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Saturday: February 26, 2005

Announcement

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:37 AM UTC

I will be out of town until late tomorrow, and comments left between now and then will stay in comments-limbo until I return. Please don’t keep pressing the post button.

If anyone is wondering, I’m going to New York to see Nabucco at the Met, plus two Teachout recommendations, Dekker’s Shoemaker’s Holiday and an adaptation of Aristophanes’ Wasps, retitled A Very Naughty Greek Play. More when I return.

Thursday: February 24, 2005

Subliminal Message?

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:10 PM UTC

As others have noted, this is an excellent picture of Condoleezza Rice, but I wonder whether there’s something subliminal going on. If we look past the smile, Rice’s helmet-like black hair, black dress, long black coat (two parts trench coat, one part cape), and tall black boots combine to give just a hint of a Darth Vader effect. Of course, any Secretary of State needs a little bit of Vader to succeed, and she does look good in black.

Tragic Ignorance

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:04 PM UTC

It’s unsporting to make fun of semiliterate misspellings, but this one is too amusing to pass by. The Indepundit, aka LT Smash, links to a group called Code Pink: Women for Peace that is still demanding “peace” through surrender in Iraq. One particular sentence in their advertisement caught my eye:

Camp Pendleton Marine base, one of the largest bases in the country, has suffered a tragic number of causalities in the ongoing war and occupation of Iraq.

Damn those tragic causalities! Would it be unfair to note that the moonbat community has always had trouble with things like cause and effect? I won’t link to Code Pink, but I did check their site, and the error was not introduced by LT Smash. (I thought I ought to mention that in case they fix it.)

Tuesday: February 22, 2005

Blogosphere = Borg Collective? A Dr. Weevil Reprint

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:48 PM UTC

Ted Rall has just figured out that the Blogosphere has some resemblance to the Borg. Some of us were on to that years ago. Here’s something I wrote three years ago next Thursday:

This is probably not an original thought, but I haven’t run across it elsewhere yet, so here goes:

How is Blogworld like the Borg Collective? Let me count the ways:

  1. We’re all linked together into one immense super-brain-like network. The whole is far more intelligent than the sum of its parts, though some of these are pretty smart to begin with.
  2. Communication between the parts is near instantaneous.
  3. Our self-correcting arguments resemble the self-repairing starships of the Borg. If someone who shall remain nameless thought that an old-journalism story’s mention of “Mt. Arafat” in Mecca was a typo for Mt. Ararat, well it didn’t take long to correct, did it?
  4. If you want to know who made that mistake, who corrected it, where, and when, you can find out easily enough. There’s no more privacy in the Blogosphere than in a Borg cube.
  5. We’re always assimilating new individuals to gain new perspectives. Droves of bellicose women, Libertarian deer-hunters from Kolkata (the city formerly known as Calcutta), newly-right-wing punksters in mourning: all are welcome.
  6. In order to survive, bloggers, like Borg drones, must plug into specialized blogging terminals to regenerate at least once a day. The nourishment is purely electronic, but more vital than ordinary gastrointestinal alimentation. (A quadruple-espresso intravenous drip is obviously the next step, at least for those without regular jobs to go to. Then we’d never have to leave the keyboard.)
  7. Unless I missed that episode, Borg drones don’t seem to be paid any salary for their brutal and strenuous lives of exploration, information-gathering, and conquest.
  8. Most important, our mighty collective empire is a threat to the very survival of puny monocephalic (single-headed) and monoencephalic (single-brained) organisms like the Chomskyites and the Fiskians. These vicious but technologically-inferior species either wander their pleasant little green planets (or campuses) in a daze, wondering what hit them, or are so oblivious that they deny that anything bad has happened to them. (By the way, do Robert Fisk’s encounters with the Blogosphere remind anyone else of the Pakleds’ encounters with the starship Enterprise? For those who have forgotten, Pakleds are a race of slow-talking limited-vocabulary intergalactic retards who kidnap Lt. LaForge on Star Trek Next Generation, but are tricked into returning him unharmed with an impressive display of bright-colored gas. That particular episode doesn’t seem to come up in the reruns as often as the others. I suppose it’s considered insensitive.) In short, Resistance Is Futile. Non-blog journalists can either assimilate or die. The same goes for the music industry, but that’s another story.
  9. Not least, bloggers are all nerds, and nine readers out of ten knew exactly what I meant by that Pakled comparison before I explained it. The other one can always go to Pakled World for more information, including pictures and sound bites. (By the way, I figure that ‘nine out of ten’ is not a ratio but the actual number of my readers.)

