The Idiom

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Queer Eye Doomed

All evidence is consistently pointing to the fact that homosexuality is a physical condition, rather than a moral choice.

While this has it’s liberating aspects, specifically making homosexuality immutable, and therefore, more socially acceptable – there are things out on the horizon such as this: curing people of gayness.

And not the crazy Christian reprogramming of gays either.

SCIENTISTS are conducting experiments to change the sexuality of “gay” sheep in a programme that critics fear could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans.

The technique being developed by American researchers adjusts the hormonal balance in the brains of homosexual rams so that they are more inclined to mate with ewes.

Which is sparking predictable outrage from various quarters. “How dare they ‘cure’ gay rams? Next they’ll be going after the gay penguins! And then, *gulp* humans!”

To which Kid Various responds, “So?”

If homosexuality has a material component, then it stands to reason that it can be manipulated. And if that’s the case, that decision should be left up to the individual. Or in the case of an unborn child, the parents of that individual. This reminds The Kid of deaf people who were out protesting cochlear implants because it would eradicate “deaf culture.”

Hey, if you want to be deaf to experience some sort solidarity with “deaf culture,” knock yourself out. But don’t drag down everybody else who like to be able to experience one of the five basic senses.

Similarly, homosexuality may be entirely biological and morally neutral, but it certainly is abnormal. It just is. It’s not normal for the range of the population. And it certainly comes with a range of debilitating features like emotional pain, ostracism and confusion. The question that puts the lie to the claim that homosexuality is a choice is “who would choose to go through all the tzuris that comes with being gay?”

If parents want to spare their children all that, who are you to tell them no?

If parents want to prevent their unborn children from suffering that trauma – go ahead. If they want to give their unborn children a leg up by genetically engineering them to be smarter and better looking – go for it. If black parents want to give birth to white, blonde, blue-eyed children for whatever reason – that’s their decision.

It’s an individual choice. Not a group choice. That’s the only way we’re going to get through these amazing future technologies.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Beatles Mash Up

Kid Various has recently bought the new Beatles album Love.

The piece, which is actually classified as a new Beatles album, is a pastiche of works by the Fab Four that were remixed by original producer Sir George Martin and his son Giles to serve as the focus for a new Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas.

It's essentially a Beatles club mix. With the exception of some string arrangements for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," the Martins used only material from the original master tapes. It's a solid effort, but really only of interest to hard core Beatles fans who would appreciate the subtleties of the differences from the original works and the sometimes unexpected twists and turns.

The one exception is this truly inspired mash up of "Tomorrow Never Knows" from Revolver and "Within You Without You" from Sgt. Pepper.

Both works have always been faves of Kid Various, who's a big fan of The Beatles' more psychedelic stuff. And in this measure, both songs have always delivered. But the decision to lift Ringo's hypnotic drum line and Paul's bass from "Tomorrow Never Knows" and lay them under the vocals and sitar from "Within You Without You" is a stroke of genius by the Martins. The two works complement each other perfectly. Sprinkle in some extra motifs from "Tomorrow" and you have a truly unique interpretation of The Beatles' original ideas.

Good stuff! (and the remix of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is actually pretty good too...)

UPDATE: Reader Douglas Grant points us to another remix of "Tomorrow Never Knows" he created as part of a public radio 40th anniversary tribute for the release of Revolver. (Jesus! Revolver is 40 years old!)

It's really good. It interweaves elements from the rest of the album with the all important drum track. One of the commentators from the radio show noted something very true. The core of "Tomorrow Never Knows" is, of course, Ringo's hypnotic and almost machine-precision drum line. It was trance, before there was trance!

Road Trip!

We here at The Idiom are off on a road trip.

We're going to VEGAS! The Heart Attack Grill!

Oh yeah baby...

BTW guys, who's going to post the review of Rio 22?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Ding Dong

And so the monster is dead.

And yet, Kid Various is filled with a sense of profound disappointment. Not the disappointment felt by the likes of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who’s moral compasses have become so twisted as that they are now parodies of themselves. No, if there was anyone deserving of the death penalty – it was Saddam Hussein.

The Kid is deeply distraught because this should have been a “teachable moment”, but unfortunately only ends up being a massive missed opportunity.

