Archive for August, 2010

31
Aug
10

How to Fake a UFO

To complement Jim Stone’s post on the subject, here’s a fun project that demonstrates how easy it is to fake a UFO with household objects.

What you will need:

-a camera
-scissors
-black tape
-a window that opens up onto a nice landscape and open sky, or a portable clean sheet of glass.
-some gullible schmuck

STEP ONE:
Use the scissors to cut a tiny oval out of the tape. It should be real tiny, like a quarter of the size of your fingertip.

STEP TWO:
Affix the tape oval to the glass. Position it high up so it looks like it’s in the sky.

STEP THREE:
Take you camera and focus on the sky beyond the tape, not the tape itself. If you’re at a window, make sure the frame isn’t in the picture.

You should end up with a picture like this. Since you focused on the background, the tape should be blurry, giving the illusion that it’s far off in the background. Viola! Instant UFO!

Now find your gullible schmuck. If you did everything right, they should be totally duped. Laugh at them for being gullible.

27
Aug
10

We Won’t Protest Funerals Though

Jim Stone! I know I promised I would do a post on UFO photos to complement the one you did!

But! But! You posted this awesome link on your Facebook that is quite possibly the feel-good story of the year. I read this and I suddenly forgot the fact that it’s impossible to not elect a right-wing stooge into office, that humanity is on a fast track to extinction, and that the best movie of the year somehow flopped. I have to share this with everyone!

What single news story could possibly be such a catalyst for dopamine secretion? How about insufferabl busybodies getting a taste of their own medicine in a spectacular fashion? Yeah, it’s one thing for people to counter protest an invading gaggle of prudes- but how about bringing the protest to their turf?

And the ones bringing it are strippers?

The dancers at the Foxhole in Coschocton County, Ohio, are used to arriving at work to the sounds of protests from members of the nearby New Beginnings Ministries church. But the same couldn’t quite be said for the churchgoers, who showed up for services on Sunday and were greeted by the sight of bikini-clad protesters.

For the last four years, the pastor at New Beginnings has led a protest outside the Foxhole every weekend. Beyond just voicing their disapproval of the strip joint, the church members also videotape the license plates of the bar’s patrons and then post the info online.

So the crew at the Foxhole decided to give the churchgoers a taste of their own medicine, sitting outside the church in skimpy outfits and cooling each other down with Super Soakers as they grilled up burgers.

This article is full of so much win, I’m tempted to just copy paste the whole thing here. There are just so, so many highlights. Where to start?:

They also held signs with Bible quotes like:
Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing
Revelations 22:11: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still

Or how about:

“When these morons go away, we’ll go away,” (the club owner) said. “The great thing about this country is that everyone has a right to believe what they want.”

Or how about this hard dose of reality:

One of the Foxhole dancers, a married mother-of-six, says the protesters outside the strip club every weekend are ill-informed:

These church people say horrible things about us… They say we’re homewreckers and whores. The fact of the matter is, we’re working to keep our own homes together, to give our kids what they need.

Or how about this slam:

“They’re just mad,” he said, “because their wives won’t let them come to my club.”

And the church people see it as a test of faith, and it feeds their oh-so-hungry persecution complex. Everybody wins!

 There is another reason for the win in this. The frustrating thing about not being a fundie goober is the moral standards. This means fundies protest your business, your place of worship (if you have one), or your funeral, and you don’t return the favor. In the last instance it’s because you’re dead, but in the other two it’s because you know how annoying it is and won’t even stoop to that level.

I call bullcrap. They never expect people to picket their hubs, because they have the privilige of having enemies with standards. We need to play dirty too, and give busybodies their just desserts. 

You may be worried. “Wouldn’t that drive people away from whatever cause you’re for?” Maybe. But then again, maybe not. Have you seen what most church protests look like? Look at Westboro. A bunch of joyless old people frowning at you. Yawn. If they’re lucky they recruit some fresh-faced youth to look less joyless, but usually it doesn’t work. The most fun to be had is finding the inevitable typos in their signs.

Compare that with the Comic-con counterprotesters, or the strippers, or any GLBT or pro-choice rally. Signs that actually make you laugh intentionally, and think. Good food and games! Bikinis and supersoakers and laughter! Heck yes!

On that note…does anyone know where John Putnam’s weird little group meets? Purely out of curiosity.

