August 20, 2010 - August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Yeah. An older guy with white hair. And a reputation with the ladies.
Hell, he's just 63. No, I'm not talking Clinton, I'm talking Harry.
It's his birthday today. And yours too.
When all had come on board the Learjet,
Harry gave his followers great things to eat and drink and inhale,
2 And other things besides,
3 And when they had been satisfied of all their wants, he spoke
to them, saying,
4 Do not question your good
5 Or think any more about it.
will travel together for a while,
7 Then go our separate ways,
And all will be as it should be.
Thereupon, all agreed speedily that it would all be okay,
10 Just as Harry said.
11 But later that night, the Learjet encountered bad weather over
the Rocky Mountains,
12 And the followers became afraid that the plane would crash,
13 And awakened Harry to tell him of their fear, and ask what
they should do.
14 But he replied to them calmly, saying, Do what you will. It does not matter
15 Each of your should act in
accordance with his nature.
16 If you are a coward, then
cry and moan and run around in a great panic until the plane crashes or
17 If it is your nature to be
calm in times of great emergency, be calm.
18 If it is your first instinct
to have sexual relations with a beautiful young woman, or each other,
19 Do not add to your stress by
trying to be different than you are,
20 Or stronger than you are,
21 But be yourself,
22 Exactly the way you are,
23 And act in accordance with
24 For myself, I prefer not to
think about it at all.
25 Whereupon Harry went back to sleep, and each of the followers
reacted as he was inclined to do, and all went as Harry said,
26 And the plane landed safely the next morning in Southern
And the Learjet Twins were sooooo happy.
And so it goes. Happy Birthday, Harry.
Well. Commenter "Bill" got all bent out of shape about this entry. We
suggested he was overreacting. Perhaps we made the wrong assumption
about who "Bill" was. Get a load of this
Clinton Celebrates His 63rd in Las Vegas
By Adam Nagourney
LAS VEGAS – No one can say former President Bill Clinton doesn’t know
how to throw a birthday party for former President Bill Clinton.
Mr. Clinton is in Las Vegas on Monday as one of the marquee speakers at
the National Clean Energy Summit, put together by Harry Reid of Nevada,
the Senate majority leader. The event has drawn a pretty impressive
turn-out, from former Vice President Al Gore to the wealthy oilman T.
But it became clear that something else was afoot in this sweltering
desert city when some of Mr. Clinton’s friends – the kind who would
appear not to have a particular interest or expertise in the kind of
summit Mr. Reid has arranged – were spotted on the Vegas strip.
Turns out Mr. Clinton decided to celebrate his 63rd birthday with a
dinner at one of this city’s hottest – and most pricey – restaurants:
Craftsteak at the MGM Grand hotel. How pricey? The 8-ounce wagyu New
York strip steak goes for $240. (Potatoes and other sides are extra.)
Among those who are on the list:
* Terry McAuliffe, the former leader of the
Democratic National Committee who is Mr. Clinton’s long-time friend and
* Paul Begala, a senior adviser from his 1992
* John D. Podesta, a former White House chief of
staff under Mr. Clinton
* Haim Saban, a friend, Hollywood executive and
significant financial contributor to Mr. Clinton and his efforts
* Steve Bing, the
Hollywood media mogul who has become one of Mr. Clinton’s best friends
and regularly lends him his private jet. (Most recently, Mr.
Clinton used the jet for his trip to North Korea, where he helped
negotiate the release of two American journalists who worked for Mr.
* Jay Carson, a former communications director for
As of Monday afternoon, it is not clear that Mr. Gore – who appears to
have had something of a rapprochement with Mr. Clinton after the North
Korea rescue mission – was going to be on hand.
Gore isn't on the
list. He was always, and nothing more than, a gofer. But we are sorry
that this particular white-haired, 63-year-old "First Child of the Boom"
still has to borrow
jets. Our guy has no such problem. In the long run, class will tell.
BTW, the weather in Rio today is fabulous
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
car Obama was born in.
[Boss asked me to post this one. He chucked his computer through a window, after a heated screaming match with it. He wrote this as me. In my style, he tells me. I haven't had a chance to read it. Sure it's awesome.
[You say I don't sound all that enthusiastic? Your ears (or eyes?) are playing tricks on you. Couldn't be more stoked to be the butt of one of the Old Man's "homages." I'm fit to burst.]
