December 31, 2002
It's Acutely Gastoenteriffic!

Well, I'm ringing in the New Year with acute gastroenteritus. I don't recommend it. I spent Sunday at the hospital getting an freezing IV of liquid and nausea medication normally reserved for chemotherapy patients. Lucky!

The IV was because I was like, really dehydrated. Kathy still thinks it's funny that my main motivation in going to the hospital was getting an IV. But let me tell you, when you haven't had water in over 20 hours (or at least, you've lost all the water from up to 20 hours ago), and your mouth and throat are totally dry, and your lips are cracking--trust me: an IV is the way to go. They put like a litre of water right back into me, and there was no danger of it making me nauseous like if I drank it.

Win-win, in my opinion.

That's enough about me, back to my toast. Mmmm! Toast!

Happy New Year!

Posted by illovich at 07:03 PM
December 20, 2002
fusion is confusion

There was a funny little idea in the op/ed piece Hold Your Nose and Negotiate [registration required] today, regarding the current mess of a situation with North Korea...

All our options regarding North Korea are hideous, and those responsible for making policy on North Korea must have committed mortal sins in previous lives for God to torture them so. - Nicholas D. Kristof
It's funny how the postmodern condition creeps in when you aren't looking isn't it? Or just not paying attention... or maybe it's a celtic christian thing that sort of dimly remembers reincarnation instead of the one way ticket to an eternal afterlife. I dunno.

Score 1 for the multiplicity of metanarratives team.

Posted by illovich at 12:26 PM
December 18, 2002
everquest for christians

I took a gander at a review of Everquest from Christian Spotlight which is a subzine of Christian Answers Network. The CAN is apparently a fundamentalist group, non-denominational and would like you to contribute $15/month to support their website.

I was suprised at how much they didn't mind about Everquest. The reviewer seemed pleased at the relative lack of graphic violence, and even the innate polytheism of the game didn't seem to bother him too much... although, it did lead him to make an interesting comment:

The dieties go from worshippers of life, tranquility and justice, to disease pestilence and chaos. One can also choose to remain agnostic, which from a Christian perspective would be the easiest choice.
Personally I would choose to worship The Nameless, who I agree with others is clearly meant to be an EQ version of the monotheist Tri-God (YHWH/Jehovah, Christ, Allah).

The reviewer also said they played a monk, who are healers, because they don't use magic. It's true they don't have magical powers (spells, anyway), but they aren't healers either.

And then my favorite part:

On the plus side. "Everquest" is a great place to preach the gospel. A simple zone wide chat message will attract many to ask questions about Jesus, or about Christianity.
ARRRGH! It's that guy who's always spamming then incoherent gospel crap in GFay! I respect the right to religion and all--but damn that gospel guy in GFay is annoying. In my experience he generally only seems to have read the Gospel of John--which annoys me because Mark is much better.

But back to Christian Spotlight. The review is much fairer than I would have expected from a fundamentalist publication what with the polytheism and violence and magic, but violence doesn't seem to bother the editorial staff at Christian Spotlight... of course their reviews are sort of weird too... take for example their review of Jedi Knight II: Outcast, which received ratings of [4/5, 4/5. 3/5 and 5/5] from them....pretty good scores, right? except the review concludes with

Overall "Jedi Knight 2: Outcast" will leave you feeling cheated and robbed of your money. But there are a few elements worth checking out, so it's your call. Don't say you haven't been warned.
I'm not sure if I should /shrug or say "WTF?"

Posted by illovich at 01:17 PM
ann coulter is #1!

I would like to be the first to congratulate Ann Coulter on being named #1 of the 50 Most Loathsome People in America by The Beast. I'm sure it was difficult for her to beat out such luminaries as Lynne Cheney, Joe Lieberman, David Horowitz, William Rehnquist, Ari Fleischer, Eminem, Karl Rove and Bono...but I truly believe she deserved every word of her award.

Goebbels with tits indeed.

Congratulations Ann!

Posted by illovich at 12:38 PM
December 17, 2002
now that's what I'm talking about

All I can say is, at least her handlers are now allowing Barbie to give the public what they've always wanted.

It reminds me of a scenario that unsettled me as a little boy, and then truly disturbed me as an adult. I was playing barbies with a neighborhood girl (her Barbies, I swear... I only had manly G*I*Joe dolls-er, action figures). We'll call her Jenny to protect the (perhaps not-so) innocent:

Jenny [fussying with Barbie dreamhouse] : "Ok let's have Barbie and Ken go upstairs."