27
Aug
10

5 WAYS TO MESS WITH THE WORDLESS BOOK GUY

Tell me if this has happened to you- you’re wandering around the Barton County fair, minding your own business, when you pass this booth and a guy suddenly pops into your field of vision. “You wanna hear the story of the Wordless Book?”

You figure, why not, the words are the sucky tedious parts of the reading experience, right? So he ushers you in, but alas! Turns out he’s an evangelical Christian; and his wordless book actually has a whole lot of words that you’ve already heard before and don’t really care to hear again. What a rip-off!

It’s not a bad experience, if you like suffocating in awkward silence while a dude lectures you and tries to get your name and home address. But when the fair comes around again, you’ll know what’s coming. Why not have some fun?

1. DRESS APPROPRIATELY

I was wearing my little Evolvefish necklace, which you can’t really distinguish from a normal fish unless you look closely. When we got situated in our chairs, I was treated to a magnificent “oh sh!t” face. I love that face.

Also, the most important thing to wear is a smile. This makes him even more uncomfortable.

2. SMARTASS ANSWERS

Your main artillery. Go nuts.

“Do you know what the gold stands for?”

“…Sweden? Beautiful lusty Swedes with silky blond hair?”

“No, it stands for heaven! It stands for the streets of gold!”

“…so, Sweden…”

3. CHALLENGE HIS BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE

Don’t be intimidated, it’s actually quite easy! The most obvious goof my guy made was this:

“Blah blah blah and Satan tempted Adam and Eve as a serpent…”

“Wait, I thought the Devil and the serpent were two separate entities?”

“…no, the Devil was disguised as the serpent…”

“Where does it say that? Show me the verse that says the serpent was the devil.” (FUN FACT: There isn’t one, except for Revelations 20:2 which is vague and could easily be interpreted otherwise.)

“I don’t know the exact verse, but it’s in there! I read it!”

4. QUESTION THE COLOR SYMBOLISM:

Being anal is key!

“The black is your heart before you accept Jesus!”

“I’d be worried if my heart was that black. That’s some necrosis sh!t right there.”

“And when you accept Jesus, your heart will be pure and white!”

“Wait, shouldn’t that be on the Red page? What the hell? Who thought this up, Jesse Helms?”

5. WHEN HE’S DONE, SWITCH PLACES AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN STORY:

You gotta be quick, this is where he tries to shuffle you out:

“We start on the Gold, which symbolizes Hulga, the golden haired winner of the Tri-State Nazi Beauty Pageant. She becomes disgusted with her family’s beliefs so on the Green page she becomes a hippie and runs off to Alaska. On the White page she befriends a polar bear named Reba. On the Black page they move to Juno, and become the city’s dark saviors, Bear-Girl and Girl-Bear, who proceed to cleanse the city with blood on the Red page. And so it begins…”

22
Aug
10

Proof That You Should Shut Up About Cordoba House

Also, proof that teabaggers should be converted into some sort of alternative fuel source, since they utterly fail as sentient creatures worthy of respect.

JOPLIN, Mo. — Is anyone surprised that Obama supports a Muslim worship site built near Ground Zero?

I personally think it’s an international slap in the face from the Muslims.

If they build a mosque there, then maybe someone should open a bar, strip club and barbecue joint across the street from them. Then listen to them whine.

Pete Peterson

Joplin

They already have strip clubs, gay bars, and places that serve pork nearby. You would know this if you even read a single paragraph of the opposing side’s points, which you didn’t because you’re a spoonfed moron. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, shut your stupid useless mouth.

Somebody please take away this man’s right to vote. In this one case, I’ll look away.

20
Aug
10

Woo versus Science: Back Pain

I have a bulging L5 disc, which has caused me immense pain since the start of 2009. I’ve tried several methods to alleviate it, which I’ll compare and contrast below.

Chiropractor

My first choice was a chiropractor fellow in Lamar. Now, I knew beforehand that chiropractors were quacks. In every article about chiropractic, however, there is this disclaimer that goes like this:

“Chiropractors are goofballs; but they may be beneficial if you have back pain.”

I took that disclaimer to heart and tried chiropractic out. After a few months of treatment, I feel confident in saying that that disclaimer is wrong wrong wrong. Chiropractors are not good for your back!

