Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
February 11, 2009 - February 4, 2009

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Crashing the Global Warming Jet Set

MODERATE INSANITY. A contingent of actual scientists disrupted the festivities in Bali by crashing the international Global Warming shindig being hosted there by the U.N. While bouncers fumed and grant-whores huffed in outrage (emitting more tons of dangerous carbon exhaust), a variety of skeptics proved beyond doubt that the vaunted 'consensus' on Global Warming does not exist because skeptical scientists do exist.

Skeptical Scientists Urge World To ‘Have the
Courage to Do Nothing' At UN Conference

BALI, Indonesia - An international team of scientists skeptical of man-made climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore, descended on Bali this week to urge the world to "have the courage to do nothing" in response to UN demands. 

Lord Christopher Monckton, a UK climate researcher, had a blunt message for UN climate conference participants on Monday.

"Climate change is a non problem. The right answer to a non problem is to have the courage to do nothing," Monckton told participants.

"The UN conference is a complete waste of our time and your money and we should no longer pay the slightest attention to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,)" Monckton added. (LINK)

Monckton also noted that the UN has not been overly welcoming to the group of skeptical scientists.  

"UN organizers refused my credentials and appeared desperate that I should not come to this conference. They have also made several attempts to interfere with our public meetings," Monckton explained.

"It is a circus here," agreed Australian scientist Dr. David Evans. Evans is making scientific presentations to delegates and journalists at the conference revealing the latest peer-reviewed studies that refute the UN's climate claims.

"This is the most lavish conference I have ever been to, but I am only a scientist and I actually only go to the science conferences," Evans said, noting the luxury of the tropical resort.

But nobody was listening. Most of the attendees were relaxing by the pool...

Or grabbing a quick bite to eat at the snack bar...

Or a cooling beverage in the faculty lounge...

Unless they were otherwise engaged...

In their hotel rooms...

Working up an appetite for the pig roast keynote address later on.

Keynote Speaker Albert Gore, Nobel Porker Prize Winner

Saving the world is a tough job. But somebody's got to do it. Thank God for the U.N. And us*.

*More Global Warming fun here...
And here...
And here...
And here...
And here...
And here...

Plus a splash of Polynesian paradise.

UPDATE. Something reassuring. Why the Global Warming alarmists aren't really going to be able to ram their Luddite agenda down the world's throat and put a halt to progress. Because progress is just so damn cool.

Consider it the stealth fighter against environmental wacko-ism.

Feel better? Yeah, so do we.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Imagine Smell-O-Vision.

A HUGE MESS.I just had the uneasiest feeling about this post. I think it may wind up costing me my life to speak in greater depth about this photograph than IP did here. But I will anyway.

I was in college at the same time as these people -- and thousands of their friends. Here's what Bill has to say about that time now:

The former president opened a two-day swing through Iowa on behalf of his wife, packing nearly 500 people into a theater on the campus of Iowa State University.

"She has spent a lifetime as a change agent when she had the option to do other things," he said.

"I thought she was the most gifted person of our generation," said Clinton, who said he told her, "You know, you really should dump me and go back home to Chicago or go to New York and take one of those offers you've got and run for office."

Yecch. Ye-e-e-e-ch.

You can't know. If you're not between 55 and 60, you'll never know. These people were the scum of the earth, and they ruined a lot of lives. Even Dr. Sanity doesn't know what narcisssism is if she didn't witness the tantrum that occurred on Ivy league campuses during the radical years. The militant anti-war movement was a Marxist and thoroughly male-chauvinist offensive. The modern feminist movement was born out of the atrocious way male radicals treated female hangers-on in this timeframe. Women were there to provide sex to the political leaders of the movement. Period. As a sexual gambit it worked because the women who allied themselves with the radical anti-war movement were not attaractive. They didn't try to be. They didn't even bathe. But neither did the men.

Try to imagine the smell of the photograph above. You can't. Crisp snowy air is a mitigating factor. Imagine the dorm room they came from. I'm a veteran of that age. Sandalwood incense intended to cover the reek of marijuana, but failing at that and utterly powerless to mask the stench of unwashed clothes, the grime of hippie lassitude, the body odor of the politically indigent.

I'm sitting here aghast. Is it really possible that the United States of America will elect this totally unqualified -- except by marriage -- radical concubine as the President of the United States?

