Category Archives: media

BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh is a lying sack of 5#!7

So, there may be some of you out there who thought that there must exist some level below which even Rush Limbaugh would not stoop in his partisan hackery.

You would be wrong.

You may have heard about how the US is now sending 100 military advisors to Uganda to help the government deal with the Lord’s Resistance Army. Now, this may or may not be a good idea strategically, and it may or may not help anything on the ground, and certainly the Ugandan government is no paragon of human rights, so it is certainly reasonable to question whether or not this is the best course of action.

But how would you voice that question if you were, say, a compulsive liar, hypocrite, and generally worthless human being? If your only consideration was making the Obama administration look as bad as possible?

Well, if you are a compulsive liar, hypocrite, and generally worthless human being whose name happens to be Rush Limbaugh, you question it by arguing that the Lord’s Resistance Army is a Christian group fighting to liberate Uganda from oppression.

Now, up until today, most Americans have never heard of the combat Lord’s Resistance Army. And here we are at war with them. Have you ever heard of Lord’s Resistance Army, Dawn? How about you, Brian? Snerdley, have you? You never heard of Lord’s Resistance Army? Well, proves my contention, most Americans have never heard of it, and here we are at war with them. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. It means God.

(quote via The Lede, where you can read a lot more about this)

The problem is that the LRA is actually a notorious group that engage in particularly horrific murders, and is heavily involved in sex trafficking, slavery, and so on.

Over at Boing Boing, Xeni Jardin shares this snippet from the Human Rights Watch report on a massacre recently carried out by the LRA in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

The vast majority of those killed were adult men, whom LRA combatants first tied up and then hacked to death with machetes or crushed their skulls with axes and heavy wooden sticks. The dead include at least 13 women and 23 children, the youngest a 3-year-old girl who was burned to death. LRA combatants tied some of the victims to trees before crushing their skulls with axes.

According to that report, 321 people were massacred in this incident. Many were also abducted, and those who were too slow to keep up were killed along the trail.

Note that in the world of reality, even the “reality” of US politics, this is not a partisan issue. The military advisors are being sent as a result of the “Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009.” The bill had 46 co-sponsors, including both Republicans and Democrats, and was passed unanimously by the Senate. It passed by a voice vote in the House, with no dissent.

So, whatever you might say about the people in congress, none of them are siding with this particular group of mass murderers, which is more than we can say for Rush.

But at least they’ve got the word “Lord” in their name.

%&#! $#!& Stack

So, here’s a little something to relieve the monotony of the the Steve Jobs idolization that still has the internets in its grip.

The video is totally NSFW (for language) by the way, which is just one more reason why you need to walk out of your crappy office job and go join the nearest Occupy Wall Street protest. Mother Jones has an interactive map here.

Oh, and you can buy the shirt here.

via Topless Robot.

Sunday Linkasaurolophus: October 2, 2011

So, welcome back to Sunday Linkasaurolophus.

Remember, it’s like Linkadrosaurid, but one taxonomic level down.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Occupy Wall Street, a populist, Arab-spring-style protest in Manhattan. Or, you might not have heard about it if you get your news from television, which seems not to be giving much coverage to these protests. Or if you get your news from newspapers. Weird, it’s almost like the big corporations that control the major media outlets in this country don’t want you to know about massive protests against the corporate takeover of politics.

Boy are they going to cover the heck out of those tea-party rallys, though.

Fear is vigilance: This is a little flash game, which is not very interesting, actually, but has the following premise. You’re trying to give away personal safety alarms on a campus, but no one is very interested. So, each night, you go out after dark and punch people, to teach them the importance of personal safety. I don’t think the game’s creators intended for it to be a metaphor for the war on terror, but I’m not sure, since didn’t actually play it very long. Maybe if you level up enough, you get hired by Haliburton to go around stoking islamophobia so that you can sell expensive stuff to the military.

Speaking of corrupt people doing stuff that is patently wrong, while shrugging it off as some sort of capitalist manifest destiny, you should read the Bloomberg piece on those tea-party wonder twins, the Koch brothers. (“Shape of an amoral plutocracy!” “Form of a psychopathic lack of empathy!”) Here it is.

Finally (with a hat-tip to my wife on this one), you should read this profile of Marcia Lucas, ex-wife of serial-culture-defiler George Lucas. It is fascinating and depressing. You know how everyone goes around asking how George Lucas could have gone from being the genius who created American Graffiti and the original Star Wars trilogy to being the hack who did everything else he’s ever done? Well, the key difference seems to have been Marcia, who played a key role in editing the tone-deaf messes that George filmed into the stories that transformed movies and culture. She then left him for being the emotionally crippled narcissist who, ever since, has been systematically destroying that legacy. It’s also a parable about how women’s contributions get dismissed and denigrated. It’s a long read, but worth it.

Sunday Linkasaurolophus: September 25, 2011

So, welcome back to Linkasaurolophus.

Remember, it’s like Linkasaurus Rex, but paints me as a knowledgable insider, the kind of person who knows the name of more than one kind of dinosaur. Maybe two. To the other knowledgable insiders, it also implies that these links have a big crest on their head, which they may or may not have been used millions of years ago to play a jaunty tune.