All this guy did was put electrodes on my back for 15 minutes, and then came in and cracked my back. Sometimes this got rid of the pain for several hours, other times it lasted only 30 minutes. He ordered an x-ray but reported nothing wrong with it; when I was x-rayed later by a real doctor, they told me what my problem was.

And! This guy was as expensive as a real doctor!

Chiropractors are quacks, period. Do not go to them for any reason, especially for back pain. Go see a real doctor.

PROS: NONE

CONS: Any benefits will last only an hour or so. He may have even done more damage to my back. Huge waste of money and time.

Chiropractors get -9000 points.

Some off-the-clock massage therapist I shanghaied in the park.

One of the cool things about being friends with a massage therapist is free massages.

PROS: Free, lasts the rest of the day, happy ending jokes.

CONS: Bug bites from lying face down on the grass, happy ending jokes.

Free massages in the park get 6 points.

Physical therapy

After the chiropractor, I decided to do what I should have done in the first place, and saw a real doctor. Right out the gate, I was told I probably have a bulging disc. An x-ray, MRI and appointment with a back specialist later, I was enrolled in physical therapy at Barton County Memorial Hospital. Turns out, all I need to do is strengthen my core muscles.

You want miracles, forget the church, go to a hospital instead. 30 minutes of exercise obliterates my pain for days.

CONS: Expensive. I’ll save you cash and tell you: if your lower back hurts and you suspect a bulging disc, do core exercises.

PROS: The only treatment that actually works!

Physical therapy and straight science gets 1,000,000 points.

Prayer performed by super nice fresh-faced youth

And now, a very special postscript:

I was walking around on Third Thursday with a friend, and we came across “Free Spiritual Readings.” I slapped my palm on the table and demanded my future be read. Ah, but this isn’t a palm reading, they said, they were going to read my heart.

The “Free Spiritual Readings,” are basically New Agey, hip, Christian cold readings. New Agey Christians are fun, because they’re so great to debate. Anyway, I was told I was adventurous, outspoken and unorganized. There’s NO WAY she could have guessed that!…unless you looked at how I behaved or how I dressed or how I interjected smart-arse rebuttals whenever she made a claim about the spirit world.

At one point, I mentioned how I couldn’t sit down for long periods of time because of my back (I hadn’t been exercising). This piece of small talk was to set some very curious events in motion. When I sat down to crack my back a little, she asked if the guy in the corner could pray for my disc.

Why not? I asked myself. I’ll just be put on a prayer list. No biggy.

I agreed. The next thing I knew the guy had me standing up, with his hand on my middle back (not the lower), asking Jesus to fix this L5 disc RIGHT NOW!

When he was done, I told him I didn’t feel any difference. So he recruited two more youth as I lay flat on the ground, and repeated the process. I was lying on the sidewalk, with hands on my back, and a crowd encircling me asking Jesus, beseechingly but firmly, to fix my back RIGHT NOW!

I stood back up, and nope, I was still out of whack. A dreadlocked dude stroked his chin, like a doctor, and wondered if maybe one of my legs was longer then the other. The doctors at the physical therapy offices never noticed anything but I always suspected my right leg was a smidge shorter than my left. I sat back in the chair, they aligned my legs and EUREKA! “Your left leg is a little shorter than your right.”

“Actually, it’s my right I thought was short.”

A quick re-alignment and EUREKA! “Your right leg is a little shorter than your left!” Hooray for scientific rigor!

They then proceeded to magic my leg into an instantaneous growth spurt. I shoddily captured this part on my cell phone camera. Watch (or rather listen since you can’t see anything) my leg grow!

When they were done, my back still hurt, but they informed me that indeed, my leg had grown. They saw it happen. Um.

Hey scientists! Missouri bongo players have discovered a radical new way of regenerating human tissue at a rapid rate! You might want to research that.

CONS: Doesn’t work, awkward as hell.

PROS: Makes a good story afterward.

Laying of hands gets 0 working points, 10 fun points.

18
Aug
10

With Allies Like These…

As long as we’re bringing up Confederate Americans and other oxymorons, I’ve got this hilarious story about gay conservatives c/o Shakesville.

GOProud, which describes itself as representing “gay conservatives and their allies”, invited Ann Coulter to speak at their event. Here’s the poster:

That’s not the funniest part.

After word got out, Ann was disinvited from an event hosted by conservative cacophonic orchestra of nutzoid, WorldNetDaily.

