not, then the article would be be by lined by a Mbuki Ndege or Yuan Lee, or Abdullah Jihad, or Sven Michaelson...you know, something appropriately ethnic. Pegs in a hole. M. Stevens seems to have an issue with white doods who work out. But then, so do I. They're always hogging the Smith Machine when I need to do a Bi/Tri workout.
I'm constantly amazed by the level of self loathing I find among my white brothers and sisters. If you buy into the whole sins of the father, collective responsibilities, and communitarian crap, then I guess it makes sense.
But to me? As an individual? This is madness!!
Me, I take people as they come, as individuals. Trying to place stereotypes (up to and including the soft racism of low expectations) is a loser idea. People are either good, because they are, or they're dicks, because they are.
But onwards and upwards.
I find it odd that M. Stevens talks of a "at least some nod in the direction of antiwar sentiment" as if this were some sort off bad thing. I love the way "anti-war" is seen today as a positive trait. Our language has been slimmed down to present "anti-war" on one side, and "warmonger" on the other.
I would argue that what masquerades as "anti-war" today, wouldn't know a quaker if one came up and pissed in his oats.
But that's just me.
Then M. Stevens writes about being at war with Persia, which is what Iran used to be called, before it's former Sha fell in love with Nazi ideology and switched the name to Iran (Aryan...some people just can't spell werds).
Well, today, the thousand nations of the Persian empire are descending upon us.
Well, in a sense, they are. Not if you get all wrapped up in Ru Paul stripping off the drag and playing Xerxes leading a million man
The population of America is a bit over 300 million. That's about five percent of the worlds population.
She produces ten trillion dollars in value, each year. That's roughly half the worlds production.
She has about a one million three hundred thousand citizens actively under arms. Of that, I'd say about one hundred and fifty thousand are bonified, spear carrying warriors, able to gain and hold terrain.
You dig under the hoopla, and you get a very small number of people resisting a very large global trend.
Again, a global trend that favours, to be blunt, God-Kings in cod pieces over individual freedoms and liberties.
Just the way it is. And instead of a constant assault by Immortals, Medeans and steroid chugging Elephants, you have a consistent, persistent, assault on the ideas that underpin America's (and possible the worlds) success.
Persian Empire? Got it.
Gorebal Warbbling? Un hunh.
Agreed Frameworks? Sure, why not.
All that jazz are just surface appearances.
The ultimate aim is to find away around the 300 million, gain the high ground, compel surrender or induce slaughter.
I mean, that's just the way I see it. But I'm probably wrong.
My personal favourite:
I have a hard time drawing women. My dirty little secret is that I do not sketch my drawings. I just put pen to paper and draw. With dudes and gidgets, that's not to tough. And arm here, a leg there.
The female form is delightfully more complex. Boobies, backsides, thighs and heels high have to be proportion, or the effect is just wrong. So in my copious spare time, I like to pull out a book I actually sketch in, and draw women.
I steal shamelessly from Pinup Toons for my models.
Sorry, dude, but your stuff is just to good.
Now, I can add to that list, in a way that would make Nigel Powers proud. Take a bow, Nigel:
Today, I can announce that I've been photographed with not one, but two Playboy cover models:
Candice Michelle and Ashley Massaro
(Of course, like the Panjandrums, they're both short. Or am I just tall?)
Of course, this sets up an interesting conundrum. If invited to a State Dinner honoring the Grand Visar of Upper Lower Wassabi while at the same time holding an invitation to the Grotto, which one do the wife and I attend?
I'll figure it out while watching "The 300," today.
Life is about choice.
Friday, March 9, 2007
Thursday, March 8, 2007
So I made a joke to my subaltern about people freezing up in New York. Attributed it to global warming. He looked at me odd, because I've pretty much established to him that I am not of the faith.
A heathen, of sorts, clinging as I do to hearth and home.
So I asked him had he read Crichton's article on Complexity. Oh geez.
No, he hadn't read it, and no he didn't want to read it, and Crichton is not an environmentalist and yes he's a scientist but no he's not the right kind of scientist, so.....
Blah, blah, blah.
So then I started telling him about control, and how I saw the current crop of grendels motivated mainly by control issues. Look, I don't know why people want control, but I do know there are plenty of people out there who want control. Money, power, nice table at Spago's?
I told him to read Crichton's article on complexity, and report back to me next week, with a page, page and half summation. I linked effects based operations and complexity theory as part of my "justification."
Control. I got it, I use it.
