Category Archives: Society

iNews Friday – 3/21/2008

Headline: Obama’s Race Speech Heralded as Historic
Translation: ‘Obama’ is a Kenyan name meaning ‘leader’

Headline: Clinton Tries to Keep Plan for Two Revotes Alive
Translation: ‘Hillary’ is an old Scottish name meaning ‘follower’

Headline: Obama confronts nation’s racial issues
Translation: Clinton appeals to nation’s worst tendencies

Headline: Clinton Records From ’90s to Be Released on Wednesday
Translation: Bush adds Hey Man Smell My Finger, Dope Dogs to iPod playlist

Headline: Sci-fi giant Arthur C. Clarke, dead at 90
Translation: Literary giant buried in monolith-shaped coffin

Headline: Translation:

Headline: Starbucks will ‘fight to the death,’ Schultz says
Translation: To the last drop

Headline: Seattle area becoming much more international
Translation: Seattle begs for annexation by Canada

Headline: Defiant president defends high cost of the Iraq war
Translation: “Halliburton added 15% service charge to the bill,” Bush says

Headline: California Court Awards Starbucks Baristas $105 Million in Tip Dispute
Translation: Starbucks baristas win un milione venti judgment
Translation (Turbo mode): “Where will I get a tip jar that big?” Schultz complains

Headline: McCain: Purim = Halloween?
Translation: Man wearing Lieberman mask terrifies Israeli children

Headline: Astronauts on spacewalk test patch for shuttle tiles
Translation: Yet another use found for duct tape
Translation (Turbo mode): KFC Extra Crispy to be included in NASA food packs, tool kits

Headline: Men of the Matyo minority pour buckets of water on girls dressed in their traditional clothing, in Mezoekoevesd, Hungary, during a rehearsal for a typical Hungarian Easter tradition.
Translation: The wet peasant dress contest is a centuries-old feature of Hungarian Spring Break

R.I.P. Science Fiction

Just a word folks on Arthur C. Clarke who passed away yesterday at the age of 90.

Arthur C. ClarkeNow I know it’s hyperbole to talk about the ‘death of Science Fiction’ or the ‘end of an era’. There are many fine SciFi writers out there, but Clarke was the last of a generation that had a gift for remarkable story telling, and the man himself was one of the best.

The Songs of Distant EarthMy example? Well it’s not 2001 or Rendezvous With Rama. It’s The Songs of Distant Earth, a book written toward the end of Clarke’s career that surrounds humanity’s forced exodus from our planet. Without bending the laws of physics, a last set of generation ships leave earth heading for the systems where ships before them went to set up colonies. The description of Earth and the people left behind in the final years, days, and hours before the planet’s destruction is one of best in the genre. Clarke’s story of the refugees finding a lost colony on their way to their new home is suffused with guilt, regret, bitterness, determination, and hope…all the qualities that make for great writing, not just great science fiction writing.

I don’t read much science fiction anymore, but I wish that the genre still had the vitality that it seemed to have when giants like Clarke were in their prime.

George Bush – Asshole of the Week (Most Weeks)

Two weeks ago, after Bush vetoed the joint resolution banning the CIA’s use of torture on ‘high-value’ suspects, I thought hard about giving him my ‘Asshole of the Week’ award…but didn’t.

I should have.  Because, after 5 years of feigned indignation at the use of term ‘torturer’ in reference to the United States, this waste of a man, this preening jackass, confirmed what the whole world already knows: Yes we do use torture and yes the mother-f*cking Bush Administration isn’t going to stop using torture to get what it wants!

Asshole of the Week (Most Weeks)But then, Bush followed up with a display of monumental hubris. Drawing himself up with importance, he once again proclaimed how America must wean itself from its dependence on foreign oil just before shooting that sentiment in the foot with a lame reference to the 20 car motorcade that brought him to the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference. Gee George, thought that stupid joke up all by yourself did ya? You miserable tool!

