Friday, October 28, 2005

Resurrection of The Tower





The Dark Tower series is possibly my favorite serial literature of all time. Written by Stephen King, its the story of Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, and his quest for the tower of the title. It's very different from what you'd perhaps expect of King. Though it has it's horrific moments, its more firmly rooted in fantasy.

Marvel comics is publishing a new Dark Tower story that'll come out as individual issues before being collected as a hardcover. According to AICN, it will focus on Roland's early days as a gunslinger, a kind of knight, and the last days of his homeland. If you've ever enjoyed a fantasy novel, a western, or King's novels in general you should give the series a try. The widely-circulated common wisdom that its best to start with the second book in the cycle (The Drawing of the Three) is probably correct. The first book, The Gunslinger, is dry and a little clunky, but King comes into his own in the Drawing, and it remains the second best novel in the series for me (bested only by Wizard and Glass, the fourth).

Check out that art. That's Jae Lee, doing what appears to be the finest work of his career. Yum.

(image courtesy of AICN)

You Cannot Make This Shit Up



The thought of eating human flesh always fascinated [Mark Nuckols], and years later when he was rereading an essay about cannibalism while eating a tofurkey sandwich, the thought occurred to him: why not try to approximate the taste of human flesh? Thus was born Hufu, a line of meatless products billed as "the healthy human flesh alternative."

In addition to the novelty and anthropological curiosity of Hufu, Nuckols says his human flesh alternative is just the thing to one-up that food snob friend who's always showing off at dinner parties with foie gras and tins of caviar.

-Metroactive Dining


If you attended a dinner party where the host/hostess sent platters of "healthy human flesh alternative" circling the room, would you fawn over Muffy's marvelous new discovery, or would you begin to search their opulent home for signs of ritual sacrifice and/or Satanism?

This is for real, believe it or not. You can visit the official company website HERE, and order your own supply of grisly faux-flesh, or simply read up on cannibalism. I'm fairly certain that this is the first step toward a Soylent Green society, and that Mark Nuckols is, in fact, the Anti-Christ ascendant. Inflammatory? What if I told you that Nuckols' next goal is to become an arms dealer?

The Hufu site seems to have a pretty good sense of humor about itself, which is nice to see. But perhaps I should point out something to those good people.....


YOU ARE SELLING THE EXPERIENCE OF EATING HUMAN FLESH.


Coming soon: life-sized, blood-filled flesh dolls to simulate the anthropological experience of raping and murdering a race/gender/ethnicity or your choice! Just kidding.

I think.

(story courtesy of the Daily Show)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pugnacious Fisticuffs!

My good friend Michael and I have been having a discussion on "Sullivan's Blogging's," my post from the other day. As I tend to think we're pretty entertaining (which probably means we aren't), I thought I'd encourage y'all to take a look at it.

Here's the original post, with our spirited confabulation appended below it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rosa Parks, thank you. Newspeople, Stop Exaggerating

Rosa Parks is overrated.

There. I've said it. God keep her, and may her family find strength in this difficult time. She was a courageous woman to have defied the law and her efforts on behalf of the civil rights movement were inspiring, admirable, and far more transformative than anything I've done in my own life.

That said, I think her lionization as presented by the media is tremendously disrespectful to the millions of other americans that have worked just as hard, and have suffered physical violence, emotional terror, and most horribly, death as a reward for their efforts.

The civil rights movement existed before Parks threw her proverbial hat into the ring, and despite the insistence of what seems to be every major news outlet, her refusal to give up her seat did not "create" the civil rights movement. In fact, several other people had done the same before her.

This is not to diminish Ms. Parks' contributions. I cannot stress that enough. But it is rewriting history to suggest that she was the "mother" of the movement, or that it might not have existed without her presence.

Read a little bit about Ms. Parks and her life HERE.

Mrs. Parks’ arrest was the precipitating factor rather than the cause of the protest. The cause lay deep in the record of similar injustices...Actually no one can understand the action of Mrs. Parks unless he realizes that eventually the cup of endurance runs over, and the human personality cries out, "I can take it no longer." - MLK

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Dude, That's Really Gay

From Time magazine's October 31st "Letters" page:

"I was very disappointed with Time's cover. I am so tired of people trying to force us all to accept homosexuality. It is really sad that you can't read a magazine, watch television or go to a movie without finding some sort of homosexual innuendo. What is the deal? Are there no longer any morals? At what point will America stand up and say, no more?" (emphasis added)
-Sandra Dymacek, Bowling Green, Ky.

"Homosexuality is a mistaken concept. Evil has become good, and good evil. We Americans are witnessing the moral death of our nation."
-Robert Hohner, Studio City, Ca.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Reverse Morse



Like The Flash and the Reverse-Flash, or Superman and Bizarro, Codemorse has a conservative doppleganger.

My team of crack underpaid researchers at the Codemorse Institute for Looking Up Random Sh*t (C.I.L.U.R.S.) have uncovered Morse's Code - "Conservative voice of reason".

That's very cool. It remains up to you, the reader, to decide which of us is a force for liberty, justice, mom, apple pie, and puppies; and which is the harbinger of dark forces beyond our comprehension.

(Yay, puppies!)

Sullivan's Bloggings

From Andrew Sullivan:
Who would want to be the president who gambled (in retrospect, correctly, of course) that Saddam was no WMD threat, and then discovered that some terrorist detonated a Saddam-linked chemical weapon in a major U.S. city? Do you think that president would now be popular? It's easy to know now, not so easy to have known for surethen. Scowcroft prides himself on always asking about the potential downside. Well, there wsa [sic] a pretty major potential downside of trusting Saddam Hussein in 2002. The question was never simply whether we knew the WMDs existed or not. The question was whether, without being able to know for sure, we could trust Saddam to keep such weapons away from terrorists. There's a realist case for the Iraq war: that the risks of inaction were too high, and that the threat posed by the entire region demanded a radical departure from the acquiescence to autocracy of the past. Scowcroft's hindsight is a little too easy. He should enjoy it while others deal with reality; and try to change the world for the better.
I often appreciate Sullivan's moderate conservative stance, but his assertions here are specious. Ignoring Sullivan's snarky end-sentence, let's deal with the meat of his argument, which is that there is, or was, a "realist case" for the Iraq war.
For a brief summary of the falsehoods propogated in the lead-up to the war, head over to "Ten Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq."

For a much more comprehensive detailing of the events and evidence, go to "Building the Case for a New War," which is decidely less partisan-seeming.

And with due respect to Sullivan's obvious intelligence, his comment regarding "
a radical departure from the acquiescence to autocracy of the past" is remarkably naive. Our acquiescence to autocracy continues unabated. Current autocrats Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong remain undeposed. Despite catalogued abuses of power, dangerously active weapons development and stockpiling, and sinfully poor treatment of their respective peoples, I doubt we'll be liberating those folks anytime soon.

High-and-lofty notions of democratic liberation aside, the war in Iraq was poorly justified, planned and executed. You don't need hindsight to see that.

But then, to be fair, I've always believed that the people of THIS country come first. I find the wasteful expenditure of monies on trying to build a democratic state in a region steeped in thousands of years worth of bloodshed, despots and kings to be misguided. And the continually shifting rationale for doing so is something I find intellectually insulting.

Here's where I show my sorta callous side. It's nice and well and good that maybe, in a hundred years, Iraq will have a functioning democracy. But frankly, I'm more concerned with problems closer to home. If we're willing to spend this kind of dinero on an ideological war in another country, shouldn't we be willing to spend some of it on the education of our own country's children?

It strikes me that it would be considerably less costly and, ultimately, beneficial to our economic standing and global relevance.


Teaser Trailer for Plamegate

Patrick Fitzgerald's DOJ site is up, and there's a healthy selection of official-looking, dry-as-bone documentation up on it.

Speculate your little hearts out.

Deoxyribonucleic Patent

Your Privatized DNA

A new study shows that 20 percent of human genes have been patented in the United States, primarily by private firms and universities.

Researchers can patent genes because they are potentially valuable research tools, useful in diagnostic tests or to discover and produce new drugs.

"It might come as a surprise to many people that in the U.S. patent system human DNA is treated like other natural chemical products," said Fiona Murray, a business and science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and a co-author of the study.

"An isolated DNA sequence can be patented in the same manner that a new medicine, purified from a plant, could be patented if an inventor identifies a [new] application."


Interesting stuff.

(courtesy of dailykos.com)

Food For Thought

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"What is written in the Law?" Jesus replied. "How do you read it?"
He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
But the expert wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

In reply Jesus said:
"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."

Jesus told him, "Go, and do likewise."