Looking back on my childhood, I'm really thankful that Lincoln Logs were not invented by M.C. Escher.
Veterans Threaten Michael Moore Over Cartoon Depicting Chris Kyle
FLINT, Mich. — Veterans are threatening violence and murder over a satirical cartoon of American Sniper author Chris Kyle drawn by film director Michael Moore, according to chatter on veteran message boards.
Moore’s illustration, which he released on Twitter, displays Chris Kyle shooting a crippled Iraqi girl in the back as he gives Uncle Sam a handjob on a pile of dollar bills.
“You just can’t question a war hero like Chris Kyle, or the book he wrote to glorify himself, or the movie made by a Hollywood star interpreting that book,” said former Navy SEAL Tom Lancer in one of several hundred “open letters” to Michael Moore. “You have no right to voice an opinion against any of us who defend the Constitution and its immutable freedoms.”
Comments by other veterans range from, “I will beat your ass, Michael Moore,” to “Watch ur back, I’m a sniper.”
Michael Moore, who is currently teaching a military history class on Rules of Engagement at the University of Michigan, said that he never intended to insult Kyle.
“What I posted was a drawing of the sniper that killed my grandfather,” tweeted Moore. Snipers have joined the long list of Moore’s enemies, as his other grandfather was killed by a nutritionist, and his childhood border collie was run over by a logician.
Actor Seth Rogen added thoughtfully to the dialogue. “Michael Moore’s cartoon reminded me of the time your mom gave me and Chris Kyle a handjob,” tweeted Rogen. When thousands responded angrily to his comments, Rogen was surprised. “I said it reminded me of your mom’s handjob, not that it was an accurate depiction. Sheesh,” he replied.
A group of concerned locals from Dearborn, Michigan have already foiled a veteran extremist plot to execute Moore and his colleagues. In response, the citizens of Nigeria gathered by the millions to support the cause of American freedoms and the sanctity of life, as well as sending relief money and armed security guards.
Moore seemed pleased by the threats. “I’m glad I can incite so much anger from people who claim not to care what I think, especially after I have been irrelevant for almost a decade.”
A million quarters is a quarter million
After looking at the 1.5 billion pixel image of the Andromeda Galaxy, I realized that we can take a picture of something so big that our minds cannot comprehend it and save it on something so small our minds cannot comprehend it.
If my eyes could see 5 years into the future I would have 2020 vision.
What do centaurs do with their arms when they run.
Somewhere in the bowels of that stadium, Lenny Kravitz is fucking a backup dancer in a foam shark costume.
A "human being" who has died is technically a "human has been"
When my iPhone says "Siri not available" it should be in a voice other than Siri's.
A completely inebriated man walked into a bar and, after staring for some time at the only woman seated at the bar, walked over to her, placed his hand up her skirt and began fondling her.
She jumped up and slapped him silly. He immediately apologized and explained, "I'm sorry. I thought you were my wife. You look exactly like her."
"Why you drunken, worthless, insufferable asshole!" she screamed.
Funny," he muttered, "you even sound exactly like her."
Issue of the Times;
Redemption Through Cruelty by Theodore Dalrymple
One little phrase in Le Monde’s report of an incident in Nice—in which a man aged 30 called Moussa Coulibaly attacked with a knife three soldiers guarding a Jewish community center—caught my attention: rien de bien méchant, nothing very bad.
It was used in describing his prior record: Coulibaly had been found guilty six times between 2003 and 2012 by French courts of “theft, use of drugs, insulting policemen,” and had received either fines or suspended prison sentences for his rien de bien méchant. Given the percentage of offenses that are actually elucidated in France (as elsewhere), the chances are that he had committed at least ten times as much as he had ever been charged with, and it is also very likely that some of what he had done was a good deal more serious than anything that has come to light. At the very least delinquency was his way of life; and the total amount of harm he did, the misery caused to or inflicted on others, considerable. Rien de bien méchant doesn’t quite capture it, and could only have been written by someone inhabiting so utterly different a social world that he has no idea of the nature of Coulibaly’s.
