Archive for January, 2009

Meet The Woman

Posted in political correctness, the complete opposite of brilliance on January 31, 2009 by vagabondsaint

As unbelievable as it may seem, and I assure you it is so to me, Michelle Obama apparently does not care about black people.

Why do I say that?

Because, of the two outfits she wore for her husband’s historic inauguration (this yellow number for the day, this gown for the evening’s numerous parties), both of which were made by professional designers, neither of them was made by a black designer.  That’s right, of the two outfits she wore for one of the most momentous occasions of her life, she couldn’t be arsed to uplift her race and wear something by a black designer.

Ergo, Michelle Obama does not care about black people.

For her choice to ignore the contributions of black people to the fashion world, Michelle Obama was rightly criticized by the Black Artists Association (which, by the way, represents painters, not designers, but spoke up for the slighted designers “because we felt it was the right thing to do”).  Granted, their head received death threats for speaking up, but God bless them anyway for doing so.

What’s next, Michelle?  A hurricane in Detroit?  No black chefs in the White House?  Snubbing reporters from BET?  Not attending your own family reunions?  Will the persecution that Michelle Obama perpetrates upon black people never end?

The Man is gone. . .meet The Woman, Michelle Obama.

VS – 01.31.09

P.S. In case you can’t tell, I’m completely kidding.  I don’t know what Michelle Obama’s reasons were for choosing the designers that she chose, but given her husband’s repeated statings that he believes in “what works,” I can easily believe that her reasons were pragmatic and did not involve race.  Anyway, who fucking cares?  We got bigger problems right now.

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LiveBlogging A Comic Book Convention

Posted in comic books, politics, randoma, war with tags , , on January 28, 2009 by vagabondsaint

Last Saturday, I worked for my friend G at a comic-book convention.  For some reason as yet unknown to me, possibly sleep-deprivation, I decided it would be interesting to live-blog the con.  Unfortunately, I had no internet access from there, so I did the next best thing:  I took notes.  Come join the fun!

8:30 – 10:00 AM – Setting up for the show.  Somehow G mishears my suggestion to bring Febreeze in case of stinky fanboys as a suggestion that we bring it for the crotch of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer statue.  The series of jokes resulting from said misunderstanding eventually lead to the concept of Schroedinger’s Crotch, i.e., all crotches are simultaneously stank and not stank, and there’s no way to know for sure which until it’s too late to back out gracefully.  (I suppose the female equivalent would be Schroedinger’s Penis, which is simultaneously perfect and woefully inadequate, with, again, no way of knowing for sure which it is until it’s too late to back out gracefully.)  Also, venue smells like a school cafeteria.  Further investigation reveals that the venue is, in fact, a school cafeteria.  Will be interesting to see if cafeteria smell overrides fanboy funk.

10 AM – Convention doors open to the public.  Remind myself to get something for daughter.  Remind myself to fight urge to get bunch of stuff for myself.

10:20 AM – Greatest non-“Schroedinger’s Crotch” line of the day thus far: “Let’s put the Iron Fist in the box.”  (It was a day for juvenile humour, okay?)

11:30 AM – Got a bunch of stuff for myself.

11:58 AM – Valuable lesson learned: do not eat Spicy Thai chips on an empty stomach.

12:15 PM – Noticed there has actually been a fair number of attractive women here.  Did they get lost on their way to someplace that attractive women go on Saturdays?

12:27 PM – Best out-of-context line: “It’s old and furry.”

1:15 PM – Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.

1:45 PM – Asked 7- or 8-year-old if they liked the Powerpuff Girls.  “I’m a boy!” the soft-voiced, long-haired child replied.  Then get a bloody haircut, hippie child, I thought.  Trust me, that kid looked like a girl.

1:58 PM – Second-best out-of-context quote:  “You gotta go with the big package.”

2:06 PM – Four hours in and no sign of an adult of ambiguous gender.  Starting to wonder if I was on my way to a comic-con and got lost in someplace cool.  (I maintain that that kid really looked like a girl.)

2:30 PM – Bought stuff for daughter and for ladylove.  Bought more stuff for self.

3:00 PM – Bored.  One hour left in convention; crowds dwindling and some vendors have already left.  Decided to start making shit up to finish blog.