And just how fooled are you by the protestations of a two-term hippie President who always said whatever he thought people wanted to hear and who now says that he always believed his thick-ankled wife was the leader we all want and need?

LOOK AT THE GODDAM PICTURE. They both agitated against the interests of the United States. They both sympathized with the communist government of North Vietnam. And there's very little reason to think either of them have reformed their views in any material way. Bill despised the military and the CIA while terrorists attacked the World Trade Center with NO U.S. response. Hillary -- a Bernardine Dohrn who got away with it -- asks us to trust her because she can castrate a general in her sleep. Is this the United States of America? or a sick inside-out version of the Wizard of Oz?

Half the United States knows voting for Hillary is a return to the radical 60s. That's why half the Democrats are willing to consider a totally unqualified half-term senator from Illinois as a superior alternative.

How do you render a scream of anguish in print? Exclamation points? Okay. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE 12/14/07: Some evidence to back up my gut convictions. At American Digest. Here's just a sample:

I was in Berkeley in that summer of 1971. I was living about four blocks away from where Bill and Hillary were, in the parlance of the time, "shacked up." These were my not-so-mean streets. I know what went down. And I am here to tell you that there was no such thing as an unstoned student activist/hippy living in that neighborhood at that time. It was non-stop sex, drugs, rock and roll, and activism. I know. I was there. And while I don't remember everything, I remember a lot. More than I should given the quantity, quality, and diversity of the drugs that were on the scene, on the street, and in the bodies of all of us at the time in that place....

By 1971 I'd been around Berkeley and the Bay Area for some time. And I was there, living in a house on corner of Fulton and Ward streets not more than four blocks from the Derby Street apartment. If the Clintons ventured outside onto Telegraph Avenue at all we would have passed each other on the street, skulked around Cody's books, and had cappuccino at the Med. On this you can bet your stash of primo Afghan hash.

The other thing you can bet the stash on about the Clintons in that summer of 1971 in Berkeley is that they were stoned, loaded, blasted, wasted, high as a kite, and just plain baked. At the very least. Assuming that pot and hashish was as far as it went. And it did not for many in that summer, I assure you, stop at that. Other drugs that were around for the asking and used frequently were LSD and cocaine. Heroin too...

Read as much as your stomach will tolerate. If you're like me, that will probably end with a nauseated bump at his description of Bill and Hillary "balling" to the Doors after a meal of "palatable chicken curry."

Nothing worse than throwing up... Anyone have a breath mint?

Worst thing about this site? Always being right.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Punking the Atheists

God was always a Scottish thing anyway.

. The existence or nonexistence of God is a big question. It amuses me that young leftists have succeeded in asserting their atheism so often that they've put theists on the defensive. Flush with their rhetorical triumph, they're amazingly arrogant about proclaiming that they're infinitely smarter than the fools who continue to believe in God.

Apologists for God have been caught off guard. I, personally, was stupefied when a longtime Roman Catholic friend I asked to cite the best argument he knew of against atheism recommended a book by the Anglican C. S. Lewis.

Sound dire? It isn't. The Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens of the world -- and all their dumb disciples -- can't talk their way around the fact that common sense is on the side of the existence of a "higher power" of some kind, meaning a power possessed of far more intelligence than Dawkins or Hitchens can lay claim to. The stridency of their objections is a lot like that of the solid citizen who shakes his fist at the lightning storm daring it to strike him.

Fools. Atheism isn't the intelligent default position. It's simply the "Get out of Jail Free" card for a bunch of folks who equate a lack of knowledge with certainty. Atheists put their faith in the mathematics of the universe, the ellipses of the orbits, the explosive temperatures of gases, the mutations of organic molecules. But why do the laws of math or biology obtain in the first place? They don't know, and they don't care. They don't know where the universe came from, they don't know how life began, and they can't explain how man erupted from primate mediocrity in less than 50,000 years to produce Leonardo and Michelangelo. All they're certain of is that God had nothing to do with it.

Fine. Except that all self-professed atheists are lying. Nobody can be sure there's no higher power -- you know, the one who dreamed up mathematics and physics and chemistry and biology... The atheists are all agnostics unless they're utter imbeciles. What they're saying is that they don't know where we come from bu they're pretty sure all the religions are wrong. They think they know Yahweh never rescued the Jews from annihilation, Christ didn't die for mankind on the cross, and Buddha didn't ascend into heaven after telling his followers how to live their lives. All such notions of divinity are wrong and stupid. But such nonbeliefs are a far cry from asserting anything as positively true about the universe we live in.

