Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Field Guide to Iraq
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Ricky Gervais meets Gary Shandling
Another fascinatingly funny set of interviews.
Ricky Gervais meets Gary Shandling:
Monday, February 19, 2007
Its a photo of a US Servicement holding a little Iraqi girl.
The caption accompanying the photo was oh so very telling
"Why isn't this all over the news? If he had done something wrong, it surely would be!"
Unfortunately, the discourse over the war has been reduced to swapping emotional images and lamenting the PR battle. It saddens me, because it shows how far we have fallen from grace.
To answer the emailer's question, it is not all over the newspapers because its not news. The good guys are supposed to do things like this. Its only news when the bad guys do this.
The good work of a US Military officer, a small kindness in a war zone -- thats what is expected of us. We are Americans, and in case you forgot, we are the GOOD guys. We are expected to do good deeds -- it is who we are.
We saved the world from anarchy in the early parts of the last century, from Fascism in the middle of the century, from Communism later in the Century.
The United States has time and again saved the world from evil -- and yet never before have any of us complained about the "PR" of our actions Our list of global accomplishments and good deeds goes on and on. There was a concern for the results, not media imagery. This is a subtle but important point.
Can you imagine partisans whining that US Servicemen had freed the camp victims at Auschwitz -- but there wasn't enough coverage, it wasn't front page news? That rebuilding of Germany and Japan after WWII wasn't getting enough airplay? The foodlifts to Africa, the inventions of life saving medicines, the racing to comfort earthquake victims, tsunami survivors, disasters anywhere on the planet neneded to be exploited further? Back then did anyone cry "Hey, where's our credit?!"
Absolutely not -- you shut your mouth and you got the job done. The results mattered more than the image.
That was a different era. We had leaders of great intellect, courage, and judgement. They surrounded themselves with the best and the brightest. They purposefully kept aides around them who challenged their views, thought strategically, mapped out all possible consequences, believed in Science. They were pragmatic, not idealogues; they were experienced experts, not partisans.
Too many people have lowered their standards to a point that is absurd. Hey, everyone, we repainted a school in Baghdad!
Talk about the soft prejudice of low expectations. Is that what our measure of greatness has become?
I regularly appreciate all of the great deeds done by US Servicemen, working with insufficient equipment under a great hardship. We've donated old cell phones to servicemen, participated in raising money for armor. Do not misinterpret this as anything but supportive of the troops in harm's way.
But recognize who we are talking about: These are the US Marines, the greatest fighting unit in the history of mankind! These are Air Force officers, flying the most sophisticated and powerful weaponry know to the planet. US Army personnel, Navy sailors -- these aren't just any military -- these people make up the Armed Forces of the United States of America! Does the emailer complaining about the lack of media coverage understand the history of these institutions, what they have accomplished over the past 2 centuries? I think he does not. Because if he did, he would not be as concerned about a single gentle kindness, about the imagery, about the PR, rather than the actual war itself.
The Marines understand war and their obligations within a conflict; that's why Semper Fi -- Always Faithful -- is their philosophy. The Air Force says "Aim Higher" -- because their philosophy is to achieve greater and greater results, as opposed to media spin.
No, my dear emailer, you have forgotten who we are and what we are all about. A good deed by a US serviceman is what WE DO ANYWAY. In case you didn't know, we are the GOOD GUYS. If this not being in a newspaper is what upsets you, than you NO LONGER GET IT. This is what the United States is all about. This is what is expected of us. This is the standard we aspire to. This is who we are.
Follow the advice of the Armed Services. Worry less about the PR, and more about what really matters. "Aim Higher."
Sunday, February 18, 2007
A Picture of You
Earliest known colour footage of the Beatles (sound dubbed in via BBC).
Saturday, February 17, 2007
LIRR Commuter from Hell: JFK Edition
This lady seems to think that its perfectly acceptable airport terminal behavior to file her nails down for 20 minutes. I guess I should be thankful that she never pulled out the nail polish and acetone.
Quotes from Bill Hicks
We're big fans of Bill Hicks here at e&e. Here's a full collection of quotes:
"I'm so sick of arming the world, then sending troops over to destroy the fucking arms, you know what I mean? We keep arming these little countries, then we go and blow the shit out of them. We're like the bullies of the world, y'know. We're like Jack Palance in the movie Shane, throwing the pistol at the sheepherder's feet.
"Pick it up."
"I don't wanna pick it up, Mister, you'll shoot me."
"Pick up the gun."
"Mister, I don't want no trouble. I just came downtown here to get some hard rock candy for my kids, some gingham for my wife. I don't even know what gingham is, but she goes through about ten rolls a week of that stuff. I ain't looking for no trouble, Mister."
"Pick up the gun."
(He picks it up. Three shots ring out.)
"You all saw him - he had a gun."
I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth.
