You're all my best friends. You all, and the girl with the cello, and the Esteemed Colleague from Elsewhere, you're all my guys, you know that, right? Cause know that. It's true. You're my team. If things get freaky again, I need you all on my side to dig me out. Don't let me die in an unholy place. And protect yourselves. You're the best. Take care of all of you all, even the ones you don't know; they're worth it, promise you.

I'm always there. Always gonna be there.

(Edit: I don't remember making this post. But it's still true.)
Dear Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M, and especially Oklahoma and Texas:

Fuck you.

Your athletic institutions are unworthy of affection, sympathy, or even courtesy, you treacherous fetid swine.
... that in the U.S. Supreme Court case Stoner v. California, Potter Stewart wrote that the police could not depend on their bud, a hotel clerk, to help smoke out a suspected robber?
Challenge: try to explain the arrest of Henry Louis Gates and the resulting kerfluffle -- culminating in the beer summit -- to someone who hadn't heard of it, without having to interrupt with "I'm not kidding, this really happened" whenever you pause for breath. But you have to, to get the full effect of Cambridge Cop Accidentally Arrests Henry Louis Gates Again During White House Meeting.

[ profile] rewil brings word that Mr. I-Don't-Photoshop Except When I Can Get Away With It has released an...essay? I guess? I suppose it's to respond to the allegations against him, but it's hard to tell. It's one of the most obnoxiously pretentious and still somehow content-free pieces of shit I've read in a long, long time, so it's worth it for entertainment value and reinforcing the validity that any additional energy expended upon this "artist" is entirely wasted except as a cautionary tale to others, or possibly as an exercise in either steel-reinforced denial or merely merrily prancing about with the English language before beating it to death with the sledgehammer of the tortured misunderstood artist.

EA's not releasing its annual incremental roster patch for its NFL game for the PC for the second year in a row. I smell a spite-torrent or two. Pity Red Alert 3 wasn't worth seeding.

When the rape allegations regarding Ben Roethlisberger (oh God I can type that from memory now) surfaced, I skipped through my usual parade of web sites, pausing when I hit ESPN, thinking they just hadn't filed their story yet. No, as it turns out, they've taken a most curious stance toward the civil case re: Roethlisberger: speak no evil. It took the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports 48 hours to casually mention that there are allegations against the Super-Bowl-winning quarterback, and had any other story simmered in the background for two days, ESPN would kick itself for not covering it. ESPN's half-hearted defense is that the allegations are too weak to merit coverage and that ESPN doesn't cover civil suits -- but even a casual observer will remember allegations with similar if not equivalent levels of veracity trumpeted by the network against Kwame Brown or Larry Johnson. And if you do make the mistake of talking about Roethlisberger on ESPN airwaves, don't worry, they'll correct you soon enough. Is this a network just wanting to keep the premiere sports franchie (and business partner) and one of its brightest stars happy? Or just another manifestation of rape culture?

For the record, that last link explicitly says that suggesting the accuser may be a "lying gold-digger" is rape culture. Maybe I'm missing something, but to me that's just healthy skepticism -- I don't think leaping to a conclusion in either direction suits anyone at this juncture, and if someone wants to paint me with a brush of condemnation for not immediately grasping their standard and waving it frantically, then I guess I get painted. But that's another, much larger can of worms -- removed from the accusations themselves is the issue of ESPN's coverage of them, or lack thereof. It's inconsistent with precedent and its own mission as a purported newsgathering organization, and ultimately it damages their brand (unless they choose to go the route of so many cable channels and change their mission, from sports news to sports entertainment -- and cynics may well ask what the difference is and if that hasn't happened already). To report on allegations as allegations and not foregone conclusions shouldn't threaten Roethlisberger, the Steelers or the NFL, but it's a pity ESPN chose to capitulate. It's not discretion, it's cowardice, and no institution is better served by such.
Via Kotaku: With "rape games" officially banned in Japan and politicians cracking down, the country's erotic game makers are feeling the heat.

What to do? In order to avoid another outcry or to prevent falling target of international protests, adult game developers are giving new and upcoming titles less sensation names.

So, Slippery Pregnancy Princess (our translation) becomes a shortened form of "Slippery Princess" ("Nuru Puri")....

Six more at the link -- I find the edits highly entertaining, if only because the editor seemed gripped by sloth in de-raping the titles....
sigma7: Sims (giveadamn)
( Jun. 12th, 2009 08:23 pm)
Okay, y'all need to just kick me in the face next time I think I can rent a movie that's older than six weeks at Hastings because apparently they're rented out as fondue plates or mudguards or head mirrors during aspiration procedures of infected bodily organs, because even after a run-through "the buffer" ten minutes into The Search for Spock the DVD has merrily skipped ahead an additional twenty minutes. So now I've got a coupon for two amazing dollars off rental of any other movie that's going to leap ahead in the plot at random intervals like a twelve-year-old and the security camera footage of a Gap changing booth. Ghhh. Netflix, you say?
The unmarried mother's story about giving birth to a child diagnosed as terminally ill in the womb hit a major nerve on the Internet.

Every night for the last two months, thousands of abortion opponents across the nation logged on to a blog run by the suburban Chicago woman who identified herself only as "B" or "April's Mom."

People said they prayed that God would save her pregnancy. They e-mailed her photos of their children dressed in pink, bought campaign T-shirts, shared tales of personal heartache and redemption, and sent letters and gifts to an Oak Lawn P.O. box in support.

As more and more people were drawn to her compelling tale, eager advertisers were lining up. And established parenting Web sites that oppose abortion were promoting her blog -- which included biblical quotes, anti-abortion messages and a soundtrack of inspirational Christian pop songs.

By Sunday night, when "April's Mom" claimed to have given birth to her "miracle baby" -- blogging that April Rose had survived a home birth only to die hours later -- her Web site had nearly a million hits.

There was only one problem with the unfolding tragedy: None of it was true.
sigma7: Sims (Luna)
( May. 26th, 2009 01:43 pm)
FYI re: the California Supreme Court's decision today that essentially upholds Prop 8 -- please keep in mind (and I've seen most people getting this correctly but it still bears repeating) that the Supremes didn't weigh in on the merits of Prop 8 in and of itself. This ruling is entirely about the level of involvement of the state legislature in state constitutional amendments -- the petitioners' argument was that Prop 8 was invalid because it didn't clear the legislature, and that it needed to, being so restrictive on the constitution's equal protection clause. It was a tenuous argument at best, and I have to say I'd have weighed in with the six instead of the one, if only for the ramifications for later constitutional-amendment initiatives. (Of course, keep in mind all of my legal knowledge I got from riding in squad cars and watching episodes of Quincy M.E. -- legal eagles, shoot me down if/where I err.)

The court isn't where this battle needs to be fought and won -- it's in the electorate. Good luck.
Via [ profile] ravenword, a most interesting philosophical exercise:

A 13-year-old boy and his 17-year-old friend are [warning: links triggery] convicted of kidnapping and raping the 13-year-old's cousin. The older boy gets ten years; the younger gets rehab counseling and starts playing high school football. The younger becomes a football star and gets scholarship offers from 27 college football programs, 26 of which rescind offers when they find out about his "character issue." Tennessee signs him and welcomes him.

I can't count the number of issues this raises. There's his treatment as a juvenile by the court, whether or not that's warranted (and contrasting that with the ten years his friend got), whether the sanctions against him (or lack thereof) deserve to linger past his legal sentence. There's the fact that this sealed case has obviously been unsealed and whether we should even be discussing this. There's the disparity in his treatment now, as a football hero as opposed to if he'd just been some schlub with a 3.8 GPA and 27 ACT. Even if he does deserve a second chance, what's Lane Kiffin doing offering a free ride to a convicted rapist? How would those cheering for this man's arrival on the team feel if he couldn't play football and was just an academic scholarship winner -- would they feel safe having their kids on campus with him?

I'm just impressed that this entire unpleasant situation has managed to appall me on more levels than I thought possible.
Oh dear holy God.

Microsoft has a new program called "Songsmith," which, when you feed it a vocal track, will generate the MIDI-esque backing music for you. Technically, it works, I guess, for very small values of "works." Aesthetically it...uhm. How do I work in the word "abomination?"

