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Toxic retardedness

ragged dick

Have you read Horatio Alger? He’s a lightweight, pleasant read, in the way of so much Victorian popular fiction. Good people thrive, bad people get smoted and not too too much drama along the way (not like that hot-headed Mister Dickens and his plot devices).

Horatio Alger stories are often described as “rags to riches” stories. It would be more accurate to describe them as “rags to middleclassness” stories. Here’s the plot to every one of them: be honest, cheerful, helpful, thrifty, don’t drink, work hard, look after your mom and you will prosper in America.

It’s satisfying because it’s true.

Add “don’t have any babies you can’t afford” — new for 2008! — and it still works today.

That’s the only part of Pastor Jeremiah Wright‘s sermonizing that really shocked me. All that frankly retarded stuff about the CIA engineering the AIDS virus to bring down the Twin Towers in Pearl Harbor…eh. Heard it before. But I had no idea anybody other than Goth teenagers and hardcore Marxists were arguing against middleclassness.

PEOPLE! One in a million of us, through some combination of good luck and natural gifts, will become rich. The rest of us get to choose between poverty and middleclassness. I’ve sampled both; I recommend the latter.

Apparently, another document at the Trinity United Church of Christ website clarifies: it’s okay to pursue middle-incomeness. Middle-classness is

Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of “we” and “they” instead of “us”.

I’m not sure what this means. Even if you prosper, don’t you dare be happy? If you work hard and succeed, don’t start thinking you’re better than people who don’t? No matter how far you go and how well you do, you have more in common with ghetto blacks than white people in your tax bracket?

Hey, you stay bitter, now! Is that it? How far is that going to get you?

Happily — judging from my neighborhood, which is mostly composed of upwardly mobile immigrants in many shades of mocha latte — most people come to America to chase middle-classness with everything they’ve got. They take real good care of their lawns and are unfailingly polite to the nice white lady on the corner.

Yeah, that would be me.


Did you know Horatio Alger, Jr lost his first post as a Unitarian minister for diddling teenage boys? He wriggled out of it and was never accused again…whatever that actually means. That explains why there are no women (except mothers) in his little stories. Puts a different light on the Ragged Dick Series, don’t it?

You can read Alger for free, thanks to Project Gutenberg, and it’s lots more fun than doing your job. Take it from a weasel.

sock it to me

March 20, 2008 — 2:16 pm
Comments: 47

Somebody here order a nightmare?

marsupial.jpg

What you get when you do a Google Images search for “marsupial.” Her full name is “marsupial in pickle jar.” No link — it’s from the Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Ecology Club Home Page; them chilrun don’t be needing a weaselanche.

The Floor Guys are coming in an hour to belt sand and polyurethane Weasel Towers. My ever narrowing circle of territory is now going to consist of precisely one room, in the basement. And there I shall dwell all my days and be queen unto them and I shall rule them benevolently, with a wise hand, firm and fair.

I’m so screwed.

I’ll be offline at home — I’ve got to unplug everything and get it out of their way — but I’ll still have access at work, so you won’t miss one thrilling moment of the bitchin’ and whinin’ and generally actin’ like nobody else ever had to move house before.

Just call me Marsupial in Pickle Jar.

sock it to me

March 19, 2008 — 8:34 am
Comments: 42

The doctor called. Your purity test came back…

moral matrix

Purity test. Feh. I could live without hearing that phrase again. Oooo…conservatives are applying purity tests. How intolerant, priggish, stubborn, unreasonable. Is that a niff of Church Lady I smell? Bullshit. Bullshit tactics worthy of a liberal.

Look, most of us depart in some way from conservative orthodoxy. But because conservatism is a structure built on ideas, where we dissent, we have to explain. How can the platform can stand with a plank removed? People who pick and choose issues randomly without regard to the underlying ideas — à la carte Republicans — can fairly be suspected of not having a fucking clue what they believe.

Take abortion. Not one of ‘my’ issues, really, but it’s a good illustration. I think we’d all agree that the central problem is when does a fetus become a human being? — with the right putting the blessed event more toward the whoopee end of the process and the left more toward the owee end.

Would that be fair? Once it’s a people, you can’t kill it; until then, you’ve got some leeway, right?

