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Special weekend report: arms race intensifies

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Saturday, June 30, 2007; 4:59 PM

GLASGOW, Scotland – In a new and worrying development in the arms race between Islamic radicals and the West, a hitherto unknown weapon was unleashed today at Glasgow Airport, the Weasel Times has learned.

A source in the British military, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the device as “some kind of sophisticated incendiary bomb. Self-propelled. Precision guided. Bipedal.”

The device apparently detonated prematurely, setting fire to the Lifestyles magazine rack and part of the self-help section at WH Smith. “Who knows what would have happened if this thing had kept going,” one witness remarked, “it weaved around a little, but, man, it was really going up good.” Fire crews are on the scene.

“We’re completely stymied,” the military spokesman continued, “This level of technical sophistication is simply unknown to us in the West. It’s a totally new class of munition.”

“God help us all,” he added.

June 30, 2007 — 4:08 pm
Comments: 108

Last Friday in June

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June 29, 2007 — 5:06 pm
Comments: 45

The agony of the bureaucrat

This hit my inbox this afternoon:

As announced in a recent [employee newsletter], the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which requires employers such as [DullGrayCorporation International] to report each employee’s ethnicity and race, has changed the way this data is collected. Up until now, human resources staff made a visual identification; [wait, you were just EYEBALLING us?!] now, employees may self-identify [that's better. I want to be a Balinese princess].

Self-identification is voluntary [whew!]. Refusal to provide this information will not result in any adverse treatment. However, [DullGrayCorporation International] is subject to certain governmental recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the administration of civil rights laws and regulations [I get it. Fewer WASPs, more wogs, please]. In the event an employee chooses not to self-identify, human resources will make a visual identification [will there be a lineup?].

Information that is provided will be kept confidential and will only be used in accordance with the provisions of applicable laws, executive orders and regulations, including those that require the information to be summarized and reported to the federal government for civil rights enforcement. When reported, data will not identify any specific individual.

If you wish to self-identify your race and ethnicity, please complete your selection by [coupla weeks].

And, no, I’m not going to self-identify as something exotic just to screw with them. My lifestyle of afterhours sloth and profligacy is dependent on this crummy job, thenk yew.

I actually feel for HR on this one. They try to recruit ethnics, they really do. This is a research and engineering firm — women and black people aren’t exactly drawn to engineering careers. I was going to say “minorities,” but of course the Research Division is the United Fricking Nations up in there. We need an Affirmative Action program just to squeeze a few white American guys into the labs.

At one time, our building had a single person of color, a female secretary. She finally begged the Art Department to leave her alone. We were using her in so many corporate photo shoots, we were wearing her down.

— 4:15 pm
Comments: 16

Mine

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Ace is asking for submissions. I know there’s an automatic generator out there, but no time to find it.

Update: aha! Here’s the automatic generator! Thanks to ConservativeBelle.

June 28, 2007 — 1:50 pm
Comments: 29

Bringing the worst of art to the widest of audiences

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How is it one seldom takes advantage of the cultural attractions in one’s own back yard? I’ve worked around the corner from the Museum of Bad Art since its creation in 1994, and I have yet to visit.

Perhaps it’s because the museum is located in the basement of the Dedham Community Center, next to the men’s room. Not open during my lunch hour. Okay, lunch half hour. You wormed that out of me!

Perhaps it’s because so much of the collection is available for viewing online, with thoughtful captions and useful histories.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “how is this artwork any worse than all that awful modern crap that sells for thousands and is celebrated by millions, like just about anything in the collection at the Hirshhorn?” See? I don’t have to take the cheap and obvious shot; my cheap and obvious readers are thinking it anyway.

Give their website a browse (MOBA, not the Hirshhorn. Yuck, man). It’s more compelling than you think. Because I know what you think. Remember?

June 27, 2007 — 10:15 am
Comments: 13

Coming up for air…

We’re having a major housecleaning at Casa del Weasel. That chair I moved yesterday? (Toe’s okay, thanks). I was getting at a great pile of magazines I knew was lurking behind.

I’ve just gone through and sorted them into piles. It was almost perfectly one third pre-Code horror comics (reproductions mostly), one third gun magazines and catalogs, and one third Teletubbies publications.

If I’m ever suspected of anything serious enough to evoke a search warrant, I’m screwed. They won’t know what they’ve got on their hands, but
they’ll know whatever it is belongs in prison for a long, long time.

June 26, 2007 — 5:34 pm
Comments: 14

Monday dog’s breakfast

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Dog’s breakfast. I’ve always loved that expression. It’s a Britishism for ‘mess’, but it conveys a cheerful appreciation of assorted vilenesses. Like a Whitman’s sampler of rotting garbage. I imagine Queenie loping through the neighborhood, going, “ooo! A delicious dead squirrel’s bottom! And — oh look! Fresh cat shit!”