. Rumors are, it was driving in Kenya at the time when Obama
popped out of it. How un-American can you get? Except that a car isn't
a vagina, even if it provides a lot of the same comedic opportunities.
Which is why I'm now going to proceed to do a totally AllahPundit
trashing of Birthers catalyxed by a bunch of killer vaginal jokes.
Cool, huh?. I mean, imagine
I have it all set up. The foreign car, the yaaaaawning SOMETHING, and
hey, the punchline writes itself, right? Doesn't Michelle have a
yaaaaawning SOMETHING herself in herWookie-sized Princetonian
carcass, and then I close on just how stupid and southern
people are who believe Obama has anything to hide about his past. GIT
Uh, Boss. You asked (ordered) me to post this as if I wrote it, and
(given the fact you set fire to your computer in yet another drunken
rage). I was willing. I mean, you're the Boss and all. Except that in
this instance you're totally, completely full of shit.
I have to admit I love the idea of an Isetta as a metaphor for the
First Lady's vagina. I even love the slick word tricks (don't know
their names) you use to blur reality into Obama somehow being born out
of his own wife's Isetta door. But there comes a point where even I
draw the line. And it's here.
Like, I got some problems with this whole Birthers are idiots position.
Number One: Allahpundit thinks they're idiots. Allahpundit. Wake up,
Boss! Are you listening AllahPundit!
I don't like to tell stories out of school, but there was this time
that the Boss and I were hanging out on Twitter (we're really tight
that way), and I said I saw something clever on HotAir and the Boss, he
says, across however many miles and gigabytes of difference, he says,
"That AllahPundit. The only writer he ever met bit him in the leg. And
the writer died a day later."
After that I went to Borneo for a month or so, okay, seven, and Suli Li
and I were just about to become a lifetime item when the Boss showed up
again in his indefatigable and most remarkably sudden way. How he knew
I don't know. But there he was, damn him, with his tradmark
hundred-proof Stolichnaya bottle welded to his hand. "Meeee," he said
-- and this mind you, was at the exact moment when the presiding shaman
asked if anyone had any reason to keep Suli's and my eternal union from
reuniting the shattered fronds of the [entire fucking, just so you
know] universe -- "Heeeeeey, that's Brizoni. He owes me money, amd not
only that, but his cat bit my dog and cost me thousands of dollars in
cosmetic surgery. An Akita with a cat-jaw sized hole in his ear almost
never wins the annual Animal X Games -- you know, the 'Kill or Be
Killed English Sweepstakes' Michael Vick blesses every year in Druidic
robes at Stonehenge."
Well, I'm just saying. I haven't seen Suli since (I sleep with a loaded
revolver instead.) I've been reading all the adulation in the sci-fi
comments the Boss arranged for himself. Okay. I admit the guy has a
certain facility with words and arguments and like that. And some of
his early poetry-like writing is something like
poetry (if you like poetry
that's isn't like poetry). But the guy behind it all is an absolute
animal. I'm not going to make a big deal of it. I'm Brizoni, and I've
spent so much time in foreign climes that I'm used to animals. Hell,
I've been to Rio de Janeiro. Even the Boss seems civilized compared to
what I do on a Saturday night in Rio. Where was I?
Oh. Dudgeon. Are we all going to sit still for these outrageous vagina
jokes just because he's a fucking genius? I think not. It's
unconscioniousable. Or whatever the word is. You'd have to be one of
those perverts like the Boss even to pronounce it.
You see what I mean. If you know what I mean.
That didn't work out how I intended. Where the hell was I? Oh yeah.
Birthers. Does any one of you Boss-worshipping tools know that a
first-rate attorney named Andrew McCarthy (from the National Review)
Birthers, sort of? Sure you don't. You love the Boss. Who's really,
really, incredibly, oh-so-unbelievably smart.
Like I always say. Right, Boss?
Monday, August 03, 2009
Are U Ready?
Through the wire, up the steps, and
into the open air is The Blade.
