Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Got one of these doing your laundry?
No? Then shut up.
I am totally in favor of the future. Let's get that straight. That said, I am not cool with lying to ourselves about how future our lives really are. For example, a Roomba is not a robot. I mean, yes, technically it fits the definition but if you tell your friends that you have a robot that cleans your apartment and then introduce them to what is essentially vacuum cleaner that tootles around the place sucking up pet hair, chances are they're going to be disappointed.

That's how I felt when I read the headline: Turkish Prime Minister gives Speech as 10-Foot Hologram. Cool, right? The future is here. Next stop: holodecks! But no. It turns out contents were not as advertised. Behold:
Above: no.
The BBC later released this footage
of Erdogan freighting some developers
away from an abandoned amusement park.
Yeah, going to have to call bullshit here. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan pulled his not-o-gram the other day at a political rally when, instead of showing up in person, he joined live via "hologram." Admittedly I'm just going by the video here, but looks like they just projected him onto a screen. That's not a hologram, that's a video conference. Ok, maybe they've got some sort of fancy 3D-effect going on that we just can't see, but this is essentially Scooby-Doo villain technology. I was expecting a giant flickering head hovering menacingly over the audience, but instead watched as a hotel ballroom went absolutely apeshit over a glorified Skype session.

Speaking of which, uh...ewww...
I realize there's probably a dictionary definition of what exactly a hologram is, but when someone uses the term, most of us have a certain expectation and that doesn't include a screen. When R2-D2 delivered Princess Leia's coke-fueled plea to Obi-Wan, he didn't need a screen, he just projected her in mid-air. That's a hologram. Arnold J. Rimmer is a hologram, Al from Quantum Leap is a hologram. That jazz-singer the Bynars programmed for Riker to bone on the holodeck while they stole the Enterprise was a hologram.

Look, like I said, I'm all for the future. If you want to call your cell phone a comm-unit, go for it. If you want to say 'activate main viewer' every time you turn on the TV, more power to you. But please, let's not delude ourselves.
Is this just some asshole with Google Glass,
or do I have to call him a cyborg now?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kate Middleton has a lot to answer for...

Little known fact: the hats are super-tall
to conceal a plate of biscuits and a full tea
 service. You know, because British people.
Brace yourselves everybody, some British guy just threw his ridiculously tall and furry hat into the ring. Which ring? Why the let's blame gay people for natural disasters ring, of course. Oh yes, just when you though America was the unchallenged leader of the pack when it came to foaming-at-the-mouth, pseudo-religious homophobic politicians, along comes United Kingdom Independence Party (or UKIP if you're sassy) councillor David Silvester with some Pat Robertson-level crazy about the recent floods that have been plaguing Britain:

Maybe I missed that part...the part where
the Bible is abundantly clear about anything.

"The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of the coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war."

-Councillor David Silvester,
going off the rails on a crazy train

Wait, what floods? Yeah, there's been a series of terrible floods in the UK over the last few years, but since they didn't involve Americans or Kate Middleton's breasts, our media didn't really pay attention.
For the record, Kate Middleton's breast are, scientifically speaking,
just as likely to be the cause of natural disasters as gay marriage.
"I knew we shouldn't have gone
to Allen and Kyle's Wedding!
Anyway, according to Silvester, these floods are a direct result of Prime Minister David Cameron's support of same-sex marriage. He went on:

"It is his [Cameron's] fault that huge swaths of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods...He arrogantly acted against the Gospel that made Britain great and the lesson surely to be learned is that no man or men, however powerful, can mess with Almighty God with Impunity and get away with it..." 

Huh. You know, I would have chalked the flooding up to things like the jet stream, la Niña and other science things and not, say a wrathful god, but hey live and learn right? And in a weird way, it's sort of reassuring to know that we're not the only country dealing with theological cherry-pickers who insist that gay people make Jesus so angry that he lashes out indiscriminately, snuffing out innocent lives with earthquakes, storms and meteors. 
Of course, we all know that floods are caused by what
British scientists refer to as 'wibbley wobbly weathery shmethery stuff.'

Monday, January 13, 2014

In defense of Shia LaBeouf...for some reason.

It's like Netflix, except you
have to put pants on.
Oh no! Shia LaBeouf is retiring from public life! It's the latest crazy fallout from that whole plagiarism thing a while back. That wah? Oh yeah, I forgot, you don't like to click on the links...well, I'll explain that in a minute, but first what does he mean retire from public life? Who does that? So like is he just quitting acting or is he not going to come out of his house anymore? Ever? Not even to go to a Redbox? And how come Shia LaBeouf is retiring from public life, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is not? Seriously.

Pictured: LaBeouf, (left)
ruining Indiana Jones forever. 
To catch you up, LaBeouf lifted the plot, characters and dialogue for his artsy short film called from a comic book by a guy named Dan Clowes. It was straight up plagiarism and he's spent the last month and a half apologizing in increasingly bizarre ways. First came his tweeta culpa:

"In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation"

-Shia LaBeouf, apologizing for getting lost in the
uh-wait, what creative process? He stole it...