3:10 PM – A large group of fanboys in long coats have thrown off their coats to reveal a number of cybernetic implants and chests that lack hair and resemble raw chicken breasts.  They declare that they are the D&D Bandits (Deadly & Dangerous) and they’ve come to loot the convention and sell everything on Ebay.  Due to their large number of apparently homemade implants, they are the first fanboys I’ve ever seen with a valid excuse for not showering.

3:12 PM – The D&D Bandits’ attempts to rip off the convention are interrupted by a group of very very attractive women in stiletto hells, fishnets, and PVC outfits that barely hold back large bosoms.  Wielding whips, nunchuks, paddles, and floggers, and calling themselves Hot-Ass Women Tired of Male Assholes and Makking Acceptable Slaves (HAWT MAMAS), they declare their intention to take every male in the building away to be sex slaves in their lair.  While nearly every other man in the room attempts to surrender to the, the remaining members of The D&D Bandits whose crotches did not explode in a shower of sparks at the sudden proximity of hot women attempt to fight the HAWT MAMAS away from their loot.

3:15 PM – As the two groups battle it out for the fate of the convention-goers, the GOP shows up and joins the fray, calling the Bandits “depraved barely-closeted homosexual freaks” and the MAMAS “uppity women who need to get back in the kitchen.”  In an amusing bit of irony, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Kentucky was whipped by a HAWT MAMA.  Later, Cantor would say to reporters that the experience “was not unlike talking with Dick Cheney.”

3:20 PM – SWAT team shows up.  Their first order of business is to destroy what little remains of the school, yelling words to the effect that if anyone is going to destroy Seattle, it’ll be Mayor Greg Nickels.

3:25 PM – The immense battle, now coverin several city blocks, is brought to a brief pause by the sudden appearance of Sarah Palin in a Supergirl costume.  Super-Palin, claiming she could “see the battle from her house in Alaska,” inadvertantly cripples the GOP combatants, whose crotches explode in a shower of sparks at the sudden proximity of her.

3:28 PM – John McCain arrives in a stealth bomber and immediately crashes into the last undamaged building in the neighbourhood.  Though he attempts to blame the crash on “liberal engine-making policies,” witnesses recount that the engine stalled when he tried to fly the plane at 20 miles an hour and had the left blinker on all the way up from Arizona.

3:30 PM – Superman, aided by fellow Krypton survivor Barack Obama, finally puts an end to the melee and repairs the neighbourhood at super-speed.  Most of the criminals/malefactors are taken to jail, though 3 of the HAWT MAMAS are missing and G insists on loading his SUV alone.

4:00 PM – The convention ends, and so does this blog.

VS – 01.27.09

On the Inauguration of Barack Obama, Which I Have Just Watched

Posted in politics with tags , on January 20, 2009 by vagabondsaint

Goddamn, he did it.  He really, really did it.

VS – 1.20.09

The Bush Years: A Horror-Stricken Look Back

Posted in politics with tags , , , , on January 18, 2009 by vagabondsaint

It’s almost over.

Looking back at the past 8 years of the Bush presidency, one question irrepressibly comes to mind:  what the hell was wrong with us?  We must have all taken severe head injuries at some point; that’s the only explanation I can think of as to why we let Bush and his cronies get away with so much crap over the past 8 years.  It was like an experiment to see how much one man, with a little help from his friends, can fuck up the greatest country in the world.

And he got re-elected!  That was really mind-blowing; I have never been so disappointed in America as I was that day.

It’s been said that no one could have seen the disastrous Bush presidency coming.  For the most part, that’s true. . .except that somebody did see it coming, and said so in the least likely place to find real news: no, not Fox News, but The Onion, parody newspaper supreme.

When Bush was first elected given the office by his dad’s Supreme Court cronies admitted into the Oval Office, the Onion ran an article entitled  Bush:  ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’.   He might not have actually said it, but damned if he didn’t mean it, and damned if he didn’t live up to it.  Seriously, read that article.  It’s the most eerily-prophetic thing I’ve ever seen.

Granted, some good things did come out of the Bush years:  The Daily Show probably wouldn’t be so popular without him, and. . .hm.  Hang on, I’ll try to think of another one.

