The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

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Dirty, sexy Bible

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Dirty, sexy Bible

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There actually is more room for hip hop to debase itself in its unhypocritical rush for cash! McDonalds has found it!

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And the award for the ethnic group on Earth whose name would work best as a name for a Star Trek alien race goes to....

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

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The only thing by EL Doctorow that hasn't completely bored me is his Canongrate introduction to the book of genesis.

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Philip Larkin is becoming the Terry Schiavo of poetry. Is he ever going to stop releasing new books? Should we put the tube back in? If only he'd known it would be like this. He wouldn't have worried so much about The End.

Monday, March 28, 2005

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The Joys of (Laughter.) Where does the (Laughter.) come from when the President is speaking?
And he didn't want to risk any vote loss by letting people see him in a wheelchair. (Laughter.) "

Doug, I want to thank you for a couple of things. First of all, I want to thank you for your leadership. Doug is a plain-spoken fellow. There's no question where he stands. (Laughter.)

I did bring Laura her coffee this morning. (Laughter.) I don't want to put any pressure on Trent. (Laughter.) But the good news, it was in Crawford, Texas. (Laughter.)

These are great athletes and great scholars with us. And I'm real proud that you're here. So I asked him once again, are you going to be back next year? They said, how about you? No. They said -- (Laughter.) I appreciate -- (laughter) -- never mind. (Laughter.)

His grandmother, Lillie "Mother Ladd" Mauser -- (laughter) -- was Tennessee's first woman sheriff. (Laughter.)
In all these cases, there's no reasonable explanation for why (Laughter.) is laughing. Apart from the power of the President and the terror it must inspire.

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A statue of Peter Pan giving Wendy her kiss will soon get a tiny angry addition: "The new statue will be attached to the existing Peter Pan. The jealous fairy will be shown trying to wrest a thimble given him by Wendy, in lieu of a kiss, from Peter's finger." This 18-cm addition changes the sculpture from one about the pubescent dawn of attraction, to the older generation's jealous fight against that moment. Can we do the same to other sculptures. Maybe we should be adding something other than a cigarette to Oscar Wilde's statue?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

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DW Griffiths's "Birth of a Nation" without the boring bits and with a soundtrack by DJ Spooky. Having suffered through hours of the movie, I'm a bit angry that this 5 minute excerpt manages to collect 60% of the movie's artistically (and not just racially) provocative images and moments.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

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But of course Kylie Minogue's corset reduces her waist's circumfrence to that of a tea cup's saucer. I read it in a newspaper. Several, in fact. British journalism at its best.

Monday, March 21, 2005

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Pravda is quickly becoming one of my favorite tabloids, simply for being utterly shameless. Not in the sense of doing things that are depraved or immoral. In the sense that it seems nothing can embarrass them in their pursuit for sentimental schmaltz and pro-Putin propaganda: eg. World's oldest woman voted for Putin

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Gram Parsons: During the funeral ceremony for Gram's close friend Clarence White, Gram was overheard stating that when he died, rather than being buried in the ground, he would like to be taken out to The Joshua Tree desert of southern California and burned. After Gram died in The Joshua Tree Inn, his body was taken to the Los Angeles International Airport in preparation for being flown to Louisiana for burial. Gram's road manager Phil Kaufman and a friend, Michael Martin, got very intoxicated, borrowed a broken down hearse and drove to LAX to retrieve the body. When they arrived, they told the shipping clerk that Gram's remains were to be sent out of another airport, flashed some bogus paperwork and falsely signed for the body. After crashing into a wall and almost being arrested, Phil, Michael and Gram drove back to The Joshua Tree Desert, stopping only to buy more beer and a container of gasoline. They took Gram's remains into the desert, poured gasoline inside the coffin and set him ablaze.

Adolf Hitler: Adolf Hitler was so crippled with anxiety during his final days that he would scratch his neck and ears until they bled and demanded that his toilet water, as well as the water in which his eggs were boiled, be constantly analysed for traces of poison.
Before he took his own life he ordered his valet, Heinz Linge, to pour petrol over his body and burn it. "You must never allow my corpse to fall into the hands of the Russians," he told Linge. "They would make a spectacle in Moscow out of my body and put it in waxworks."

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O Good God, this is worse than The Day After Tomorrow: " Developmental biologists have been doing this for a long time—once a field has its Nobel, you can be sure it's reasonably mature. What people haven't really done, however, is to do this for the human body. The reason is obvious: you just can't go out and generate mutants in humans. For humans you've got to go out and find those mutants. But they're out there. There are thousands upon thousands of mutants out there—no, more, millions—.... no, actually billions. This is because we are all mutants. That's one thing you don't expect but which happens to be statistically true. Each of us carries mutations that interrupt particular genes. So if you can just find who is a mutant for a particular gene, and examine what they look like, you can actually then work out what those genes do." I am not a mutant, OK? I hate mutants, with an X-Men senator ferocity. How dare you suggest.... Kill them all, I say. Billions of them out there? Very well then. You say that like it's a bad thing. Billions of them must die. (Link via The Edge)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

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George Clooney and Lake Como: Are they about to split?

