The Idiom

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Surly Sighting

Due to his extended absence from this blog, we have been forced to send out a search party to find Mr. Surly. Although they failed to capture him, at least we have a confirmed sighting...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Always Remembered

The United States has been at war for 1,327 days.

Most of us have not been called to sacrifice. Some of us have sacrificed more than we, the living, could ever have right to ask.

Spend some time today contemplating those who have given what Lincoln termed, "the last full measure of devotion," to liberate oppressed people in foreign lands and to secure our own liberty for future generations.

The cost of The War is indeed high. It is incumbent upon us to at least know their names.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Kid Various is not at all a religous man, but he understands the words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Indeed,

"As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free..."


Kid Various has read the script, and is not impressed. If it remains in its current form, it makes makes several dramatic blunders that will contrast it negatively with the original. But still, seeing the poster gives The Kid a thrill.

Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty that killed the Beast!

European Superstate?...NON!


The French have voted down the proposed European Union by a substantial margin. Of course, what the article points out is that those who voted no in France overwhelmingly voted no for the wrong reasons.

Unlike the Dutch, who seem likely to vote down the treaty this Wednesday, French detractors are not necessarily worried about ceding sovereignty to an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels (with weak powers of oversight granted to the European Parliament) but rather, seemed to be frightened that powerful supranational authority would shove capitalism down their collective throats and attack the French "social model."

After observing the general economic/social trajectory of Western European nations, Kid Various has no understanding of where they got that idea.

However, it does seem to be a general fear of the influx of nations from New Europe, which are much more dynamic and less statist than Old Europe. The French being afraid that those nations will remake them, rather than they remaking Eastern Europe. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea for Lithuania to join the EU after all.

The NY Times article also neatly sums up the problem with France in general:

At the polling place at the Karl Marx primary school in downtown Bobigny, a working-class suburb of Paris, by contrast, there was no sense that Europe's future hinged on the constitution.

With 18 percent unemployment and a large ethnic Arab and African population, 72 percent of the voters there said no.

The probelm being, that there is a Karl Marx primary school in France!!!

What the hell is up with that? What is that saying about French society? And you wonder why France has double digit unemployment and stagnant growth.

Regardless, The Kid is happy that the French have had the opportunity to make such decisions for themselves in a real election rather than just having the Euroelites tell them what's good for them. In the end that's healthier.

Of course, as Mark Steyn notes, whether or not the Euroelites will allow that to happen is an open question:

So, a couple of days before the first referendum, Jean-Claude Juncker, the "president" of the European Union, let French and Dutch voters know how much he values their opinion:

"If at the end of the ratification process, we do not manage to solve the problems, the countries that would have said No, would have to ask themselves the question again," "President" Juncker told the Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

Got that? You have the right to vote, but only if you give the answer your rulers want you to give. But don't worry, if you don't, we'll treat you like a particularly backward nursery school and keep asking the question until you get the answer right. Even America's bossiest nanny-state Democrats don't usually express their contempt for the will of the people quite so crudely.

Juncker is a man from Luxembourg, a country two-thirds the size of your rec room, and, under the agreeably clubby EU arrangements, he gets to serve as "president" without anything so tiresome as having to be voted into the job by "ordinary people." His remarks capture precisely the difference between the new Europe and the American republic.

Also, see Instapundit's roundup of referendum posts...

Friday, May 27, 2005

If You Build Them, They Will Come.

Donald Trump is a loud mouthed, glory seeking blow-hard.

He is also, absolutely right.

Trump's alternative would be replicas of the original 110-story towers, only a bit taller. The design and model by architect Ken Gardner, embraced by Trump, offered buildings that would be 1,474 feet -- more than a hundred feet taller than the original towers, once the world's tallest buildings.

"What we need is support to build a bigger and better version of two buildings and more that were taken down by people that were animals," Trump said. "If something happened to the Statue of Liberty, you wouldn't rebuild it as something other than the Statue of Liberty."

On September 12, Kid Various said that the Towers have to be rebuilt, only stronger, taller and better.

Only in this fashion will we demonstrate that we will not be cowed by pre-modern savages who couldn't possibly design and build such a structure. The current design for the Freedom Tower is a capitulation because, as Trump notes, it's not a 1776 foot high building.

It is a 60 story building, with an exoskeleton built around it that raises the level of the "tower" to 1776 feet. Most of the structure is nothing but air.

It is a poor substitute for the Twin Towers. And Trump is right. If flight 93 had made it's target and crashed into the White House, would we have not rebuilt the White House? Would we not have rebuilt the Capitol, or the Statue of Liberty?

The Freedom Tower is a copout, designed by timid money changers and politicians who fear that they'd wouldn't be able to recoup the costs of the buildings because they'd be a target.

Of course they'd be a target!

Because when you step out of the cowering crowd and announce "I am not afraid of you," you make yourself a target.

Are we now going to spend the rest of our existence as a nation not building skyscrapers because they'd be targets for terrorists? Is the Freedom Tower, or anything else built at Ground Zero going to be anything less of a target? Are we going to pull down floors off the Empire State Building or the Sears Tower?

These small men fear that if they rebuild the Towers (or anything else suitably grand to give the savages the big FU) that no one will rent the office space. How short sighted they are.

First, this isn't a monetary issue. It's a matter of not running away with your tail between your legs.

Secondly, yes, it will be difficult to rent the space at first. Just as after September 11th, businesses fled from the Empire State Building because it was "a target."

But eventually, people came back to the Empire State. Because after the shock wore off people had to realize that they had to go on with their lives. They couldn't spend their time and energy worrying about what terrorists might do. They realized that we are not safe, not in the Empire State Building, not anywhere. And the proper repsonse to this was not to crawl back into our collective holes in fear, but to find the medieval forces that did this to us, root them out and destroy them.

And part of that process is demonstrating that we will not allow the premoderns to dictate our lifestyle.

Don't worry about your money. People will come back to the Towers.

If you build them, they will come!

What A Freakin' Dick!

Kid Various was listening to Mike Malloy fete British MP and all around totalitarian boot-licking schmuck George Galloway the other day, after Galloway testified at a Senate hearing investigating the UN Oil-for-Food scandal. People should listen to Malloy. He's a funny clown.

How else can one take a person who feels that the Democrats in the U.S. Senate are not nearly left-wing enough and that only a man (and The Kid uses that term loosely) like George Galloway (who got kicked out of the Labour party because he's so wacky) represents the true soul of the American people?

Read Hitch on this profile in excrement Galloway:

SUCH SPECULATION TO ONE SIDE, the subcommittee and its staff had a tranche of information on Galloway, and on his record for truthfulness. It would have been a simple matter for them to call him out on a number of things. First of all, and easiest, he had dared to state under oath that he had not been a defender of the Saddam regime. This, from the man who visited Baghdad after the first Gulf war and, addressing Saddam, said: "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability." How's that for lickspittling? And even if you make allowances for emotional public moments, you can't argue with Galloway's own autobiography, blush-makingly entitled I'm Not the Only One, which was published last spring and from which I offer the following extracts:

The state of Kuwait is "clearly a part of the greater Iraqi whole, stolen from the motherland by perfidious Albion." (Kuwait existed long before Iraq had even been named.) "In my experience none of the Ba'ath leaders have displayed any hostility to Jews." The post-Gulf war massacres of Kurds and Shia in 1991 were part of "a civil war that involved massive violence on both sides." Asked about Saddam's palaces after one of his many fraternal visits, he remarked, "Our own head of state has a fair bit of real estate herself." Her Majesty the Queen and her awful brood may take up a lot of room, but it's hardly comparable to one palace per province, built during a time of famine. Discussing Saddam's direct payments to the families of suicide-murderers--the very question he had refused to answer when I asked him--he once again lapsed into accidental accuracy, as with the Stalin comparison, and said that "as the martyred know, he put Iraq's money where his mouth was." That's true enough: It was indeed Iraq's money, if a bit more than Saddam's mouth.

