"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Difference Between Cats and Dogs

And why we like cats better.

"Hurry!  Hurry!  Timmy's Caught in a Snow Drift!  Tell Gramps!  Quick!"

"Timmy is an idiot."


Da, Tovarich Commissar!

The People just don't know what's good for them.  We sympathize with the frustration of those called to improve our lot: the best, the brightest, would guide the ignorant proles to a land of milk and honey.  The People, of course, cannot be expected to understand, which is why they must be led by their betters.

Red Star Tractor Factory Number 3 has been built according to scientific Socialist principles.  Its operations are conducted in accordance with scientific Socialism.  This is not theory or ideology, this is science, and thus Red Star Tractor Factory Number 3 will necessarily produce flawless tractors.  If the tractors are instead defective, there are only two possibilities: counter-revolutionary saboteurs, or ignorance of the Workers.  A purge will deal with the first, and reeducation will address the second.  This is, after all, not religion or politics, but science: proper inputs will yield predictable outputs.

Which brings us to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services.  It's been five months now since the dawning of the new age brought on by the passage of health care "reform." Yet, inexplicably, polls find an enormous number of Americans remain opposed, some even calling for its repeal. How can this be? It's really quite simple, comrades:
"Unfortunately, there still is a great deal of confusion about what is in [the reform law] and what isn't," Sebelius told ABC News Radio in an interview Monday.

With several vulnerable House Democrats touting their votes against the bill, and Republicans running on repeal, Sebelius said "misinformation given on a 24/7 basis" has led to the enduring opposition nearly six months after the lengthy debate ended in Congress.

"So, we have a lot of reeducation to do," Sebelius said.
What could be more clear? Ignorance of the proletariat brought about by counter-revolutionary saboteurs has resulted in confusion and wrong-thinking by The People.

We shall begin with reeducation, comrades, but purges remain an option.

Secretary Sebelius is a very silly woman, of course, who apparently spent her school days networking rather than paying attention in her World History classes.  But what gives us pause is not her ignorant use of a word made ominous by the 20th Century,  but a state of mind that has no room for the possibility that opposition could be the result of anything save ignorance.

Labels: ,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sometimes Shit Happens, Even to the Gentleman Farmer

We know we've been uncharacteristically quiet. We're sorry. We promise it won't happen again until it does. It does NOT mean we think you're fat. It's just that, sometimes, shit happens, even to the Gentleman Farmer.

Farmer Bales Himself In Hay - Watch more Funny Videos


Internet Memes

There's real time, and then there's cyberspace time. Real time ticks away at a predictable stately pace, while cyberspace time is elastic, and its only reliable characteristic is that it passes between 5 and 25 times faster than real time. Internet memes are the only signposts by which one may mark the quick march of cyberspace time. They emerge, propagate like a virulent epidemic, breed with and infect other memes, get old, burn out, and disappear.

Possibly the first internet meme was the fracking* emoticon, said to have begun with some cursed Patient Zero in 1982. We choose to believe that it is no coincidence that 1982 also saw the coining of the term "cyberspace" by William Gibson. The emoticon is ASCII Art for the idiot who not only cannot write clearly, but must go next door to borrow a cup of clever. We will not discuss full-color emoticons, animated emoticons, nor emoticons that morph into Keanu Reeves. They remain wit for the half-wit.

Cyberspace time ran more slowly in those ancient times, when the internet was dominated by Usenet discussion threads. And so it was not until 1989 that saw the handing-down by Mike Godwin of Godwin's Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1. A useful corollary is that the combatant first mentioning Nazis or Hitler automatically loses the argument. Like the emoticon, Godwin's Law remains with us; unlike the emoticon, it remains useful.

Another meme still with us is the pointless -- but strangely fascinating -- webcam. Probably the first of these went online in 1993, providing a live feed of a coffee pot at Cambridge University. The thing was located in "the Trojan Room," and thus became "The Trojan Room Coffee Pot." It remained online until 2001, when its demise attracted international attention.

The mid-90s saw the rise of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.  Based on the "small world" concept that you are connected to every other person on earth through no more than six linked acquaintances, it requires one to connect any named actor to Kevin Bacon.  Supposedly begun on a Usenet group called "Kevin Bacon is the Center of the Universe," it is not truly a classic meme, but has surely spawned many internet offspring, including Bacon's own charitable website "SixDegrees.org" and this short film:

The best memes are simple, unintentional, and impossible to look away from.  In 1997, for example, we had The Hamster Dance.  After 30 seconds (and one cannot click away before that) the silly tune has been scorched into your lizard-brain, deep at the base of your skull.

