The Idiom

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006


A new meme is popping up regarding the name of the war that we are currently embroiled in.

Kid Various has, himself, been searching for an appropriate name to describe this larger conflict, in which Iraq and Afghanistan are actually only campaigns. The Global War on Terror has left a bad taste in his mouth since the beginning. Saying you are engaged in a war against terror is like saying you are in a war against artillery.

Terror is a tool. It's a tactic used by the Enemy. We're not at war with terror, we're at war with the Enemy.

In any case, The Kid has usually taken to describing the war as WWIV, or, more simply - The War.

In response to Rumsfeld's speech earlier this month, a new meme has been popping up - The Long War.

Here it is in William Kristol's piece this week:

DEMAGOGUES TO THE RIGHT OF THEM, appeasers to the left of them, media in front of them, volleying and thundering. Can the Bush administration continue to charge ahead? Does it have the will--and the competence--to lead the nation for the next three years toward victory in the long war against radical Islamism?

And in Michael Barone's piece yesterday:

My prediction: Bush's successors, for all their criticisms (John McCain wants a larger military; Hillary Rodham Clinton says she wouldn't have voted for military action in Iraq knowing what she knows now), will find it hard to move outside the framework of the National Security Strategy, as they take on Bush's burden of fighting what we're starting to call the Long War.

Both pieces are worth reading. Kristol takes on the question, so often posed by The Kid, do we have the stomach to prosecute the Long War? Barone compares Bush's National Security Strategy with Truman's policy of conatinment. Kid Various agrees with Barone in that, despite changes arounf the fringes, subsequent Presidents will be compelled to follow the basic outlines of the Bush Doctrine.

But what about the term, the Long War? Kid Various likes it. It properly connotes the existential struggle that we are involved in. We need to step back from the forest a bit and not concentrate so much on Iraq. Iraq is only one campaign of an ongoing war against the Enemy that seeks to change our way of life (just as, fairly, we seek to change his.) This is a "long, twilight struggle" like the Cold War to see which societal vision for mankind will prevail. Although it doesn't bring home the total nature of the war, or its ideological schema like the phrase WWIV - the Long War appropriately relates to the reader what is involved in this war.

A long, bloody, expensive struggle against totalitarian idealogues who fear freedom as a corrosive to their conception of virtue. A struggle that will have ups and downs. Successes and reversals. But more so, one that requires from us really only one thing to achieve victory - the guts to prosecute the war to its end.

Winner: Lord Douchebag!

Periodically, we here at The Idiom read about someone so monumentally stupid, who so ridiculously strays beyond the boundaries of normal societal intercourse that we can only begin to describe him/her by awarding them the coveted title of "Lord Douchebag."

The Speller's Diary has an entry on the term as a pejorative.

4. Douche-bag (1963). I wonder if you guessed that douche-bag was introduced earlier than "dirt-bag." Even the OED has something about douche-bag. The word douche, with this spelling, goes back to the 18th century, but "douche-bag" doesn't occur until the 20th and, at first, in a medical context. For example, in a gynecological handbook for nurses, from 1908, we have the advice to "hang the douche-bag eighteen inches above the level of the patient's hips." By 1967, according to the OED, the term came into its more prominent contemporary usage: "Douche bag, an unattractive co-ed. By extension, any individual whom the speaker desires to deprecate."

And, of course, the royal title comes from the brilliant "Lord Douchebag" sketch on SNL.

OK, now on to the awards!

In an interview with Algeria's Al-Khabar newspaper, British MP, sometimes Big Brother contestant and all around loudmouth George Galloway actually had the temerity to compare the publication of cartoons to the mass killings of civilians on September 11th and the July 7th bombings in London:

[Halimi] Mr Galloway! Let us deal with the core of the issue immediately.
What is your personal position and that of your party towards the events
and the demonstrations which have been taking place in the Muslim world
against the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet?

[Galloway] ...frankly what happened is an insult to Islam and Muslims. Personally,
I condemn these barbaric and evil acts. Today, the objective of the Western
states is to control the oil of the Muslims whatever the price. In fact,
the cartoons published in Denmark did not surprise me because the Western
states have been waging fierce attacks against Islam for years. These began
by humiliation, insults and then occupation. Today they reached the point
of ridiculing the prophet. This incident is worse than the 11 September
attacks in the US and the 7/7 incidents in London. Therefore, today it is
the right of Muslims to express their anger and to defend their right and


Galloway goes on to say:

To be clearer, Denmark is the only European state which practices
racism in the pure sense of the word. There is not a single mosque in the
entire Denmark. So how do you explain this my brother? There are many other
examples. Worse, Denmark's immigration laws are the worst in the world.

How many churches in Saudi Arabia Georgie?

He continues:

The US hope is for these states to send troops to Iraq, because -
praise be to God - the US has lost the war in Iraq thanks to the Iraqi
resistance. For your information, I have taken from Algeria more than 100
tapes of the Battle of Algiers [movie] - on Algeria's liberation war - to
be watched by the Iraqis. What is good about the Iraqi resistance today is
the fact that it relies on these tapes in order to confront the US and
British occupation.
So Galloway admits to aiding the Enemy?

Read the rest, it's stomach turning.

For these statements, and the rest of his rhetoric aimed at promoting the rise of the Caliphate and destroying the society which actually allows him to be such a spectacular idiot, The Idiom bestows upon George Galloway the title of "Lord Douchebag!"

Earl of Sandwich: Douchebag, how are you? I haven't seen you in the House of Lords in ages! Don't tell me for the first time in memory we are going to have a House of Parliament without a Douchebag?