For his shameless perfomance in front of the Senate committee, we confer upon the Right, Honorable George Galloway, the weekly "What A freakin' Dick!" award.

What a freakin' Dick!

Beacuse The Revolution's Here. And You Know It's Right... IV

Everyone should read this article by Fouad Ajami.

The weight of American power, historically on the side of the dominant order, now drives this new quest among the Arabs. For decades, the intellectual classes in the Arab world bemoaned the indifference of American power to the cause of their liberty. Now a conservative American president had come bearing the gift of Wilsonian redemption. For a quarter century the Pax Americana had sustained the autocracy of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak: He had posed as America's man on the Nile, a bulwark against the Islamists. He was sly and cunning, running afoul of our purposes in Iraq and over Israeli-Palestinian matters. He had nurtured a culture of antimodernism and anti-Americanism, and had gotten away with it. Now the wind from Washington brought tidings: America had wearied of Mr. Mubarak, and was willing to bet on an open political process, with all its attendant risks and possibilities. The brave oppositional movement in Cairo that stepped forth under the banner of Kifaya ("Enough!") wanted the end of his reign: It had had enough of his mediocrity, enough of the despotism of an aging officer who had risen out of the military bureaucracy to entertain dynastic dreams of succession for his son. Egyptians challenging the quiescence of an old land may have had no kind words to say about America in the past. But they were sure that the play between them and the regime was unfolding under Mr. Bush's eyes.
But, you know, it's all about oil.

Chip Me!

Kid Various has said it before, when they start offering brain implants, he'll be first on line (to get online - forgive the pun.)

Here's an interesting conversation with some transhuman speculists.

Earlier this month, I had the extreme pleasure of hosting a conversation between James Hughes, Ramez Naam and Joel Garreau, exploring the implications of human enhancement technologies. While none of the three could be termed a "bio-conservative," there are clear differences between their perspectives on how society can and should respond to new technologies (the lack of a bio-conservative in the discussion was intentional; I wanted the group to be able to explore the edges of implications, not get tied up in arguments over terminology or moral standing). The conversation ran over two-and-a-half hours; the resulting transcript is correspondingly lengthy. But I expect that you'll find the discussion compelling and fascinating, and well worth your time.
Goddamn, The Kid wants to live in the Matrix.

Vote "Oui" To Prevent Another Holocaust!

Kid Various has been meaning to blog for a while about the impending votes on the E.U. constitution in France and the Netherlands. But he's been too busy. Besides, it's been said before and better by others. But we just wanted to let you all know that we're thinking about it, and more Americans should be thinking about it.

So read this article by Mark Steyn, on how the campaign to approve the E.U constitution is failing in the Netherlands and *gasp*... France.

Maybe they're not so stupid after all.

With the new constitution flailing in most polls, the Dutch government is being rather vicious already. Bernard Bot, the foreign minister, dismisses the electorate's objections as "a lot of irrational reaction". Piet-Hein Donner, the justice minister, warns that Europe will go the way of Helga's orchestra if the constitution is rejected. "Yugoslavia was more integrated than the Union is now," he points out, "but bad will and the inability to stifle hidden irritations and rivalry led in a short time to war."

Scornful of such piffling analogies, the prime minister, Jan-Peter Balkenende, thinks a Balkan end is the least of their worries. "I've been in Auschwitz and Yad Vashem," he says. "The images haunt me every day. It is supremely important for us to avoid such things in Europe."

Yes, so, the only way to avoid the reinstitution of death camps in Europe is to approve a 511 page (small type) document that regulates and standardizes the gage of railway tracks in light rail systems. (We might note here that the EU constitution clocks in at 507 pages longer than the US constitution... still the most successful constitution on the planet. Reason for success? Survey says!.................................brevity.)

For euroelites, the only way to avoid totalitarianism is to give up all national power to a centralized, unelected bureaucracy that will make decisions for 300 million people from Brussels.

Hello? Can we look up "irony" in the dictionary please?

If this thing goes down to defeat, we'd normally laugh and laugh. Unfortunately, like in most totalitarian states whose "efficiency" the euroelites most admire, there is only one correct answer.

If the people of Europe choose the wrong answer, they'll just keep holding referenda until they choose the right one.

It's All Because His Parents Didn't Give Him Penicillin Fast Enough

What is it in Kid Various' heart that calls him to collect his mighty Skeleton Legion?

That's right. Strep.

Read all 'bout it here.

There are researchers who believe that some of this disturbing cacophony -- specifically a subset found only in children -- is caused by something familiar and common. They call it Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated With Streptococcal Infection, or, because every disease needs an acronym, Pandas. And they are certain it is brought on by strep throat -- or more specifically, by the antibodies created to fight strep throat.

If they are right, it is a compelling breakthrough, a map of the link between bacteria and at least one subcategory of mental illness. And if bacteria can cause O.C.D., then an antibiotic might mitigate or prevent it -- a Promised Land of a concept to parents who have watched their children change overnight from exuberant, confident and familiar to doubt-ridden, fear-laden strangers.

Shouldn't that be PANDASI?

Interestingly, neurologists are rapidly coming to the conclusion that OCD and Parkinson's disease are different manifestations of the same illness.

The Kid's grandfather died of Parkinson's. He knows he's going to get it. He knows it.

Terrible Sadness, Cont'd.

Kid Various fisked an ugly essay a few days ago by a guy who has no idea just how fortunate he is to have the privilege of being born an American.

Bill Whittle, essayist extraordinaire, is also talking about this topic here.

Money grafs:

And then, on the way to my stunning girlfriend’s apartment to bitch about how unfair life was treating me, I saw a fairly common sight in Los Angeles. I saw a group of young Mexican men gathered on a street corner, waiting for any kind of work.

And there, through some act of grace that occasionally opens my eyes and reveals to me a better person in my reflection, I suddenly realized that these men are waiting – fighting -- to work long, backbreaking hours for next to no pay. They sleep in small, cheap apartments, hot-bunking it, working sometimes two or even three jobs and keeping nothing for themselves. They never eat out, never go to movies, and planning for a future is not an easy thing when every penny you make above what you absolutely need goes back home to Mexico to feed your family.

And I stopped at that light, and looked at these men. And I realized right there that I, this wide-eyed idealist that writes about America, am in point of fact exactly what is wrong with America today.

I make a fortune. I make a fortune doing creative work with gentle and funny and artistic people. On a normal week, I work from ten until six, three or four days a week, and all I do is sit behind a computer in a dark, air conditioned room and make decisions: who says what and who is looking where. And that’s it. For this I get paid in two to three weeks what these men will have to work an entire year of backbreaking, hopeless labor to achieve.

And there I am: bitching and complaining and wondering why things are not better for me. Boo-freaking-hoo.

This is the poison that will eventually kill us all. I should spend an hour a day prostrate and thanking God I was born an American. How many struggle and die for this privilege?

Kid Various wishes he could write one tenth as well as Whittle...

Chicks Dig It

Kid Various' Skeletal Legion. Chick magnet?
A mighty army of 25mm skeleton miniatures? That is *so* friggin hot!
I thought about sleeping with Kid Various, but now I can't take enough showers to wipe the geek off me. Unclean! Unclean!
Is this for real?