Me: "Ok."

Jenny: [removing Barbies clothes] "Ok, Ken, let's go to bed, it's been a long day and I'm tired"

Me: "Ok." [I put Ken into the bed]

Jenny: "No, you have to take Ken's clothes off"

Me: "Ok." [I do, and then put Ken into the bed]

Jenny: [puts Barbie into the bed] "Mmm, Ken why don't you get on top off me and kiss me?"

Me: "Ok!" [I comply, we giggle and make kissy noises in what must have been a slightly unnerving parody of cartoon romantic scenes]

Jenny: "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE" [Jenny has produced another male doll and has him pounding on the bedrrom door]

Me: .....

Jenny: [in a husky voice] "Barbie, what are you doing in there? Is there another man in there with you? You come out of there right now, I'm going to beat the hell out of both of you!"

Me: "Why is he here?"

Jenny: "That's Barbies husband, silly."

It went on from there...I don't recall exactly how it ended. The memory is a bit painful still. Later I always wondered if that was a reinactment from TV or real life... oh well. I'm sure she's fine now.

And I'm fine too, know.

Posted by illovich at 09:40 AM
December 14, 2002
blessed are the peace keepers

I guess I got my first inkling (and desire for) G*I*Joe as the Vietnam war conflict was weraing down, and they were pretty much gone by the time the Star Wars action figure revolution occured.

It wasn't until Reagan took office that good 'ol Joe was resurrected in action figure size...I always loved having G*I*Joe and the Rebel Alliance take on the Lego Empire fantasy sessions in my playroom...I guess I should be happy now that kids have the option of choosing the Peace Keepers as their own childhood heroes.

Except that each Peace Keeper seems to come with a lot more guns than my entire G*I*Joe army had when I was a kid... and there only seems to be one solider.

I guess that's valid. Soliders are supposed to be essentially faceless and interchangeable. Might as well teach the future "peacekeepers" the deal from the start, so they don't get any ideas about their future individualism as an Army of One.

I won't even start on the doublespeak jokes.

Posted by illovich at 05:08 PM
December 13, 2002
traitors-in-chief (special reprint edition)

An interesting thread appeared recently in the writings of some conservative bloggers regarding their perception of irony that former US President Jimmy Carter had received the Nobel Prize for Peace (I wonder if they feel the same irony for Henk Kissenger's Nobel Prize, but that's another story). One blogger, the so-called Greatest Jeneration called for his summary execution because of his treasonous diplomacy. I was particularly taken by her obvious contempt of southerners belied by her clumsy attempts at a written hilbilly dialect. Scrumptious.

My guess is she's going for the "dumber than Ann Coulter radical right feminazi" thing... not sure, her ranting is too painful to read without providing a good enough humor payoff. So I stopped reading.

Anyway, I actually found out about it through The Eleven Day Empire, another conservative blogger who seems to, in general, have his head connected to his spleen a bit better than some others I've read. I found his site doing a bit of research about my friend and yours, Trent Lott.

One exception to my favorable opinion of this site is the following comment on Jeneration's proposal of Carter's execution:

You know what? Given Carter's support of anti-American governments, as well as terrorist murderer Yasser Arafat (a man who we know personally ordered the killing of American diplomats back in his PLO days), whom he also did a bit of speechwriting and PR work for, I think a legitimate argument could be made that he has in fact committed treason. I don't think that's so far-fetched at all.
-- Posted by: James DiBenedetto on December 10, 2002 11:40 PM
My response to this is reprinted below, because I can't believe people want to execute Jimmy Carter!!!

Before we start putting a blindfold on Mr. Carter and handing out the cigarettes, perhaps we could begin with Mr. Reagan and his cabinet? If I recall correctly, there is much evidence suggesting that Mr. Regan and his people "promised arms and money to Iran to delay release of 52 American hostages until after the Nov. 4, 1980 presidential election."

The so-called "October Suprise" and the Reagan Administration's subsequent arms dealing to Iran (let's forget the Contra part for this discussion... different piece of the big picture) are in my mind the greatest act of treason by governmental officials. Not to mention that it broke my heart... I remember wanting Reagan to be President because I believed the fluff that he would be tough on Iran-- I was so angry about the hostages. When I found out about the backroom arms deals (Arming our enemies? Were they crazy? the answer is probably: no, just greedy) [sic -- apparently I forgot to finish this sentence, lol.]