Sorry about the computer glitches. They happen from
time to time. But the lengthy discussion in the comments section was
good. As a result, we have two new websites for you. Bad news: the Sci
Fi website will probably have to be restarted, although we will capture
all your comments as part of the 'Mission' and "Rules of Engagement'
discussion. We're not very expert at the starting new blogs business,
so please forgive us. As a consolation prize, we're soliciting better
names for it than the one we thought of off the top of our pointy
heads. There's already a big blog site with approximately the same
name. Give us a better name, and we'll grant the winning entry full
Good News: A new site we should have started a long time ago from the
sound of your posts. A place to talk about everything
without the heavy hand
of InstaPunk and his minions in the way. You
get to make to make up the
rules about what goes there and what doesn't, except for the rules
we've laid down limiting the influence of InstaPunk, LocoPunk,
TruePunk, and CountryPunk. They're still allowed to visit and post, but
only as equal participants, not as scolds or authoritarians. It's all
explained at the new site, which is called:
Go take a look. Of course we'll still be doing our thing at InstaPunk,
but our hope is that some of the topics you debate and discuss THERE
will inspire us to do a better job HERE. All the instructions you need
about how to become a poster at 'In the Metalkort' are contained in the
first entry, which we delegated to the last real survivor of South
Street. He dates back to the time of Zack, before there were punk
demortals who thought they were so smart, and he never bought into the
reign of Cadillac Mope, the fourth king of Punk City, whose hubris has
so obviously set the tone here for so many years.
And, yes, we're dead serious. We want to hear your thoughts. About
everything that interests you, no matter how slight or seditious. It's
never been our intention to become our own echo chamber.We confidently
expect you to spur us to better writing and more insightful
thoughts.And we're always here, always awaiting your best ideas, always
ready to engage when you are.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
So you wanna talk
she's only the second hottest female in sci-fi history.
All right. You all like Sci-fi. Got it. Just wondering if
it's possible to get past the favorite shows, favorite episodes
discussion to something deeper. Let me try. I admit I'm at a
disadvantage here, even though a lot of the punk writing oeuvre could
be considered science fiction, too. Irony? I'll leave you all to
wrestle with that if you want to. Feel free.
I think the thing for me to do here, though, is explain why a lot of
science fiction icons leave me cold, and what I did like about the few
works I've enjoyed. Then you can fiill me in on where I've missed the
boat or why my own experience and criteria are deficient. Sound fair?
First, a sort of honest inventory of my likes and dislikes. I loved the
original Star Trek
the cheesy sets and effects, because of
Shatner. Period. He filled that captain's chair. He had a real taste
for combat. When he went to work against the Romulans or Klingons with
photon torpedoes, etc, I believed it. The worse the odds, the more he
seemed to be alive and in command. None of the endless other Star Trek
spin-offs ever convinced me, and perversely, the more they tried to
upgrade their makeup and special effects, the more bored I got. Turns
out, one of my biggest hangups about all science fiction is plastic
faces and bizarrely eccentric body forms, which from the very beginning
seemed to me to be a kind of cartoon multi-culti statement intended as
propaganda for dumbasses. I also think the few plots I saw of the Star
Trek Next Generation
series reinforced all that in a big
last thing in the world Piccard ever wanted to do was use the awesome
firepower of the Enterprise. And since these shows really are space
operas (i.e., high tech horse operas featuring the U.S. Cavalry against
the Indians IN SPACE), what on earth (pun intended) is the point if nothing ever
I have truly loathed every single episode of the endless Star Wars
saga. Too cute by half,
fake mythological, and increasingly self-important. I remember Bill
Moyers conducting an interminable series of interviews with Joseph
, whom I actually liked when he lectured us at my school.
his repeated references to Star Wars
in the Moyers series set my teeth
on edge. The beginning of pop intellectualism, which is no doubt
responsible for the fact that it's now possible to take courses in
comic books at major universities. Suck.
[My only other personal brush with icons in this realm -- the day a
publisher bought The Boomer Bible
I saw Isaac Asimov hailing a cab in New York. I thought his muttonchop
sideburns looked ridiculous, and he looked sour. But no one's at his
best hailing a cab in the Big Apple.]
I didn't read the science fiction classics as a boy. No Heinlein. No
Arthur Clarke. Like everybody else in the known universe I was required
to read Ray Bradbury's Illustrated
. A Hitchcock/O'Henry trick ending sort of piece. Yawn. I once saw
Harlan Ellison interviewed on the old Tom Snyder Show, the one with the
blacked out set and lots of cigarette smoking going on. Ellison
explained -- this was way back in the days when people were wondering
if Star Trek
would ever rise
from the dead -- that he had submitted a movie script in which the
entire universe is destroyed and the Enterprise has to bring it back,
but the producers told him his story "wasn't big enough." He was
clever, but he was also fondest of one of the -- to my mind worst and
shallowest -- Star Trek
scripts ever, the gruelingly obvious allegory about a half-black-half-white man chasing a half-white-half-black man through the universe
in perpetual hatred. He was proud of that effort. Phooey.