Free polls from

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Thursday's Top Ten List

Top Ten Excuses Women Give Not To Sleep With Kid Various:

10) Just don't like him in that way.
9) Currently stalking someone else.
8) Can outrun him.
7) Would rather bang some hunky muscular guy, then call up Kid Various to have a sensitive conversation with him afterwards.
6) Just can't get bombed enough on girly drinks like amaretto sours to give his a throw.
5) Have Romulan fetish, Klingons are a huge turnoff.
4) He's got skeleton legions.
3) His skeleton legions have too many liches.
2) The basement door lock is busted, his Mom keeps coming in to do the laundry.
and the number one reason given women give not to sleep with Kid Various (drumroll please):
1) Only 2.5 billion other fish in the sea.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Free Grokistan!

Grokistani Ambassador, Kid Various and First Lady Laura Bush confer on U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Courtroom Strategy

It's important when you are a criminal defendant on trial to make a good impression on the judge and jury:

Phil Spector (seen here) is obviously employing a Michael Jackson-style defense strategy. Perhaps his attorneys should resort to the Chewbacca Defense instead:

Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, you must now decide whether to reverse the decision for my client Chef. I know he seems guilty, but ladies and gentlemen... This is Chewbacca. Now think about that for one moment—that does not make sense. Why am I talking about Chewbacca when a man's life is on the line? Why? I'll tell you why: I don't know.

It does not make sense. If Chewbacca does not make sense, you must acquit! Here, look at the monkey. Look at the silly monkey!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

50 Million

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith grossed 50 million dollars in its first day.

50 million dollars

Remember when movies used to be considered blockbusters if they grossed $50 million period?

And They Lived Happily Ever After

And speaking of teachers sleeping with 12 year olds, Mary Kay LeTourneau married her lover and former student Vili Fualaau yesterday in Seattle. 200 people attended the ceremony. Who the hell were those 200 people? What kind of gift do you buy for this wedding?

They don't need any wedding presents.
All they need is their love...

Well, you can't say she wasn't willing to endure a lot for love. She did 7 long for this guy. The Kid has said it before, her crime was less one of passion and more one of taste. She did 7 years for that guy and Kid Various can't get a date?

Which brings us to our latest Idiom poll. We want know what our readers think...

What motivated Mary Kay LeTourneau to give up her family, job and freedom to shtup this guy?
Needed more children for the tax credits
"Samoan Fever"
Was instantly attracted to his original insights regarding Heidegger's "Being and Time"
Really big schlong
Decided to get back at her previous husband for not taking out the garbage
Longed for a strong "pimp hand"
That scraggly facial hair... It is irresistable to women!
Always wanted to be a trendsetter. And looking at the state of the New York City school system, she finally achieved her dream...

Free polls from

Fualaau appears at the 23rd annual Thug Life awards

This Will Do Wonders For Our Image

In a discovery that is sure to set advertisers flocking to our site, we have just discovered that we are the number one google hit for the search phrase:

Teachers having sex with 12 year olds

The Idiom, proudly serving the public interest since January, 2005!

You're welcome.


Friday, May 20, 2005

Wow. This Is Truly Uneccessary.

For any of you out there who may be worried that George Lucas might have to go to the poor house because copies of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith have been turning up on the file sharing networks, we at The Idiom beseech thee! Worry Not!

The Lucas money Empire will continue to expand, as the Emperor continues to authorize new merchandising such as this:

The family pet can now be one of your favorite Star Wars characters! Dress up your pet as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Includes headpiece and jumpsuit with attached arms, cape, and belt.

I find your lack of Milk Bones...disturbing.

Yeah. Just what we always wanted. To dress up Fido like the Dark Lord of the Sith. We're sure that's good for his mental health. And people always wonder why dogs freak out and kill people.

"I was just trying to put the Darth Vader costume on fluffy and he just went beserk!"

"Did he bite you?"

"No, he crushed my trachea with his mind..."
This gives totally new meaning to the phrase, "He hears his master's voice..."

Remember those Italians? They had the right idea.

We're calling the SPCA.

via Boing Boing

Terrible Sadness

The other day, Kid Various was flipping through his newspaper and found that photo of Don Rumsfeld with Spiderman and Captain America. Instantly, the funnymeter went off and, as a dozen different captions to the photograph surged through his mind, Kid Various thought, "This must be blogged..."

Thus began the search for an online version of the photograph (google images is a wonderful thing.)

The Kid eventually found a copy of the photo lodged here, a left wing blog basically dedicated to proposition that America is a malignant force in the world and should never sully the noble savages beyond our shores with our twisted society.

Flipping down the page (The Kid loves reading left wing blogs, He does so most every day) The Kid stumbled across this essay, which he initially thought was penned by Mr. Bach, but, in fact, was a reprint from a blog called Information Clearing House - another left wing, anti-american blog.

What follows is perhaps the most disturbing essay the Kid has ever read concerning The War. Yes, we all know these people exist, but it's amazingly difficult to internalize the fact that there are not only Americans who oppose The War, but truly hate America as well.

The Kid has wanted to blog this for 2 weeks, but every time he would read this piece he would black out from rage. Now, after some time, Kid Various can sit down, take a look at this vile construct, and, since he knows a bit about The War in how it relates to Iraq, can pen a righteous fisking.

The name of the piece is, disgustingly, Why America needs to be Defeated in Iraq. By Michael Whitney

05/01/05 "ICH" - - The greatest moral quandary of our day is whether we, as Americans, support the Iraqi insurgency.

This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the article. This is the greatest moral quandary of our day? Not the march of freedom in our world? Not the full integration of blacks and other minorities into American society? Not thorny concepts such as end-of-life issues or abortion?

No, the most important moral question is whether or not Americans should support the Iraqi "insurgency."

Let's be clear, that's not a moral quandary. Not even close. The question of whether or not Americans should support the insurgency is as close to a moral "slam dunk" as one can probably get.

It's an issue that has caused anti-war Leftist's the same pangs of conscience that many felt 30 years ago in their opposition to the Vietnam War. The specter of disloyalty weighs heavily on all of us, even those who've never been inclined to wave flags or champion the notion of American "Exceptionalism".

Kid Various would like to note that he is an ardent supporter of American "Exceptionalism" in as much as it is supported by history.

For myself, I can say without hesitation, that I support the insurgency, and would do so even if my only 21 year old son was serving in Iraq. There's simply no other morally acceptable option.

Ugh. How painfully ugly.

As Americans we support the idea that violence is an acceptable means of achieving (national) self-determination. This, in fact, is how are [sic] nation was formed and it is vindicated in our founding document, The Declaration of Independence":

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, and to institute a new government, having its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.. but when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, IT IS THEIR RIGHT, IT IS THEIR DUTY, TO THROW OFF SUCH GOVERNMENT, AND PROVIDE NEW GUARDS FOR THEIR FUTURE SECURITY.

Yes, as Americans we do believe that violence is sometimes necessary to secure freedom (from which national self determination often springs.) Whitney quotes from the Declaration but conveniently omits the preceding sentences:

We hold these truths to self evident;
That all men are created equal,
That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights
And that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The question is, who is fighting for freedom in this battle? Who is fighting to preserve the inalienable rights of the Iraqis? Who is fighting for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? The islamic radicals, or maybe the remaining baathist thugs? The Kid would like to know.

The Declaration of Independence" is revolutionary in its view that we have a "duty" to overthrow regimes that threaten basic human liberties.

Yes ,we do have a duty to overthrow regimes that threaten basic human liberties. Uh, hello?

We must apply this same standard to the Iraqi people. Violence is not the issue, but the justification for the use of violence. The overwhelming majority of the world's people know that the war in Iraq was an "illegal" (Kofi Annan) act of unprovoked aggression against a defenseless enemy.

Oh, of course, everyone knows this. You've got to be kidding us. "Illegal?" Why? Because Kofi Annan says so? This is an example of left-wing wishing being described as fact. Because Whitney wishes that there was such a thing as international law which could arbitrarily restrain the actions of the United States, he presents it as fact. When, in reality, the type of "international law" that he (and Mr. Annan) posits makes Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) (a subset of The War) an "illegal war," does not actually exist.