Screw this, I want Michael Bay
to sky-pologize for Transformers.
More tweets followed, and then there was skywriting. Skywriting! Rich people, right? He hired a skywriter to write: 'I am sorry Daniel Clowes' over Los Angeles for all to see. Well, all except for author Daniel Clowes, who lives in San Francisco, but still, it's the thought that counts. If all this sounds a little crazy, it's because it is. It kind of sounds like the dude is loosing his mind. Maybe it's guilt over what he's done, maybe it's because he got caught, but whatever the case he screwed up and he's sorry and now he's promising to go away forever. A bit much, right?

You know, most people would have said 'whoops, my bad,' settled out of court and then gone on with their lives. 
What made him think he'd get away with it?
I mean, who does he think he is, Disney?
Above: Governor Christy at the grand
opening of New Jersey's newest
uncontrolled industrial fire. 
So what does this have to do with New Jersey Chris Christie? Well, since you asked (didn't you?), back in September, a mysterious shutdown of two lanes of the George Washington Bridge caused massive gridlock in New York City. Commuters were late, kids missed school and at least one elderly woman died waiting for an ambulance. Now it turns out the shutdown was orchestrated by Governor Christie's office as political retribution for something, no one knows what for sure. Christie says he don't know anything about the closures until last week but promises to get to the bottom of this and fire whomever is responsible.

No really, that was a season 1 plot.
People did a lot of coke back then.
Ok, that's great and all but isn't he kind of responsible? Like even if he didn't personally order the bridge closed, his staff did. Shouldn't he, you know, do the right thing here? This whole thing kind of reminds me of Star Trek (yeah, a lot of things do). On Star Trek, the Captain is responsible for the actions of his or her crew. Like there's this shitty season 1 episode of TNG where Wesley tramples some flowers on a primitive planet and the half-naked fascists with 80's hair who run the place want to execute him.

Does Captain Picard promise a full investigation and start firing his aides? Of course he doesn't. He tells those pre-warp douchebags that his crew is his responsibility. He tries to take the fall for Shut Up Wesley because he's classy.
Think of it, one needle prick could have saved us from like
two dozen more episodes of Wesley Crusher: Boy Genius.
Don't get me wrong, Plagiarism is bad, not
screwing on Bumblebee's hood bad, but bad.
I know ripping off a comic book and causing a traffic jam are two completely different things, and that the parallel I'm drawing is, at best, shaky, but come on. Shia LaBeouf is retreating from acting and hole-ing himself up in his house forever with no Redbox because he made a mistake. An incredibly stupid mistake, but we'd all get over it given time (Indy 4 on the other hand...). But Governor Christy? Holy shit, a woman died because someone in his office wanted to play a funny funny joke on some political rival. At least pretend to be sorry.

Monday, January 6, 2014

RIP Bigfoot, we hardly knew ye...

Pictured: Rick Dyer, recently
unemployed Bigfoot hunter.
This guy says he shot and killed Bigfoot. I say 'no he goddamn didn't.' But who's to say who's right? Hmm...I suppose I am. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's no such thing as Bigfoot. Yeah, sure, there's a fairly decent chance that there isn't one, but what I'm suggesting is that this guy's never seen, much less shot him. The hunter in question is Rich Dyer, a former used car salesman turned Bigfoot hunter-although I guess now he'll probably have to go back to selling cars. Anyway, he's probably most famous for having stuffed a sasquatch costume full of offal and dead possums and trying to pass it off as Bigfoot's corpse back in 2008. So why should we believe him now? What makes this time different? Scientific proof that's what. Also, why would he lie twice?

Dyer says that he had the body sent to a lab where it has been subjected to every scientific test imaginable including 3D scans and DNA analysis. Yup, they scienced the shit out of it and now there's no doubt. Bigfoot is totally real. Dead now, but real. Which lab? You ask. Can we see this lab? Maybe talk to the scientists? No. No we can't. They're very busy...
"Of course it's a real's's in Canada..."
-Rick Dyer, on the totally
real lab he sent Bigfoot to
Still, I'd watch my
back if I were her.
Now let me say right now that if by some infinitesimal chance this whole hoax turns out to be not a hoax, that I'll gladly extend a heartfelt apology to Rick expressing my sincere regret that I'd ever doubted him and his superior Bigfoot hunting skills. And then I would like to ask him how he plans to sleep at night knowing that he discovered and then murdered the greatest cryptozoological find ever in the history of things that probably don't exist. Not to mention the thing around which his livelihood is based.

"Bigfoot's not the tooth fairy, Bigfoot is real."