That would be fine but for a few things. Atheism is not a religion. It's not a philosophy. It's an abnegation. There's nothing about it that's a moral system. Once I agree with you that the universe exists without a creator, we're all free to interpret our existence as we like. No God, okay. No spiritual life that isn't a function of chemistry, great. If we drink some wine and agree in our cups that there just might be some grand architect of existence who wrote all the laws of our beloved science, that still doesn't mean there's any implicit morality in his scheme. Right? But specification of the creator scientist who doesn't care who we fuck or kill or dismember is an assumed human limitation of a power we can't possibly know is limited to some cosmological laboratory. When a scientist concedes that God might exist as a soulless didact of mathematics he is seeking to constrain that higher power to dimensions he can comprehend. His sterile conclusions say nothing about whether it's good or bad for people to steal, commit adultery, engage in incest, or slaughter anyone who obstructs his wishes. On what basis does any atheist proclaim any of these activities unacceptable? Why shouldn't they all be acceptable? Unless there's some spurious, and entirely unenforceable, philosophy which says such things are not to be done because... well, because.

Here's my take. Math is more than accident. God is more than a gifted geek. The planets do spin round, the stars do shine, and we are really here, some of us smarter than chimpanzees. An accident? Perhaps.

But perhaps not, too. A conscious species looks to the heavens and seems to find an answer. Do the scientists and atheists ask why there are so many more of us human beings than there are gorillas, chimps, rhinos, bears, leopards, elephants, and giraffes? No. They automatically assume our preponderance is a kind of guilt. It never occurs to them there might be a kind of meaning in the fact that a conscious species which has gone out of its way to believe in something beyond its own existence -- to the point of being willing to sacrifice itself individually for a nonexistent deity -- has a vastly superior chance of survival.

If some one wrote the laws of math and physics and biology, it doesn't mean he's just a scientist. It means he's so far above us we can't assume he's also not personally involved in all our daily lives. It also means he might interact with us at the level of art literature, music, and, yes, religion.

What I've never gotten over is the endless symbolism of Christ's death and resurrection. It goes out in all directions. Forever. Such a huge story that it seems a divine event.

Hmmmm. Suggest anything to you?

How do you explain it? For that matter, how do you explain anything that's happened to the race of mankind?

Forget all that. Just tell me why it is exactly you act so fucking superior to anyone who believes in God. Do that and I'll listen. I promise.

No, I don't. You're all a bunch of pseudo-intellectual fakes. If we debated face to face, I'd crush you. With pleasure. Don't ever doubt it.

UPDATE. Interesting comments. I'll respond to a few points here. First, I was principally disappointed in the C.S. Lewis reference not because he was an Anglican but because he is yesterday's news in the context of the current war on religion being waged by atheists. Lewis argued the question principally as a philosopher and lived before a lot of the science which could and probably should be marshalled in support of those who believe in God even existed. Lewis is an eloquent advocate for people who have wrestled with questions of faith in the context of faith, but he's beside the point for today's default secularists, who are ignorant of both the history of theology and the history of its impacts on the development of civilization. His is simply not the argument that's required to puncture the arrogance of the self-ordained demigods of science and its herd of incurious followers.

Edward's comments are the providence I was hoping for. He is polite, articulate, and a perfect example of the fallacious reasoning I described in the post. Like most atheists, he hasn't inquired deeply enough into the matter to realize that he is looking at a two-part question. He therefore believes his position is easily justified by what he mistakes for an absence of evidence.

He believes, as I indicated in my post, that the argument against God is synonymous with the argument against the God of the Old and New Testaments, the Allah of Islam, the pantheon of Hinduism, the implicit divinity of Buddha, etc. He correctly states that there is no scientific or rational proof of these religious interpretations and concludes that his atheism is defensible against all comers with no need even to break a sweat. Problem is, that's only part two of the question.

Part One is the universe we live in. What does that tell us about whether or not there is a -- for want of a better word -- divine intelligence at work? It's an unpardonable omission, really, given that the war against God is being led by scientists (and the scientifically disposed) whose case depends on ignoring the macro view in favor of micro models. Since Dawkins believes he can explain the evolution of life from one-celled organisms to mankind by exclusively chemical and biological processes which function without intelligence and largely via accidental circumstances, he also believes he has eliminated higher intelligence from the workings of the entire universe. From here it's a short step to proclaiming that if the twelve plagues of Egypt have similarly mundane scientific explanations, the entire Judeo-Christian tradition is delusion.