Framing the war as illegal is a common tactic amongst those who opposed it, as noted by Steven Den Beste.

It's a common tactic to try to get people to use a certain term for something as a way of framing the conversation. One has a different attitude about "wetlands" than one does about "mosquito-infested swamps". Draining a swamp sounds like a good idea, but everyone knows we're supposed to preserve wetlands.

Those who are trying to frame this as a discussion of "international law" are doing so because they're trying to imply certain things about international relations by extrapolation from our experience with national law. Within our nation we agree to be bound by the law, even if it tells us we cannot do certain things we desire to do, and when we have disagreements with each other, we take them to court and plead them in front of a disinterested jury which makes a decision, after which both sides are bound by that decision.

By extrapolation, the rhetoric about "international law" is being used to imply that the US may not unilaterally attack Iraq unless it gains permission through some formal process of "international law", that to do so it must prove that Iraq was directly involved in either the September attack or in other direct attacks against us, using convincing evidence publicly presented, before the UN. Based on that presentation, the UN (probably the Security Council) will then serve the function of jury and decide if the US has made an adequate case, after which it will decide whether the US would be given the right to attack.

The idea of jury trial in our normal affairs is intended as a way of restraining people from creating their own justice, and by the same token the users of this rhetoric see the process of approval by the UN as a way of restraining rogue nations (of which there is only one, needless to say, and I'm living in it). If we are sufficiently convinced of our reasons for attacking Iraq, we should have no compunction of proving it before what amounts to an international jury of our peers.

Den Beste outlines a good explanation of the reality of international law (more or less a collection of non-binding agreements between countries), go and read the whole thing.

OIF was not "illegal." It was not "legal" either. The term, in the way that Whitney is trying to use it, simply has no meaning.

A recent poll conducted in the Middle East (released by the Center for Strategic Studies) shows that "for more than 85% of the population in four of the five countries polled (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine) thought the US war on Iraq was an act of terrorism". Lebanon polled at 64%. (Pepe Escobar; "Its Terror when we say so") Terrorism or not, there's no doubt that the vast majority of people in the region and in the world, believe that the war was entirely unjustifiable.

The proper response to this is, "So?" First of all, the Iraqi front is not, in any meaningful sense of the word, "terrorism." It goes unnoticed by the U.N., but terrorism does indeed have an objective definition, it is the use of (random) violence against civilians to asymmetrically combat a more powerful foe in order to sap public support from that foe and institute ideological change.

As the United States invaded Iraq as part of a regular, uniformed military operation, and sought to, at every level minimize civilian casualties in its goal to change the regime, the Iraqi phase of The War was not an act of terrorism. Even if significant numbers of civilians were killed, the crucial difference is that for us, civilian deaths are to be avoided. For a terrorist, civilians are the target

Given these facts, it makes no difference if large percentages of people in the Arab world believe that the Gulf operation counts as "terrorism." Large portions of the Arab world also believe that September 11th was engineered by the Mossad. It doesn't make it true. Therefore, Whitney's use of this polling data, to ostensibly infer that we ourselves are guilty of exactly the same crimes that have been perpetuated on us, is totally misleading and irrelevant.

The argument most commonly offered by antiwar Americans (who believe we should stay in Iraq) doesn't defend the legitimacy of the invasion, but provides the rationale for the ongoing occupation. The belief that "We can't just leave them without security", creates the logic for staying in Iraq until order can be established. Unfortunately, the occupation is just another manifestation of the war itself; replete with daily bombings, arrests, torture and the destruction of personal property. Therefore, support of the occupation is a vindication of the war. The two are inseparable.

We should remember that the war (which was entirely based on false or misleading information)

Uh, no. Another tactic of the anti-war left is to neatly wrap up the entire motivation for the opening of the Iraq front in The War as being a search for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Since, in the two years since the invasion, we have found that Iraq did not, at the time of the invasion, have significant stockpiles of WMD, in the eyes of the opponents of The War, the entire enterprise was based on lies.

First, no one in the Administration lied about Iraq's capacity for deploying WMD. Being wrong in your intelligence estimate is categorically not the same as lying. No one has ever offered a shred of evidence that the Administration forced intelligence gatherers to lie, or where themselves in serious doubt as to Iraq’s WMD capabilities.

It should be noted that this works the other way as well. Was the Elder Bush’s Administration lying when it said that North Korea was 5 years away from construction of a nuclear bomb? Ooops.

Was the Clinton Administration lying when it said Pakistan was several years away from creating a nuclear bomb? Ooops.

Intelligence is not a perfect science, and being wrong is not lying.

Second, given even that we were wrong about deployable CBW, we were not wrong on WMD's as a whole. See here (USS Neverdock’s handy round up of articles on the subject)

Third, OIF was always about a package of different issues. Perhaps no single issue could justify the overthrow of the regime. Taken as a package, war was demanded. And what’s important to remember, is that although WMD became the main selling point (an unspeakably bad mistake for the Administration) the other issues were always part of the rationale.

Specifically these issues were:

  1. Current WMD capabilities
  2. The threat of future WMD (nuclear) capabilities and disallowing Iraq regional hegemony
  3. Iraq’s links to terrorism, both Al Qaeda and non-Al Qaeda
  4. And finally, and the most important, the enterprise to begin reshaping the dysfunctional culture of the region and replacing tyranny with democracy.

was both illegal

No it wasn't

and immoral.

Even more, NO! The liberation of 25 million people from a murderous dictatorship is immoral? And leaving them to a combination of islamist tyrants and baathist thugs *is* moral? The Iraqi operations in The War were among the most moral actions ever undertaken by this nation

That judgment does not change by maintaining a military presence of 140,000 soldiers on the ground for years to come. Each passing day of occupation simply perpetuates the crime.

At the same time we have to recognize that the disparate elements of Iraqi resistance, belittled in the media as the "insurgency", are the legitimate expression of Iraqi self-determination.

Good Lord! What Che Guevarra fantasy world is Whitney living on?

So 20,000 islamist crackpots and baathist thugs (not to mention elements of foreign security serivices from Syria and Iran) out of a population of 25 million are an "authentic" expression of Iraqi self determination?

But the people who were genuinely elected by 8 million Iraqis, they're just imperialist stooges right?

Independence is not bestowed by a foreign nation; the very nature of that relationship suggests reliance on outside forces.

Ever hear of India? Ever hear of Canada? Often independence is granted. Not every road to self determination is paved with violence.

True independence and sovereignty can only be realized when foreign armies are evacuated and indigenous elements assume the reigns of power. (Bush acknowledged this himself when he ordered Syrian troops to leave Lebanon) The character of the future Iraqi government will evolve from the groups who successfully expel the US forces from their country, not the American-approved stooges who rose to power through Washington's "demonstration elections".

Again, it is the islamists tyrants, baathist thugs and foreign intelligence services who adequately represent the "Iraqi people." The elections were fraudulent. They could never represent the true aspirations of "The People." Those elected are merely puppets of the American regime. Kid Various wonders how Ibrahim Al Jaafari, the new prime minister and leader of the Islamic Dawa party would respond to that? Or the followers of that piece of human excrement Moqtada Al Sadr, who also were elected to new National Assembly. Oh yeah, those people must be our puppets. For Whitney it is logically impossible for them not to be, because if these Iraqis legitimately represented "The People" then instead of standing for election in front of the electorate, they would have picked up a gun (which the Sadrists are doing as well - so maybe they half count.)

This may not suit the members of the Bush administration, but it's a first step in the long process of reintegrating and rebuilding the Iraqi state.