But in the course of the conversation, I got an interesting look under the hood of what passes for contemporary thought. Me, I'm GENX, kind of on the bleeding edge. There but for the grace of God, I could have been a boomer. The subaltern is firmly in the GENY cohort.
I was raised by Boomers still getting their act together. He was raised by Boomers (they breedth slow but long) with an already established "narrative."
So we had had a wide ranging conversation on the impact of DDT on the endangered species act and how polar bears, at least those in the Alaskan Arctic circle and global warming. The subaltern is an odd mix of blood and soil and internationalism. Or he could have just been flailing for arguments.
I told him it was odd that Vice President Gore talked green, but heated his house with a kajillion kilowatts a week. Whereas President Bush basically lived the green dream.
Then I asked him something I thought was basic. What mattered more, intentions or methods and outcomes. For him, it was intentions. Not even bromides about the road to hell, and whatnot, could sway the kid. He also thought of government as a force for good. Wow.
When I reflect on culture, I sometimes think we're like Scott Adam's "Moist Robots." The degree to which we're programmed by designed, shared cultural beliefs is amazing. Unless and until you cut the cable keeping you a little coppertop, it all seems so natural.
Back in the Day, it was big business, military and Ike. Today Co-ops, diplomacy and Al. Still the same little coppertop.
I keep returning to David Brook's "Bobo's in Paradise" book. In it, he described how the meritocrats shoved aside the WASP dominant culture and established themselves as the Prime Culture. Largely, I agreed it was good idea.
But today, we're witnessing the end of that idea. And the end of The Meritocracy, as currently defined. As the WASP became arrogant and sloppy in thinking, so to do the Meritocrats. Overly invested in "Education" and less interested in learning, the Meritocrats are ending as the prime mover in our culture. Used to be, the Dan Rathers could defaecate on a plate and present it as Noos.
Just a the WASP still hang around (James Baker Must Eat!!!) so too will the meritocrats.
But something will stand up, and displace them. My monies on the final shove coming from GENY.
That's why I like talking to the little mushheads.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Monday, March 5, 2007
A the sharp end of suck, you're on foot patrol in some crazy eddie infested part of Iraq, dodging direct fire and IEDs. Realities pretty sharp up there, at the tip.
Move back a bit, and you're in one of those C.O.B.'s, the company operating base. Life's a little less Hobbseian there, indirect fire attacks and VBIEDs.
You get to go on a combat logistics patrol, and you find yourself on a F.O.B., the forward operating base. Some hot chow. A shower.
When you need to brief big, maybe you get to the M.O.B., a main operating base bereft of combat power, but in the words of Dave Bowman, "it's full of stars."
Time to leave, and you're at a S.N.O.B., a somewhat near operating base, where they wear funny uniforms and smile more often.
Finally, you get on a plane and head west. Somewhere over the Atlantic, you pass through the looking glass and arrive back in America. At this point, the suck is real low. But so is the level of reality.
It's a continuum.
What's fun is finding people along that continuum, and hearing what they say. Times have changed. Back in the day, if all you had was a handsomely bound, leather Italian writing journal and a quill pen, well, then that was what you used. Today, with web 2.0, email, phones and a general connectivity, the front is just there, over the hedge row. It's no secret that military personnel blog (don't ask, don't tell).
So two things.
One was this email exchange by a Marine, who, because he's anonymous, we'll call Stud. I'd brushed up against the "controversy" over the weekend, but found the full exchange on David Axe's most excellent Warisboring. Stud writes:
"God, I do love killing these bastards."
Now see, obviously, Stud is troubled. Probably something about a confused sexual relation with his Dad, inner feelings of insecurity, or a white boy's fear of the "other." Or probably not. Looks, god bless the Marines. They are nucking futs. If I get a DEPORD to invade hell, here's to hoping the Marines go in first. And they will.
Read the whole thing, as they say, and you don't find a blood thirsty maniac bent of notching up the so called 655,000 dead Iraqis a bit more. You find someone who, simply, found someone "who needed killing." Crazy Eddie.
Well, I swung up the contimuum a bit, and found this post at a NSFW site about CPT KJ, and officer blogging from Baghdad. For Glamour Magazine. First thing I thought, when her picture popped up was, um, yeah, "air force."
But she's on that continuum, and web 2.0 enabled. Flickr, a blog, and now the Glamour thing.
Fighting a different fight than Stud, but fighting nonetheless.
My whole thing is these voices from the front are varied, and getting louder. My one fear, is that they won't break through the noise at home.
What's it like, when someone tells you to have a nice day, you respond that you are....and then you get ignored.