Oh, by the way, even if we ignored Iraq, Afghanistan, and the economic collapse,  there would still be Bush’s environmental record to mark him as one of the worst presidents ever.   As Will Cuppy said in The Decline And Fall Of Practically Everybody, Alexander The Great is called “The Great” because he killed more people of more different types than anybody else before or since; I guess Bush was trying for being called at least “The Awesome,” for recklessly endangering more people of more different types than anybody else before or since.  We’re not safer at home (thanks to deregulation of the financial industry and environmental pollution) or abroad (damn near everybody hates us now), despite all the statements to the contrary by the Administration.  We are not only worse off now than we were eight years ago, we’re completely fucked now from where we were eight years ago.  Thanks, idiots in charge and the idiots who kept voting for them.

But it’s almost over now.  2 more days, in which time I would not be surprised if Bush found a way to make the moon crash into Earth, and this will all be over; we can finally crawl out of the rubble of America and start rebuilding.

And how did this eight-year Reign of Error come to an end?  Please, Onion, tell us:

Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job

Congrats and good luck, Obama.

VS – 1.18.09

P.S. I’m still trying to think of some other good that came out of the Bush Administration. . .any ideas?

A Simple Lesson

Posted in politics, the complete opposite of brilliance, war with tags , , , on January 12, 2009 by vagabondsaint

As some of the one of you that still reads this blog may know, I am something of a student of history.  It doesn’t particularly matter to me what history I’m studying; as long as it’s interesting, it’s worth my time.  That said, I do have a bit stronger of an interest in military history, armed conflicts being one of the few times at which the best and worst of humanity are on display at the same time, often side-by-side.

My studies of history, and especially military history, for the past 61 years have taught me a very valuable, yet almost obvious lesson, one that would improve the world if more people learned it.  The lesson is this:

DO NOT FUCK WITH ISRAEL.

Seriously, don’t fucking do it.

Remember the Six-Day War?  1967?  Jordan, Syria, and Egypt cut off Israel, threw out UN peacekeepers, and set out to take Tel Aviv, with the aid of troops and weapons from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria?  And it took Israel six days to not only beat the tar out of all of them and end the war with more territory than they started with (they took Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights)?  Yeah.  Don’t fuck with Israel, kids.

Since then, the Israelis have proven over and over again that if there’s anything they believe in, it’s excessive retaliation and pre-emptive strikes.  When the US says “we will wipe our enemies from the face of the earth,” we just mean we’re going to track you down and kill or incarcerate you.  When the Israelis say it, they mean that you will literally be removed from the face of the planet, and your carcass and homeland will either be bombed back to the Stone Age (literally; Israel has more than enough bombs and nuclear weapons to induce a warp in the space-time continuum) or launched into space.

Pretty simple lesson, right?

So why the fuck does Hamas seem not to learn it?

The current conflict in the Gaza Strip, between Israel and Hamas, is a very important lesson as to what can happen when someone goes fucking with Israel unneccesarily.  And Hamas. . .oh, don’t even get me started.

Too late.

Hamas, whose stated purpose is to re-take the land currently occupied by Israel and make it into a Palestinian state, was firing rockets at Israel.  That’s what got the whole thing started.  Even though Israeli casualties from the rocket attacks were low, they could not let it be perceived that they would not act to protect their people.  If that happened, people would lose faith in their government, there would be conflict and turmoil, and Israel would look weak.  Israel can’t now and can’t ever afford to look weak, surrounded as they are by people that hate them.  They can’t let anyone around them even begin to think about the chance that maybe it’s possibly okay to attack Israeli citizens, perhaps;  once they do, the attacks won’t stop until Israel is dead (not likely) or Israel is dead but used its nuclear weapons to turn the entire Middle East into a glass-paved parking lot before it fell(much more possible).

Not only did Hamas hit Israeli citizens with rockets, but they launched the rockets from civilan areas.  Come on now.  Is there anything in the world more cowardly than that?  Using the people you claim to be acting in support of as human shields against the retaliation you’ve rightfully earned?  the general idea was that Israel would not launch military attacks in civilian areas, so Hamas has hidden weapons and soliders and other war tools in civilian areas in order to keep the Israeli military from coming in and taking them, because civilian casualties are a certainty in the event of military action.