There's no indication that the conduct of the occupation will change anytime soon. If anything, conditions have only worsened over the passed two years. The Bush administration hasn't shown any willingness to loosen its grip on power either by internationalizing the occupation or by handing over real control to the newly elected Iraqi government.

Kid Various is here to tell you, "yeah, we have." Believe you him, it'd be a lot easier if we hadn't. But that's not the case.

This suggests that the only hope for an acceptable solution to the suffering of the Iraqi people is a US defeat and the subsequent withdrawal of troops. Regrettably, we're no where near that period yet.

Who's killing who?

It's not the insurgency that's killing American soldiers. It's the self-serving strategy to control 12% of the world's remaining petroleum and to project American military power throughout the region.

Ah yes, how long was it going to be until we got to the old canard that "It's all about oil?" Well, we sure are enjoying all that $1.05 a gallon gasoline aren't we? From where Kid various is sitting, the best strategy towards securing cheap oil would have been to do what we have been doing for 50 years, promoting stability and propping up local dictators. Does oil make this region strategically significant? Of course it does. Does cheap oil solve our underlying security problem that has instigated The War? It does not.

The War has very little to do with oil and more to do with radically destabilizing autocratic regimes in the area and replacing them with democratic structures. But people like Whitney cannot let go of the "blood for oil" paradigm because the new paradigm is wholly antithetical to their world view.

The U.S must always be a rapacious monster feeding its appetite for cheap petroleum...that is the materialist, driving force of history. Democracy? Pshaw! That's just a cover story to dupe the simple minded American people. The very notion that the spread of our value system is now our single most important goal for our own security is completely unbelievable.

This is the plan that has put American servicemen into harms way. The insurgency is simply acting as any resistance movement would; trying to rid their country of foreign invaders when all the political channels have been foreclosed.

Oh sure, they’re acting in a totally and completely rational way right? Man, why did Kid Various ever think that blowing up a bus of Iraqi school girls was the wrong way to go? Because that’s what the insurgents are doing. They’re hitting military targets less and less and simply wreaking destruction on the populace. And The Kid can tell you “The People” are getting pissed off.

Political channels have been closed off? We opened the political channels for the Iraqi people! What political channels could Iraqis access during the days of Saddam? This is the first time, in their history, that ordinary Iraqis have had access to the political process to induce change rather than by brute violence.

Oh yeah, right, the faked elections…The Kid forgot.

American's would behave no differently if put in a similar situation and Iraqi troops were deployed in our towns and cities.

This is a ridiculous comparison. Let’s try one more appropriate. If the French navy blockaded our coast, landed troops to help us throw off the yoke of an English tyrant and then packed up and left after a couple of years, we might name streets and buildings after them.

Ultimately, the Bush administration bears the responsibility for the death of every American killed in Iraq just as if they had lined them up against a wall and shot them one by one. Their blood is on the administration's hands not those of the Iraqi insurgency.

In some completely random way, Whitney has stumbled upon a truth. The Administration bears a heavy responsibility for each death in Iraq, both American and Iraqi. It’s the responsibility borne by all administrations in time of war and it’s the reason that every President needs to heavily weigh the necessity of war. But to attempt to morally absolve a group of murderous fanatics and thugs of their culpability in pursuing evil is beyond offensive.

Expect another dictator or Mullah

We shouldn't expect that, after a long period of internal struggle, the Iraqi leadership will embrace the values of democratic government. More likely, another Iraqi strongman, like Saddam, will take power. In fact, the rise of another dictator (or Ayatollah) is nearly certain given the catastrophic effects of the American-led war.

This remains to be seen. Kid Various can tell you, the outcome of this project is not written in stone. Neither success nor defeat is certain.

Regardless, it is not the right of the US to pick-and-choose the leaders of foreign countries or to meddle in their internal politics. (The UN, as imperfect as it may be, is the proper venue for deciding how to affect the behavior of foreign dictators)





Kid Various can’t read that sentence without paroxysms of laughter. Wait a moment, he needs to breathe…

OK, back.

Yes, the UN would seem to be the perfect place to deal with the behaviour of foreign dictators, because they’re all there. Unfortunately, instead of being squeezed to adopt freedom and democracy, they’re running the show.

At this point, we should be able to agree that the people of Iraq were better off under Saddam Hussein in every quantifiable way than they are today. Even on a physical level, the availability of work, clean water, electricity, sewage control, medicine, gas and food were far superior to the present situation. On a deeper level, the insecurity from the sporadic violence, the increasing brutality, and the gross injustice of the occupation has turned Iraq into a prison-state, where the amenities of normal life are nowhere to be found.

Uh, actually no. We shouldn’t agree that the people of Iraq were better off in every way under Saddam Hussein. And only someone who has never actually met those who have lived under a totalitarian tyranny would have the unmitigated stupidity to say something that far from reality.

Yes, we have failed to provide the security necessary to properly establish a normal society in Iraq. We have certainly failed to do a lot of things, which the Kid lists in his mind every night just to make himself crazy. But one must remember life was not too secure in the Saddam times either. Neither was medicine and food plentiful. Saddam distributed all the medicine and food under the UN’s (you remember that paragon of virtue that is so good at handling foreign dictators?) oil for food program, and sold off significant stockpiles for cash, enriching his cronies and starving out those he found to be disloyal. And some of the problems we have encountered in Iraq have been unintended consequences of our successes.

For example, the electricity situation that still bedevils the Iraqis. After OIF, we found that the entire power generation system of Iraq was dilapidated and in disrepair. The problem being that even after heroic efforts to repair the generation plants and electrical grid to get power generation to pre war levels (which happened last year), it still wasn’t enough.

Before the war, electrical demand was on the order of 4400 megawatts. The power generation system was capable (though not always running at) 5000 megawatts. After OIF, however, a strange thing happened. Due to the evil “neoliberal” economic policies instituted by the CPA, ordinary Iraqis became richer. As a result, they started buying things like air conditioners and refrigerators, which they didn’t have before. Power demand spiked to 6500 to 7000 megawatts.

Unfortunately, the current system cannot handle that demand. And, even with the building of new power plants and distribution systems (to say nothing of sabotage by insurgents), it will be not be possible to generate this amount of power for several years.

Better off under Saddam Hussein… Yeah, if you were a baathist sunni. Which is why they’re the only ones picking up the gun.

Support for the Bush policy is, by necessity, support for the instruments of coercion that are used to perpetuate that occupation. In other words, one must be willing to support the torture at Abu Ghraib, (which continues to this day according to Amnesty International)

Kid Various guesses that means that by not supporting the Bush policy you have to be willing to support the torture at Abu Ghraib by Saddam’s thugs, right?

the neoliberal policies (which have privatized all of Iraq's publicly owned industries, banks and resources) an American-friendly regime that excludes 20% (Sunnis) of the population and, worst of all, "the return-in full force-of Saddam's Mukhabarat agents, now posing as agents of the new Iraqi security and intelligence services." (Pepe Escobar, Asia Times)

Are American's prepared to offer their support to the same brutal apparatus of state-terror that was employed by Saddam? (Rumsfeld's unannounced visit to Baghdad last week was to make sure that the newly elected officials didn't tamper with his counterinsurgency operatives, most of who were formerly employed in Saddam's secret police)

Um, no. Rumsfeld’s visit was to meet with the newly elected Prime Minister and cabinet and to express the opinion of the United States that the new government should not begin a purge of government officials based on their former status in the baath party.

Lately, a large topic of discussion in the Iraqi National Assembly has been demands by the United Iraqi List (the shi’a list dominated by Dawa and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq) to purge the government of many officials brought in by the (secular shi’a) Allawi government. The stance on this by the new Jaafari government is unclear, but since his base of support in the Assembly is the United Iraqi List, he has to at least listen to them.

The Bremer administration did a reasonable job of de-baathification. But many people felt they went too far. As anyone who has studied the de-nazification of Germany can tell you, the problem is that the only people qualified to be in government jobs are invariably people who have been associated in some way with the former regime. For instance, if you were a school teacher in Iraq, you were a member of the ba’ath party. There was no other option. It pervaded every facet of life.

Therefore, former PM Allawi allowed a number of former officials to have positions in the new government even though they used to be officials in Saddam’s government as well. It’s a balancing act. The message Rumsfeld brought was that a blanket purge of these people will destabilize the government at just the time it needs stability most. And that any idea of a purge should be delayed until a new government is elected this December. But this is a decision the Iraqi government will make.

We should also ask ourselves what the long-range implications of an American victory in Iraq would be. Those who argue that we cannot leave Iraq in a state of chaos don't realize that stabilizing the situation on the ground is tantamount to an American victory and a vindication for the policies of aggression. This would be a bigger disaster than the invasion itself.

Ah, so now we get to the heart of the matter…

The Bush administration is fully prepared to carry on its campaign of global domination by force unless an unmovable object like the Iraqi insurgency blocks its way. Many suspect, that if it wasn't for the resistance the US would be in Tehran and Damascus right now.

If only… If only…

This, I think, is a rational assumption. For this reason alone, antiwar advocates should carefully consider the implications of "so-called" humanitarian objectives designed to pacify the population. "Normalizing" aggression by ameliorating its symptoms is the greatest dilemma we collectively face.

We should be clear about our feelings about the war and the occupation. The disparate Iraqi resistance is the legitimate manifestation of a national liberation movement. Its success is imperative to the principles of national sovereignty and self-determination; ideals that are revered in the Declaration of Independence. The toppling of foreign regimes and the destruction of entire civilizations cannot be justified in terms of "democracy" or any other cynically conjured-up ideal. The peace and security of the world's people depends on the compliance of states with the clearly articulated standards of international law and the UN Charter. Both were deliberately violated by the invasion of Iraq. Crushing the insurgency will not absolve that illicit action; it will only increase the magnitude of the crime. Therefore we look for an American defeat in Iraq. Such a defeat would serve as a powerful deterrent to future unprovoked conflicts and would deliver a serious blow to the belief that aggression is a viable expression of foreign policy.

So, as said above, now we come to the heart of the matter. Most of the discussion so far has really been about why the United States should never have prosecuted OIF in the first place. But here, is the only reason which is one hundred percent concerned with why the United States must lose this conflict. Why the United States must be humiliated. Why the United States must be crushed.

The United States must be defeated, because, if Iraq is turned into a stable, peaceful democratic society, then America will have won. And this is intolerable because it would demonstrate that America was right. And if America is right, the Mr. Whitney and his ilk are wrong.

The Kid wrote that this essay fills him with rage, but more so, it fills him with sorrow. True sorrow that has brought him to the verge of tears. Sorrow because Mr. Whitney is not just some random crackpot with a chip on his shoulder. The grief is so penetrating because Mr. Whitney represents the viewpoint of a large fraction of Americans. Americans who look at their country and their society and see only greed, racism and oppression. Mr. Whitney can’t abide an American victory in Iraq because America is what’s wrong with the world. In his mind, and the minds of our countrymen that he speaks for, the United States of America is “the worst society that ever was.” America is a cancer that is seeking to infect the rest of the world, and only with a defeat in Iraq, can this tumor be stopped from spreading.
What makes Kid Various’ heart ache, is the fact that these people are so blind that they cannot see that America, the society which has given them everything and opportunities unknown to previous generations, is truly the Exceptional Nation.

Kid Various could live in Iraq for the rest of his life. He could marry an Iraqi. He could learn Arabic, convert to Islam and raise children in that country. But he will never be Iraqi.

But any of the Iraqis that he knows could come to the United States, and become an American.

This is our greatest gift to the world.

America is not based on ethnicity, or blood or land. It’s not based on how much money you have or who your father was. America is based on a set of ideas, some of which are laid down in the Declaration:

We hold these truths to be self evident,
That all men are created equal.
That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.
And that among them are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Hapiness.

And you buy into that set of ideas, you can become an American!

That is something that is unknown in the world. People have struggled to come here from all over the globe for the past 200 years to help build a society that is the most prosperous, most socially mobile, most just, most free, most good society in the history of mankind and the Mr. Whitney’s of America, these blind people, can only see the flaws. They cannot see the miracle of America. And I weep for them.

Easy Money

Looks like Kid Various was beaten to the punch on another bid to make easy money. Although I doubt he could command the same rates as The College of New Jersey student, Courtenay Van Dunk, who is auctioning off space on her body for advertising this summer.

N.J. College Student Auctions Body on EBay

AP, WAYNE, N.J. - A 21-year-old college business major living in this northern New Jersey community has proven a basic lesson of marketing: Sex sells. Courtney Van Dunk posted a bikini-clad picture of herself on eBay about two weeks ago, auctioning off space on her body for advertisers.

The auction ended Thursday with a winning bid from a New Jersey wine retailer offering $11,300 for a month's worth of advertising. Van Dunk, though, says the offer has been retracted, but she's confident that she's made contacts with enough companies to still earn some cash

When she finds a buyer, Van Dunk plans to place temporary tattoos on her abdomen while she's at the beach, or on other body parts when she's at the mall, sporting events, amusement parks and other public places. Her butt and chest are off limits.

Your Ad Here via Yahoo/AP

I suggest that the Kid put in his bid and get his resume tatooed on her back.

Late Breaking News: The Idiom has just learned that Lucasfilm Limited/Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith has just bought up the remainder of the advertising space on Ms. Van Dunk. Nothing can escape the marketing empire of Lucasfilm! Sorry Kid.

Monday, May 16, 2005

"Sith" the Toast of Cannes

It looks like the tony Cannes Film Festival is not immune to the ubiquitous presence of George Lucas' Revenge of the Sith. The film premiered at the annual Cote D'or festival this Sunday.

In fact it appears in fact that Revenge is quite the toast of the festival this year. This can only be due to the thinly veiled digs at George W. Bush emerging from Sith. With giveaway lines from this snippet of dialogue between Annakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi like:

Annakin: You're either with me, or you're my enemy.

Obi-Wan: Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.

This anti-American, anti-imperialism sloganeering must explain why Sinead O'Connor showed up:

AP Photo

Ohh Natalie...

The Symphony of Me

Take a look at this week's Best of Me Symphony #77 hosted by Gary Cruse at The Owner's Manual.

This week the Symphony features, of course, me and other personal favorite 60-day or older posts set to the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Symphony replays my expose of that nefarious Trojan Horse Caffeine Awareness Month, evil does lurk in the hidden places. Caffeine Awareness Month may be celebrated annually in March, but vigilence is eternal! Don't let them take your coffee!

Look for more of the Symphony on May 22 set to the works of Niccolo Machiavelli.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Celebrity Sighting

Today while walking on Bleeker Street I had may latest celebrity sighting: the great Judah Friedlander.

Truth be told, I didn't stop to ask the man I recognized as Judah Friedlander if he really was Judah Friedlander, but then again, how many people would cultivate the Judah Friedlander look, except Judah Friedlander? Judah, if you ever google yourself and find this post, please feel free to confirm your whereabouts today.

For those of you scratching your heads saying, that's all well and good Mr. Surly, but just who the heck is Judah Friedlander, well Mr. Friedlandlander was Toby in the excellent American Splendor, about the life of cartoonist Harvey Pekar. He also appeared in How High, the second best stoner movie next to Half Baked. He also played the guy who hugs random people in a Dave Matthews Band Video.