-Rick Dyer,
clearing up a few things

Holy shit, I hope Rick stays
away from Comic-Con.
Seriously, what was he thinking? He's a professional Bigfoot hunter and he's just killed Bigfoot. Now what is he supposed to do? I suppose Bigfoot had a family, is he going to go after them too? Now who's the monster? Bigfoot, is...was basically some kind of quasi-human ape, a missing link if you will. He was certainly clever enough to elude human contact for centuries and perhaps, given time could have been taught to communicate with us. Imagine what we could have learned from him, had some jackass with a rack of pork ribs and a hunting rifle not gotten lucky.

I mean, what the hell, man? Was Rick not aware that it's possible to discover something without shooting it? Mary and Louis Leakey didn't fire blindly into Olduvai Gorge. Madame Curie didn't shoot radium. What's this guy's problem? We would have settled for some non-blurry photos or maybe a few seconds of non-shaky video.
Rick Dyer, seen here reenacting his
shirtless discovery/assassination of Bigfoot.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Not so fast!

Get me, I just insulted Saudi Arabia
and the State of Utah.
What in the name of balls is wrong with people? Specifically this people. His name's Trestin Meacham and he's going on a hunger strike until the State of Utah un-legalizes same sex marriage. Wait a sec, Utah, America's Saudi Arabia (what? It's got deserts and a blurry distinction between church and state), has gay marriage now? Why yes it does. Last month, a district court judge ruled that the 2004 referendum banning same sex couples from getting married was unconstitutional. Gay marriage in Utah, cool, right? Not so fast says Meacham!

Apparently he is unable to carry on with his life in a world where gay people are allowed to marry and as such has vowed to survive only on water and vitamins until Utah uses its right of nullification to throw out the judge's ruling.
Pictured: Gay people absolutely ruining Trestin Meacham's day.
"Hey Cindy, want to see them really
lose their shit? Let's make out."
What the fuck is the right of nullification? you might ask. Here, I looked it up: It's a power that right wing nut jobs insist states have which allows them to override Federal law because they don't like minorities having equal rights. It was tried back in the fifties when some Southern States wanted to throw out Brown V. Board of Education and keep their schools segregated. Back then Supreme Court called bullshit, schools were desegregated and racism totally ended forever (I assume, I mean, I can't spend my whole day on Wikipedia).

What does any of that have to do with Meacham and his unfinished Subway card?

Thanks a lot gay people, Trestin was
two foot-longs away from a free sub...
Above: The people of Utah
(well, some of them anyway).
I'm not entirely sure. I guess the connection between constitutional theory and subsisting on bottled water and multi-vitamins makes more sense when your blood sugar is low. Here's some horseshit from Meacham's blog about how the people of Utah had their right to treat gay people like crap brutally curtailed:

"On Friday the 20th of December, a federal judge overturned the State Constitution of Utah and ruled against and its restriction against same sex marriage [sic]. In so doing, Article 1 Section 8 and the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution were violated. Even worse a law voted on by a strong majority of the people of Utah was rescinded, thus robbing the people of their voice in government." 

I feel for him, I really do (no, I really don't), but why does he think this nullification shit's going to fly now? Yeah, the Court tossed out a voter-approved referendum, but that referendum singled out a group of people and took away their rights. You can't just gang up on people like that, that's one of the reasons we have a government.
You could argue that the Union violated the Southern State's right to own
people and make them work for no money. On the other hand, screw them,
they were owning people and making them work for no money.

What? Some of his best
friends are totally gay...
Oh, but before you go calling this Meacham guy a stubborn homophobe with delusions of being the Gandhi of Utah (you know, if Gandhi was into screwing over gay people instead of freeing India from British control) you should know that this has nothing to do with hating gay people. This is all about state's rights:

"This has nothing to do with hatred of a group of people. I have friends and relatives who practice a homosexual lifestyle and I treat them with the same respect and kindness that I would anyone. This is about religious freedom, and an out of control federal government."

-Trestin Meacham,
on how we've got it all wrong

Alan and James practicing their
homosexuality for the big game on Saturday.
Ok, a couple of points here. Firstly, anyone using the phrase: practice a homosexual lifestyle, doesn't know what they're talking about. It's not like playing the piano or a sport or something, it's just a thing people are. Also, you're not treating people with respect and kindness when you stage a hunger strike in protest of their civil liberties. If these gay friends and family members even exist, I'm willing to bet that they don't like him very much. And finally, I'm a little fuzzy on what this has to do with religious freedom as it's not really the state's job to make sure the law lines up with his religious views.

Look, I'm sorry to sound like a broken record here, but seriously, what is missing in Trestin Meacham's life that he's willing to go so far to try and keep gay people from enjoying the same rights as everybody else? Is he feeling under appreciated? Unloved? Here's a thought: Maybe some gay or lesbian couple in Utah could invite him to their wedding? Preferably one with a buffet. Maybe he'd come around.
Joanne was a raging homophobe, until she tried the prosciutto-
wrapped dates. Now she's checking out the bridesmaids.