You know, three years ago, Israel gave up its occupation of the Gaza Strip.  they’re eased restrictions and sanctions against other Palestinian territories.  The cease-fire that Hamas broke with its rocket attacks expired months before Israel launched its attacks; Hamas barely waited a month after the end of thatcease-fire to start attacking again.  Israel was doing what it needed to, what had to be done,  to achieve peace in that area, for them and for the Palestinians.  Hamas brought this not only upon itself, but among the Palestinians that supported them in these attacks. . .and upon the innocent Palestinians who could have cared less about centuries-old religious/political/anto-Semitic conflicts and just wanted to get on with their lives.

If you can’t tell, it kind of pisses me off when I hear people being down on Israel for the civilian casualties.  Israel did what it could; they even called and sent text messages to Palestinians, telling them when attacks were going to happen so that they could get out of the way in time.

If you want to be upset at someone for the civilian casualties, be mad at Hamas.  They attacked Israel and hid among civilians (their leaders, who called for  and planned the attacks, all went into deep hiding the moment Israel’s air force took off), so there is no one to blame for the deaths and destruction but Hamas.

Sometimes a cowardly terrorist is really a brave freedom fighter. . .but sometimes, a cowardly terrorist is just a cowardly terrorist.

VS – 1.12.09

The VS 2009 Watchlist

Posted in Uncategorized on January 9, 2009 by vagabondsaint

Dear 2008 – go ahead and let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, okay?

Seriously, 2008 was such a fucked-up year that I’m glad to see it gone.  From the endless Democratic primaries to the bumbling, disjointed, and frighteningly-inept campaign of John “Insane In The Brain” McCain to the sad collapsing stumbles of a drunk-on-greed economy, to the pants-wettingly-horrifying possibility that Sarah Palin could have been one weak, cancer-ridden, stuttering heartbeat away from being President, to the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the intensely gratifying victory of Barack Obama on the same day as the big-step backwards passage of Proposition 8 in California, and then, just for a few good kicks on the way out, terrorist attacks in India, rising tensions between India and Pakistan (both tied for the title of Most Unstable Nuclear Power – 2008), Israel and Hamas skipping over tension to just blasting at each other, and, last but certainly not least, Blago, 2008 was truly a year filled with downs and downs and downs and up and downs and downs.

2008, fuck you very much and goodnight.

So what’s going on 2009?  Here are 5 stories that I plan on keeping an eye on this year (in no particular order):

1.  Blagomania!

And these are the people I will kill if you assholes dont leave me the fuck alone.  Rod Blagojevich holds a truly unique press conference.

"And these are the people I will kill if you assholes don't leave me the fuck alone." Rod Blagojevich holds a truly unique press conference.

Finally, a scandal we can all get a good laugh from.  It’s just one sleazy, foul-mouthed,  Governor-Gone-Wild, caught on tape trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat, all the while , cursing like a drunk sailor on shore leave after losing a fight with a Thai ladyboy.  (Whatever happened to that Obama guy, anyway?  You never see him in the news anymore.)  Nobody’s dead, no lives are in danger, there’s no massive economic breakdown involved (save as possible motivation for Blago’s acts), Blago’s not firing rockets at Jews. . .it’s just good, clean schadenfreude at the expense of the Illinois governor and his equally (and impressively) foul-mouthed wife. . .but on her, the potty mouth is kinda sexy. 23/6 is right:  Blago truly is the scandal that just keeps on giving.

2.  How Bailout Money Is Being Used (or, what you’re letting Blago distract you from)

Arianna Huffington raised a great point in her most recent blog:  why is the media more focussed on the admittedly entertaining antics of Rod Blagojevich while almost a trillion dollars of taxpayer money are being distributed, with little to no transparency as to how it’s being spent, to people who are obviously already bad with money?  According to her, the Treasury’s inspector general admitted that “it’s a mess” and no one knows how to establish proper oversight.  Um, why is this not getting more media attention?  Anybody got any answers?  Anybody?  Hello, media?

3.  Arr My Goodness, It’s Pirates!

Somali pirate or American cross-dressing gangsta rapper MC Jemima?  You make the call!

Somali pirate or American cross-dressing gangsta rapper MC Jemima with a circa-1990 cellphone? You make the call!