Spotting a celebrity has inspired me to catalogue the other celebrites I have met or spotted, i.e. people I have bumped into on the street, etc. as opposed someone I paid to see at a concert or play. In no particular order:

Sean and Yoko Lennon
Tony Randall
Leslie Nielson
Metallica (all of 'em, walking shoulder to shoulder, on the street - they were very imposing!)
John Stossel (I spilled ice on his foot and he kinda mocked me when I tried to apologize)
Sara Gilbert
Gary Busey (notable for not doing anything weird while I saw him though his taste in clothes was a little questionable)
Mark Hamill (very nice guy)
Vincent Gardenia
Lisa Ling (very cool girl)
Anderson Cooper (very cool guy)
Brian Austin Green and Tiffany Amber Thiessen
Dustin "Screech" Diamond (almost as nerdy in real life as Screech)
Serena Altshul
Joan Lunden (fond of dirty jokes)
Bald Guy from Midnight Oil
Neil Patrick Harris (cool forever for playing himself in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle)
Bjork (nice lady)
Paul Westerberg of the Replacements
George W. Bush
Gary Shandling
Evander Holyfield
Zach Braff (a good Jersey boy)
Martin Short
James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J (very nice guy)
Harrison Ford
Jerry Seinfeld
Judge Reinhold
Scott Baio
Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy
Eddie Murphy
Jay Leno
Michael Moore
Curtis Sliwa
Daryl Hannah
Morton Downey
Dick Cavett
Dr. Joyce Bothers
John McLaughlin
Gloria Vanderbilt (nice lady)
Brian Tochi of "Police Academy" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" fame

Well, that's the short and eclectic list. I'm sure I have left a few people off. Small world huh?

One non-celebrity sighting I had worth mentioning is Boy George. It's a non-celebrity sighting not because Boy George is not a celebrity, though his star has certainly dimmed, but because I paid to see him in his musical "Taboo." Not the version that the world's biggest idiot Rosie O'Donnell produced on Broadway. I heard the Broadway version should have been called "Ta-bad". No, I saw Boy in his little show when it was in London and was a mildly entertaining show with some Culture Club tunes and most of all - cheap seats. On my way out though I just couldn't resist stating very loudly to Mrs. Surly what had been obvious: "My God Boy George got FAT!" Of course I was standing behind a woman wearing a very prominent - I shit you not - Boy George Fan Club button. She just kind of glanced back at me in horror. It was really funny.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Speaking of Inter-Generational SW Fans...

That's not true! That's IMPOSSIBLE!!!

Friday, May 13, 2005


Overheard, an example of the aging Generation X's watercooler talk, circa May 13, 2005:

Kid Various: I really can't believe Pac Man is 25 years old how fucked up is that? And The Empire Strikes Back also came out 25 years ago...
Mr. Scriblerus: Yes, we were like 12, 25 years ago.
Kid Various: Ugh.
Mr. Scriblerus: Double ugh. And of course now here we are almost 40 and still talking about freaking star wars, 25 years later.
Kid Various: Amazing isn't it?
Mr. Scriblerus: So really, other than being older and worn out, has anything changed? Star wars is an inter-generational thing now. Have you ever seen the MTV True Life episode on embarrassing parents with the father and son Star Wars fans.
Kid Various:
Mr. Scriblerus: It's so funny. This umemployed father dresses up like a Jedi, takes his redneck son to a Star Wars convention and then the kid gets into it, but embraces the dark side as a stormtrooper. Classic TV.
Kid Various: I can tell. Who aspires to be a storm trooper? Man, at least go for IG-88.
Mr. Scriblerus: Yeah, how lame is that, you’re an anonymous clone.
Kid Various: Man I'm ashamed I knew that.
Mr. Scriblerus: You should be, and the fact that you have a preference is chilling, I mean like everyone knows R2D2 but - IG88?
Kid Various: Well...IG-88 *is* an enigma
Mr. Scriblerus: Ummm. OK.
Kid Various: I mean, what's his motivation?
Mr. Scriblerus: It's George Lucas, don't you know robots have feelings.
Kid Various: What moves a robot to become a bounty hunter?
Mr. Scriblurus: Chicks.

Search. Destroy. Score.

Yeah. This Happens In Real Life...

Yeah! If Kid Various dresses up like a storm trooper, he'll get hot chicks too!

How Could We Not Have Thought Of This First?

Good lord this is brilliant.

In my meditations I have found myself drawn toward a remote sector, one not yet scheduled for probe deployment. Something speaks to me out of the velvet between the stars, and I cannot ignore it. "Redesign for the Themoth Sector," I commanded. "Make ready the jump to hyperspace."

"But Lord Vader," whinnied Admiral Ozzel, "the armada is already moving along a prescribed route..."

I withered him with a stare, my hands on my belt.

He ordered the helm to replot our course, and notified the fleet commanders. Then he turned and asked as contritely as he could manage, "May I at least know what leads you to suspect Themoth will yield results, my Lord?"

"You may ask," I told him, turning away to the glass. "As an ant may ask the sun why it shines. It is beyond you, Admiral. See to your duty."

Ozzel hesitated. "Sir," he said crisply and turned on heel.

Do you want to know what the worst part is? My left leg is still on the fritz. Whose trachea do you have to crush with your mind to get a little service around here?
Darth Vader's blog. Combines Star Wars with journal blogging to produce a geek humour bonanza orders of magnitude greater than the sum of its parts.

Blogroll me! It is your destiny!

I Got Pac Man Fever

Holy crap! Pac Man is 25 years old!

We are so freaking old.

Kid Various was always more a Donkey Kong fan himself...


Please join in our own personal Idiom - Carnival of Self Indulgence TM by checking out two carnivals featuring us (and many other high quality posts from across the blogosphere). Thanks to IMAO for feauturing two Idiom posts in this week's Carnival of Comedy.
Thanks as well to the Conservative Cat host of the daily Funny Stuff feature for including many of our self-designated humourous posts. Ferdinand T. Cat (and his human pet Bruce) has created one of the handiest utilities of the blogosphere the Carnival Submit Form.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Uh Oh

Scientists have created the first self replicating robot. Thus begins the slow slide of humanity into obsolescence. It's the beginning of the end, you heard it here first. Von Neumann Machines are going to replace us all. The machines are probably plotting against us already.


Sweet Georgia Brown

President Bush visited the former Soviet Republic of Georgia the other day to celebrate the end of World War II in Europe. Over 100,000 Georgians came out to cheer the President and thank him for his efforts at promoting democracy world-wide.

Georgians rally in Freedom Square

It's kind of nice to see thousands of people in a foreign nation actually come out to cheer an American President, rather than demand his arrest for war crimes.

A Dutch judge has ruled that US President George W. Bush can visit the Netherlands as planned this weekend and should not be arrested.

The activists demanded that Bush be arrested or a court order issued to block his entry to the Netherlands due to "numerous, flagrant breaches of the Geneva Convention".

Idiots. The fact that the White House legal counsel had to even think about this for one millisecond is an outrage.

Didi Modloba Sakartvelo!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

This Is Art? - Redux

The artworld has been jolted by two major announcements today.