This is, to put it mildly, an example of drawing the question too narrowly. Historically, the mission of science was to explain the natural world and its workings, including cosmology, not to amass legalistic arguments against the likelihood of divine intervention in those workings. How can we be sure the question is too narrowly drawn? Because every religion in the world could be utter bunk, and it could still be the case that the universe -- i.e., the natural, physical state of the existence we experience -- is the creation of a supernatural intelligence, meaning an intelligence that is literally above and beyond the natural. That's a concept normally referred to by the word 'God.'

For atheists to be truly atheists and not agnostics, they must believe that there is not and never was a supernatural agent who created the existence we all experience. And it is here that they are required to confront voluminous evidence which can only be explained away by acts of faith that make the irrational beliefs of Christians look puny by comparison. Their own rules of science are against them.

Consider this paradox. The more Dawkins can make evolution seem like a rational, predictable series of responses to random changes in the environment, the more he makes the process of evolution resemble a computer program. The more he excludes intelligent intervention from that process, the more programmatic he makes it. Because algorithms, and complex alogorithms at that, are clearly at work. According to evolutionary models, eyes have evolved separately and independently in multiple branches of the animal family tree. Why? And how? Eyes are distinguished by the fact that none of their properties offers any survival value at all until their myriad components come together and produce the ability to see. The evolutionary program may be running automatically and without intervention, but it has to include an algorithm for making eyes. So there's a computer and a program, but no programmer.

Consider another paradox. In the Dawkins model, human beings are intelligent but the universe itself is not. The universe is just a series of meaningless chemical reactions that nevetheless obey physical and mathematical constraints even the most determined atheists are compelled to describe as laws. These are laws which human intelligence has struggled, and still struggles, to understand, with only partial success. Dawkins and his brethren have spent their lives endeavoring to understand these laws and yet, with a straight face, they declare that there is no absolutely no evidence of a supreme intelligence operating behind or prior to the phenomena of nature. As if the mere fact of conscious human intelligence doesn't indicate that such intelligence has a precedent in the universe itself or is any kind of pale reflection of a built-in property of that universe. Got it.

I could go on citing paradoxes but I won't. The bottom line is simple. We live in a house whose architecture, plumbing, and electrical systems we know to be operating in complex, dynamic ways through time and we're studying their operation like crazy, but we're certain there's no evidence anyone built the house in the first place. That's what it means when Edward says he sees "no evidence" for the existence of God.

The second part of the question really does become a matter of philosophy and faith, but if one has properly considered the first part, the second is no longer purely academic or purely foolish. If the house we live in had an architect or an engineer, we really have no basis for presuming that his intelligence would be unaware of or uninterested in ours. If he were there, we certainly couldn't be sure that he is NOT above nature or that his engineering is not so beyond comprehension that it could seem to be operating without intervention even though its author is intimately involved in every aspect of its, and our, phenomenology. There is no value system we could confidently impute to such an intelligence that would guarantee the sheer size of the house (i.e., universe) would make our existence in it seem too negligible to pay attention to. In fact, the evidence of nature is quite contrary to this kind of size-based snobbery. Wouldn't a generic lab-rat god be content with identical snowflakes? And why would the laws of his mathematics extend into areas that have no physical analogues at all, featuring properties that appear to have no conceivable purpose but the excitation of intelligent imagination?

But I'm sure Edward can explain all this away. As easily as he dismisses the countless manifestations of human faith which have resulted in his own freedom to regard the contemplation of life itself as a "waste of time."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Back to the Future
with Hillary in '92 '08

PSONGS.5A.19. I have to admit it's hard to imagine that a nation with as short an attention span as the U.S. -- and with as much disdain for the outdated relicts of yesteryear -- could summon any real enthusiasm for a royal Restoration such as the Clintons have in mind. Everything about them is old, even their scandals, which are already distressingly reminiscent of the '90s rather than the exciting new era of the Global War on Terror and the Congressional War on the Iraq War.