This should have been the defining event that proved our resolve. This should have been a fit example to our enemies, Islamist thugs of every stripe from the Assads of Syria to the Mullahs of Iran to the terrorist gangsters of Hizbullah and Hamas. This should have been the act that filled them with trepidation and served notice, “This is your future…”

Instead, because of our own ineptitude, our enemies know that they are untouchable. They are sure that we are bogged down, our will is broken, and that this amazing spectacle of an Arab autocrat actually being held accountable for his crimes – is merely an aberration, a fluke of fate.

And so what should have been a signal moment for freedom in the world, will be remembered only as historical footnote.

A missed opportunity – one of so many.

The Kid only wishes he could say,
"Sic Semper Tyrannis"

UPDATE: Austin Bay hat tip Instapundit and Ralph Peters disagree with The Kid.

Saddam’s demise serves as object lesson and example. In late 2003 every Middle Eastern autocrat saw the haggard Saddam pulled from the hole; now they’ve seen him hung. The larger message: To avoid Saddams fate means political liberalization. The message extends beyond the Arab Muslim Middle East. Iran’s mullahs see it. At some reptilian level, destructive despots like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe also understand it.
and from Peters:

Everything changed in 2003. For all of its later errors in Iraq, the Bush administration altered the course of history for the better.

It may be hard to discern the deeper meaning of our march to Baghdad amid the chaos afflicting Iraq today, but President Bush got a great thing right: He recognized that the age of dictators was ending, that the era of the popular will had arrived. He and his advisers may have underestimated the difficulties involved and misread the nature of that popular will, but they put us back on the moral side of history.

Supported by other English-speaking democracies, Bush acted. Breaking Europe's cynical rules, our forces invaded a dictatorship to liberate its population.

And suddenly, the world was no longer safe for tyrants.

No matter the policy failures in the wake of Baghdad's fall, the destruction of Saddam's regime remains a historical turning point. When our troops later dragged the dictator out of a fetid hole, every other president-for-life shivered at the image.

Kid Various would like to believe them. Lord knows, he wants to believe them. Particularly because they are correct in their claim that at the end of 2003, dictators across the planet were unnerved by the spectacle of Saddam being dragged out of his spiderhole to answer for his crimes. At the end of 2003, the moment was there. We had the opportunity to shout "Sic Semper Tyrannis!"

But 3 years later, at the end of 2006, that moment has passed. Murderous thugs the world over no longer fear us. They laugh at us. And we will have to pay a high price to once again make them shudder at the thought of us.

But Peters also notes perhaps the noblest truth of all:
We did a great thing by overthrowing Saddam. We may have done it poorly, but we did it.

Go Ethiopia!

You know, 20 years ago, Sam Kinison was yelling at them:

Why don’t you live where the food is?!

Now, the Ethiopians are the forefront of the defense of Western Civilization. Who would’ve thought?

The Ethiopians are dealing The Enemy a righteous defeat in Somalia as the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) is falling back and abandoning its positions throughout the country. It looks like the decision of Al Qaeda’s Ayman Al-Zawahiri recently put so much stock in the seemingly triumphant ICU is not going to pay off as the street cred of The Enemy plummets (as per the NY Times.)

The once feared Shebab, the devout young Islamic fighters, began deserting in droves. (Shebab is the Arabic word for youth.) “We can’t resist,” said Musa Abdullahi, an 18-year-old Shebab who quit his unit after half his comrades were cut down by Ethiopian helicopter gunships. “We thought this fighting would be like the others. It’s not.”

Funny how whenever The Enemy is on the march, the media reports his advance as inevitable. But whenever he is on the run, the headlines read “Islamists Seem to Give Up Grip On Somali City.”

How have the freaking Ethiopians dealt the enemy juggernaut such a decisive defeat when the mightiest nation in the history of the earth (us) has failed to do so in Iraq? Cliff May notes:

More “boots on the ground” may be part of the explanation. The Ethiopians are not attempting to have a “light footprint.” They are not worried about whether they will be seen as “occupiers” or whether their “occupation” will be viewed as benevolent.

Secondly, the Ethiopians are not overly concerned about whether their tactics will win approval from the proverbial Arab Street – or the European Street or Turtle Bay. They are fighting a war; their intention is to defeat their enemies; everything else is secondary or tertiary.

In other words,

The Ethiopians saw the establishment of an Islamist theocracy on its border as unacceptable.

The Ethiopians chose to go to war.

The Ethiopians chose to win.