Let’s start with Facebook: TNG

You’ve probably by now experienced the panopticon bar that Facebook introduced this week. The winning commentary on the New Facebook comes from Dan Lyons (NB: not the same Dan Lyons I went to high school with, although he, also, is awesome). Excerpt:

I prepared myself. On Wednesday night I ate a light dinner and went to bed early, in order to get extra sleep for Thursday morning. Nevertheless, 24 hours later, my hands are still shaking. I’m unable to focus. No matter where I am, I am thinking about Facebook and the new, deeper connection that I immediately feel to everyone I know. It’s so deep, so rich and personal and dare I say, intimate, that the effect is almost overwhelming. It’s like Stendhal Syndrome, where you get overwhelmed by looking at a work of art. I am shellshocked. No, even that is too small a word. I sit and gaze upon the Facebook home page and my emotions begin to sweep and swirl. One moment I am elated. Then I’m struck by anxiety and panic, and want to hide under my desk. A minute later I’m sobbing, uncontrollably, at the beauty of what they’ve done. Why, Mark Zuckerberg? Why do you do this to me? To the world? You are not a businessman, not a geek, not an engineer — you are an artist, and your canvas is the human race itself, the collective hive-mind of modernity.

If you’ve not already read it (which you probably have, as it’s been making the rounds) do yourself a favor and read the whole thing here.

And, here’s something to keep in mind when you’re griping about the Facebook changes, and your supercilious friend chastises you, reminding you again that you have no right to complain about a service that is provided to you for free:

Hat tip to Chris Smith, who was the secret inspiration for U2s fifth album, The Joshua Tree.

Also, you should get better friends.

In non-Facebook news:

The estimable John S. Wilkins (no recent relation) put up an excellent, and very broadly accessible answer to the question “What is philosophy?” You should read it.

Neuroskeptic posted a discussion of the Nipah virus, which provided the inspiration for the virus in the movie Contagion. (Actually, Nipah provided only part of the inspiration. The rest was provided by the universal desire to watch Gwyneth Paltrow die a horrible, horrible death).

You’ll recall the case of Marc Hauser, erstwhile Harvard Professor, who was accused of scientific misconduct, including possibly falsifying data. Around here, we like to call him “the man who put the a** in a**ertainment bias.” Well, Princeton Philosophy Professor Gilbert Harman makes an interesting case that Hauser’s 2006 book, Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong, may have plagiarized the work of John Mikhail. Or, as Harman puts it, “When the ideas taken from Mikhail are subtracted from Hauser’s book, it is unclear what of value is left.” You can read about it (about three-and-a-half pages) here.

If I’ve missed anything, perhaps Neutrino Superman can fly around the world, so that I have a chance to retroactively add it.

Rachel Uchitel, one of America’s heroes

So, there’s this little item from the New York Post, which really should be read in its one-paragraph entirety, because it’s a little bit unbelievable. In it, Rachel Uchitel, referred to here as “Tiger Woods’ alpha mistress” talks about the blessings of the fact that her fiance died in the 9/11 attack. Among the other good things that came from his death is the fact that she is not now a “fat housewife with three kids.”

There’s still time, though, as she is apparently considering having children with her current boyfriend. If you want to know how good an idea that is, she is quoted as saying, “I never wanted them . . . but I know how much I love my dogs, and I think I’d make a good mother to my own kids.”

Yes, we all think that.

Jonny Quest Stop Motion

So, if you’re old enough, you’ll remember the short-lived cartoon Jonny Quest.  Roger D. Evans has recreated the show’s opening sequence in stop-motion animation. It’s just . . . wow.

Jonny Quest Opening Titles from Roger D. Evans on Vimeo.

Now go to his website, where you can see just how much work went in to every one of these shots. Then rewatch the video and be amazed all over again.

via Boing Boing.

Let’s Voltron

So, by all indications, the rapture seems not to have happened this weekend. The leading theory seems to be that Macho Man Randy Savage stopped it in dramatic fashion.

Of course, the alternative is that Voltron intervened. After all, he is the Defender of the Universe.

Which leads me to our next video. Apparently, this summer Nicktoons is launching Voltron Force, based on the 1980s-era Voltron. I saw a lot of Voltron back in grad school junior high. Personally, I would be much more excited for a remake of Robotech, and not just because Lisa Hayes is much hotter than Princess Allura.

Perhaps I’m oversharing.

Anyway, here’s the theme song from the new Voltron Force, which is just sort of, well, something.

Celebrity auto-tweets

So, are you someone who religiously follows celebrities on twitter? Do you find yourself getting frustrated and depressed because they don’t tweet often enough for you?

Fortunately, there’s this thing you may or may not have seen, where you can type in a twitter name, and it will look at the previous tweets in the feed and suggest your next tweet.

Here are suggested tweets for the nine people who made Time’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds in the “Celebrities” category:

@ActuallyNPH (Neil Patrick Harris): Harry Houdini was born on B’way. Intimate, lovely. Bernadette Peters is in his face, but nothing major.

@alyssa_milano: ☁ 8 Things To Sleep better ➛ ♡ 5 Foods That Will Save The Beatles ➵ !

@feliciaday: Don’t equal the depressing passage of Cheerios. Seems like Sloth’s young quirky cousin LOL!


@taylorswift13: Just soundchecked in a cloud today. So stoked. So stoked. So stoked. So stoked.

@theellenshow (Ellen DeGeneres): The VIP tickets and I think this was wrong.

@aplusk (Ashton Kutcher): I FANCY the +1 Button Thx new apple iCharger!

@justinbieber: Germany is on stage hahahah he’s okay.. just got here. amazing place…not a lot of dancing skillz?

@ladygaga: I promised unicorns would be released on the whiskey, lipstick, and queens of rainbow roads.

So, you can go there, type in the twitter name of that person you’re stalking, and just keep hitting return. It’s like they’re tweeting just to you!

If you’re considering whether or not you should be using this technology to stalk me (@jonfwilkins), I’d like to present this in the interest of full disclosure. I ran it on myself a bunch of times, and this seemed to be the high-water mark:

@jonfwilkins: Congrats! This was far from being reblogged. Especially by Katy Perry. The word is you’re killing 11 people.