I mean, do Americans really want to go back to sex scandals (Lewinsky, Willey, Jones, Huma...) and campaign finance scandals (Charlie Trie, Norman Hsu...) and personal corruption scandals (Whitewater, Marc Rich, Hillary's private jets...) in an age when  lowly U.S. Senators are coming across with bathroom stall scandals and the young lions of the Democrat Party believe they can prove the President and his VP not only stole two elections in a row but also planned the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history? In this context, the standard Clinton fireworks are pretty small potatoes if you ask me. [YAWN]. Excuse me. Didn't mean to be disrespectful there, but facts are facts.

Who needs Lewinsky's soggy blue dress when we've got Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Britney Spears showing off their private parts in high resolution to paparazzi with guaranteed 4-hour turnaround on the Internet? And free sex tapes filmed in state-of-the-art military nightvision. Even Bill's geriatric sins are mild compared to all that.

And just who is it that's so fond of the 1990s anyway? In case you've forgotten, here's what the American scene was really like when the Clintons burst into our lives a whole generation ago:

Boy, that was a long time ago. A LOT of water over the dam since then. And this woman dares to talk about the future as if her vision of it were actually exciting? Give me a break. It's like Angela Lansbury promo'ing a super-hot episode of "Murder She Wrote" on the Merv Griffin Show

If single mothers are her biggest constituency, I'm pretty disappointed in single mothers. I'd sort of gotten the idea they were taking their cues from Britney, not Doctor Ruth.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

No Position on the Writers' Strike

THE THING PROBLEM. Peculiarly, the Carson Daly show Last Call has become a flashpoint for the issues surrounding the strike by the Writers' Guild of America:

Carson Daly may not have won over any friends at the Writers Guild of America, but he no doubt just got a bit tighter with his buddies at NBC.

Five weeks into the writers' strike, the Last Call host returned to the airwaves Monday night sans the cue card-worthy quips of his staff's union scribes, becoming the first late-night emcee to cross the picket line.

Daly taped the show last week—and was excoriated by the guild, especially for trying to solicit material via phone and email. But until the episode aired Monday, the 34-year-old had remained largely mum about his motivation.

"If I had not been back on the air tonight, 75 members of my loyal staff and crew were going to get laid off," he said at the show's open, adding that NBC execs told him, "You either come back, or they're laid off.

"I said, 'Let's turn the lights on, I'm gonna come back.' It's that simple."

Daly had no reason to doubt that NBC would make good on its cleaning-house threat, as the network effectively laid off the nonguild staffs of its other two late-night talk shows, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

The news article can't seem to decide if Daly is a villainous scab, a network toady, or a victim of circumstance, although their preference seems to be the middle choice.

I tend to think the right answer is "None of the above." He's a guy trying to make the right decision without a big safety net. Leno, Letterman, and to a lesser extent, Conan O'Brien are able to have their cake and eat it too. That's one of the prime perks of being fabulously rich. You can sympathize with the writers who are endangering everyone's livelihood, but you can also pull out your personal checkbook and protect the staffers whose mortgages are being thrown under the bus by the current labor action. Carson Daly isn't rich enough to pay his way out of a very real dilemma. He has my sympathy for being in that fix and still deciding to make a decision.

I also sympathize with the writers. They've been treated like dirt throughout the whole history of Hollywood, despite the obvious fact that there would be no movies or TV shows without them. The same fact holds true in the world of print publishing, which is even more outrageous, because books, magazines, and newspapers can't pretend that their product is as much a function of directors, actors, set designers, cameramen, lighting technicians, and special effects wizards as it is of writers. Yet even in publishing, writers always get the short end of the stick, routinely stuck with take-it-or-leave-it contracts that give them no rights about when they'll be paid, who does the accounting, and whether or not they'll even be consulted by the writer wannabes who control marketing budgets, sales strategies, and publicity campaigns. When it comes to the abuse of talent, no category of artist has been more systematically used, defrauded, and, yes, raped to a fare-thee-well than writers.

On the other hand. (There's almost always another hand.) I have to admit that the idea of being a member of a writers' union seems directly at odds with the whole idea of being a writer. Writing is mostly a solitary, cerebral, and intensely private and personal calling, not at all like being a welder on an assembly line. Writing isn't a job. It's the thing writers can't not do. Which tends to reduce the amount of economic clout most of us have in the marketplace. The prospect of writers picketing, writers beating up scabs, writers forming the usual unruly mob scene favored by unions the world over just seems a hopeless oxymoron. And if there's anyone who can be expected to lose sleep over the unintended peripheral victims of a strike -- the non-celebrity staffers who hustle cameras for Steven Spielberg and book guests for Jay Leno -- it's probably the writer who has spent his life getting inside the heads of the real people who carry the thankless daily burden of being responsible without being dramatically overpaid for it. Writers are nature's bleeding hearts. It's unsettling when they deal out pain without seeming to feel it themselves.

