A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

29 February 2004

Yo-ho Me hearty!

It happened. As soon as people thought it was the end of the blog, I received a storm of messages to my inbox. "Don't miss out!!" some cried, and also "Add 2 to 4 Inches!!!" and "Make $$$ in your spare time!!!!"

In the face of such an outcry, what can I do?

So here 'tis. The blog is back.

Since it's 5 AM on a Sunday, one might think I would blog on insomnia. Not so. Tonight (Actually, it's now tomorrow morning I suppose) it is pirates that roil my id.

  • Y'know, I figured there had to be some sort of pirate wholesale store (surely one can't expect the crews of corsairs to go paying retail), and now I've found it.

  • Of course a true raider should always keep a weather eye out for bargains.

  • Given that the penalty for piracy is death, perhaps you could persuade the judge that this guy did all the talking?

  • Lately there have been efforts to re-romanticize pirates. The popular pirate of Jump Street, seen here, has everybody singing "A Pirate's Life for Me" (although with everyone singing it you'd think I could have found an audio clip--no luck).

    The movie was pretty damn good, thinks I. But remember, it was the second film based on a Disneyland attraction that already existed. This wretched and hopefully soon forgotten flick was the first.

    But this isn't the first pirate flick to capture public imagination. This features the best Robin Hood of all time (This party should be beaten to death with his own angst, but a club would be fine in a pinch--the music at that last site shuts off after about fifteen seconds, by the way, which is a good thing).

    But for the true pirate soul, there can be only one book, and one movie. Who amongst ye would curse Robert Newton?

    Pirates make a good symbol: They indulge in bad acts for "good reasons", so the romantic in us wishes to believe. Actually, most of them were fairly pragmatic people, captured and "turned" to piracy, or making a choice to live fast and die of scurvy.

    Bartholemew Roberts wrote the definitive pirate Articles, including provisions for workers' compensation: He almost beat this outfit into their core market.

    Everybody knows this fella, right?

    Of course, the romantic image suffers a bit when you consider the historical record.

    But there were "Gentleman" pirates. Though not, it appears, "Gentlewomen", or at least none you could tell by looking.

    Speaking of which--take a look at this! If "ad absurdum" is one of your favourite phrases, click here, otherwise read the news release about their battle with this outfit. I suppose piracy was involved, when you think about it. Certainly the modern-day equivalent.

    But ya gotta love the giftshop!

    A note: "this outfit" means Kelloggs--but their Web site wasn't available [Later: Got it] this morning. Perhaps it's computer-breakfast time? Wow-no results for computer-breakfast. Think I'll just nip out and register that domain name!

    A nice resource site, though not pretty.

    Just so's yer know: I'll be sailin' under this name. You can damn well find your own!

    By the way, don't bother visiting this homepage. it's the worst page I think I've ever seen in design & organization terms. Just go straight here.

    Catholic Movie Reviews. Who knew?

    You have to love a Web site that declares itself to be composed of "Biased and Superficial Science Fiction Reviews".

    26 February 2004

    The End of the Blog

    Warning: This entry is entirely pointless!

    Well folks, this is supposed to be it.

    "Not so!" I hear you cry (but oh so faintly).

    As I said, "supposed to be". The school project is over and indeed it has gone terribly, terribly wrong. For I find myself reluctant to stop. But I can quit anytime I want. Really. I'm no thirtysomething media addict.

    It's interesting. I still tend to consider blogging to be a sort of mental masturbation, really: You may enjoy it but after a while you start to think that it would be nice to have someone on the other end.

    But I seem, for some odd reason, to have developed a following, of a sort. There are people who, God help 'em, have nothing better to do than read my mumbled maunderings. Of course I also read the blogs of those who read mine: mutual admiration. . .or possibly honour among thieves.

    But let's not pretend that my reluctance to knock it off and subside gracefully into the gaping silence of cyberspace has anything to do with "the fans".

    So whither have I wandered as I pandered. . .sorry, that's "pondered"--or is it?

    Are you getting your full Marx?

    I was getting P.O'd when I suddenly found myself P.I.'d. Me and the PI were getting pie-eyed, when we decided to pause for pie. The PI had to pee, so I perched in place and pondered the percentage of people who can't prove the value of pi.

