Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Next week on Family Guy...

Meg's new classmate is a little girl described as a "pickaninny," who says "Mah mamma is the Fuhst Lady and the President's mah daddy... Ah thinks."

Liberals expected to find this hilarious.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

'Sgen ti sws i fi? (For Wharf Rat)

Making some use of the USB turntable my Lovely and Brilliant Wife gave me as a Father's Day present last year, I transferred some hard-to-find Welsh pop from vinyl to the computer. I remember Wharf Rat singing along with this song when she wasn't much more than three or four.

The title means "Do you have a kiss for me?" It's a really cute song by an 80s pop band called Bando, sung from the POV of children on the playground. The sort of rap-esque parts are actually Welsh nursery rhymes. Wharf Rat knew those, too, as I used to read them to her. If I get time I may see if I can transcribe the words one of these days. This is the accent I learned the language in, but I've gotten so rusty it's hard to make out some of them and the lyric sheet I had for the album has long ago disappeared.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I've heard of Miller Time, but...

This wasn't even a typo or anything. It was just a really, really unfortunate juxtaposition. The news layout person here at The Greatest Newspaper in the Northwest™ can't see the ads on the screen, so she had no idea what was next to the headline. Fortunately, the realtor (whose face I've intentionally blurred) has a good sense of humor.

It reminds me of a time years ago, when we still ran our own presses, and we got a furious phone call from the owner of a restaurant. He had placed an ad for experienced cooks and was unhappy with the result. Seems back in the press room, a speck of dust had fallen on the plate and turned the second "o" into a "c." That the ad also said "References required" didn't help. That guy didn't have a sense of humor. But then, who could blame him with the calls he was probably getting?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Looking backward through a glass darkly

For our anniversary, my Lovely and Brilliant Wife gave me a VCR-Computer converter so I could put the old movies I've stored away on VHS onto my computer and thence onto DVD. Well, the first thing I converted was my dad's wedding video from 1985. Because it wasn't copyrighted, I stuck it up on the Internet Archive for the world to see.

The quality is a little grungy, either from the aged tape or from my too-wimpy computer. Mostly it will be of interest to family members, although anyone who wants to is welcome to mock the sight of me, standing up as the best man at 18 in my first grown-up suit. (I still have that jacket hanging in my closet.)

It was really strange hearing my dad's voice. See, I sound a whole lot like him, just slightly lower. But Long Drink could be a ringer for him every time he opens his mouth. I hadn't realized they were that similar. Mostly, it was good just to see my dad as I remember him, six years before he died. We had kind of a complicated relationship, my dad and I, and I wish he could have lived to see it settle into normalcy and to enjoy his tribe of grandchildren.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I thought we settled this at Yorktown

BBC: Why don't Americans vote like their betters?

Condescending gits.

Smoke this, Frank Rich!

I can't see why anyone would waste perfectly good ink on this uncultured ass-ferret.
[T]he most common last-ditch argument for preserving “don’t ask” heard last week, largely from Southern senators, is to protect “troop morale and cohesion.” Every known study says this argument is a canard, as do the real-life examples of the many armies with openly gay troops, including those of Canada, Britain and Israel. But the argument does carry a telling historical pedigree. When Harry Truman ordered the racial integration of the American military in 1948, Congressional opponents (then mainly Southern Democrats) embraced an antediluvian Army prediction from 1940 stating that such a change would threaten national defense by producing “situations destructive to morale.” History will sweep this bogus argument away now as it did then.

This from a carefully-balanced editorial called "Smoke the Bigots out of the Closet." See, in Rich's world, it's only bigotry that keeps us all from thrusting the entire U. S. military into a frenzy of fabulosity.

Now, personally, I think the whole issue is going to need to be dealt with soon, and the solution is not to keep gay people out of the service altogether. DADT was nothing more than a stopgap and I don't think anyone expected it to be. I'm glad to see that President Obama isn't trying to force the issue through himself. Frankly, I don't think he's got the chops with the military to pull it off, even as commander-in-chief. But if the push comes from senior officers who have earned respect, they may be able to work out an accommodation that doesn't alienate the vast majority of servicemen who are heterosexual.

But Rich will have none of that. He draws on his vast knowledge of military culture, gleaned from avoiding service in Vietnam, to show that John McCain actually knows nothing about the profession of arms. And clearly, Marine wife Cassandra is just ironing her sheet and soaking her cross in gasoline when she writes:
Unlike skin color, human sexuality - whether female or male, heterosexual or homosexual - is a fundamental and extremely powerful driver of human behavior. To elide past this basic truth requires an almost willful act of blindness.

My own opinions about both women and gays openly serving in the military have undergone a radical shift during the last thirty years. I began by seeing no reason why both women and gays shouldn't be able to serve anywhere they wished to. What changed my mind over the years, contrary to the bigoted assertions of close minded individuals who refuse to entertain ideas that challenge their world view, was not misogyny or fear of Teh Gay...

There are rational objections to allowing gays to serve openly and they aren't based on the assumption that homosexuals behave differently than heterosexuals. They are based on the assumption that gays are no different from you and me. How is that bigotry?

Well, to Frank Rich, "bigotry" actually translates to "ability to count to twenty-one with your fly zipped." Read the whole thing. That will put you light-years ahead of the washed-up ignoramus who edits the New York Times.

P.S.: Here's more bigotry information from Cassandra that the Times will vilify you for knowing.