Which is a big big part of my whole problem with science fiction. I
actually began my professional writing career at a company called
Datapro that did technical reviews of every kind of computer product.
Everyone who interviewed there was told of the constant dilemma of the
hiring bosses: hire a technical whiz who could learn to write or a
writer who could learn about digital technology. (The best of us all
was a Wesleyan music major who learned datacom by "hearing" the bit
stream in her mind. Genius.) Science fiction writers always struck me
as scientific types who fancied themselves as writers. Their technical
inventions were formidable, but their characterizations, their themes,
their philosophical musings were, well, superficial. And in the rare
cases when they weren't superficial, they were decidedly lacking in
I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey
the year it came out, in Cinerama, which was stupendous. But in human
terms, it was as dry as one of those ancient inert craters on the moon.
A function of admittedly admirable intellect entirely divorced from
human experience. How much wisdom could it possibly contain? One could
admire it as some sort of intricate puzzle, but one could not feel
anything for anyone in it. Is that even a movie?
What else? I liked the first Alien
but it wasn't really a science fiction movie. It was a horror movie set
in space. Every sequel has gotten worse. I liked the first two Terminator
movies, but chiefly
because they were action movies, science fiction as prop warehouse
rather than perspective-changing premise. The more they grapple with
time travel, the more incoherent they get. (Really
hated the TV series about
Sarah Connor; I'm as fond of gratuitous nudity as the next guy but the
female terminator was creepy, the putative savior of mankind was a
hopelessly immature chump, and mom was borderline incestuous in the way
that only network television can intimate without ever committing to.)
I liked the Stargate
which is to me one of the few science fiction movies that resonates
past the end credits. Why? Because it did not amputate itself from
human history, the ultimately fascinating mystery of human origins,
that to me is the only real topic of art and literature. An absurd take
on it, perhaps, but still one that allows us to consider and reconsider
our own unexamined assumptions about where we come from and what that
Does it seem like I'm not getting anywhere? That's where you're wrong.
I have a litmus test for science fiction that is closely analogous to
my litmus test for religions. The latter is a simple one: if your
religion discourages you from asking questions and seeking illumination
from the possibly surprising answers to those questions, your religion
is a death cult, not a path to salvation or spiritual enlightenment.
Sci-Fi? If your premise separates itself entirely from earthly human
experience, any allegory it attempts is cheap, and there's absolutely
nothing remotely worthwhile about it. No exceptions. No human
imagination can make up an entire civilization from scratch. Every such
attempt is chock full of cheating, hidden assumptions, and most often,
downright propaganda. (There goes Dune
including all past imperfect and future perfect versions of the same
That's why I got taken in, as I admit I did, by Battlestar Galactica
ago. I thought they were converging on a human experience. Table
lamps. Whiskey. Anglo-European military ranks. Pet dogs. In the end it was the most
fraudulent piece of sci-fi crap I have ever endured. Corrupt and empty
from start to finish. A talky, muddled, self-indulgent soap opera that
resembled Twin Peaks
than it did Star Wars
which the original
series was a blatant ripoff.
To my mind, sci-fi is mostly junk. The few examples I like are movies
that succeed on traditional virtues like character, clever plot, and
action fun. I like Riddick
. It's exciting. I
like the first Predator
-- simple and exciting.. I
like -- and I'm surprised no one mentioned -- FarScape
, which I like because of
Claudia Black, Claudia Black, and, of course, Claudia Black. I like Soldier
starring Kurt Russell. I
liked the old Doctor Who
starring Tom Baker, not because it was sci-fi or
moving in any way, but because it was classically mordant British
comedy, which they no longer do now that they're a dying nation. And I
liked the cheesy sets and the music one of the commenters finds
unsettling. Loved it, in fact.
As a kid I read an Edgar Rice Burroughs book, one, about some hero on
the moon. Enjoyed it a lot without understanding a word of it; I think
it was part of some saga I never found the beginning or end of. Only
science fiction I actually remember. Well, I remember reading
Fahrenheit 451, but nothing in it. No Claudia Black.
Now. Do your worst. You started it. I invited you to continue. Have fun.
I say fun? I'm sure I did. Which is spelled C-L-A-U-D-I-A
Who the hell else is actually having fun these days? You see what I do
for you, my children?
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