WND says that Coulter’s decision to speak at Homocon, an event sponsored by a gay Republican organization called GOProud, disqualifies her from speaking at their “Taking America Back National Conference.”

“Ultimately, as a matter of principle, it would not make sense for us to have Ann speak to a conference about ‘taking America back’ when she clearly does not recognize that the ideals to be espoused there simply do not include the radical and very ‘unconservative’ agenda represented by GOProud,” WND editor and CEO Joseph Farah said. “The drift of the conservative movement to a brand of materialistic libertarianism is one of the main reasons we planned this conference from the beginning.”

That’s not the funniest part.

The funniest part came when Coulter stuck up for gay conservatives like the ally she is:

“They hired me to give a speech, so I’m giving a speech. I do it all the time,” she said. “I speak to a lot of groups and do not endorse them. I speak at Harvard and I certainly don’t endorse their views. I’ve spoken to Democratic groups and liberal Republican groups that loooove abortion. The main thing I do is speak on college campuses, which is about the equivalent of speaking at an al-Qaida conference. I’m sure I agree with GOProud more than I do with at least half of my college audiences. But in any event, giving a speech is not an endorsement of every position held by the people I’m speaking to.”

She doesn’t really like queers, but by God she’ll take their money. Just like Judy Garland!

Now that’s funny.

18
Aug
10

Another Thing You Need to Shut Up About

I keep saying to myself, “you know, self, you are technically a community blogger. You should blog more about local issues, instead of prattling on about confederate Mohammad cartoons and feminist critiques of prehistoric geography.” But then, some mook writes something stupid about a non-local-interest subject that they know nothing about, and I can’t help but swoop in.

Anyway, Cordoba House. Shut up about it.

15 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SHUT UP ABOUT CORDOBA HOUSE

1. You are not a New Yorker.

2. You’ve never been to New York for longer than two weeks.

3. You are not a New Yorker.

4. You refuse to learn anything about the subject and just go “OMG MUSLIMS!!”

5. You are not a New Yorker.

6. It is not “next to WTC.” It’s two blocks away.

7. There’s already mosques in that neighborhood. Along with strip clubs, gay bars, tacky souvenir shops and all sorts of national monument disgracing places.

8. The people building this thing are the moderate Muslims you keep saying that you want other Muslims to be like. At least, that’s what you say, Herb van Fleet*. They’re as militantly Muslim as the YMCA is militantly Christian. You know I’m no fan of Islam, but I can’t get worked up over a YMMA.

9. You are not from New York.

10. You can’t even see the WTC crater from this site. I know this because unlike you, I have gone to New York on several occasions, and have been to that neighborhood on our way to see the crater.

11. This obscure thing called the First Amendment.

12. Teabaggers are driving this, and teabaggers are always wrong.

12. You are not from New York.

14. If you did go to New York, you would pee yourself as your xenophobia circuits would overload. People of all sorts of scary colors and origins, in close proximity of each other?!? How can this BEEEEEEEEEE

15. You don’t give one iota of a hoot about New York, because you are not a New Yorker and the only time you feign interest in it is when it gives you a chance to put a full window Bald Eagle/American Flag decal on your camper shell. Otherwise you just have a thinly-veiled disdain for it.

*This has nothing to do with anything, but I love this guy’s name. I imagine him as this portly retired sailor, reminiscing about the Great War while fiddling with his huge handlebar mustache.
16
Aug
10

Will You Shut Up About Cathy Already?!?

You’ve heard that Cathy is finally being put out her misery. You’ve already commented on whatever blog you first read the news on about how much Cathy sucked. By this point you’ve probably encountered some weirdo going on about how Cathy is a feminist triumph or something. You probably thought they were talking out of their hinder, and as a card carrying feminazi I can assure you that no, you aren’t at fault for thinking so.

The only way Cathy could be described as feminist is if you define feminist as “a woman who works.” You’ve come a long way, baby, good for you. Otherwise you are an insufferable, neurotic, materialistic mopstring of a person. All this would be forgivable if you were funny or well drawn. Which you aren’t.

“But-but-but WAIT,” you say, “Cathy was groundbreaking! It was the first newspaper comic written by a woman and it was all about a modern woman doing modern woman things!”

