Archive for October, 2009

31
Oct
09

Joplin Globe Madness: You Forgot the Part About Thinking.

Apparently when his science teacher tried to explain critical thinking, Ken Carter only heard the “don’t believe…” part and ignored the rest, particular the evidence and the thinking parts. Or maybe he just had a basketball coach for a science teacher that didn’t know what he was doing. In any case, Mr. Carter is now under the impression that “critical thinking” means “making stuff up.”

Did only some 60,000 people show up at your “Obama has a Hitler mustache he covers with makeup” picnic event? Ken Carter thinks critically…now it’s a million. Boom!

Are your numbers a mere quarter of the populace, and dropping every day? Ken Carter thinks critically…now he’s in charge. The other three quarters have been reduced to “those people.” Bada bing!

Is your 25%-and-dropping not only pathetically outgunned in numbers, but in brains and class? Ken Carter thinks critically…everyone is just green that they didn’t think of “teabaggers” first. All the other kids pick on you because they’re jealous! Bam! Bam! You take it from here, Emeril! BAM!

The only people who work real jobs are teabaggers. People whose lives revolve around education are stupid, and being “over educated” is a bad thing. If Ken Carter shuts   his eyes and wishes real hard,  an over-muscled unicorn with flaming eyes and a star-spangled coat will whisk him to Pakistan and he’ll catch Osama bin Laden with his bare hands.

Man, I love Ken’s “critical thinking”. Who knew it was so easy?

30
Oct
09

Joplin Globe Madness: “I WENT TO COLLEGE!”

planktonDonald E. Corder desperately wants us to think he’s smart. That’s because he’s peddling intelligent design, a completely not-smart concept if there ever was one. He can blurt out yin-yang claptrap, “Hegelian dialectic” and Shakespeare quotes until he’s blue in the face, but nothing can obscure the fact that he’s hawking a piteously bankrupt Trojan horse of the Anti-Book Learnin’ Brigade for Christ.

Actually, I take that back. Corder’s minor in Philosophy has convinced me that teachers need to spend precious class time and resources in order to give students all sides of the debate. And this is how they should do it.

“Class, welcome to Freshman Earth Science. We’re going to discuss the history of the planet. There are several competing views as to how this whole mess came about.

One of the most popular is Magical Fruit and Talking Snake Theory. In this model, the universe was created roughly a thousand years after Sumerians invented beer by an entity similar to a giant, non-jolly Santa Claus. The major proponents of this theory are white Republicans who are woefully ignorant about everything, including their own beliefs.

There’s also Intelligent Design, which is really a watered down Magical Fruit and Talking Snake Theory. Pretty much no one believes it, not even its own proponents. However, they settle with it, under the false impression that this gives them a chance to get ahead. They’re like the Blue Dog Democrats of pseudoscience.

The Norse thought the world was created from the body of a slain giant. Tahitians thought it was created from a shell. Jains think the universe never began and will never end. The Chinese thought it came from a hatching cosmic egg, the Yoruba from a chicken scratching at sand, the Cherokee from a water beetle piling up mud.

There’s the other sides of the debate. Now let’s get on with the science. Turn to page 10, class”.

26
Oct
09

Joplin Globe Madness: More Republican Words for Snow

We’ve previously asserted that conservatives have a hundred words for “things they find threatening or don’t understand.”

Today we’ve got a new one, courtesy of John Cragin.

verbiage, [n] – Words used to convey ideas I find threatening or don’t understand.

Please tell us John Cragin, what are the sources of anger that is misunderstood? Because the ones you list are bull, considering the last president you were gung-ho for that did those things.

25
Oct
09

The War on Halloween

The leaves are turning, and you know what that means. War on Holiday Season is just around the corner. Yesireema’am, from here until spring (and a quick battle on July 4th), people wage war on America’s cherished holidays, either by celebrating them differently, not celebrating them, or even acknowledging the fact that not everyone celebrates them. Usually you have your crusaders for Christmas and Easter. “Wish me “holiday cheer” will you, you secular pigs? ‘Spring’ break? How about I break your face?”

However, when it comes to defending traditional American holidays, I’m rattling my sabers for Halloween. Radical rightists have been waging war on Halloween for who knows how long. They used to be content with slipping Chick Tracks into the bags of trick-or-treaters, but now they are (gasp!) creating their own Halloween alternatives! This is an outrage! Who do I boycott?

Unfortunately, it seems there’s a schism regarding exactly how one should co-opt the inoffensive parts of Halloween into your bland Christian Rock imitation of the holiday.  I’ve seen several versions around Joplin. By far the blandest I saw was “Harvest Party”. What little kid gives a crap about “harvests?” Snoresville.

I saw one church that advertised a “Trunk or Treat” event, where people park their decorated cars in a parking lot and give out candy from their trunks. From my understanding, Trunk or Treat events are flexible in that they can either serve as genuine Halloween events, or Halloween alternatives. It really only depends on what the organizers say it is. Sounds way too risky for your soul, if you ask me.