However, in the end, it was a little discussed headline this last week that pushed me over the edge. You see Bush demonstrated that, despite all his feigned sympathy for the little man, he actually doesn’t give a crap what happens to Americans. In fact, by personally (and illegally) interfering in the EPA’s strengthening of seasonal ozone limits, Bush is essentially signing the death warrants of thousands of Americans, all so that his paymasters can have a bit more dinero in their pockets. Because that’s what additional smog-forming ozone does…it kills people—the young, the old, the infirm—just as surely as if Bush himself had gunned them down himself with a legally obtained assault weapon.

So there you have it, enough stuff to make it worth declaring George Bush ‘The Asshole of the Week’…in fact, the most monumental of assholes.

iNews Friday: now with VIDEO! – 3/14/2008

Headline:

Translation: Russia elects Pet Shop Boys to succeed Putin

Headline: Translation:

Headline: McCain Criticizes Ambitious Bear Study
Translation: McCain wants Endangered status for pic-a-nic baskets

Headline: Spitzer linked to prostitution ring
Translation: “No lobbying took place,” says Spitzer

Headline: Drugs Found in Drinking Water
Translation: Bush-Cheney slipped America a Roofie – “I passed out in Florida in 2000 and woke up in Iraq,” charges distraught nation

Headline: New York Lt. Governor says he’s in limbo
Translation: Pope asks Paterson to find out what happens to souls of babies

Headline: Boeing to file protest over Air Force KC-X tanker decision
Translation: Boeing 7-Protest-7 already a year behind schedule

Headline: NY Times – “New York’s government cannot afford to be paralyzed while Mr. Spitzer games his political prospects”
Translation: Certainly not at Emperors VIP prices

Headline: Ferraro – Obama is lucky he’s black
Translation: Says the genius behind the 1984 Mondale landslide

Headline: Aircraft Carrier Eisenhower Heads to Iran
Translation: Military Industrial Complex announces plan to sacrifice Eisenhower in Tonkin-esque non-attack

Headline: Pentagon seeks uniformity on taping interrogations
Translation: Pentagon regroups after investing in HD-DVD, may revive the 8-Track

Headline: Monk Protests in Tibet Draw Chinese Security
Translation: China begs Tony Shaloub to call off his followers

Headline: Carlyle Fund in Free Fall As Its Banks Get Nervous
Translation: Gee, if only they had a friend in the government to bail out all those leveraged investments…

Headline: Congress Holds Secret Spying Session
Translation: GOP Caucus holds James Bond movie night at Boehner’s house

Headline:

Translation: Mentally drafting divorce settlement
Translation (Turbo Mode): “Why weren’t MY overproduced and derivative R&B pop songs enough to satisfy you?”

Headline: Queen Elizabeth opens new Heathrow terminal
Translation: Bush opens new payday loan franchise

Civic Doodie

Let’s provide the context, shall we? I live on a gentrified block next to a skeazy area of Sodom by the Sea. This is the compromise I made in order to be able to own my nicely renovated hovel rather than rent for considerably more $$$ per month. And, practically speaking, I put up with a lot of stuff that I could otherwise avoid. Sweeping other people’s trash from the 12 X 40 feet of concrete in front of my building is an almost daily occurrence. Scrubbing tags (graffiti) from our building? Yeah…almost monthly. Repainting? Just as often. I even have to chase the occasional addict from our stoop—guess we have particularly comfy concrete since people keep collapsing on it. But when some low-life decides to take a crap next to our tree, well that’s a little much!

Not that this doesn’t also happen occasionally. Sometime in the last decade, SF’s homeless decided that rather than use one of our cities rare public toilets, the whole city should be their toilet. But here’s what’s different. Our anonymous midnight crapper decided to build a lean-to over his doodie—out of a cigarette carton—a little pup-tent for his poop!

And what I don’t get is this: Why the f*ck would you try to hide a pile of your own excrement? Surely your Mom told you that society frowns on that whole taking a crap on the sidewalk thing? Well at least if you’re any older than the age of two…and hiding it isn’t going to make any difference. I mean, after a few hours in the sun the flies and the smell are gonna sort of…give it away! Right? Or perhaps it’s the condemnation of passers-by that you won’t be around to hear. “Look Mommy, someone left a doodie on the sidewalk.”

Oh well. Now I know what hoses are made for. Hope that guy who owns the Ford Edge doesn’t look under his car.