Lord Douchebag: My dear Sandwich, Parliament has always had its share of Douchebags, and it always will.

Monday, February 27, 2006



Never has an article made me blink with astonishment as much as when I read in yesterday's New York Times magazine that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, is now studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa.

"In some ways," Mr. Rahmatullah told the New York Times. "I'm the luckiest person in the world. I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale." One of the courses he has taken is called Terrorism-Past, Present and Future.

The Definition of Non-Essential

As Kid Various was walking through the store yesterday he saw a compilation CD labelled "The Essential Kenny G."

Let's get one thing straight. There is NO essential Kenny G.

Kenny G is superfluous.

The death of jazz

Obit: Don Knotts

Good lord! Don Knotts died yesterday!

What a bummer. Yet another part of Kid Various' childhood fades into the past. The Kid loved The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Do kids today even know of Knott's genius?

Talk about an icon. He was one of those rare comic actors who know their strengths and stick with it. Hardly anyone played the confused doofus better than him.

And Andy Griffith was with him at the end. What's up with that? For some reason Kid Various finds that all kinds of creepy.

[Don] Don't grieve - Andy. The needs of the many...outweigh...
[Andy] ...The needs of the few.
[Don] Or the one. I am...and always shall be...your friend.
[Andy] No!
Vaya Condios my friend!

In other news, Firefox is telling us that Abe Vigoda is still alive.

Book Review

From the WaPo's review of Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago.

The last time Earth experienced a mass extinction, some 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, there is little doubt about what happened. A humongous meteor slammed into the Yucatan Peninsula, incinerating everything around for thousands of miles.
Funny. Kid Various rememebers that when the Alvarezes brought up this theory 25 years ago, it was on the fringe of science. Now, apparently, it's an established fact.

Actually the extraterrestrial catastrophe is not wholly accepted as the cause of the extinction of the Dinosaurs. What is basically unarguable is that a large asteroid did crash into the earth about 65 million years ago, approximately concurrent with the mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous. But there are a lot of niggling questions. As Robert Bakker points out, the Dinosaurs, as a group of species had been in decline for some time (although they had gone through declines before and rebounded.) And the extinction was very picky. Very advanced and adaptable creatures such as the Dinosaurs were completely wiped out (save the Avetheropoda) but much more primitive and seemingly less adaptable creatures like the crocodilia survived. Although Kid Various goes with the idea that the asteroid impact had to have something to do with the extinction at the K-T boundary, he doesn't buy that it is, in Justice Robert's language, "settled law."

Funny how science advances.

That said, this sounds like an interesting book. The Permian extinction always gets short shrift vis a vis the Cretaceous extinction, but it was way more devastating. 70% of all land animals and 95% of marine life died out within a few million years and no one really knows why:

Over the years, a cottage industry of Permian speculators has pointed the finger at just about every conceivable culprit. The list of indicted suspects includes -- take a deep breath -- plate tectonics, volcanoes, glaciation, a meteor, a supernova, a massive methane burp from the depths of the sea, oxygen-deprived oceans, an overly complex global ecosystem that collapsed under its own weight and, most fantastic of all, a buildup of cancer-inducing dark matter in the Earth's core.
Kid Various is writing a paper putting forth the theory that it was a wave of mass suicide bombings by synapsid jihadists who considered diapsids to be heretics.

Hah, hah! Just kidding Islamists!
(please don't kill us...)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

220 Pounds of Flightless Fury

A bunch of children in New Zealand have just found the remains of the largest penguin ever to waddle the earth.

Standing about 6 feet tall and topping out at about 220 pounds, it's unlikely that these giant tuxedo-clad birds would have taken any sh*t from the cops at The Stonewall.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

[SNAKE] Awright! Crime Spree!!!

No wonder Kid Various has had to resort to a life of crime...

Not only are physically unattractive teenagers likely to be stay-at-homes on prom night, they're also more likely to grow up to be criminals, say two economists who tracked the life course of young people from high school through early adulthood.

"We find that unattractive individuals commit more crime in comparison to average-looking ones, and very attractive individuals commit less crime in comparison to those who are average-looking," claim Naci Mocan of the University of Colorado and Erdal Tekin of Georgia State University.

Man, maybe The Kid can travel to France and get that face transplant.


Iran Supports End to Cartoon Violence

How are they going to do that when even Marge Simpson was unsuccessful?

Kid Various suggests that we drop an anvil on them. The BIG Anvil, if you know what he means...

They fight! And bite!
They fight and bite and fight!
Fight fight fight! Bite bite bite!
The Itchy and Scratchy Show!


From today's AP article on the Samarra bombing:

"This criminal act aims at igniting civil strife," said Mahmoud al-Samarie, a 28-year-old builder who was among the crowd. "We demand an investigation so that the criminals who did this be punished. If the government fails to do so, then we will take arm and chase the people behind this attack."

Uh, hello? Man, Arabs are not noted for their heightened sense of irony.

For those of you who don't know, this is a big deal. This is the destruction of one of the major sites in shi'a islam. It's where the 10th and 11th imams were buried and where the 12th is possibly supposed to return from, ushering in the age of universal peace and justice. Attacking it has got the shi'a going ape.

Now if they can only grasp two admittedly foreign, yet important concepts:

  1. Going ape is exactly what the Enemy wants you to do so therefore, you're actually giving them what they want.
  2. America and Israel don't have anything to do with this!
About 3,000 people marched the Shiite city of Kut, chanting anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans and burning U.S. and Israeli flags.