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We Are in an Age of Confusing Protests, Example XXVII: "Hindu nationalists set fire to a PepsiCo warehouse in western India on Saturday to protest the U.S. denial of a visa to a state official because of his role in religious riots in 2002. " WaPo

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

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What happened to Bosnia's catholics? "Bisera, which means 'pearl,' lives in a lean-to shack in Sarajevo's Vratnik district, in a state of poverty that is shocking even in impoverished Bosnia. Too ill to talk much - she has flu - this Bosnian Catholic mother of seven mopes around the squalid, freezing shack, her children stacked on and around the one bed they all share."

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In the late 60s, Michel Foucault sais that man, as in humanity, was a concept on the verge of extinction: "Man will be erased like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea." For academics and other right-thinking people, Foucault's prophecy was as good as an order, and they erased it. But, to make a tediously banal observation, the notion that humanity is a contructs is itself a construct and one that may be on its way out, as far as scientists are concerned. Of all the Po-Mo conceits, however, this one was my favorite. It was inspiring and liberating. I guess it created some problems -- a (to me, fishy) NY Times Sunday section led an attack last year on those who said that medicines have the same effect on white-skinned people as black-skinned people. But it also opened up a huge range of possibilities as to who you could decide to be.

Monday, March 14, 2005

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

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August the Strong's Porn the Soft

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He left us in a state of some surprise, but we had hardly time to exchange any remarks when he was back, panting, and handed us the book opened at the fly-leaf, on which was, in a straggly hand:

'Nathaniel Ager is my name and England is my nation,

Seaburgh is my dwelling-place and Christ is my Salvation,

When I am dead and in my Grave, and all my bones are rotton,

I hope the lord will think on me when I am quite forgotton.'

This poem was dated 1754, and there were many more entries of Agers, Nathaniel, Frederick, William, and so on, ending with William, 19--.

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The latest Jack Chick tract is a good, formally interesting one, even if not a full-blown classic. It has a wonderful penultimate panel: "[A]fter death, when you're in that horrible, dark place... You'll remember reading this little gospel tract.... And you'll curse yourself throughout all eternity for making the wrong decision."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

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WOOLLY MAMMOTH SPECIAL

MacLamity thought that Slate was being unfair when it said "The woolly mammoth was far too specialized—and too dumb—a beast to adapt to its changing environment. The producers at CBS News may be specialized, but they're not stupid." Too dumb indeed!

MacLamity has had an awe for woolly mammoths, one greater than his awe for dinosaurs, ever since he saw a stuffed, fake Woolly Mammoth in the Isle of Man museum. Woolly elephants walked the earth and were hunted for meat! In the Isle of Man! It was a proof that anything was possible, even if your chances of seeing anything happen were slim.

So, I don't know anything about Woolly Mammoth's...

Here are some articles that fixed that up the right way:

Firstly, the proof that anything was possible turns out to have been suspect:
Man was certainly in Europe and possibly even in Britain, which was then united to the Continent by continuous dry land, before the ice-age ; but no remains of that earliest inhabitant have yet been found in the Isle of Man. Eemains of the earliest Stone Age have been met with in the south of England and as far north as Yorkshire. These were the men of the Palaeolithic Age, when the use of metals was not known and the stone implements were rude and unpolished. These primitive weapons, tools and other remains are found in association with the bones of long extinct animals characteristic of the Pleistocene period, such as the mammoth, the cave bear and cave lion, the bison, a hyaena, and the woolly-haired rhinoceros. No traces of the presence of man at this early period or of any of such extinct mammals have, as yet, been found in the Isle of Man.

Monday, March 07, 2005

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"I got a call to go and see managing director John Dux urgently - Witherow had called him in after calling me first and shouting, "Theft isn't journalism, Morgan - you bastard!" I left the team to crash all the text straight into the paper, literally lining up a dozen subeditors with photocopies of each page to input it as fast as they could. "Use every fucking word," I said, laughing. " --

Sunday, March 06, 2005

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"I heard once a very old friend say that he was tired of pulling off his shoes and stockings at night, and putting them on again in the morning. The wish to stay here is thus gradually extinguished: but not so easily that of returning once in a while to see how things have gone on." -- Thomas Jefferson:

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

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The cynics have lost a valuable member. All it took was a trip to Africa for Deborah Ross to drop her distaste for "all that first-world red-nosed japery and then images of flies buzzing round a small child's eyes."

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

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We're way beyond postmodernity when an event that has banned TV cameras is re-enacted live on television. This is something else. And what is the actor playing Michael Jackson going to do? " "He'll be doing next to nothing for the first few months, not strenuous at all until we get to the defense's presentation. Frankly, he may go through this show with not a lot to do. It could either be a huge acting job or a little one."