Of course, as Bill Roggio notes, the conflict may well be far from over. The Enemy may simply have “gone to ground” in preparation for an insurgency. We decisively defeated the Iraqi armed forces in 2003 – but have yet to decisively thrash The Enemy since he has changed his strategy to nihilistic guerilla warfare. But even if this comes to pass, the Ethiopians and the Ethiopian-backed Somali Transitional Government have a better starting position against such a strategy, as they will be wholly unconcerned with their world image and fight to win. Similarly, a global media that can barely find Somalia on a map, much less get there, will be much less of an advantage to The Enemy than they have been in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, of course, the Ethiopians don’t have to put up with nonsense like this:

If they are in need of intellectual mentorship, Eugene's green anarchists have a resource close at hand. John Zerzan is in his sixties, a graduate of Stanford and San Francisco State University and one of the foremost anticivilization thinkers in the world. In the '60s he was a Marxist and a Maoist and a Vietnam protester and a devotee of the Haight-Ashbury psychedelic scene. He now believes that Paleolithic humans and the few remaining primitive cultures provide the best models for how humans should subsist. His books include Elements of Refusal, Future Primitive, and Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections. He is an editor of Green Anarchy, which calls itself "an anticivilization journal of theory and action." He was a confidant of Theodore Kaczynski during the Unabomber trial.

What? Kid Various lost you with the comparison between Islamist thugs and the radical Green Anarchists?

Basically, they both constitute elements of The Enemy. Forces arrayed in counter to the values of the Enlightenment. In short, they are both Romantic movements that seek to destroy the achievements of the Enlightenment and reinstall a primitive worldview. The Romantics in the West lionizing the Oriental “noble savages” and the Orientals being the, uh, actual savages.

The fact that in today, in the modern United States, there are such things as “anti-civilization activists” scares the crap out of us. Because, although their worldview is extreme, the underlying currents of their philosophy are not relegated only to the fringe.

We can’t fight The Enemy until we decide that a) there is an enemy and that b) the survival of our way of life depends on defeating him. And, frankly, we’re just not at that point yet. Half the country doesn’t believe that we’re at war. Half the country is more inclined to believe that we are the problem and that if we just left well enough alone and stopped rocking the boat, that everything would be ok.

Well people better wise up.

And all The Kid can say is, “GO ETHIOPIANS!”

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Eid Mubarak Charlie Brown!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Well You Knew This Was Coming

How long have they had this story written?

The U.S. military on Tuesday announced the deaths of six more American soldiers, pushing the U.S. military death toll since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003 to at least 2,978 _ five more than the number killed in the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

What Kid Various wants to know is exactly how this is relevant to anything? Why is this news? We surmise that when more Americans were killed in the Pacific and Europe than were killed at Pearl Harbor the AP would've reminded us of that so we could "redeploy" from WWII.

Any bets on whether AP already has a story written on the "3,000th soldier?"

New Book

David Pryce-Jones has a new book out, Betrayal: France, Arabs and the Jews. Pryce-Jones’ previous book; The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs, is by far the best primer Kid Various has read on Arab culture and provides the most cogent explanations for the bizarre and often self-destructive behaviours within Arab society that he has often observed.

The new book details the complex nature of the French and their relationship to the Arabs, which has traditionally been tempered with a nice dollop of anti-Semitism. As Daniel Johnson notes in his review; the historical tendency of the French to indulge in Jew hatred had been peripheral, until the rise of Zionism and the creation of Israel.

Like so many misfortunes, this one has its origins in the megalomania of the Bonaparte clan. For more than two centuries, since Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, French diplomacy has been gripped by a delusion of grandeur: the idea of France as une puissance musulmane, 'a Muslim power' - a phrase that has a new and sinister echo now.

French diplomats, determined to outdo their British and German rivals in great-power politics, were also convinced that France had a special mission civilisatrice in the Islamic world. Yet their sentimental orientalism was entirely compatible with an institutional anti-Semitism that is documented in shocking detail by Pryce-Jones. The rise of Zionism transformed this anti-Semitism from a mere prejudice, odious perhaps but peripheral to foreign policy, into a distorting mirror which motivated and reinforced the fatal misjudgements that have led France to its present predicament.

It’s on the Kid's reading list.

And while we’re on the Jew hatred topic, take a look at Victor Davis Hanson’s latest blog post where he speculates about why Israel is the target of so much venom from all corners of the world, when the many varied outrages by other powers go unnoticed…

On this Christmas day there is a terrible amount of injustice in the world. All of Tibet has simply been absorbed by China. Greek Cyprus is still occupied by an illegitimate Turkish state. Iran is killing innocents in Iraq and violating UN accords to get the bomb. In Darfur there is a real genocide. Somali Islamists are killing Ethiopians. Hezbollah and Syria are trying to destroy Lebanese democracy. The list of injustice and carnage could be expanded.