So whichever way you come down on this one, you would logically come down the same way on the fetal stem cell question, no? Well, not necessarily. I can imagine ways to justify being, say, anti-abortion and pro-fetal stem cell research.

Pretty good reasoning: embryos for research are taken early, before I believe they constitute a human. Abortion, on the other hand, is still legal too late in the process.

Okay reasoning: I don’t think the fetus is a person, but I believe abortion is harmful to women psychologically and should be outlawed on that basis.

Bad, morally confused reasoning: fetal stem cell research “has helped make progress against Parkinson’s disease.” He added, “I’d like to have less intensity on this issue.”

So, there you have it! Murder, not murder. Whatevs. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.

sock it to me

March 18, 2008 — 12:06 pm
Comments: 43

If you keep picking at that thing, it’s going to leave a scar

atac

So I started off this morning with a post about nondestructive testing — you know, where you slather a special dye on cast metal and shine a blacklight on it and any flaws or cracks fluoresce. I had this whole political metaphor going about how McCain was the dye and the Republican coalition was the machine and…oh, trust me, it was working. Then IE hiccuped and I lost the whole thing.

When I went to retrace my steps, I got totally distracted. First I ran across this article about the nondestructive testing that was done on the Liberty Bell after this nutcase walked up behind it and began whaling on it with a sledgehammer (remember that? I didn’t). That brought me to this cool site about the Liberty Bell, which is where I ran into these people. The ATAC people, from the graphic.

Oh, it’s okay. The “Avenging” doesn’t appear to involve smiting of any kind. The group wants to ensure any monuments commemorating the President’s House in Philadelphia are constructed employing sufficient persons of African heritage and that it is officially noted that Washington kept slaves there. The usual shakedown, in other words.

Which is why “avenging” is such a jarring choice of words, with its hint of violence — or punishment, anyway. And their position paper:

ATAC requires the commemorative project because justice demands it. Justice demands it because our ancestors as forced laborers transformed America into the economic world power that it remains today, because our ancestors died for America in all of its wars, and because our ancestors had their freedom, culture, family, language, land, religion, name, and often their sanity, limbs, and even lives ruthlessly stripped from them for three centuries by America (and other European-initiated slave trading countries) in a manner unlike anything ever experienced in the history of humankind. ATAC also requires the commemorative project because it an essential step toward telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about American history.

Jesus! Can we turn up the AC a couple of notches? Slavery is a shameful blot on America’s founding — and we took to it embarassingly close to modern times — but it was hardly “unlike anything ever experienced in the history of humankind.” As historical atrocities go, US slavery was middlin’ atrocious.

Has this ahistorical sense of unique grievance been simmering out there all along? Am I just becoming aware of it on account of Obama’s racial two-step? Being a white girl from Tennessee, I reeeeally don’t like to talk about race, but maybe white cringe is partly how we got here.

This is not headed anyplace good.

sock it to me

March 17, 2008 — 2:02 pm
Comments: 83

Because Weasel hearts you very much

weasel hearts minions

And because Weasel hearts every damn one of you, and because you apparently cannot type three words without making some goofy-ass typo, I have removed comment preview and added comment edit.

This necessitated upgrading my WordPress installation to accomodate the Ajax edit comments plugin — a terrifying hour by dawn’s early light. My FTP client shit the bed after I’d already biffed my old install, so I panicked and uploaded each of the several hundred necessary files individually, during which time my database threw up on itself and my blog collapsed in a blubbering heap. Oh, it was like the emergency ward at Our Lady de los Casos Desesperados on a Saturday night.

So, we’ll see how this shakes out. If I missed a file or this plugin misbehaves, we could have intermittent weird shit and occasional wobblies.

Truly, greater heart hath no stoat.

UPDATE: It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s that I’m too stupid to get the plug-in to work. I’ve nearly deep-sixed the blog (twice!) trying to fix it. So I’ve re-enabled preview, and I’ll leave edit in place in its current non-functioning mode for now, while I attempt to break the blog for reals.

UPDATE: Got it! Thanks to some direct help from the plug-in’s author, Ronald Huereca. Damn right I hit his tip-jar this morning! Now to tinker with the colors ‘n’ stuff. I tol you people I hearted you!