(signed) The drone formerly known as Dr. Weevil, new designation ’1,469,732 of 1,756,411′, tertiary adjunct underblogger to the 4096th Bellicose Shoppers’ Brigade.

Tangential Notes:

  1. If the Blogosphere is the Borg, is Glenn Reynolds the Borg Queen?
  2. While we’re on the subject of Borg females, male viewers of Star Trek Voyager have been oohing and aahing over Seven of Nine’s amazing contours since the series began. Her shape should have come as no surpise. The Borg have always been intergalactic leaders in implant technology. Mostly they go in for the complex and rather kinky metal kind, but it seems they can handle old-fashioned silicon as well.

Though some of the allusions are now rather obscure, I can’t think of anything to add three years later. And Pakled World is still in business.

Monday: February 21, 2005

An Unwieldy But Useful Coinage

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:03 PM UTC

Last week, Oliver Kamm posted a long and careful discussion of whether Noam Chomsky is an anti-Semite and concluded that he is not, though he (Chomsky, not Kamm) goes out of his way to defend anti-Semites and attack their opponents. If someone who deplores Communism in a perfunctory way and spends all his energy attacking anti-Communists is properly described as an “anti-anti-Communist” (1,010 hits on Google), surely Chomsky is an anti-anti-anti-Semite? It’s too bad that the human mind draws the line at double negatives, and finds triple negatives way too confusing.

I guess this post makes me not only an anti-anti-Semite, for despising the Faurissons of the world, but an anti-anti-anti-anti-Semite as well, for despising the Chomskies?

Help Needed I

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:49 PM UTC

With Firefox, most of the sites I visit display a tiny logo just to the left of the URL in the same field. Can anyone tell me how to make a tiny logo of my own, without spending any money on new software? Not so much how to make one — that’s easy enough with Paint — but how to get Firefox to display it. I gather (from Googling “tiny logo” nad “Firefox”) that it has to be neither a GIF nor a JPEG, but some format called ICO, whatever that is. It’s also not clear where it has to be loaded, what I need to call it, and whether it needs to be referenced in my template.

Bad Proofreading

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:26 PM UTC

iTunes (previous post) is a very useful piece of software, but the downloadable information on artists, titles, and so on seems to have been typed in by dyslexic baboons who then used search-and-replace to further mess it up. Anything that looks like a Roman numeral is assumed to be one, even in the middle of a word, which produces idiocies like KnoXVIlle Girl. The worst error found so far is in a Louvin Brothers song. The title is What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul?, and the idea is that when Judgment Day arrives, many of us will find ourselves wishing we could trade some of our hard-earned material possessions for spiritual credit, if it were not too late to do so. The iTunes database gives the title as What Would You Give in Exchange for My Soul?, as if the singer-persona were Homer Simpson bargaining for a jelly doughnut.

(I wonder if I could trade a couple of CDs for cancellation of that baboon remark? It’s not like I need them as much now that I’ve ripped them.)