First, 32 previously unknown paintings by renowned abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollack were discovered in a storage locker on Long Island:

Pollocks come to light, 32 unrecorded early works, stored for years by East End friend of the artist, are revealed by the man’s son
By Joseph Mallia, Staff Writer, May 11, 2005
The 32 small paintings had been in a Wainscott storage locker for more than a quarter-century and were dark with grime when they were discovered.But a few things quickly became apparent after the find two years ago. They were among the early drip paintings by the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. They were worth as much as $10 million altogether.And they provide crucial evidence
showing Pollock was far more careful and disciplined than is commonly thought, said Alex Matter, 62, a Manhattan filmmaker who Tuesday publicly disclosed the existence of the paintings, which had belonged to his father.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, artwork by the renowned Congo the Chimp goes on the auction block in London on June 20:

London Auction House to Sell Chimp Artwork
MIKE MCDONOUGH, Associated Press Writer, May 11, 2005

LONDON -- Congo the chimpanzee led a brief artistic career and enjoyed little critical success, despite the patronage of his contemporary and fellow abstract painter, Pablo Picasso. But nearly half a century after Congo's artistic career, some of his paintings are going on sale at a prestigious London auction house alongside works by Andy Warhol and Renoir. Three tempera on paper works -- brightly colored compositions of bold brushstrokes -- will be featured as a single lot in the sale of Modern and Contemporary Art at Bonhams on June 20, the auctioneer said Wednesday. The lot estimate is between $1,130-$1,500.

via NY Newsday

One of these paintings is by Jackson Pollack, one of these is by a monkey, can you tell the difference? Remember
Picasso had a Congo in his collection.

Pollack or chimp? It's hard to tell. In other animal art news, it appears that Koko the Talking Gorilla was also a prolific artist. Although, being that Koko is alive her works are undoubtedly of lesser value than Congo's.

All Is Vanity

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. Ecclesiastes.

The Idiom's Texas Unveils Cheerleading - Or Veils? is featured in the 138th Carnival of the Vanities over at Cynical Nation, check out this week's selection of other notable vanities.

Bird is the Word

We did it! The Idiom is now a Flappy Bird in the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem!

I feel so accomplished. Watch out Instapundit! Now if the damn thing would only make us some cash...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

It Meets The Bare Minimum Required By The Government

Down in the D.C. area there is a restaurant chain called "Legal Seafood."

That's not inspiring Kid Various with confidence.

[Kid Various] Hey, Surly... How's that new seafood place?

[Mr. Surly] Eh, it's legal...


CRUZ BAY, U.S. Virgin Islands - Actress Renee Zellweger, who played the lovelorn title character in "Bridget Jones's Diary," was married Monday to country music star Kenny Chesney in a small ceremony on the Caribbean island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
No, no no! She just broke up with Jack White! Kid Various was just about to make his move!

Renee! Baby! You're mine! Mine, I say!

Kid Various must get gun...

Must kill country music star...

Disclaimer: Kid Various has no actual desire to kill Kenny Chesney for marrying Renee Zellweger.
Just for being a country music star...

Monday, May 09, 2005

C'mon. Nobody Saw This Coming?

The Red Lake school shootings happened a few weeks ago, but Saturday night Kid Various watched Elephant, Gus Van Sandt's excruciatingly slow tone poem about a fictional Oregon high school on the morning of a similiar, Columbine like rampage.

Elephant has been described as "groundbreaking" by critics. Kid Various describes it as "self indulgent." Jesus, Gus can you move that camera any slower? Can we please have more 7 minute shots of rolling clouds? The movie plodded along so slowly, The Kid began to think he was back in high school! Goddamit, The Kid is not a film cretin. He enjoys a respite from the seizure inducing quick cut jobs that dominate modern film but you have to use innovative camera work to push forward a narrative. You remember narrative Gus? Christ! Where's The Kid's AK?

But the film made The Kid think about the Red Lake shootings and the, by now, all too familiar fact that somehow, these rampages seem to come to everyone as a complete surprise. I mean look at the perpetrator, Jeff Weise...

C'mon... how did they not see this coming?

The kid sculpted his hair to make him look like the devil fer cryin' out loud!

Either that or an Andorian. And Kid Various doesn't know which would be worse.

If Kid Various ever cuts loose and goes on a killing spree, you can be sure you will not be seeing a picture like the one above on the evening news. You'll see one more like this:

You bastards have defied Kid Various for the last time! Now feel my wrath!

Jeff described his favorite types of music
His favorite recording artists included Korn, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, and John Lennon.
Uh-oh. Burn all those copies of "Imagine."
The web page with links to Weise's two Flash animations includes his photo and an e-mail address ( that the teen used when posting 34 comments on the web site, where Weise used the handles "nativenazi" and "todesengel," which translates to "angel of death" in German.
Interestingly enough, as an American Indian, Kid Various not sure that Jeffy would have would have fit well into the Fuhrer's master plan.

He posted flash animations of "suicide by cop" on websites. Nativenazi?

Kid Various is waiting for the school shooting where they interview the kids and they say "Martin? Oh yeah, we always knew he'd end up in the bell tower with a rifle..."

Disclaimer: Kid Various does not in any way approve of school shootings. They take all the focus off of his favorite form of homicide...postal worker shootings. The Kid has been to high school, so he understands the urge to pick up the gun. But what the hell is going on down at the post office???

In Brightest Day or Blackest Night

Oh man, Kyle Rayner's gonna be pissed!!!

Hal's back baby!!!


Well, Disney has gone and bought the muppets franchise outright. Kid Various does not think that the muppets brand of anarchist humour will go down well in the House of Mouse.

The Muppets are essentially joyous and irreverent — their currency is pigs loving frogs, caterpillars smoking hookahs, Dr Teeth and His Electric Mayhem having “bummers”, and a disgruntled Statler and Waldorf trying to assassinate the whole cast. It’s hippies parodying reactionaries, bread-heads, divas and bores. It’s hard to see how they will fit, intact, into Disney’s cleaner-than-clean, carefuller-than-careful corporate world.

Indeed, as if to illustrate this point, when I contacted Disney its vice-president of corporate communications for Europe replied: “Disney has deemed irreverence as one of the five core equities of the Muppets (humorous, heartwarming, puppet-inspired and topical being the other four).”


Number one feature of Disney cartoons (as opposed to the Warner Bros. cartoons, the muppets or even Walter Lantz shorts)...not funny!

Beautiful, technically perfect, at times a work of art - but have you ever laughed at a Mickey Mouse cartoon? Does Donald Duck make you chuckle? Has Goofy ever produced a guffaw? What the hell is Goofy even anyway? If he's a dog, why can't Pluto talk?

Why does Kid Various think that Crazy Harry
will be left out of the latest incarnation of The Muppets?

Put Down The Tricorder, And Step Away From The Child


On one wall is a "Star Trek" poster with investigators' faces substituted for the Starship Enterprise crew. But even that alludes to a dark fact of their work: All but one of the offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.

Det. Constable Warren Bulmer slips on a Klingon sash and shield they confiscated in a recent raid. "It has something to do with a fantasy world where mutants and monsters have power and where the usual rules don't apply," Bulmer reflects. "But beyond that, I can't really explain it."
Kid Various swears he's never used the "Hey baby, my phaser it set for love..." line on anyone under age!

Do you like gladiator movies Billy?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Only in San Franciso

We here at the Idiom strive to bring you the latest in penguin news and information and this week is no exception. Apparently there is an outbreak of the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia that is killing the penguins at the San Francisco Zoo. Zoo officials maintain that the illness that befell the zoo's "Penguin Island" was not sexually transmitted. Yeah right.

This is not the first time that something odd has happened with the San Francisco penguins.
The zoo's penguins in December 2003 began swimming nonstop in circles after six
new penguins were introduced to the colony. Normally the birds occasionally
splash about in their pool. They went around and around until mid-February
2004. Even when the pool was drained they would walk around in circles."

The plot thickens. Ok, whats's happening is a story we have all seen a million times before. New penguins from the wrong side of the iceberg come to the zoo, maybe some of the "experimental" penguins from the Bremerhaven zoo, and pretty soon the penguins start walking aroud in a daze and getting STD's. There is obviuosly penguin free love and drug use use going on here! I mean this is permissive San Frnacisco after all. I think if the zoo keepers watched these penguins more closely they would find the penguins sneaking out at night to dance and take extascy at penguin rave parties. The only other logical explanation is penguin alien abduction and that's just crazy.

Assist via Tigerhawk.