    Boy, I'm getting pissed! Actually, it seems I couldn't possibly be. Perhaps I need some pringles?

    Hmmm. No Pringles. But there's something immensely satisfying about a sangie made from two slices of bread and two of these.

    I'm truly rambling and pointless tonight. I'd apologise, but hey; you were warned.

    As I said earlier. We're supposed to be knocking off. But I think I'll stick around and see if anything happens next.

    24 February 2004

    Gently Disturbed

    For some reason, I have a feeling of disquiet this evening.

    Seriously. I just sort of feel as though I'm freefalling, as though I'm shaken by some enormous event that happened before I could notice it, or that perhaps hasn't yet happened.

    Seriously: When I speak of momentous things happening before you can notice them, I mean the things like the time that you turned the corner just before the accident happened. The day that you beat out your sister to the pic-nic table, and she got the sandwich with the really, really warm mayonnaise.

    Hmm. Bloggus interruptus for long pointless phone call with friend. However, the random conversation got me onto another topic:

    Y'ever ask someone if they remember something from your kidhood? I mean someone your age--what your parents remember is, for the most part, a pleasant fiction designed to account for your transformation from dribbling baby to surly teenager to unaccountably responsible individual--or in some cases quite the reverse.

    Anyway, I had asked people over the years if they remembered a cartoon called "Speedbuggy". No-one did, and I found myself wondering if I somehow had imagined it.

    Turns out I didn't. The car was voiced by the "Man of a Thousand Voices" himself, whose other major character was dis guy. Check out the theme tune, by the way. Kinda catchy.

    But it got me to thinking: What about "Princesse Saphire"? This was an anime series I remember seeing when I was a kid.

    Again, no-one had heard of it. But thanks to the miracle of cyberspace, where glurge and nostalgia are the second-biggest industry after porn, I can look it up!

    By the way: Why people would pay for porn when there's quality stuff available right here beats the hell outta me. Oops--I meant here. . .or maybe not. It sure ain't here.

    (Why, by the way, would anyone be nostalgic for the 80's? It was, as Garry Trudeau once put it: "A kidney stone of a decade". Disco became entrenched, syntho-pop enjoyed its heyday, and Reagan was president for most of it.)

    Turns out the show was retailed to North America as "Princess Knight". because I saw it in French (at which I had, at the time, seriously limited skill) I thought the disguised Princess was a guy for a long while. With 20-20 hindsight I faintly remember my relief when I realized "he" was a "she"--'cos I always thought that girl was beautiful.

    The series was one of the creations of master pioneer animator Osamu Tezuka, who redid "Metropolis" in anime in the nineties shortly before passing on. He also put together this guy. Tezuka's major creations were mostly published as manga in the fifties before he turned to animation.

    While I'm on the topic:
  • I knew this guy as Albator. Who translates these names anyway?

  • This was Goldorak

  • Battle of the Planets was the first anime I ever saw in English. Until then, I'd assumed it was an exclusively French medium.

  • That's a geocities page, so it's a bit annoying with all the little banners. But it has a really good version of the theme. This one's pretty good.

    Well rooting around online for the dregs of my childhood seems to have dispersed that malaise I was into earlier--maybe I just got a bad burrito somewhere.

    See ya.

    18 February 2004

    Not a hell of a lot going on right now, so today will once again be. . .

    Random Search Day!!!!

    Warning: Multiple exclamation marks are quite clearly the sign of an unbalanced mind.

    It occurs to me that while I've often heard of gratuitous violence, I've never hear of un-gratuitous violence. So why not look for some?

  • Here's some people who want to tell you what your kiddies should be watching.

  • They actually sound fairly credible, although the sight is furiously busy and crowded-looking. Definitely not intended for the junior set.

  • A five-year-old study calling for a reduction in TV and movie violence.

  • The study really doesn't reach any shocking conclusions: parents mind your kids, TV isn't entirely to blame. Nonetheless, you need to keep track of what they're into and what they're watching.

  • Interesting rant, with a rather cool perspective.

  • Causes one to wonder: what is the difference between written violence and the visible kind?