Anyhow, here’s some carrion. Enjoy!

Uncle Badger introduced me to the vehicle above, the Mazda Bongo Friendee. Okay, I’m not sure that one’s a Friendee (a subspecies of the Bongo line), but as “Mazda Bongo Friendee” is the gayest car name ever, I’m running with it. It came out in 1966 (I didn’t know there was a Mazda in 1966!) and is sold in the States as the Ford Econovan.

magoostattoo.jpgGnus called my attention to this image (detail at right) and wondered if a minion we know might be moonlighting. Since McGoo isn’t here to defend himself, I figured now was a good time to post it.

The whole site is worth clicking around. Some pretty pictures. Some strange pictures. Some mildly pornographic ones. All in Portuguese, for extra added WTF?!

Bloody Mess

Half an hour ago, I was moving a chair to clean behind it, and I caught the leg against my right big toenail, tearing it half away. What a bloody mess. And by “bloody mess” I don’t mean, “I say, Rupert, this New Delhi business is a bit of a bloody mess, eh wot?” I mean, “Oh fucking hell! Blood! Everywhere! What a mess!”

See? Cleaning is unnatural.

I don’t appear to own any bandaids. I used to. What happened? I’m thinking of putting a strip of duct tape around it, but the idea of tearing it off again gives me the vapors. The nail is going to go, but I’d like to see it go gently into that dark night.

The really rotten part? I was stone cold sober. I mean, then. Not now. Certainly not now.

Finally, Dawn thinks “amok” deserves its own thread. It’s pretty interesting, I admit. I did not know this:

Running amok, sometimes referred to as simply amok (also spelled amuck or amuk), is derived from the Malay word mengamuk, meaning “to go mad with rage” (uncontrollable rage). In typical cases of running amok, someone, although having shown no previous sign of anger and/or any inclination to resort to violence, will acquire a weapon and in a sudden frenzy will attempt to kill or seriously injure everyone they meet. Amok episodes of this kind normally end with the amok-runner being killed by bystanders.

[...]

The explanation which is now most widely accepted is that amok is closely related to male honor (amok by women is virtually unknown). In many cases where the background of the amok-runner is known, there seems to have been some element of deep shame which prevented the man from living honorably, as he saw it, in his own society. Running amok was both a way of escaping the world (since perpetrators were normally killed) and re-establishing one’s reputation as a man to be feared and respected. Some observers have related this explanation to Islam’s ban on suicide, which, it is suggested, drove Malay men to create circumstances in which others would kill them. Evidence for this explanation is that the incidence of amok seems to be less where amok runners are captured and tried, rather than being beaten to death on the spot.

So it’s basically Islamic suicide by cop.

What worries me is why Dawn wants a whole thread to talk about it. I’m thinking…cry for help. Then I’m thinking, “hey, I don’t live anywhere near this woman. What do I care?”

I’m practicing my [cyber]neighbor-of-the-perp speech: “No, I’m shocked. Absolutely shocked. She was a quiet woman, kept to herself. None of us knew her all that well. Still, we never expected anything like this.”

Ow. Here comes the toe hurty.

June 25, 2007 — 5:42 pm
Comments: 34

gdbye crl wrld

Denmark:

A recent change in inheritance legislation will allow people who are dying due to an accident or other emergency to compose their will on a mobile phone, send it by e-mail or leave a voice message, reported MetroXpress newspaper.

Current regulations require that an emergency will must be written by hand or told to two witnesses in order for it to be valid. Relaxing the requirements is intended as a way to make it easier for the dying to ensure that their estate goes to the proper heir.

beeeeeep Hello. I’m not home at the moment, but sweet Jesus
I’m going to die!!!!

— 5:20 am
Comments: 18

Friday again?

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Did I make my deadline? Oh, yes. I did. But I’ve got to hit one just like it every Friday for the next umpty-ump weeks. And this was a small one.

So screw me, really.

June 22, 2007 — 11:25 pm
Comments: 69

Opens today

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Getting some good reviews.

I missed the whole contemporary horror/comedy thing (though I have Shaun of the Dead lying around upstairs somewhere waiting to be watched). Problem is, I’ve seen so few horror movies in the last twenty years, I don’t think I’d get half the jokes.

Still, it seems pretty unlikely I’d miss the punchline of this one, doesn’t it?

Thanks for the wecommendation, Wabbit. (Heyyyy, you’ve got an URRRRL again. You want some link, or are you traveling incognito? Which I think is Portuguese for “bombed out of your skull…”?).

 

 

 

— 4:51 pm
Comments: 38