Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Oscar Season Bonus?

One benefit of the Oscars is that afterward some of the more obscure films end up getting screen time in theaters close to you. San Antonio is actually good for getting movies, but I'm hoping that Last King of Scotland and Pan's Labyrinth will end up in the walking-distance theater.

In unrelated news, the street that they just repaved outside our apartment last summer is now being torn up for some reason. Maybe somebody lost a contact. I'm almost certain that the whole roads department in San Antonio is hopelessly corrupt. We moved here almost three years ago and they're still only halfway finished at putting in the interchange ramps at the intersection of two of the major freeways, which they started before we got here.

Another major interchange on the north end of town (where the majority of the development is occurring) also lacks ramps. People tear off the roads at 65+ mph, crowd into street traffic, then make left turns at the lights to get on the other freeway. And all this happens at an already busy intersection. Nobody had the foresight when building the freeway overpasses and such in the first place, that a lot of people might switching between them?

That kind of planning ensures that your cousin who owns a construction company is always at 100% work load.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Can Relate

Tycho (brown-haired guy) must be married to a grad student/prof. (Click on image to see a full-size version).

-- from Penny Arcade

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Niggers and Zionists

In concert with Israel and Washington's Zionist and fundamentalist Christian lobbies, the Bushites say their "strategy" is to end Iran's nuclear threat.

-- from via The Leiter Reports.

Given that the Leiter Reports have tried to (rightfully) support the idea that one can criticize Israel's policies without being anti-Semitic, posting an article that uses a quote like the above strikes me as seriously problematic.

While there are certainly some self-identified Zionist organizations, and I imagine a few of which are worthy of criticism, the use of Zionist as a pejorative must certainly be understood to evoke emotional responses above and beyond what would be associated with the more neutral use of the term.

For instance, the above quote relies on the rhetorical image of the militant Zionist lobbying America to support their program -- an image evocative of the Protocols of Zion (an "antisemitic literary forgery that purports to describe a Jewish plot to achieve world domination"). If the writers did not wish to subtly or not so subtly conjure up these images, why use the term "Zionist" instead of the more neutral and less historically-laden term, pro-Israel lobby?

How many millions of people in the world when they hear "Zionist" think of the various competing political and ideological movements compared to how many think of the secret Jew seeking dominion over the world?

When I was in the service, some otherwise progressive folks referred to one of the black guys in our unit as a nigger. They quickly explained that here they meant simply "nigger as generic term for asshole", and that white guys could be niggers too. Admittedly, the guy was kind of an asshole. But we already have a more neutral and less historically-laden term for asshole.

It's called "asshole".

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Kevin Costner Porn Blog

A couple days ago I received a very polite email inviting me to join a cat-lovers blog-ring...

In response I've decided to add this photo of Kevin Costner's butt, so as to increase the Costner-porn:cat ratio and hopefully be invited to a Costner-porn blog-ring instead.

In other random bits, I've finished up a free re-write for one company. Writers are generally recommended not to do this, but I thought I'd give it a try and see how it works out.

And one recommendation: when making pizza at home, put the pepperoni on last (the very top) if you like it to be crispy. I was putting it on above the cheese but below the hamburger and that made it a little soggy.