The trajectory followed by Coulibaly is by now depressingly familiar: so familiar, indeed, that I could have written the outlines of his biography myself merely by having read what he did in Nice. As with many others of his type, his delinquency was followed by religious radicalization that gave to his criminal impulses a patina of moral justification. It not only gave him permission to do bad things, but made them morally obligatory. Could there be any greater pleasure in life than making others suffer for righteousness’s sake? For such as he, and those worse than he, sadism is next to godliness, or even the thing itself.
Coulibaly’s action was probably an instance of the Werther effect that has been known for a long time to those who study suicide. When there is a well-publicized case of suicide there is often a brief increase in the number of suicides afterwards. The effect was first noticed after the publication of Goethe’s novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, in which the young hero killed himself for the sake of forlorn love; and all over Europe young men, who fancied themselves forlorn, followed suit. There is no underestimating the weakness of the human mind.
Coulibaly’s efforts were preceded by those of a Burundian convert to Islam, Bertrand Nzohabonayo, who not long ago entered a police station in a suburb of Tours and stabbed three policemen before being shot dead by a fourth. He, it seems, was responding to a call by a video by ISIS calling on Muslims in France to kill officials of the state by whatever means possible.
The Werther effect is not confined to Muslim converts or radicals, though no doubt such conversion adds to the weak-mindedness of which the effect is a manifestation. Not long ago in the city in which I worked, there were three attacks in quick succession on crowded places by men wielding machetes, the latter two presumably imitating the first. What was also interesting to me was that machetes should be so easily obtained in the city, though it was hardly famous for its sugar cane fields or jungle undergrowth (literal, not metaphorical) where such implements might be genuinely useful or necessary. This reminds me of the interesting fact that in England, where baseball is not played, the sale of baseball bats far exceeds the sale of baseball balls, the bats used for purposes which it does not require much effort of the imagination to guess.
And this is a convenient point to reflect upon the culture—I use the word culture in its anthropological sense—which produced Moussa Coulibaly. Though Le Monde did not mention it, I should be very surprised if he had never evinced an interest in rap music or had never worn the slum costume whose style—another word I use in its anthropological sense—originates in the black ghettos of America. Two of the fashions at least appear to have a carceral origin: the baseball cap worn backwards and the trousers worn at half-mast, as it were. The former was first employed by visitors to prison, who wanted to get nearer to the prisoner whom they were visiting, and the peak of whose cap prevented this so that the cap had to be reversed. The latter was in imitation of prisoners who were allowed no belts in case they were used for suicide (or hanging others), and whose nether garments therefore hung low. I add two caveats: the first that the origin of these two fashions is conjectural, and second that such as Moussa Coulibaly are not necessarily interested in tracing the historical origins of their own tastes, tending to live as they do in an eternal present moment.
Anyway, what is more or less certain is that Coulibaly would have emerged from a swamp of discontent, of thwarted entitlement, or more accurately of a thwarted sense of entitlement. Hardly a day would have gone by without him being told, or hearing somehow or other, that he inhabited the land of les droits de l’homme, of human rights, of liberty, equality, and fraternity. But what would his experience of daily life have been? Armed at huge public expense with the worst education which could possibly be provided over the prolonged period of his childhood and adolescence (an adolescence from which he would never emerge into adulthood), made aware neither of the possibility or necessity of personal effort, his mind filled with ideas and values derived from debased products for consumption by proletarians manufactured by a cynical culture industry, neither obliged or able to earn a living, and aware of the disdain and contempt with which he would be viewed by anyone minimally successful, his mind a bubbling cauldron of inchoate resentment; how wonderful for him to have found a providential—and enjoyable—role and purpose in the world, namely to kill or injure people!
“I’ll give them liberty, equality, and fraternity!” he would have thought (or felt). Because of his sense of entitlement, it would never have occurred to him that he had been fed, watered, housed, schooled, doctored all his life for nothing in return. What is given as an entitlement is not received with gratitude.
So in thinking about our home-grown Islamists, it is not enough to fume at the sheer idiocy and wickedness of their ideas; we should turn our attention inward as well, to our own societies.
Quote of the Times;
“You have the body of a hunter-gatherer but you may well inhabit the environment of a zoo. Which is maybe why you don’t feel brilliant 100% of the time.” – Bate
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