Pirates, while cool in the abstract, are actually not good in reality.  They basically commit massive armed robbery, and the acts of the infamous Somali coast pirates, who went so far as to hijack an oil tanker and hold it for $20 million ransom a few months ago, have drawn the ire of politicians the world over, who are sending navies after these dastardly seagoing bastards.  The UN Security Council even passed a resolution allow the US and other countries to go all-out and intervene by “all means necessary.”  So, the evil pirates will be stopped, right?

Except. . .maybe, just maybe, the pirates are actually the good guys here.

See, according to an article by British newpaper The London Independent‘s Johann Hari, the pirates began their swashbuckling ways in response to, well, Western skulduggery.  After the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, European ships allegedly began appearing off of the now-unprotected Somali coasts, dumping barrels into the ocean.  People began getting sick and unhealthy.  In 2005’s tsunami, hundreds of of these barrels, damaged and leaking, turned up on the Somali coast.  People got sicker;  hundreds died.  It seems the barrels contained nuclear and medical material, much of which was tracked back to European hospitals and factories.

Elsewhere on the Somali coast,  European fishing boats have been raiding the hell out of the unprotected waters, taking so much that the Somali people, for whom fish is a major dietary staple, are losing both their livelihood in the fishing industry and their major food source.

Enter the pirates, who originally got together in speedboats, to defend the Somali coast against these dumpers and fish-thieves with the one thing that Africa has no shortage of:  guns.  They’re not all altruistic, but the core of their piracy is the defense of their homeland. . .which just happens to lay along a major international trade route.

So now, these defenders against Western exploitation are being labeled in the media as gangsters, criminals, and warlords, with the CIA chief even alleging that the pirates may be loosely connected to Al Qaeda – the American politician’s favourite spectre of fear.  (There is no evidence of a connection, by the way.)  That sounds familiar, that whole “invoking Al Qaeda’s name to generate some enthusiasm for attacking others thing”. . .where have I heard that before?

They’re not all altruistic, to be certain.  There is money to be made in piracy, to be sure, and Somalia is a dirt-poor country.  But before we go blasting them out of the ocean, maybe we should do something about the circumstances – i.e., illegal waste dumping and over-fishing in unprotected waters – that created them.

4.  The Palin Family Follies

Sarah Palin, looking deceptively intelligent

Sarah Palin, looking deceptively intelligent

You know, after losing the presidential election in what was an electoral college landslide, the smart thing to do, I think, would be to sit down, shut up, and focus on being a good governor so as to sweeten the resume for another run at the big dance in four years.

Thatwould be the smart thing to do.  Here’s what Sarah Palin did.

She’s given more interviews since the election than she did before, and she just doesn’t seem to have learned much at all:  she’s blasted Katie Couric and Tina Fey for “exploiting” her for their own gain, she’s given a peppy interview while turkeys are being slaughtered right behind her, and brought a creepy girl-crush out of Greta van Susteren.  She also put out a pro-Bristol’s-baby/anti-teenage pregnancy press release (yes, that is contradictory) and accused the press of giving Caroline Kennedy a free pass, compared to how they treated Palin, due to a “class bias.” (She also rants against bloggers, John McCain, and those who called Levi Johnston a dropout in the same interview. . .it’s comedy gold.)  Oh, Sarah, you are every bit as entertaining as Blago, yet much easier to look at. . .though I do believe his hair is more lustrous and silkier than yours.

And the rest of the Palin clan?

Levi Johnston quit the job he somehow got despite being completely unqualified for it (it requires a high school degree), Bristol had her baby (finally), Levi’s mom got busted for dealing Oxycontin, and Piper practiced her hunting and field-stripping skills on six hobos.  Okay, I totally made that last one up, but tell me it would really surprise you if it was true.

The Palins may (hopefully) never get to be America’s First Family, but they will perhaps always be America’s Trainwreck Family With A Comedically Unintelligent Matriarch.  Why are they not a reality show yet?

5.  Barack Obama

Heh, heh.  I totally own you all.

"Heh, heh. I totally own you all."

11 days until he becomes President. . .Good luck, Barack Obama.  You’re gonna need it.

And that’s it for my watchlist for this year. . .it’s gonna be an interesting ride.

VS – 01.09.09