Your denial is beneath you, and thanks to the use of hallucinogenic drugs, I see through you.
A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fucking cross? It's like going up to Jackie Onassis wearing a rifle pendant.
Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye.
People say "Iraq had the fourth largest army in the world". Yeah, maybe, but you know what, after the first 3 largest armies, there's a REAL big fucking drop-off. The Hare Krishnas are the 5th largest army in the world, and they've already got all our airports.
People are bringing shotguns to UFO sightings in Fife, Alabama. I asked a guy, "Why do you bring a gun to a UFO sighting?" Guy said, "Way-ul, we didn' wanna be ab-duc-ted." If I lived in Fife, Alabama, I would be on my hands and knees every night praying for abduction.
It's really weird how your life changes. Tonight I'm drinking water. Four years ago? Opium. Night and day, you know?
I don't do drugs anymore... than say, the average touring funk band.
"This is your brain." I've seen a lot of weird shit on drugs. I have never ever ever ever EVER looked at a fucking egg and thought it was a brain.
If you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, then go home and burn all your records, all your tapes, and all your CDs because every one of those artists who have made brilliant music and enhanced your lives? RrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrEAL fucking high on drugs. The Beatles were so fucking high they let Ringo sing a few songs.
The musicians today who don't do drugs and in fact speak out against it? "Rock Against Drugs?" BOY do they suck.
Children are smarter than any of us. Know how I know that? I don't know one child with a full time job and children.
Childbirth is no more a miracle then eating food and a turd coming out of your ass.
I have never seen two people on pot get in a fight because it is fucking IMPOSSIBLE. "Hey, buddy!" "Hey, what?" "Ummmmmmm...." End of argument.
We gotta come to some new ideas about life folks ok? I'm not being blase about abortion, it might be a real issue, it might not, doesn't matter to me. What matters is that if you believe in the sanctity of life then you believe it for life of all ages. That's what I hate about this child-worship syndrome going on. "Save the children! They're killing children! How many children were at Waco? They're killing children!" What does that mean? They reach a certain age and they're off your fucking love-list? Fuck your children, if that's the way you think then fuck you too. You either love all people of all ages or you shut the fuck up.
Because you know if you play New Kids on the Block albums backwards they sound better. "Oh come on, Bill, they're the New Kids, don't pick on them, they're so good and they're so clean cut and they're such a good image for the children." Fuck that! When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children to listen to people who fucking ROCKED! I don't care if they died in puddles of their own vomit! I want someone who plays from his fucking HEART!
I was in Nashville, Tennesee last year. After the show I went to a Waffle House. I'm not proud of it, I was hungry. And I'm alone, I'm eating and I'm reading a book, right? Waitress walks over to me: " Hey, whatchoo readin' for?"
Isn't that the weirdest fucking question you've ever heard? Not what am I readING, but what am I reading *for*? Well, godammit, ya stumped me! Why do I read? Well... hmmm... I dunno... I guess I read for a lot of reasons, and the main one is so I don't end up being a fucking waffle waitress.
Supreme Court says pornography is anything without artistic merit that causes sexual thoughts, that's their definition, essentially. No artistic merit, causes sexual thoughts. Hmm... Sounds like...every commercial on television, doesn't it? You know, when I see those two twins on that Doublemint commercial? I'm not thinking of gum. I am thinking of chewing, so maybe that's the connection they're trying to make.
Here is my final point. About drugs, about alcohol, about pornography and smoking and everything else. What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body - as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?
Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn't the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit... unnatural? You know what I mean? It's nature. How do you make nature against the fucking law?
I can speak for every guy in this room here tonight. Guys, if you could blow yourselves, ladies, you'd be in this room alone right now. Watching an empty stage.
I dunno how much AIDS scares y'all, but I got a theory: the day they come out with a cure for AIDS, a guaranteed one-shot cure, on that day there's gonna be fucking in the streets, man.
I believe that God left certain drugs growing naturally upon our planet to help speed up and facilitate our evolution. OK, not the most popular idea ever expressed. Either that or you're all real high and agreeing with me in the only way you can right now. (Starts blinking)
They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you're high, you can do everything you normally do, just as well. You just realize that it's not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference.
You ever noticed how people who believe in Creationism look really unevolved? You ever noticed that? Eyes real close together, eyebrow ridges, big furry hands and feet. "I believe God created me in one day" Yeah, looks liked He rushed it.
I love talking about the Kennedy assasination. The reason I do is because I'm fascinated by it. I'm fascinated that our government could lie to us so blatantly, so obviously for so long, and we do absolutely nothing about it. I think that's interesting in what is ostensibly a democracy. Sarcasm - come on in. People say "Bill, quit talking about Kennedy man. It was a long time ago, just let it go, alright? It's a long time ago, just forget it." I'm like, alright, then don't bring up Jesus to me. As long as we're talking shelf life here...