To become a legendary meme, the underlying idea must be susceptible of modification, wide application, and use in unexpected contexts. In early 1997, on 4chan, a link purportedly to the then-new "Grand Theft Auto IV" instead took the unsuspecting HERE:

"Rick-Rolling" lasted forever by cyberspace standards, and inevitably its DNA split and fertilized other memes:

Decades later (four years in real time, or 2001) came the equally inexplicable "all your base are belong to us," with its roots in an 8-bit video game which, when ported, had been translated into Engrish:

This didn't have the staying power of Rick-rolling, of course, because of its limitations: "All your [INSERT] are belong to us" can't go too many places before it degenerates into "The Aristocrats!"

Spongmonkeys.  What the Hell were "spongmonkeys?" Are they animals?  Are the just furry THINGS?  Are they manifestations in our universe of some extra-dimensional creature?  OK, OK, settle down.  They first appeared in 2002:

Whatever they are, spongmonkeys imploded when they began to shill for Quiznos.

It's hard to believe that Lolcats have only been with us since 2006. The idea of cats & captions isn't new. This is from a century ago:

But the lolcat explosion is different, and shows no sign of abating. Lolcats now range from the amusing to the coma-inducingly cute to the poignant and, well, many other themes.

The mid oughties saw an explosion of outright memes (propagating, evolving, cross-fertilizing) and their cousin, the viral video. In 2006 alone, we were introduced to Angry German Kid, Lonelygirl15, Sneezing Panda (which may have been the inspiration for Cute Things Exploding), and Laughing Baby. Several of these are both viral videos (buried down at the bottom of emails titled "FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: SO CUTE!" from your mother) as well as memes, spawning no end of variation. And we never did understand the appeal of The Llama Song:

We think that sometimes someone sets out to consciously create a meme. Other times it's hard to tell if it's merely some regular guy's teeny, tiny, once-in-a-lifetime's flash of unadulterated genius. In 2007, we were truly blessed with this Hall of Famer:

It was clipped from a serious video. And you ought to see Kickball Girl's live version.

By that time -- 2007 -- everybody was into the meme thing whether they knew it or not. It's clear you've reached the singularity when your grandfather starts sending out links to his friends at The Home and copying you. It begins to become difficult to separate out the sufficiently bizarre, creative, or hilarious from the merely meh. Leave Britney Alone is stupid, while TechnoViking is sublime (LGT overdubbed version, as the original is blocked). NinjaCat (2008) is quite clever, but we've never really warmed up to David After Dentist (2009).

Without a doubt, our favorite internet meme is "Hitler Rants." The original clip is from the 2004 Oscar-nominated German film "Downfall." Like all great ideas, it seems obvious once someone has it: Hitler ranting at his aides from the bowels of the Führerbunker as the Red Army rolls into Berlin, in German. Just add subtitles! It is impossible to list or link to all of them, which have addressed the iPad, vuvuzelas, Lady GaGa screening his calls, every imaginable possibility it seems. Try Googling "top hitler rant videos."   Hitler gets RickRolled, and calls the Angry German Kid. Inevitably, he rants about Hitler parody videos. We'd have thought that this last would be sufficiently universe-bending, but we were wrong. The ultimate meta-meme came when the copyright owner of the underlying footage demanded that such videos be blocked. And it can't get better than this:

* Yes, we are aware that "frack" is itself a meme, but what's really going to bake your noodle later on is . . . .

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Facts are Stubborn Things

From American Thinker: Iraq: The War That Broke Us -- Not


TIME Magazine to Launch New Adult Version

TIME Announces New Version Of Magazine Aimed At Adults

Labels: ,

Monday, August 23, 2010

More Nanny-State Warning Labels for Movies

From TLDG.