My personal favorite was this sign at the Central Christian Center advertising a “Creation Party”. I have no idea what exactly constitutes a “creation party”. I like to think that it’s a reference to Archbishop Ussher’s estimate that the world began on October 23, 4004 B.C. If that were the case, at least the Creation Party people put some thought into it besides “what can we call our Not-Halloween party so it’s not Halloween?”

Judging from the flyer, I assume archery is also involved.

Can I go as a dinosaur, as long as I have a saddle on my back?

Note the bottom. Can I go as a dinosaur, as long as I have a saddle on my back?

Sadly, I can’t help but suspect that it’s merely another Halloween Lite (“Now With 90% Less Devil!”), instead of a real alternative to Halloween. In North Carolina, a church is cutting all the candy and costume crap, and just burning books on Halloween. Now THAT’S a Halloween alternative.

“But Kaje,” you say, “they are perfectly within their rights to not celebrate Halloween! It’s hypocritical of you to mock their War on Halloween when you’re so complacent in the War on Christmas!”

Well, I say it’s hypocritical to whine and moan about other people not dropping everything and celebrating your holiday, and then turning around and doing the same thing when suddenly the popular holiday isn’t yours. You can’t have it both ways. If you guys can raise a stink about “Happy Holidays”, then I can do likewise with “Harvest Parties.”

24
Oct
09

Bass Pro-historic

Have you been working all week in a tedious job with little mental stimulation? Do you want to contemplate the way human cultures interact with nature, and the concept of deep time? Do you want to spend a good portion of the day fiddling around at the big Bass Pro Shop in Springfield?

If you do, I have the perfect activity for you! It’s guaranteed to psych you out. mammals

This is what you’ll need:

*A good book or two with a focus on Cenozoic (that’s the period after the Age of Dinosaurs) life forms. I recommend Alan Turner’s National Geographic Prehistoric Mammals, or if you’re a total biology n00b, Prehistoric Zoobooks is good.

* Free time

* Transport to Bass Pro.

First, read your books. Become well acquainted with the recently extinct. If someone says “Irish elk” I want you to be able to rattle off “You know, technically the Megaloceros was not an elk, and it also had a much wider distribution beyond Ireland.” without missing a beat. Once you have ostracized all your friends with giant sloth factoids, you are ready.

Now for fun! Head off to Bass Pro. Your job is simple: walk around and imagine how everything you see would be different if humans arrived earlier before they did. It could be anywhere from 10,000 years earlier, or 10 million. Go nuts.

The mounted animals that decorate the place are good for starters. When you see a mounted cougar, imagine an American Cheetah or American Cave Lion in its place. Think a stuffed whitetail is impressive? Imagine a deer with a pair 12 feet across. That’s the aforementioned Megaloceros.

Now move on to the merchandise. An Ice Age Bass Pro would have DVDs of “Monster Mammoths!” and “Woolly Rhino Fever!” There’d be Ted Nugent cookbooks that tell you 500 things you can do with glyptodont. You could buy your kids a Teddy Short-Faced Bear.

See a logo that’s an animal silhouette? Replace it with a prehistoric equivalent. Go to that little art gallery with all the wildlife prints? Ditto. Do so with everything you see. Entelodont whistles! Sivatherium musk! Electronic Andrewsarchus repellent!

I assure you, once you get going you won’t be able to stop. How would fairy tales be different if we didn’t just have Big Bad Wolves, but Dire Wolves? Would cowboys ride giant killer pigs at rodeos? What sort of political and social fracases would we have been embroiled in if we coexisted with Australopithecines? What would the Looney Tunes cast have looked like? Football mascots? Faux fur coats? Dairy farms? Circuses?*

Soon you realize just how short a time it was when the world was completely alien to modern humans. If all goes well you will feel humbled by the ingenuity of evolution and the vastness of time. Your mind is now blown. Go upstairs and help yourself to some overpriced seafood- you deserve it.

*The obvious answer to all of these, of course, is “They’d be different because they wouldn’t exist, since all these messed up mammalian overlords would surely eat us all.” This is true, but don’t dwell on it too much, since it defeats the purpose of imaging a Prehistoric Bass Pro.
18
Oct
09

Roundabouts: Man or Menace?

Guest Blogger Susie Anklelength

Guest Blogger Susie Anklelength

In the interest of fair and balanced coverage, Kajed Heat is proud to feature conservative guest blogger Susie Ankelength. An All-American girl from Main Street Real America, Susie is currently studying to become a think tank consultant and serves as vice president of the Youth Parcheesi Champions for Abstinence. Take it away, Susie!

First off, I would like to thank Johnny Kaje and the Globe for providing a platform for me. I would also like to passive-aggressively dangle accusations of bias over their head in an effort to boss them around, and maybe get my own blog.

Maybe the Globe has no choice but to silence conservative voices such as myself. After all, Obama and his jackbooted Hopetroopers are running roughshod all over America’s traditions and leaving only devastation in their wake.

Take roundabouts.

Do you want this around your children?

Do you want this around your children?

As I speak, a road in Duquesne is being torn up for a new roundabout. According to Joe Wilson, this is all part of a radical provision in Obama’s stimulus package to replace every stoplight in America with these sissy Eurotrash mazes. Yes, as is typical of liberalism, Europe Good, America Bad.