Now you’re the one talking out of your hinder! Congrats! You’re so wrong you don’t even know! Cathy wasn’t the first strip by a woman. It’s not even close. Women have been cartooning, and getting published in the funnies, since the medium first began.

Full disclaimer: this post is really just a plug for a book I like. Go buy the Great Women Cartoonists by Trina Robbins. Or borrow it from your super cool feminist comic geek friend. I’m on loan if you don’t have one.

Some pre-Cathy women cartoonists covered in this book:

Rose O’ Neill- A lot of people have heard the word “kewpies” but don’t know exactly what they are, other than how cute they’re supposed to be. They’re basically pre-Precious Moments era Precious Moments-esque dolls. That were first created in comic form by Ladies Home Journal cartoonist, Rose O’ Neill, in the first decade of the 20th century.

Also, she lived in the Ozarks! Local interest bonus!

Nell Brinkley- In the 1920’s this chick was the Queen of Comics. She drew women that were dubbed the Brinkley Girls, and started a fashion craze. Check out those crazy curls!

Ethel Hays- She did another flapper comic, Flapper Fanny. A comic about a woman? By a woman? CRAZY!

Martha Orr- You ever read that unintentionally hilarious soap opera comic, Mary Worth? When it first came to life in the Great Depression it was called Apple Mary, and it was created by this woman. It also wasn’t that bad, certainly not the train wreck it is today.

Edwina Dumm- This unfortunately named woman was one of America’s first political cartoonists. She also did normal comics too, several of which were about the same longhaired terrier with different names.

Dale Messick- Created Brenda Starr, which chronicles the adventures of a woman reporter and still runs circles around Cathy today. Her real name was Dalia, but she adopted the pseudonym Dale to get past sexist editors, and became the first female syndicated comic strip artist.

Tarpe Mills- All I know is, her Miss Fury was the first female created superhero, and the sample of her work in the book is the coolest thing ever. Look at this stuff.

…yeah that’s a horrible scan, but still! Look at those eyebrows in the fourth panel! LOOK!

Jackie Ormes- She was the first female African American cartoonist to appear in the funnies. She created Torchy Brown, which was also the first comic to star a black woman. Hey, if you borrow Robbins’ book from me, you can pay me back by buying this book, and letting me borrow it.

With all this raw talent, you should now have a knee-jerk reaction whenever someone calls Cathy Guiswite the first female cartoonist. I summon you to go back to that blog post you came from, and set the record straight.

15
Aug
10

September 12 is Burn the Confederate Flag Day!

What a bummer summer, eh? It’s super-hot, no jobs can be found, the Joplin Honkies keep squeaking pitifully for the street cred they can never have, the illusion that there’s much difference between the two parties has been resoundingly squished, and my Zazzle store could use some more customers.

The people are desperate for a pick-me-up. Pick-you-up. Pick-us-up. Whatever, we need one.

Well, brace yourself- September 12th is now Burn the Confederate Flag Day.

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

Burn the Confederate Flag Day is a protest against the right’s exploitation of racial prejudice for political gain.  We urge you to burn the Confederate flag, a long-time symbol of racial hatred, on Sept 12, the date when the racially-divisive Tea Party holds its annual hate fest.

Are you still standing, or were you bowled over by the sheer win?

One of my life goals is to create a nationwide holiday of a sort, specifically a Guy Fawkes parallel for America. Naturally, when I heard about this, I was swept in a tidal wave of jealousy for not thinking it up first. Seriously, it’s the perfect holiday- it’s patriotic, it involves pyrotechnics, and it infuriates racists!

This more than makes up for the other day, when I saw a 9 year old girl wearing this shirt:

I navigated several infuriating white power sites to find this for you. You're welcome.

Oh man, if my schedule’s good, I am sooooo going to organize one of these in Joplin. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I await the indignant bwap bwap bwap of “STATE’S RIGHTS! NOT RACIST! HERITAGE! NORTHERN AGGRESSION!” and other such idiocies.

10
Aug
10

A Letter

Dear Mr. President,

I would like to thank Mr. Gibbs for informing me that, as a “professional leftist”, my vote, donations and campaigning done on your behalf were not appreciated.

I won’t waste my time come next election. Maybe you can get a teabagger to vote for you if you compromise just a little bit more! Surely he’ll be pleased with you as you hemorrhage your core supporters.

Sincerely,
Underpaid professional leftist.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact




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