That's why Instapunk can't manage to concoct a position on the writers' strike. There's a bit too much fantastical Atlas Shrugged atmosphere about the basic premise. It makes me think of Aristophanes's absurdist parable Lysistrata. It makes me imagine an economic ultimatum-cum-riot by Picasso, Matisse, and the rest of the Paris local of the Federated Union of Cubists/Moderns of Europe (FUC/ME). A great basis for a satirical book or movie, perhaps, but essentially ludicrous in the real world.

Don't misread me, though. I wholeheartedly believe writers should share in the profits of the high-tech media bonanza. And I love the idea of all the showbiz loudmouths rendered suddenly mute by the removal of the puppeteer's hand from their backs.

Is that solidarity? Maybe semi-solidarity with a side order of self-conscious irony.

The 'Bright Eyes' Syndrome

Andrew Sullivan

BOREDOM2. Weird postulates have been creeping into the body politic of late. Notably, atheists have somehow outflanked theists to assume the default position that belief in God is somehow so absurd that it can be ridiculed as an automatic sign of imbecility. Similarly, the MSM worship of gay popinjays has invested these exceptions to both Christian morality and Darwinian evolution with an automatic authority that defies reason as well as good taste. I promise to address the atheist fraud later on. Today, I'll content myself with a repudiation of the gay supremacy meme.

Sorry fellas, but there really is something wrong with gay men. I call it the Bright Eyes Syndrome. They've made their lives about one thing, overwhelmingly one thing. It's made them into hysterical personalities. For a long time they were in the closet, concealing the 'one thing' from intimates, families, and professional associates. In other words, they were in the business of lying on a systematic basis about the 'one thing' that was most crucial to their sense of personal identity. This is a distorting phenomenon. Worse, it never worked. Heterosexual men tend to know that homosexual men are homosexual. If they pretended they didn't, they were being kind and they were feeding a dangerous notion that made homosexual men feel superior. "They don't know this primal thing about me. I must be infinitely smarter and more perceptive than they are."

Then they came out of the closet. Which made them feel special -- and in the current media climate -- somehow chosen as a super-sensitive blend of what is best in both the male and female sexes, meaning they were free to be detached and rational when it suited them and irrationally emotional when it suited them, with the result that their every whim was automatically better than the best their male and female competitors could muster. Combined with the built-in hysteria of their monomaniacally sex-obsessed natures, this kind of attention made them into self-worshipping monsters.

Here's Andrew Sullivan's blog.  He may once have been an intelligent cultural and political critic. Now he's simply a prancing joke. He has verbal skills. He has keen powers of observation. He is knowledgeable about current events. But the world that passes under his purview is nothing but a prop for his bright-eyed peacock strut.

Proof? Look at the picture. He really doesn't know that he's an average looking, middle-aged bald guy wth the kind of mincing step that tells 98 percent of men that his fondest pursuit is taking it up the ass from another guy. And that all his writing and commentary are nothing but a part of his unappetizing mating dance.

Bright eyes. Dulled mind. Anxious ass. The kind of farce Oscar Wilde would have dealt with mercilessly if he were still alive to see all the pathetic mimics of his charm and intellect.

I'm pretty much sick of intellectual queers. Or queer intellectuals. Decide for yourselves which is the more politically incorrect insult. You'll find me here. As always.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Guess who.

PSAYINGS.5S.9-12. So the official college football season has come to a close, and the various polls have picked their top ten teams. There's no point in rehashing the analysis of the conventional football wisdom about how the bowl games will go. Is there anything worth saying? Yes. Readers of InstaPunk will know that we care about little things as well as big things, details as well as life-and-death issues. That's why this is the the only blog we know of that took a position on the disastrous trend in baseball toward slouchy pants with no visible socks. It's not a fashion boo-boo; it's a crime against the national pastime and all it stands for. The truth is, sports uniforms are important. They speak volumes about the values of the teams and institutions they represent. It's even possible that if one picked the best uniforms in a sport, it would be tantamount to picking the best representatives of the sport itself.