    I suspect it's ease: It is not necessary to contemplate the death of a bit character, another Indian or background Cowboy, but film may force us to--even if briefly. Where film falls down is the place where main characters are killed or injured. We focus on them for a moment (usually shouting something stupid like "Go on! Leave me!), but then we get on with the living.

    On the other hand, while deaths in print require reflection. It always interested me that when I read phrases like "My seething blade wove a net of death about me" (E.R. Burroughs) I didn't think about how it felt to be on the other end of that blade. The battle scenes from books often don't bother detailing the deaths of the foot soldiers. But we are forced to at least consider the deaths of main characters.

    Perhaps, in order to gain balance, we need moderate doses of both types: We need to consider the Indian dropping from his horse: why he was there, what his last thoughts were of, what he'd been doing that morning.

    But we also need to recognize that life moves on, and carries us, the living, with it (except under certain specific and largely fictional circumstances). We can't continually dwell and mourn. Though we do need to consider the lives and acheivements of the dead.

    We need Gandalf hollering "Fly, you fools!" and the Boy on the Burning Deck. But once their honours are done, we put our hats back on and leave them behind.

    So why the hell are the Smurfs still around? One would think that of all the little annoyances of the Eighties that have gracelessly passed around the bend in the river of Time, they'd have been most securely disappeared.

    Oh well--it's all a plot on the part of the Boston Illuminati, no doubt.

    16 February 2004

    Gotta check this out, you have.

    12 February 2004


    Hi there.

    Are you mad at me?

    Well if you're not gonna talk to me, at least hear me out:

    I kinda blew it yesterday.

    It's been my objective to keep this blog firmly down the middle wherever possible. When I express a preference, I feel that I am obligated to explain why.

    I posted a link in yesterday's blog which might be thought to describe the Bush Cabinet as both criminals and corrupt (As opposed to criminals who are incorruptible? I guess so).

    That was contrary to the spirit of this blog. While I certainly have the right to express that opinion, it is surely to my own detriment and to that of this medium not to explain the reasoning behind such a conclusion.

    Briefly, I've tried--I really have--to find articles supporting the notion that the invasion of Iraq had anything to do with "weapons of mass destruction" (as opposed to nukes, chemical and biological weapons--the US has those).

    No luck. Whenever I find one, it's inevitably connected either to a gun nut, a conspiracy theorist, the Bush league or a neo-conservative Web page. Most of these pages preclude intelligent, logical, argument.

    On the other hand, articles from reliable sources are sometimes equally hard to find. I tend to favour Michael Moore's views because he was out the gate first--well before many of the people who are seriously sour on Bush got started. I also get a lot of my news from the Economist.

    Note: It seems as though one criteria for determining the status of a Web site is its organization, or lack thereof. "God Hates Fags"* is a particularly virulent example.

    But in sum, I am unable to find anywhere a current, accurate, and reliably-sourced article in favour of the war that still claims that A) Saddam had "WMD" or B) doesn't try advancing the specious argument that it doesn't matter whether he did or didn't.

    I think the overall result of the invasion is that Iraq is slightly better off, with a reasonable chance of becoming much better off.

    But good results achieved under false pretences can't be wholly good. And lies in the service of some "greater truth" are still lies.

    This, plus the Web site dedicated to PNAC, I find worrying. If you wonder what that last citation has to do with GWB, scroll to the bottom of the "Statement of Principles" page.

    All in all, I think the sooner the US has an elected President, the better.

    Here's to regime change in November.

    *I won't link to this particular site--not in censorship, but in the belief that anybody who's actually bothered reading my blog thus far is actually interested in something approaching intelligent debate (okay, okay--just plain debate), which said site is dedicated to avoiding.

    That said--I do find it offensive. Instead, here's a better site, designed to mimic that one.


    11 February 2004

    Chuck Lorre productions has been driving me nuts with the little cards, crammed with text, which appear after every episode of their shows.

    That's it for today. Nothing to see. Don't bother scrolling down to the bottom.

    Do I have to admit I like a show that's only on WTN here?