What is more Americana than stoplights? Did you know that the stoplight was invented by a black man? Yep. Garrett Augustus Morgan, a former slave, patented it in 1923. Just goes to show you that for all their screaming about our watermelon jokes, e-mail forwards, Kenya conspiracy theories,  toy monkeys in Obama shirts, anti-civil rights attitudes, and teabagger posters; it’s really the Democrats that are the racists.

This is also an embodiment of the Democrat’s socialist leanings. Like most good Americans, I work hard for the good things in life. But according to the rules of the roundabout, if some deadbeat in an El Camino arrives at the roundabout before a small business owner with a full time job, guess who has to yield first? This redistribution of right-of-ways is really the redistribution of WRONG-of-ways.

Roundabout proponents say that roundabouts are safer and more efficient than stoplights. More nanny state coddling-we certainly don’t what people to have to take responsibility for themselves, do we? They might become independent and self sufficient.

As for efficiency, you know what else is efficient? EUTHANASIA.

I don’t want a roundabout getting between me and my destination. More importantly, I don’t want a roundabout to get between me and my America. Do you?

17
Oct
09

Anonymity, Gender Experiments, and Animal Masks.

In today’s paper Scott Meeker recounted the difference between the Globe’s commenting system, which is completely anonymous, and that of Facebook, which is completely not. It boils down to this. (Link NSFW)

However, I disagree with Scott in that I think anonymity on the internet is a feature, not a bug.  I don’t think we should have our birth names, faces and contact info attached to our opinions in order to validate them, like on Facebook. Is someone cowardly because they want to conceal their political or religious convictions from, say, potential or current employers, or whoever? You only need to know a commenter’s real identity if they’re doing something illegal; that’s what IP addresses are for.  Otherwise, whatever else besides the person’s username is up to them to vomit onto the keyboard.

If it’s a decrease in sock puppetry the Globe is after, it’d be best to have some sort of registration system in place for Globe comments that’s a happy medium between Facebook and their current system. I’m less concerned with knowing who a commenter is, and more concerned with telling one commenter from another. You can’t tell who is who if you’re free to change your name with every comment.  A simple username and a password would do wonders in deterring such things.

However, here’s one neat thing about the current comment system: the ability to effortlessly conduct quasi-scientific experiments in gender discrimination.

You may have noticed by now that my name is not really Johnny Kaje. I have several reasons for using this name, but the main one is that I love messing with people’s gender assumptions. When you use a gender neutral username*, or a masculine name(or a feminine name if you’re a dude),  you will notice that people treat you differently.  How differently? It depends on the audience.

Discussion on Globe comment sections is anything but civil, and we like it that way. Sometimes I would bounce between my pseudonym and my real name just to see if there was any difference based on gender**.  If they assumed I was male, conservative combatants attacked on the lines of “stupid” or “smart-alec.”  When I used my real name, tactics changed. I’m no longer “stupid,” but “crazy.” “Smart alec” is swapped with “brazen”. Several told me I should never breed, which never happened when I posted while I was “Kaje”. Apparently men do not reproduce? And on and on. It’s very subtle, but the general theme is Girl Me gets treatment that is simultaneously more infantilizing and more vicious than the treatment Boy Me gets.

It could have been worse, though. The blogosphere is full of horror stories of women who foolishly forgot to hang up their girls parts in the closet before they logged onto Blogger. Just look at what happened to Kathy Sierra. Call me cowardly, or a threat to feminist solidarity, but the truth is I simply didn’t want to see rape threats in my inbox, or a doctored photo of me with a noose around my neck. I just used a traditionally male name and let people assume as they wished***.

I remain Johnny Kaje, because I’m too attached to the name. Even after I revealed my true identity to the editors of the Globe, they still call me Kaje whenever I go upstairs. What started out as an experiment/shield against threats has become a full blown alter ego, and an excuse to wear my Dilophosaurus mask. If you’re a Batman fan, you know how alter egos can take on a life on their own. Paul Dini once said that Bruce Wayne doesn’t wear a Batman costume; it’s Batman that wears a Bruce Wayne costume.

I AM THE SYMBOL THIS TOWN NEEDS!!!!111!!111

I AM THE SYMBOL THIS TOWN NEEDS!!!!111!!111

Anonymity and pen names aren’t always “cowardice” or “uncivil”. There are a lot of reasons why someone may name themselves after a They Might Be Giants song, or wear a bat costume and roam the streets, or use a name that’s traditionally reserved for someone different from them. Maybe they’re exploring different facets of themselves. Maybe it’s for their safety. Maybe they want to see how the other half lives.

Maybe it’s just for fun.

* I can’t count how many times I got to know someone while using a gender neutral username, then to have that person be absolutely floored when they find out I’m not a guy. If my username is gender neutral, almost everyone assumes I’m a guy. Is it because the default is male, or is it just me?

** I know this is hypocritical. Sue me. If it means anything, I no longer commit sockpuppetry, and I’m sorry.

***I went out of my way to avoid referring to myself as either male or female on my old blog. There’s one very awkward post that I wrote entirely in the third person; hard to do when you can’t use gendered pronouns.




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