That's an experiment we're willing to try. What are the ten best uniforms in college football? And what do those uniforms say? Obviously, any such list will have its detractors, but controversy is the most fun people can have in the blogosphere with their pajamas on. Don't hesitate to snipe and carp and fulminate about Instapunk's list of the Top Ten. The pettier your reasoning, the better.

10 Rutgers

Did we forget to mention we're biased? Well, we are. But we're still right. Rutgers would be higher on the list if they hadn't given in to the current fad of having too many uniforms. If we weren't biased, we'd have dropped them out of the Top Ten for the ultimate no-no of showing up for a game in all black uniforms. But they got shellacked in that game and probably won't wear that particular sartorial atrocity again. The home uniform they wore against Navy was one of the smartest we've seen: scarlet jersey, white pants, black stockings, and the iconically simple scarlet "R" helmet. Perfection.

9 Alabama

Nothing on those Crimson Tide helmets but a number. Simple, understated classic.

8 Ohio State

They'd be higher on the list if it weren't for those damned buckeye leaves they put on their helmets.

Damned buckeye leaves

Otherwise, the uniforms are sensational, both home and away. Scarlet and gray are the colors every school would choose if they were starting all over from scratch. Ohio State grabbed them way back at the beginning. And they haven't changed much over the years, except for putting names on the backs of their jerseys.


We're not that biased. Yeah, we've never liked USC and their 'el supremo' mentality. On the other hand, they're in the Pac 10, where most schools seem to think it's best to have a different uniform for every single game (Google 'worst uniforms' and the University of Oregon will leap to the fore, with umpty-thousand combinations of weird get-ups.) But USC doesn't play that game. They stick with their admittedly striking color combination year after year after year. That's worthy of respect. And admit it: their uniforms are handsome.

6 Kentucky

This is a nomination from the distaff side. Ordinarily, we don't like the monochrome jersey-pants combination and usually regard it as a disqualifier. But Kentucky gets the nod because their blue is such a, well, beautiful blue. It is. And the uniforms aren't all junked up with busy helmet graphics, excessive stripes, or fancy fonts for their numbers. And it really is a smashing blue.

5 Navy

It's almost impossible to improve on Navy's navy-blue and gold ultra-simplicity. Almost.

4 Michigan

Ah, those helmets. The graphic nod to the leather helmet construction of the old days. No 'M' for Michigan. The cub scout colors (What are you going to do if scarlet and gray are already taken?) Sorry, George. Michigan wins this time because there aren't any little wolverine prints on the helmets of Woody's infamous "It" team. And no stripes, no frills. Another superb classic.

3 Harvard

These are essentially the same uniforms they were 30 or 40 years ago. Oddly enough, that's not even the rule in the Ivy League. Penn seems to change uniform designs every year, and recently Princeton has apparently been trying to jettison orange for a more (politically correct?) reddish color, not to mention their imitation Michigan helmet graphics. Harvard and Yale have stood shoulder to shoulder in reactionary solidarity, however, in all but one respect. Harvard sneaks into the top three because its uniforms exemplify the ultimate team statement -- no names on the jerseys, only numbers. Every player is simply one of the Crimson. Kind of surprising when you remember it's Harvard we're talking about here.

2 Notre Dame

All things considered, perfect. No helmet insignia, no stripes, no names on the jerseys, yet instantly recognizable and timelessly smart. Why are they Number Two rather than Number One? Because they care enough about uniforms to wear green instead of blue on occasion. Sounds like a scintilla of vanity to us. Which you can't say about Number One.

1 Penn State

The ultimate. One color: blue. No stripes on jersey or pants, no helmet insignia, no names on jerseys, and adamant refusal to mar the purity of white pants. It's so close to completely generic that the only difference between the Nittany Lions and an unbranded supermarket football team is their coach, their history, and their performance on the field. They don't need to dress up like lions because they play like lions. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Now you know what our criteria are. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. Feel free to disagree, but marshall your arguments carefully. Football isn't a dress-up game. It's a team sport in which duds shouldn't obscure character.

And before you ask, the pro nominations are easy: the Bears, the Browns, and the Steelers. Everybody else is a popinjay except the Raiders, whose uniforms are even uglier than they are simple. If you want to fight about it, we're always here.

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