No, I don't do drugs anymore, either. But I'll tell you something about drugs. I used to do drugs, but I'll tell you something honestly about drugs, honestly, and I know it's not a very popular idea, you don't hear it very often anymore, but it is the truth: I had a great time doing drugs. Sorry. Never murdered anyone, never robbed anyone, never raped anyone, never beat anyone, never lost a job, a car, a house, a wife or kids, laughed my ass off, and went about my day.
Christianity has a built-in defense system: anything that questions a belief, no matter how logical the argument is, is the work of Satan by the very fact that it makes you question a belief. It's a very interesting defense mechanism and the only way to get by it -- and believe me, I was raised Southern Baptist -- is to take massive amounts of mushrooms, sit in a field, and just go, "Show me."
It's just a ride and we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.
One of my big fears in life is that I'm gonna die and my parents are going to come to clean out my apartment and find that porno wing I've been adding on to for years.
We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.
I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are.
The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question: "Is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "Hey, don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we kill those people.
We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.
That's an act, that's a frying pan, that's a stove, you're an alcoholic! Dude, I'm tripping right now, and I still see that that's a fucking egg, alright? I see the UFO's around it, but that's a goddamn egg in the middle. There's a hobbit eating it, but goddammit that hobbit's eating a fucking egg! He's on a unicorn. But, no, th-th-th-that's a fucking egg. How dare you have a wino tell me not to do drugs!
It's always funny until someone gets hurt. Then it's just hilarious.
It's great to be here. I thank you. Ah, I've been on the road doing comedy for ten years now, so bear with me while I plaster on a fake smile and plough through this shit one more time.
By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself. Thank you, thank you. Just a little thought. I'm just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day they'll take root. I don't know. You try. You do what you can. Kill yourselves. Seriously though, if you are, do. No really, there's no rationalisation for what you do, and you are Satan's little helpers, OK? Kill yourselves, seriously. You're the ruiner of all things good. Seriously, no, this is not a joke. "There's gonna be a joke coming..." There's no fucking joke coming, you are Satan's spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage, you are fucked and you are fucking us, kill yourselves, it's the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show.
"You know what Bill's doing now, he's going for the righteous indignation dollar, that's a big dollar, a lot of people are feeling that indignation, we've done research, huge market. He's doing a good thing."
Godammit, I'm not doing that, you scumbags, quit putting a godamn dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!
I've learned a lot about women. I think I've learned exactly how the fall of man occured in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, and Adam said one day, "Wow, Eve, here we are, at one with nature, at one with God, we'll never age, we'll never die, and all our dreams come true the instant that we have them." And Eve said, "Yeah... it's just not enough is it?"
Go back to bed, America, your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed America, your goverment is in control. Here, here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up, go back to bed America, here is American Gladiators, here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on the living in the land of freedom. Here you go America - you are free to do what well tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!
I'm gonna share with you a vision that I had, cause I love you. And you feel it. You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much. You've been great, I hope you enjoyed it.
The worst kind of non-smokers are the ones that come up to you and cough. That's pretty fucking cruel isn't it? Do you go up to cripples and dance too?
If the FBI's motivating factor for busting down the Koresh compound was child abuse, how come we never see Bradley tanks smashing into Catholic churches?
I love the Pope, I love seeing him in his Pope-Mobile, his three feet of bullet proof plexi-glass. That's faith in action folks! You know he's got God on his side.
See we just had a misunderstanding. I thought we lived in the U.S. of A., the United States of America. But actually we live in the U.S. of A., the United States of Advertising. Freedom of expression is guaranteed? If you've got the money!
-- Bill Hicks, on being censored from "The Late Show with David Letterman"
Fundamentalist Christianity - fascinating. These people actually believe that the the world is 12,000 years old. Swear to God. Based on what? I asked them.
"Well we looked at all the people in the Bible and we added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages: 12,000 years."
Well how fucking scientific, okay. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble. That's good. You believe the world's 12,000 years old?
Okay, I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?
You know the world is 12,000 years old and dinosaurs existed, they existed in that time, you'd think it would have been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point.
"And lo Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in his paw. And O the disciples did run a shriekin': 'What a big fucking lizard, Lord!' But Jesus was unafraid and he took the splinter from the brontosaurus's paw and the big lizard became his friend.
"And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch for O so many years inviting thousands of American tourists to bring their fat fucking families and their fat dollar bills.
"And oh Scotland did praise the Lord. Thank you Lord, thank you Lord. Thank you Lord."
People ask me what I think about that woman priest thing. What, a woman priest? Women priests. Great, great. Now there's priests of both sexes I don't listen to.
Hat tip: this guy
Friday, February 16, 2007
If You Question Us . . .
Download this song
Too much truth for one song/video
via MC Lars: