Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Quantum Leap in Lowering Standards

Normally, when people talk about the way things "used to be," it's in reference to something at least 10 years in the past. "In my day, we wouldn't dream of showing our midriff." Or, "Twenty years ago, we hadn't even heard of those things."

Today, we may speak in those same terms. Except that now, we're referring to the last 2-5 years. I think we're witnessing a quantum leap downward in standards of decency.

What got me thinking about this is the whole Britney Spears thing. I'm not one to peddle prurience, but if you're in any way connected to any media outlet, you know that Britney has been photographed multiple times sans underwear.

That in itself, in my opinion, is far from newsworthy. In fact, have deep disrespect for those who produce and distribute such pathetic gossip. But several factors reveal that this is more than a story. It's a symptom of an even steeper slide into the moral morass.

1) Britney isn't the first celebrity to be photographed going commando, though she's likely the most famous – claiming legions of millennials who see her actions and accept them as a new standard.

2) If you and I are at least minimally aware of her knickerless notoriety, then surely the pop princess is informed of her exposure. Heck, Rosie O'Donnell made an appeal on the View to please cover up. Does that matter to Britney? Apparently not, which implies a conscious decision to let it "air out" in full view of the world.

3) The nature of the blogosphere exalts this behavior, giving it voice where even five years ago it wouldn't be seen by more than a handful of perverts. Thanks to today's instantly available celebrity gossip, depravity is given coverage, discussion and, ultimately, acceptance.

I'm sure that going commando is nothing new. But broadcasting it is. Britney is a pioneer of sorts. She's blazing new trails into the jungles of depravity. And likely starting a fashion trend in the process. I predict that five years from now, panties will be passe. And in the warmer climates (which, as everyone knows, will be everywhere), there will be new trendsetters getting chewed out by Rosie for not wearing pants. Just you wait and see.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Get Thee Hence, Blackheads!

Now You Can Encrypt Like the Pros!

I stumbled across a cool little encryption applet that scrambles messages using a keyword. As long as you know the key, you can unscramble the message. Great for telling secrets!

Give it a try.

Decrypt this!



Monday, November 27, 2006

Macs and Monkeys

Just let me vent for a second.

That's what I got when I pasted plain text into an iChat window.

A Mac understands fonts like a chimp understands hydrodynamics.

And a friend of mine suggests that I'm not being fair to chimps. Good point.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Putting Your Money Where Your Politics Are

Ah, we have definitive proof. It's something I've suspected for years and years, but it seems that it has been a conclusion too politically incorrect to study. Until now.

Read this excellent article about a study that shows that conservatives are more generous than their sweet-talking liberal counterparts. Which of course is hypocritical, considering that for decades liberals have labeled conservatives as less compassionate, less caring, less giving.

Looks like the only care that liberals have is to provide for the needy on someone else's dollar. And then take credit for it.

I guess they need the money for their expensive iPods and Apple hardware. Because being cool is more important than being genuine.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

We get who we deserve.

We get who we deserve.
Originally uploaded by Senor Velasco.
I can't help but think this is the conversation taking place around the country right now.

Be Very Afraid.

Well, we've suffered a blow to winning the War on Terrorism. In 2007, Nancy Pelosi and her clown posse will seize control of the House and turn national attention away from the most critical issue of our era. Republicans blew it, thanks to moderates and sellouts who abandoned their ideals and betrayed the people who put them into office. My only hope is that in the next two years, the party will slough off the chaff and come back stronger than before, ready to redeem itself. Meanwhile, President Bush needs all the help he can get to keep his prosecution of the war on track.

Next stop, Mitt Romney in '08!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Orson Scott Card: Sci-Fi and Politics

I stumbled across a very long, quite thorough and exceedingly well written essay from Orson Scott Card – one of my favorite sci-fi authors. His political leanings seem to be well to the left of mine, but he's voting Republican. All based on our chances of winning the War on Terrorism.

For Mr. Card, that's the only issue that matters in this election. Because if we lose this war, we risk losing our rights to just about everything else we hold dear. He contends that the Republicans are the only party who have shown any tenacity in pursuing and demolishing the roots of Islamofascism. And I would agree.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Apple Zealots Are Borderline Psychotic

Originally uploaded by *nathan.
A word of advice: never post a comment critical of any Apple product on a forum full of Mac zealots. If you're not careful, they chop you up into little bits and make a delicious you-flavored casserole.

It's obvious I'm no Apple fan. Never have been. And I speak from years and years of personal experience with Macs. In fact, my industry uses them almost exclusively.

But that's beside my point, which is that Mac zealots are lunatics. Who else devotes entire websites to "unboxing" photos of new Mac merchandise? Who else puts little computer logo stickers on their car? Who else HAS to upgrade to the latest little brushed aluminum piece of poop that Apple says you need to maintain your mojo?

Don't believe me? Just check out this single flickr group devoted to sharing pictures of Apple products. Reading the comments, you'd think you were reading about the cure for cancer or an Adriana Lima bikini photoshoot. And there are countless forums like this.

So when I post a less-than-complimentary comment about the iPod on a flickr page, the responses were immediate and personal. I kept my rhetoric in check, so I didn't get totally flamed out, but these Mac zealots take their iPod very personally. An attack on the iPod is an attack on them, plain and simple.

Anyway, I'm rambling. FYI, I'm typing this on a Mac. Woe is me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Help, John Kerry!

This is the funniest picture I've seen in a long time. Hooroar!
(Taken from Drudge.)