I finally remembered: I saw this at Steve‘s, I heard about it from Mike who heard about it from Hazel. I think I’ve got everything tweaked to my satisfaction. Suggestions welcome. I mean, I’ll probably blow it off and make fun of you behind your back, but go ahead — suggest something.

sock it to me

March 15, 2008 — 8:36 am
Comments: 217

Some days, I am just SO proud

flying saucer houseFlying saucer house for sale in Chattanooga. Only $100,000 on eBay.

Built in 1970 to resemble a flying saucer preparing for liftoff, it has three bedrooms, two baths, a pushbutton retractable staircase and oodles of charm. Charm. That’s the word, right?

The current owner has only had it four months and won’t say why he’s turning it (right into the teeth of the worst property market evah). I can guess. Can you imagine trying to wedge Grandma’s oak china cabinet into that thing?

And I thought I had real estate woes. Actually, I do have real estate woes: I’ve been living in my own basement for a week and I’ve just discovered my electrical box is sitting in an inch of rusty water.

Still, it could be worse. It could be THIS.

sock it to me

March 14, 2008 — 11:00 am
Comments: 35

I did not know that

It doesn’t quite line up with what one may hear from Amnesty International and its ilk, but in fact there is a long line of people waiting to get into Gitmo. The U.S. Coast Guard reportedly intercepts some 600 refugees, not all of them from Cuba, in the sea around the base every month. Gitmo itself houses around 30 migrants at any given time.

Jacob Laksin The American Spectator

sock it to me

— 8:12 am
Comments: none

An idea…

Sinistar over at Double Plus Undead has run a few link roundups from the shallow end of the moronosphere lately. I think when he does that, we all ought to link back to him and see if we can get a feedback loop going.

I would be so cool if we could make the whole blogosphere emit a
high-pitched, keening wail.

sock it to me

— 7:11 am
Comments: 5

Peace at last

diane wildenstein

Alec Wildenstein died last month. He was the husband of famous side-show freak Jocelyn Wildenstein AKA the Bride of Wildenstein AKA the Tiger Lady.

The Wildenstein family is worth about $10 billion, give or take a billion, acquired through several generations of shady art trading. The bulk of their collection is hidden in a former nuclear bunker in upstate New York. A French art critic was once allowed in and reported that it contained “a Fra Angelico, two Botticellis, eight Rembrandts, as many Rubens, three rare Velázquezes, nine El Grecos, five Tintorettos . . . four Titians, 12 Poussins and 79 Fragonards”. Shoot, I didn’t know there were 79 Fragonards.

Alec and Jocelyn were married in 1978, within a year of their first meeting, at a lion hunt. (That thing I just did there? That’s called ‘foreshadowing’). They had a reasonably successful marriage for a reasonably long time…for insanely rich people. Most of their time was spent at their 66,000-acre estate in Kenya. After about twenty years, however, Alec got de restless leg syndrome.

Jocelyn had a few facial tuneups, which staved off the inevitable for a while. Until the day she came home unexpectedly to find him in bed with a 19-year-old Russian model. He pulled a gun and everyone got arrested. Alec closed Jocelyn’s bank accounts next day and instructed the staff not to feed her — which was a problem, she said later, as she did not know how to make toast. The judge awarded her millions, and recommended she use some of it to buy a microwave. I don’t think a microwave makes very good toast.

Back she goes to the cosmetic surgeon. If looking good won’t do it, how about if he transformed her into one of Alec’s beloved big cats?

Ow. No.

Shock, horror…bitter divorce…more surgery…blah blah blah. They did eventually get back together in 2000, at least for a while. Despite her face and everything. There must’ve been something to their marriage beyond joint custody of the monkey.

Anyhow, prostate cancer got him in February. Rest in peace.

I hope she’s learned to make toast. I hope she stops doing that to herself. You, get yourself over to AwfulPlasticSurgery.com and spend an afternoon contemplating the face your mama gave you.

sock it to me

March 13, 2008 — 2:12 pm
Comments: 22

Platinum by Christmas!

blue danube

Exclusive! The Weasel Times has obtained this beautiful short audio sample from the Katzenhuffins’ upcoming album:


     

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Or click here to download. You’ll want to save this one and enjoy it with headphones!

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March 12, 2008 — 8:12 am
Comments: 44