Don't take my word for it. Watch the videos, and if you hate yourself, turn the music up all the way:

Billy Idol, "White Wedding" (I approve of the banjos, if nothing else)
Rush, "Tom Sawyer" (oh sweet holy God stop)
Marvin Gaye, "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" (Marvin, I'm so, so sorry)
The Police, "Roxanne" (salsa!)
The Beatles, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (insufficient medication to make this congeal)
Nirvana, "In Bloom" (set phasers to "bossa nova," Spock)
Radiohead, "Creep" (worst rodeo ever)
Britney Spears, "Toxic" (I may actually like this one more)
Michael Jackson, "Beat It" (WHARRGARBL)

Edit: in addition to the winners in the comments (Ozzy's Polka Train gave me a stroke), don't miss Rick Astley. It's nine kinds of awful, and I'm finding some consistency in the SongSmith drummer's apparent ADHD behaviors....
So yes, LJ has struck an iceberg and is taking on water. It's taken a while for (')SUP to take a shot at the Six Apart School of Epic Fail Management, but it looks like they're getting a running start, at least. (I also like the friendly tone of the CNET article -- "affected by the layoff" being the most passive term for "shitcanned" that I've seen lately from someone who wasn't actually cutting the strings.)

So it's time to ask what color your blog-parachute is -- me, I've got my never-updated Blogger site (I should've jumped on it sooner, if only to gank my preferred username from whichever Malaysian cockblocker claimed it and has since done jack with it), my created-last-night (in a prescient trance?) Twitter feed (which I don't plan on using much as I have no mobile devices and will cut off my own hands before I use LoudTwitter, but at least I got my username this time), and the truly crafty have probably stumbled onto my low-key presence in a few other sundry corners of the Internets.

As most of my f-list have already noted, if LJ does take a double-tap to the head in a back alley off Gorky Park (and I don't expect it to disappear tonight or tomorrow but I don't expect to see the end of another year of paid time), the real loss is going to be the communities established via LJ -- my f-list is an unmitigated web of awesome, and I don't see a social service out there that stands to replicate it. But if you haven't backed up your LJ yet -- PC users, grab LJArchive and everybody else try ljdump (points to [ profile] alasdair for tracking down the latter) -- now is really the best time. Go now.
sigma7: Sims (confoozed)
( Oct. 9th, 2008 06:41 pm)
Oh, and here's the deal with the Russian friending-spider LJ accounts, btw. Via [ profile] cleolinda. (And moar here, via [ profile] gynocide.) I've seen them stepping through my f-list in the exact same pattern every time. Spaciba, Russia.

(Now we know what the Russians are up to. And knowing is half the battle. Apparently the other half is not getting shot.)
sigma7: Sims (wehateyou)
( Aug. 30th, 2008 12:43 pm)
Normally I'm all for respecting other people and their cultures and their religious beliefs.

But some things are indefensible, utterly intolerable:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A Pakistani lawmaker defended a decision by southwestern tribesmen to bury five women alive because they wanted to choose their own husbands, telling stunned members of Parliament this week to spare him their outrage.

"These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them," Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Baluchistan province, said Saturday. "Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid."

...And you may recognize that mindset in the last graf; odds are it's been knocking at your door in an entirely different suit.
sigma7: Sims (bunnyblahblahblah)
( Aug. 21st, 2008 01:42 pm)
Hey, did you see where legendary Osteria L'Intrepido won the coveted Award of Excellence in the August 2008 issue of Wine Spectator magazine? Have you even been to Osteria L'Intrepido, you plebeian?

Of course not, because it doesn't exist.

Turns out a nonexistent restaurant can overcome that slight hurdle by submitting an impressive wine list and the $250 entry fee. At least read through the reviews of the wines (“Quite disjointed…a coarse, chewy texture and an astringent finish. Hard to tell if it will ever come around…”). Edit: NYT figures out a lemonade stand can win this award five years ago.

Unrelated: Michael Phelps Returns To His Tank At Sea World.
sigma7: Sims (wehateyou)
( Aug. 14th, 2008 11:36 am)
I'm stealing Jim Romenesko's brilliant summary of this story because my brain's too wigged out to process it properly: After a successful heart transplant in 2004, Andrew Busskohl said he wanted to become a surgeon. Now 18, the guy is accused of coming up with a chilling plan that called for cutting out the heart or eyelids of his potential victim. He told cops he started having thoughts of harming others months ago, and that "if at all possible, it would only be a complete stranger."
sigma7: Sims (Jon Stewart Oscars)
( Jul. 29th, 2008 11:55 am)
Alaska Senator Ted "series of tubes" Stevens indicted, but, surprisingly, not by the metaphor police.
Two Kansas men pleaded guilty today to taking part in a small town high school graduation party that turned into a drunken incident in which a black student was tied and taunted with racial epithets. Repugnant details below. Not for the faint of heart. )

8:25 in the morning. Bagpipes.

I don't have the right meds for this.


sigma7: Sims (Default)


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