Unlikely Musical Pairs

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:08 PM UTC

In the last few weeks, I’ve transferred 8503 musical tracks (35.3 gB) from my CDs to iTunes on my new laptop. Sorting by title, I noticed a few bizarre juxtapositions. Most tunes with more than one version stay within a single genre, or two related genres such as country and bluegrass or jazz and blues. I have quite a few songs done by Ernest Tubb and the Louvin Brothers, and dozens done by both Billie Holiday and Art Tatum. Even Dwight Yoakam and the Grateful Dead is not all that surprising a pair (Truckin’). However, I was very surprised to see that I have one song done only (in my collection) by Ernest Tubb and King Pleasure, and another only by Faron Young and Cecil Taylor. (Of course, with Cecil Taylor, it’s not easy to tell whether it’s the same tune or a different one with the same title, but they sound vaguely similar.) Can anyone name these two tunes? (Comments are moderated, so they will not necessarily appear immediately.)

Doubly Redundant Invective

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:53 PM UTC

During his fifteen minutes of fame, I’ve seen Mr. Gannon/Guckert reviled as a “gay male prostitute” at least a dozen times, for instance, here. Any man who is a prostitute is obviously a male prostitute, and is also, slightly less obviously, a gay prostitute. For whatever reason, men who provide sexual services to women for money are called gigolos or (more ambiguously) escorts, but not prostitutes. Both adjectives are therefore unnecessary.

Anyone who insists on referring to someone we already know is male as a “gay male prostitute” obviously thinks that that is something worse than an ordinary straight female prostitute. I can see why the Pope might think that: if homosexual acts are sinful, and prostitutional acts are sinful, then any act that falls into both categories is (I think it’s safe to assume) more sinful than if it were one or the other but not both. Of course, the Church also teaches that sexual acts between a man and a woman are sinful if they don’t use the usual orifices in the traditional way, so female prostitutes and their customers very often qualify for the two-sins-in-one deal as well.

I don’t see how anyone who insists on the doubly redundant phrase “gay male prostitute” can avoid the imputation that he (and it usually is a he) thinks that gay sex is in itself more depraved, more sinful, more perverted, all around worse, than straight sex. It appears that a large portion of the left today has opinions on homosexuality very different from what they like to pretend.

Saturday: February 19, 2005

Product Placement in Opera?

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:54 PM UTC

The DVD of Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Kent Nagano, features a prominently-placed bottle of Heinz ketchup in (where else?) the Gluttony scene. I suppose that counts as local color for the original French audience.

Best lines in the subtitles:

  • “Lazy bones are for the devil’s stockpot.”
  • “There’s no market for hippos in Philadelphia.”

Now I have to get hold of the libretto to see how accurately these were translated.

Saturday: February 12, 2005

Missing Something?

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:52 PM UTC

In a long post on Eason Jordan’s resignation, Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarters has a sarcastic remark on the widespread evasion of responsibility for network screwups:

Maybe no one is in charge of news organizations at all; people like Andrew Heyward, Dan Rather, Jordan, and Cramer just sit around their offices and the news holistically appears on your television screens.

In fact, this is entirely correct, if we insert (‘interpolate’) a single syllable before ‘holistically’. The missing syllable is of course ‘ass’. (Sorry if this post is a bit crude: I’ve always hated the word holistic.)

Thursday: February 10, 2005

Belated Realization

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:50 PM UTC

I work as an indexer. Today, after an hour or two of uninterrupted work on a chapter about solid waste management, I got to the end of a page and hit the PageDown button. Nothing happened, which was annoying, since I was in the middle of a very indexable sentence about dumpsters. I hit the button again, harder, and only then realized that I would have to turn the page over by hand: I was reading the hard copy. I’ve been working with computers way too long.

Wednesday: February 9, 2005

Welcome

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:03 PM UTC

Welcome to the new improved WordPress Dr. Weevil. The overall appearance will change frequently, perhaps drastically, over the next few weeks, but I’m eager to start posting again, so here it is. No need to update your blogrolls: as soon as my domain is transferred, the old URL will bring you straight here. In the mean time, you can easily get here from the old site by clicking on either of the weevils there.

Comments are open, but moderated (the WP default). Please behave if you want me to loosen the comment rules. In the mean time, comments left between midnight and 8am Eastern time (later on weekends) will languish until I get out of bed.