    Okay, okay, I occasionally like a shot of Dharma and Greg. I suppose it's 'cos I find the show somehow sweetly American--reminds me that we're all just people (even those of us who blog--Heresy!). It's also 'cos I've known substantial numbers of people every bit as flaky as her, and every bit as retentive as him.

    However, as time goes on, has anyone else noted that while both of the main characters have lost their extreme flaky-or-uptight-ness, Greg seems to have morphed into a fairly average guy? Dharma, on the other hand, is still clearly an irresponsible, naive dope. This clearly displays the show's male-dominated republican agenda, which is why it only airs on WTN--likely the second least-watched station in the country after APTN.

    WTN is so desperate for viewers that once you're on their Web site, you can't leave: The back button won't take you anywhere.

    Speaking of television, how does this happen? A nationally recognized organization agrees to stump up $2 million to buy thirty seconds of precious Superbowl time, but is turned down because the ad is "controversial".

    The media company involved, CBS, claims they don't go in for "advocacy". They will run ads from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (a bastard organization founded in 1988, and perpetuated by the current band of robber barons).

    But this presumably isn't advocacy, since advocacy is generally about giving the voiceless a voice.

    So lemme get this straight: On the Superbowl, not to mention every-daily tube watching, we see ads for SUV's and beer (and lousy beer at that), often together, and we'll get ONDCP ads telling us and our kids what to think of drugs.

    None of these things is in the slightest way either controversial, or "advocacy".

    Right. Got it (edging away with fear in eyes, grabbing for cell phone to contact men in white coats). Makes perfect sense to me.

    Some notes on stupid Web sites: Coors, as with many other beer sites, requires that you be over twenty-one before entering. Verification is done by assuming that no-one under 21 can do math well enough to figure out a good birth year to enter in the appropriate space. If pornography Web sites were this well-run, it would save a lot of time on behalf of all the thirteen-year-olds filling out "age verification" forms.

    The Hummer site is annoying too. The splash animation deploys (No doubt that's what the GM Web designer called it--it's such a military term!) as a pop-up.

    I must admit my prejudices in this matter:

    Hummers belong on battlegrounds--an environment category under which most roads (with the exception of the L.A. Freeway) don't qualify. Whoa, though.

    Coors light is simply panther p!$$. Historically, prohibition allowed beers under 3% alcohol. Therefore the great brewing traditions of the Irish, Dutch, Germans and others who came to the US to brew beer became somewhat watered down--like the product itself.

    Americans serve beer ice cold because traditionally that's been the only way to avoid tasting it. And a lot of Canadian lager isn't much better.

    No--I'm not a beer snob. But this story seems to confirm that what you're used to is what you prefer to drink, and I grew up in a beer-and-wine-making home, thank you God. More about beer and beer commercials at some other time.

    If you're scrolling to the bottom of this post in response to my earlier remark, this is where to stop:

    Geez--you fell for that? I didn't believe you were that gullible! You deserve a reward. How about some haiku?

    Speaking of gullible. Or how about this (dated) gem from Terry Jones?

    10 February 2004

    From the Web site of "A Prairie Home Companion", in the Pretty Good Jokes section.

    A guy from Alabama was flying to Atlanta to visit his cousin. His plane was due at 3:00, but he didn't show up at his cousin's house until past midnight.

    "What happened?" the cousin asked.

    "Well," the guy said, "I was between floors when they had a power failure, and I was stuck there for seven hours."

    "That's awful!" his cousin said.

    "Yeah," the guy said, "and there ain't even any comfortable way to sit down on an escalator."

    I'm being lazy tonight, in part due to severe back pain. Perhaps I could find relief from it here, or here or maybe here. Aaah--that's the ticket!

    06 February 2004

    Just had to add this site. Unique intro page. If you're really long on time but short on stuff to do, check out his answering machine messages. I think this may be the most navigable page on the entire net!

    Caution, though--Shim's reading is likely to gross you entirely out. It certainly does me. But do check out the gratuitous fish.

    I have, I believe, remarked before on the amazing things one can find on the 'net, for example:

    Lobstercam: Pretty much what you'd expect.

    Killing my Lobster: a site of strangeness. The opening page is annoyingly busy, but it fits the comedy style.

    A Robot Lobster? Clear proof that scientists need to get out more--so's the Web site. Clunky and loaded with jargon--but it's kind of a cool pic.

    This is a fine example of an interesting-sounding page done so badly it's not worth sticking around on. Blue text on white background, I suspect, violates the genre conventions of the Web--we expect the blue colour to be used for other things. Not to mention that the contrast is hard on the eyes. The main link is dead, and it wasn't worth waiting around to find out if there was another way in.

    Lobster Press on the other hand, has quick-loading, sharp, simple pages. The only downside is that only cooked lobsters are red. Better hope your kiddies don't figure that out.

    Bass Lobster needs a lot of work. The home page is crowded, and doesn't tell you word one about what the subject of the page is. The black-on-green text and blobby lobster silhouette don't help, and the rest of the text is boring and crowded-looking. Actually, the whole green-on-beige thing is kinda ugly.

    These guys got it right. Open the page and the nature of the organization is right there. The menu is handy, the page uncluttered, and the picture beautiful (provided you find lobsters beautiful). Some of the text on the other pages could be more usefully "chunked up", but overall a pleasure to read. If you don't visit that page you should at least have a squiz at this one.

    Boy this one's annoying! The site itself is okay, uninspired and text-heavy, but not heavy -handed. however, in order to reach this, I had clicked on a link in my search engine which read: "Giant Tasmanian Freshwater Lobster", with the included text appearing to be about water-dwelling creatures. No dice. It's the municipal Web site for access to the Tasmanian community of Smithton, and nary a clawed invertebrate in-site!

    Omigod! I almost didn't bother visiting this--and me a space junkie! The site suffers from several design problems, but they aren't insurmountable if you're determined.

    General problems observed in this sampling:

    1) Information design--you have to be general enough to get hits from search engines, but specific enough not to anger people looking for info (many Government Web sites have yet to get this straight).

    The information and links need short, descriptive titles; for example, the ubiquitous "About Us" is commonly presumed to refer to an organization's mission statement or purpose, perhaps with something about its history or roots, and its staff.

    If I'm looking for the historic records of the Widgets-R-Us company, and their Web site has links to "History" and "Archive"--I had better have a little blurb to help me decide which to pick. 'Cos in the world of wired you only get half a chance to make a first impression.

    2) Colour--the Mac-designed Doonesbury site (see links at right) shows fine examples of "dirty colours", which include pastels and muted hues. Considering that most monitors rely on a cathode ray tube projecting radiation at the viewers' eyeballs, it behooves us, methinks, to take advantage of muted tones wherever possible. The green around this page is both to mute and to focus. I find other templates less helpful. The blogger green-on-green template seems really hard to read, to my mind.

    Perhaps the trick is to contrast your text with your background, but avoid high contrasts? If the decision is difficult, I'd tend to stick with black-on-white. Also, I'm not certain of the general application, but it looks to me as though the higher the contrast between your text and background, the more you need a sans serif font (like this one). The Roman serif font at that blue-on-white page makes for really tough sledding.

    3) General page design--I'm having trouble figuring out why it is that pages I put together that fit on the 15-inch monitors I design on don't fit into my 17-inch monitor I view on from home.

    The single most annoying thing about any page is having to scroll one inch to the right to see the end of the line, then back again to see the beginning of the next. When I find pages like that I often copy and paste the text into a .txt file to read in comfort.

    4) Oh--and noise. I don't mind a short intro soundburst, but repeating themes and effects (the menu "blip" and page loading "shhh" at Doonesbury spring to mind) eventually make me turn off the sound. And for the love of whatever you believe in, don't make it MIDI those single-tone electronic bleeps are responsible for a number of workplace shootings--I'm convinced of it.

    By the way, the word of the day is. . . ?

    04 February 2004

    $#*, drugs, and no rock.

    You can have a litttle roll, though.

    Hi! How ya been? I was just thinking about you.

    Oh no--not those sorts of thoughts at all! Well maybe one or two.

    From this site, a crazy thought: "if electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?"

    Let us consider the Super Bowl.

    Not much of a sports fan am I. I watch hockey when it's the season, and I'll scope out the odd baseball game if the Expos aren't playing too $^!##-ily. But the Supe really doesn't do it for me.

    So I missed the exctement of the half-time show, when several million adult Americans almost saw a breast. Just in case you managed to not see the moment in the resultant frenzy, here it is. Clearly miss J. had not planned to show her boob, as the nipple would surely have been better covered--not that the piercing-and-nipple-medallion thing isn't interesting.

    It was a revealing moment, and not just for Janet Jackson. What it was revealing was a very schizoid attitude to sex.

    Canada was colonized by Catholics originally. The French who first occupied the St. Lawrence and the Irish in Newfoundland both had the healthy and practical attitude that colonists have to have to survive. It may be sinful, but (gallic shrug) eh bien. Later, the influx of English Protestants seems to have somewhat sapped this joie-de-vivre. The perfect example of the Great Divide in Canada (no, no, we'll get to that one later) appeared in the 1990's, in the City of Toronto.

    (By the by, that Newfie link is pretty boring, but it was all I could find at the time. So here's the Web site for The Great Eastern.)

    Toronto is still regarded by many as the national capital of Canada, although maps cleverly misdirect the visitor into thinking it's a culturally significant bog some hundred miles further North. Toronto made history when the prudes at city hall banned a Canadian group called the Barenaked Ladies from performing at the city's Nathan Phillips Square--not theSkydome (isn't that Web site ₤µ€λin' obnoxious?) for reasons to do with the band's name.

    Everybody in Montreal nodded sagely, shrugged gallicly, and said Eh, bien. les Anglais sont fous, ques' tu peut faire? ("Whatever, the Anglos are nuts. Whaddaya gonna do?"). Everybody under the age of six said: Hahahaha Bare-naked Ladies--Funny! Hah-ha! in high-pitched Jerry Lewis voices. Everyone above the age of reason (12 for girls, 21 or so for boys) said What the hell was wrong with the name?, and every male above the age of six but under 21 said: Bare-naked Ladies--Funny! Hur-hur! in breaking Jerry Lewis voices.

    Britain came by her protestantism more-or-less honestly, but the political realities of her blended population acted with the weight of history to create (after several dozen massacres of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and anyone else handy) a more-or-less tolerant nation. Thus, after many decades of attempting to regulate pornography, leather perverts and homosexuals, the British attitude to sex became "Well they will do it, won't they? Best not to inquire, really." Even in modern Britain though, sex has preserved a certain almost-innocent "naughtiness", which while it tinges the debate, doesn't poison it entirely, and leaves room for the healthy growth of actively sexual citizens.

    The United States was colonized by Puritans, and even today more of her population identify themselves as strongly religious than any other nation. Note--that's strongly religious, not strongly Christian. There is room in modern America for Muslims (and Moslems), Hindu, and Sikh, among others (and there are a great many others).

    But America's sexual mores were formed by people who believed that while God created sex, it was the devil who made it pleasurable. At least for women--a lot of folks seem to believe that while women were held to some fictional standard, the men could pretty well do as they liked. Myself, I doubt it. The Puritans were committed to sucking the joy out of life wherever possible. During their reign in England (replacing an admittedly corrupt monarchy with an oligarchic and theocratic republic), this guy banned Christmas. He was later executed--later, in fact, than the day he died by two years. Yep--they hated him so much they dug him up to hang him. Co-incidence? I don't think so.

    Yet he need not have been dismayed. His spiritual heirs are out there yet. This man is noteably anti-sex, anti-drug, and anti rock-and-roll. He is also a committed Christian, culturally speaking. He has publicly expressed preference for the teaching of abstinence (exclusively? I don't yet know but certainly primarily) as "sex-education". This would be like teaching people about jumping out of a plane, then letting them figure out the rest for themselves on the way down and calling it "parachute education".

    Since taking office, he's more or less torn up the usual Republican manifesto on states' rights to forbid states to assume responsibility for their own moral and legal choices. He's restricted science, gay marriage, pot legalization (even allowing federal agents to violate state laws to do it), abortion and education to the preserve of the federal government.

    He's also a big fan of encouraging "faith-based social services". I think this is a great idea--better yet, why don't we move American municipalities toward faith-based emergency services? You know: when you've been hit by a car a crowd gathers around and sings hymns. If God wants you to live, you'll live. Your tax dollars could be directed away from wasteful ambulances and toward those cute little comic books that litter truck stops from hell to Hiaelah--better dead and saved than alive, perhaps?

    That may be a bit unfair, I suppose. Not toward the man, but to organizations such as the Sally Ann and Saint Vincent de Paul Society, who do a $#!^load of good work here in the real world. I do but exaggerate for the purposes of illustration and I hope you'll explain that to the Big Guy when you talk to Him next--no, no, not the one occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the other one.

    While you're at that last one, check out the masterful budget analysis by Ben Cohen.

    Found this while looking. Nice and functional--gets the job done.

    But you can see, with such a person as this in a position of presiding over the national conciousness, how the attitudes of the Prurients--sorry--the Puritans are accepted as normal, and tend to act as another element in the isolation of the country.

    But this is really a sort of cultural schism: On one hand we have reality TV, wading in the prurient and obnoxious, treating the Sacred Subject with the same depth and respect accorded to it by these two. Flip the channel, and these people (and there are so revoltingly many of them) are telling you how wrong it all is. This is partly the Grand Old Republic's greatest strength at home and one of her greatest weaknesses abroad.

    Speaking of a broad. . .who is this woman to be giving advice? 'Specially with this in her past?

    (I couldn't find the nude pics--too bad, she looked kind of dishy before she got all sour and no fun to be with.)

    Oh no--wait, found 'em. Well I figure if you're busy preaching morality you should be honest about it--I'm certain Dr. laura has told people that they have to face up to their pasts, so I think of this as my effort at helping her confront hers.

    Besides--she's kind of dishy.

    [Before you click that link--read this: That link connects you directly to nude pictures of someone who crusades for moral virtue apparently celebrating her flesh in unembarassed hedonism (apparently with a married man). If hypocrisy offends you, you may enjoy this site more than average. That's it for the warning. . .what? Too late? Oops. Sorry.]

    More important warning: That page is operated by an NRA member. I warn you not because I think the NRA are any more nuts than many other groups, but because their shrillness may irk you.

    So here we have an allegedly mature culture in North America (I must include the GWN in this as well, since something approaching 90% of our TV comes from guess where?). A culture in which one may freely show multiple murder in graphic colour at a rate of . . . Yeah. Try to get any agreement from an honest source on THAT question. This site sounds good, and I trust figures from the Kaiser Foundation, whose summation is here.

    Shall we say that the number of murders in graphic colour on TV is estimated to be a bunch?

    Ugh--ugly Web site. Try this one instead. Not a lot better, but consider who it's about. Be thankful it's not astroturf green. Like their lawn.

    Oh--welcome back. While I was searching I found this page, which would be a lot more sincere did it not appear to be sponsored by an ISP.

    By the way, check out this site if you're into Australian Jesus. This is kinda interesting too.

    But we had reached a point where we were about to agree that there were a lot of murders in graphic colour on television. The dichotomy is that with all the murder on TV, and the correlation between that and, particularly, youth violence, why is sex somehow the greater taboo?

    An example. At one time the Fifth Wheel TV program censored instances of two women kissing (They never seem to get two men kissing. Why?). Of course they've since narrowed their target demographic (or perhaps this is a better illustration). Why would they censor this, except either to titillate people who can't get past the idea that a nun is about to happen along and whack their peepee with a ruler (Don't laugh, man--You have no idea how likely that is unless you went to Catholic school!) or because someone or someone else thinks we're morally undermining kids by dragging the truth into moral debate.

    And let's face it, is sex more harmful to the well-prepared or the ill-equipped?

    Basically what happened last Sunday was that millions of US-ians had their violence interrupted for a second or two of sex, and what's got them so angry is that they didn't get a chance to raid the fridge!

    That's gotta be it. I mean, what harm was done otherwise?

    Perhaps if more people spent more time ₤µ€λing, and less time fighting the world might be a somewhat better place? At least we'd have some more interesting fodder for reality TV shows.

    And maybe they wouldn't censor it.


    By the way, cool page here.