THENCE AND ALL OVER
We couldn't help feeling a bit disgusted after the Republican
leadership ignored our
last week and took just a few days to
prove how right we'd been. So we went looking for something, anything
other than politics to occupy our minds. Here's a hodgepodge of
places we visited on our surfing expeditions.
For some reason, the subject of Republican power got us to thinking
about optical illusions. Some of these
are pretty interesting,
but be warned: they can give you a headache if you look at too many
There's nothing more entertaining than a good nasty review. We laughed
ourselves sick at the search and destroy mission carried out by Matt Taibi
on Thomas Friedman's new
. A sample paragraph:
Thomas Friedman does not get these
things right even by accident. It's not that he occasionally screws up
and fails to make his metaphors and images agree. It's that he always
screws it up. He has an anti-ear, and it's absolutely infallible; he is
a Joyce or a Flaubert in reverse, incapable of rendering even the
smallest details without genius. The difference between Friedman and an
ordinary bad writer is that an ordinary bad writer will, say, call some
businessman a shark and have him say some tired, uninspired piece of
dialogue: Friedman will have him spout it. And that's guaranteed, every
single time. He never misses.
It reminded us of Mark Twain's infamous annihilation
of James Fenimore Cooper. Just a taste, in case you don't remember it:
I may be mistaken, but it does seem to
me that "Deerslayer" is not a work of art in any sense; it does seem to
me that it is destitute of every detail that goes to the making of a
work of art; in truth, it seems to me that "Deerslayer" is just simply
a literary delirium tremens.
A work of art? It has no invention; it has no order, system, sequence,
or result; it has no lifelikeness, no thrill, no stir, no seeming of
reality; its characters are confusedly drawn, and by their acts and
words they prove that they are not the sort of people the author claims
that they are; its humor is pathetic; its pathos is funny; its
conversations are -- oh! indescribable; its love-scenes odious; its
English a crime against the language.
Counting these out, what is left is Art. I think we must all admit that.
Maybe there should be an annual prize for the best savaging by a
critic. Maybe not.
We began by promising no politics, and we think we're sticking by it
isn't politics, is it?
Dr Peiser is not the only academic to
have had work turned down which criticises the findings of Dr Oreskes's
study. Prof Dennis Bray, of the GKSS National Research Centre in
Geesthacht, Germany, submitted results from an international study
showing that fewer than one in 10 climate scientists believed that
climate change is principally caused by human activity.
As with Dr Peiser's study, Science refused to publish his rebuttal.
Prof Bray told The Telegraph: "They said it didn't fit with what they
were intending to publish."
Prof Roy Spencer, at the University of Alabama, a leading authority on
satellite measurements of global temperatures, told The Telegraph:
"It's pretty clear that the editorial board of Science is more
interested in promoting papers that are pro-global warming. It's the
news value that is most important."
Do you think you're a film buff? Try testing your mettle here
. What's strange about
subjecting movies to this level of analysis is that at some point, you
lose track of whether it's telling us more about the carelessness of
directors and producers or the silly obsessiveness of the fans doing
the analyzing. Star
Tripple Goof!! When Leia says "This is
some rescue" a lock of hair is out of her bun, but in the next shot
it's back in. & In that same scene she blasts a hole in the garbage
shoot and Chewie runs over and puts his foot on it. Then Han shoots
down the hall, and wow dejah vous, Chewie does it all over again. &
when Han jumps in, his foot hits the alleged metal, yet it jiggles! Wow
all those in one scene!!
In the garage, C-3PO is wiping himself off after his oil bath. In one
shot, he's holding a rag; cut to different angle, the rag disappears;
back to the original angle, the rag's back.
In the Death Star battle, Biggs and Porkins (Red Three and Red Six) go
in for a run. Porkins, Red Six, get hit and blows up. Yet a moment
later, when Luke is being chased by a TIE and gets grazed, and the
others are trying to locate him to help, one pilot says "Red Six, can
you see Red Five?" And Red Six, supposedly dead, replies "A heavy fire
zone on this side, Red Five, where are you?"
Raise your hands all of you who know that there's a missing dark age
back in ancient history. Well, there is
, and a lot of people are
pretty hot under
No wonder the Israeli archaeologists
are in such disarray. They should have realised that once the Dark Ages
of Greece were imposed upon the ancient world, at a stroke they would
effectively wipe out all history outside Egypt for the period from 12C
to 8C -- including Israel's now missing Golden Age. There are good
grounds, therefore, for Israel's archaeologists to back their own
historical records and declare their chronological independence. They
could rescue their country's rightful heritage and historical soul by
identifying a more likely Shishak for themselves, and leave the
Egyptologists to sort out their own chronology problems.
Greece could also do the same. For over a hundred years they have
meekly accepted Egyptian dates, along with a Dark Age that goes totally
against their own archaeology and their magnificently documented
classical ancient history. Athens was never conquered by the Dorians,
and has its own tradition of continuous kingship. Archaeology has
proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the Dark Ages did not exist. It
is now time the Greek Establishment abandoned its exaggerated antiquity
in favour of a continuous culture. It would, of course, require
considerable courage to make a unilateral declaration of chronological
independence, but courage is not a quality lacking in the historical
traditions of either Greece or Israel.
It sounds like there's going to be even more trouble in the middle east.
Head hurt after that? How about a spot of shooting
? You get a
shotgun, an accent, and a choice between clay pigeons, beer cans, and
chickens. (Chickens are the most fun.)
Too much effort required? Maybe you'd rather just get some free stuff
If you're interested by none of the above, here's a new movement
you may want to join.
It's not for us, though. We plan to be back to our real job of annoying
people real soon.