Male Aggression Contributed to the Financial Crisis

At least according to Rutgers anthropologist Lionel Tiger:
That is undoubtedly true. The question though is also, why weren’t there more women involved in those systems and will women ever be involved in the same way. The evidence we have is that women seem to not want to compete at that level with that kind of violence over a lifetime. There was just a study done of women in Silicon Valley and about a third of the women leave very quickly from the competition, another third have babies and they never go back and the ones who persist are relatively more modest in their activities than the males are and I think we have to acknowledge the fact that males tend to be somewhat more bellicose and aggressive whether it is good for them to generate these collateralized debt obligation instruments that have caused us such tremendous grief.
Seems right to us. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Tim Geithner; all swimming in a sea of testosterone.



The Wages of Cultural Ignorance . . . . .

. . . . is this:

Looks like Frank to us.


News You Can Use

"The Minneapolis city attorney's office has decided to pay seven zombies and their attorney $165,000."

"Coupled with several minor accidents and broken down cars, traffic has now been stranded on the expressway for the past nine days."

Time to move on: Jersey Shore now popular with . . . everyone.

Most street protesters today are just bitter wannabes, cranky because they weren't 20 in 1965. They lack the fundamental quality that made the '60s fun: a sense of humor. A glimmer of light: "You're sexy, you're cute, take off your riot suit!"

Time to reconsider the Barnard Girl stereotype? NSFW a cappella.

We still don't know how to pronounce "Nevada," and we don't care.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Slow August

Breaking News: Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Welcome, Class of 2014

"Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation."

Our favorites this year:

Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

6. Buffy has always been meeting her obligations to hunt down Lothos and the other blood-suckers at Hemery High.

7. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.

9. Had it remained operational, the villainous computer HAL could be their college classmate this fall . . . .

11. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

12. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

26. Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.

27. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

28. They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

33. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

52. There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.

53. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. Hasn’t he?

55. Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.

60. Walmart has never sold handguns over the counter in the lower 48.

71. The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.

The most alarming fact on display -- the most bone-chilling reminder that these kids have become acclimated to the bizarre, the perverse, the positively grotesque being "normal" is #38: Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Saint Rita, pray for us.

Full list HERE.


God Does Not Exist: Bedbugs Prove It

Susan Jacoby, the "Spirited Atheist" at the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog, seems to believe that she's hit upon a new and devastating argument for the non-existence of God:
The return of bedbugs to 21st-century urban America presents a most potent argument against the idea that everything in creation was planned by an intelligent designer.
We're afflicted with rape, murder, the slaughter-of-the-innocents, tidal waves and hurricanes and the best Ms. Jacoby can come up with is . . . bedbugs? Let's pray that Ms. Jacoby doesn't suggest that the little pests be exterminated, which would cause her excommunication from the Church of Secular Orthodoxy.

We confess we have no answer to Ms. Jacoby's argument. After all, we weren't around when the foundation of the earth was laid, or when its measurements were set, or its bases sunk.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Gay Bar? Bad Idea

OK, OK, I confess the whole "gay bar" thing would be a bad idea. The barbecue restaurant, ditto. Provocative; insensitive; indeed, unAmerican: if they own the land, they should do whatever the heck they want to do.

But Father Z has a much better idea:
I have been following the debate over the building of a mosque at Ground Zero in Manhattan.

I have a counter proposal.

Let us build a chapel dedicated to Sts. Nunilo and Alodia next to the mosque.

Saints Nunilo and Alodia were a pair of 9th c. virgin martyrs in Huesca, Spain. They were born to a Muslim father and Christian mother. However, they chose their mother’s Christianity.

And so during the Emirate of Abd ar-Rahman II it came to pass that in these little girls were first put in a brothel and then were executed as apostates according to Sharia law.

Their feast day is 22 October.

I think their relics are in the Cathedral of Pamplona, having been translated a couple times.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Suspicious Packages: Islamophilic Gay Bar

Featuring 72 virgin drinks. Of course.


Saturday, August 07, 2010

California Virginity Lawsuit

"The . . . designation indicates that [extraction was] without the use of heat or chemicals; is pure; satisfies a taste test; and falls within chemical parameters established . . . ."

Accept no mislabeled substitutes.

Labels: ,


The value of Pi has been computed through 5 trillion (5,000,000,000,000) digits using a desktop PC. Collateral consequences include a new study of the effects of Coke and Cheetos on Settlers of Catan board vs. WoW keyboards.

In other news, 22/7 still works.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Revolutionary Fitness Program

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

It's Good to be Better

Via xkcd.

Monday, August 02, 2010

This is NOT the Gentleman Farmer . . . .

. . . . but it could be.

Labels: ,