…The answer can only be that something about Israel—not any facts that it is uniquely harsh to its neighbors by the world’s standards—infuriates a few elite Westerners to the point of driving them out on the streets of Fresno at Christmas. And that singular emotion that privileges purported Israeli felonies over all the others in the world, I submit, can only be explicable in terms of hating the notion of a Jewish state.

In this, The Kid thinks VDH is mostly wrong (a rare thing for him.) Surely, in the constant condemnation of Israel by the members of the Mos Eisely Cantina on the East River, anti-Semitism plays a large role. But when VDH sees his local college know-it-all hippies, in their chic kaffieyahs ranting about Israeli crimes against humanity, there’s a different and more important dynamic work than simple Jew hatred (hell a lot of them probably are Jews.)

What we are seeing is a general hatred of the West. The reason Israel is singled out for special condemnation (aside from a true human rights abuser like China or the Sudan) is because it is a Western society locked in a conflict with a traditional society. Of course, this is why the United States, along with Israel, is constantly pilloried by the international community as well. It’s important because it gets to the heart of the Long War – which could well be defined as basically a struggle between Western Culture and Traditional Culture. And it is a war in which we are showing up late in the game and 5 men short.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I Feel BAD!

Holy Crap! James Brown is DEAD!

And on Christmas too...

Heavenly Father, take unto thee the Godfather - into your loving hot tub...


Merry Xmas!

"Don we now, our gay apparel!"

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Overheard in New York

The Kid hears this sort of shit ALL the time in the City. That's why we love New York!

20-something chick: Dad, isn't this bracelet cute?! It was made just for you! Look, it says 'Dada' on it.
Dad: [Silent.]
20-something chick: I mean, we have to get one for you -- they totally made these for Dads!
Dad: Um, 'Dada' was the name of a surrealist movement.
20-something chick: Oh, that they, like, named after dads?

--MoMa Design Store, Midtown

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Belated Congratulations!

Jim, (Mr. Surly's father-in-law and Twisty's dad) has won a weblog award!

"Best blog in the TTLB top 1751-2500"

Congratulations. Maybe if Mr. Surly posted a little more, we could win one too!

Lizard Messiah to be Born!

Everybody get the Frankincense and Myrrh ready! The saurian saviour is about to be born in Chester, UK!
LONDON (Reuters) - Flora, a pregnant Komodo dragon living in a British zoo, is expecting eight babies in what scientists said on Wednesday could be a Christmas virgin birth.
Self fertilization (Parthogenesis) is not uncommon in lizards and amphibians, but this is the first time it's been observed in Komodo Dragons. Jesus notwithstanding, the ability to procreate spontaneously has been lost in mammals, similar to the ability to regenerate lost limbs.

Wait! Did Jesus do that? Grow a lost leg for a cripple? Hey, maybe Jesus was like Dr. Connors!

"Iesus Chesteri, Tyrannosaurus Rex"

Scientists theorize that parthogenesis was retained in Komodo dragons as a way for the Indonesian lizards to populate isolated islands in the archipelago.
"The genetics of self-fertilization in lizards means that all her hatchlings would have to be male. These would grow up to mate with their own mother and therefore, within one generation, there would potentially be a population able to reproduce normally on the new island," Buley added.

They Can Have My Taco When They Pry It From My Cold Dead Fingers!

First they came for the guns. But I was not a gun owner, so I said nothing.

Then they came for cigarettes. But I was not a smoker, so I said nothing.

And then they came for the french fries! But by then there was no one left to speak for me...

Everybody laughed when Kid Various said (after the multi-billion dollar tobacco settlement) that it was only a matter of time until they started on McDonald's and Burger King ("Big Cholesterol")

Well who's laughing now???

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

They Should Just Give Them Old Episodes of Star Trek

The U.N. is promoting mass circumcision. OUCH!

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - AIDS-stricken Southern African nations should develop a policy of mass male circumcision to fight the disease, the head of the
United Nations anti-AIDS agency said on Tuesday.

Several recent medical studies have reported circumcision cuts the risk of
HIV infection among men by 50-60 percent, and the findings have been backed by

Fortunately for Kid Various, being a geek loser reduces the risk of HIV infection among men by 100 percent!

Disease free for the 42nd year in a row!