So if you want to execute President Carter for attempting to use diplomacy to encourage democracy, please only after we've done justice by the flag-draped traitors Reagan (too late, probably), Bush Sr., North, Poindexter,

At least demand that Bush Jr. release Reagan's Presidential papers--after all we have a right to know what really happened, don't we? Even if it ends up indicting Bush Sr. and a lot of Jr's cronies?

So there you have it. My opinion of the order in which we should execute former Traitors-in-Chief. Well... I might have one or two more to throw in before we got to Mr. Carter, if we get all "French Terror" up in the face of the gub'mint.

Posted by illovich at 06:36 PM
December 12, 2002
Clish-ma-clashin' wi' Daddy Cloot

If you've never perused McSweeney's Internet Tendency, I would recommend this list of Actual Entries from the Scots Dialect Dictionary or this list of Bits of Conversation Overheard at My Neighborhood's Swimming Pool.

Yes, I am desperately posting to make up for two weeks of nothing.

Posted by illovich at 12:38 PM
d00d! OMFG! WTF?!?!?

All I can say is: wow. The whole Trent Lott thing got me checking out the Councill of Conservative Citizens website, and I found this awesome article on their website.

The burden of slavery will probably never be lifted from the white man. And yet, the real shame of slavery is that Africans were ever brought to America in the first place.
All I can say is: wow.

These guys are really not casually racist. In the event that you weren't clear, these guys are full-on-no-holds-barred-in-your-face-we-are-wackos-from-hell racists. These are the white collar good-ole-boys that give financial and material support to the KKK, these are the guys that looked the other way when it cam time to investigate a lynching, who gave the wink-wink to the Sherrif that gave the mob the key to the jail.

This organization is the enemy of any one who values the idea of equaliy and civil rights.

And aparently Trent Lott and Bob Barr are honorary members.

Posted by illovich at 11:48 AM
Fire Trent Lott

While we're still paging through the New York Times, let's consider the proposal to Fire Trent Lott from the Op/Ed section.

I would suggest that the Rebublican party do it. There's a lot of racists in the Republican party (and the Democratic party too, but they apparently choose their words a bit more carefully), and every body knows it.

Mr. Lott's record, from his 20 year stretch of endorsing Senator Thurmond's Presidential bid ex post facto in speeches to his cozyness with wonderful organizations like the Council of Conservative Citizens, of which he is or is not a member* point to a pattern of racist ideology and sympathy to bogotry.

I'm not particularly a fan of the party in general, so they're not losing my vote anyway... but naked racism turns the stomach of a lot of people, including conservatives and the republicans don't need a wedge issue like this driving some middle of the road voters away from them in the next election.

So, they should ask Lott to step down.

*Lott denies that he knows much about the group, but his Uncle Artie and a few others are under the impression that he's not just a keynote speaker, but also a member.

Posted by illovich at 11:28 AM
damn you coca-coloa!

An article in the New York Times today (registration required) talks about an anti-santa backlash in austria, by Austrians who are concerned that the American version of the Christmas spirit is encroaching upon and threatening to marginalize the Austrian Christkind.

Mr. Tengg noted that the modern likeness of Santa is a creation of the Coca-Cola Company, which uses the figure, conveniently dressed in Coke's red-and-white corporate colors, to sell its product in winter. Santa, it seems, is viewed here as another example of the corrosive global reach of American multinationals.
The article says later that the image was actually originally drawn by Thomas Nast, a german illustrator and immigrant for the cover of Harper's Weekly... I guess, coca-cola just ran with it.

I'm actually not mad at coca-cola for Santa as much as I am dubious of any company that essentialy sells low grade toxins as a refreshing beverage...

i recommend that anyone who drinks soda stop for a couple months. When you have it again I think you'll be amazed at what a negative reaction your body has to it. Not only will a tooth dissolve quickly (one or two days) in a glass of Coke, but the high acidity can damage your digestive system over time. And don't get me started about Nutrasweet.

But back to Santa. I don't know what to do about it...except recommend that other countries besides India start rocking a serious media blitz. The only way to fight the empire is to become the empire.

Which sucks, but hey--if you have to live under the empire and it sucks bad enough, start your own.

So I am pro the Pro-Christkind organization, even if in general I'm ambivalent about religious organizations.

Posted by illovich at 11:01 AM