Boy, if I had one of these manta-ray, cobra-headed babies--woo hoo! There would most definitely be some hurtin' politicians. Dig that crazy disintegrator beam, baybee!
Is this waycool or what?
A concours-quality Chevy Confederate Coach. It's actually stamped "confederate" because for one year they were made in Missouri instead of Michigan (or where-ever they usually made yankee cars). Only forty-thousand careful miles, and the going price for this rolling rebel iron is a bargain at ....
(from Cox and Forkum, of course.)
from the newly,* NATIONALLY*, syndicated cartoonists, Cox and Forkum
Hello good readers of TSC! Long time no copy... Excuses? Moi? I don't need no stinking excuses.
Excuses won't help anyway. The war is on and you're in it. We all are.
Today I heard a herd Newsweek journalist, Michael Isikoff, talking about his quest to identify exactly “Who is John Kerry”. Good luck Mike! I have inside information, and I happen to know that that is exactly the wrong question. A more useful question would be “What is John Kerry”. That is because John Kerry is a thing. It is a thing from the dark side of modern technology; a humanlike creation out of a techno skunk-works, hidden deep within the vast left wing conspiracy.
"Ha!" you say, “Vast left wing conspiracy!”. Harumph! Surely you mean “vast “RIGHT wing conspiracy.” No! I mean Left wing. For those of you who have gone out too often without your metal hats on, and have become hopelessly brainwashed, let me attempt to re-educate you. The VLWC consists of a media/political complex. The media phalanx dominates the airwaves with the possible exception of AM talk radio, and it has long dominated print journalism as well. The media phalanx of the VLWC has as its role to scare as many people as possible. It creates issues and then sends its political army out to “address” the issues. If the issues don’t get people scared enough to allow the politicians leeway to legislate, the media elevates the issues to crises. Crisises are the nuclear weapons of the VLWC. Once the people are convinced that a crisis exists, the politicians have Carte-Blanche to legislate at will. There. Got it? Media begets issues, issues beget crises, crises beget fear, fear empowers the Politicians, and Politicians beget legislation. The long range goal is that eventually, with enough legislation in place, the VLWC will have virtually complete control of the economy, the land, and the people of the world.
Who is in charge of the VLWC? I don’t know. I picture a committee of Ivy League professors, long haired Marxists from Europe and a couple of evil geniuses (genii?) sitting in a high tech op-center somewhere deep in the Italian Alps, or maybe Vermont. They’re watching monitors, slurping fine Champagne, licking caviar off of their fingers and laughing sinister laughs… MUHAHAHAHAH! Soon it will ALL be OURS!!!
Burned by the shortcomings of its recent crop of human field operatives, the VLWC has decided instead to rely on technology to pursue its political ends.
Enter the John F. Kerry Politron
The Kerry is an animatronic device, reminiscent of those on display at the Disney facilities.
In fact, the Kerry appears somewhat less sophisticated than those, and for that reason may not succeed at its purpose. It has a rather monotonous voice, a gangly and inelegant gait, lacks basic proficiency in such actions as cycling, exhibits awkward movement in general, and as recently displayed in Boston, it throws like a girl.
The big advantage of the Kerry Politron is its rapid download and reprogramming capability. When linked to any data source, it can be reprogrammed instantly to correct its stance on any issue, in favor of a position that is anticipated to garner more votes.
The VLWC has thousands of operatives polling and testing the political winds, and can update the Kerry at a moment’s notice. It is a powerful weapon, and if nothing else, it will present a stark contrast to the bumbling but loveable cowboy, who despite all of his deft human handlers seems incapable of the kinds of rapid transformations of thought and opinion that will woo each and every category of voter.
Some pundits see this election as the Armageddon of the right and left, the epic confrontation of liberalism vs. conservatism, but I know it for what it really is… It is nothing but the latest incarnation of the eternal battle of man vs.machine.
posted by IFYA, editor who is going out now to play kick the can around the block
" ... I suddenly beheld the figure of a man, at some distance, advancing towards me with superhuman speed. He bounded over the crevices in the ice, among which I had walked with caution; his stature, also, as he approached, seemed to exceed that of man. I was troubled: a mist came over my eyes, and I felt a faintness seize me; but I was quickly restored by the cold gale of the mountains. I perceived, as the shape came nearer (sight tremendous and abhorred!) that it was the wretch whom I had created. I trembled with rage and horror, resolving to wait his approach, and then close with him in mortal combat. He approached; his countenance bespoke bitter anquish, combined with disdain and malignity, while it's unearthly ugliness renedered it almost too horrible for human eyes. But I scarcely observed this; rage and hatred had at first deprived me of utterance, and I recovered only to overwhelm him with words expressive of furious detestation and contempt.
'Devil,' I exclaimed,'do you dare approach me? and do not you fear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreaked on your miserable head? Begone, vile insect! or rather, stay, that I may trample you to dust! and, oh! that I could, with the extinction of your miserable existence, restore those victims whom you have so diabolically murdered!'
'I expected this reception,' said the daemon. 'All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us. You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind. If you will comply with my conditions, I will leave them and you at peace; but if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends.'
'Abhorred monster! fiend that thou art! the tortures of hell are too mild a vengeance for they crimes. Wretched devil! you reproach me with your creation; come on, then, that I may extinguish the spark which I so negligently bestowed.'
My rage was without bounds; I sprang on him, impelled by all the feeling which can arm one being against the existence of another.
He easily eluded me, and said - "
posted by ROBO, editor who is getting wild ideas from bedtime reading.
It's the little-known The President's Analyst.Written and directed by Theodore Flicker, and released in 1967, this spoof is always right on target as it skewers the Cold War, psychiatry, the FBI, the CIA, the phone company, spies, conspiracies, every sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll excess of the '60's, and, most ominously of all, the paranoia that comes from believing an alliance of the State and Big Business is, in whatever way it can, Out to Get You (or better yet, your brains).
This movie is a telling comment on Stephen King's quote that humor and horror are the original Chang and Eng of literature. The on-screen antics, funny as a fantasy, would be a horror in life. A quick description of what goes on? Imagine the Three Stooges as unblinking midget Terminators, dressed as identical 1950's insurance agents – cheap grey suits, narrow ties, buttoned-down shirts, hats traditionally worn by the thugs in a Bogart film – out to bump off some poor guy who has temporarily (but understandably) cracked up and descended into rightful paranoia.
James Coburn, in possibly his best role, epitomizes '60's cool as New York psychiatrist Sidney Schaeffer (he tells his girlfriend, "I love you, and it's my professional opinion you love me, too") who is recruited by the good-guy "CEA" (Central Enquiry Agency) to be the sponge that soaks up the (never seen) President's anxieties ("He hasn't slept in eight nights worrying about Libya!" splutters Coburn after the first meeting).
It turns out both the CEA and Schaeffer have a nemesis – the diminutive head of the "FBR" (Federal Bureau of Regulation), one Henry Lux (played by a stone-faced Walter Burke). He opposes the whole deal as a threat to national security, and when Schaeffer protests Lux prying into his love-life with, "My personal life is my own," Lux retorts, "Not anymore, it isn't."
Next thing Schaeffer knows, his comfortable little world of dinner martinis and ivy-covered townhouses simply evaporates. Unknown to him (at first), Lux has decided that Schaeffer has become the Man Who Knows Too Much. The solution? "Kill him...I want him dead...he must die..." Lux intones to a roomful of tiny, motionless FBR assassin clones.
Meanwhile, Schaeffer is noticing something very, very odd: everywhere he turns, he is being followed by foreigners wearing sunglasses and fezzes. It turns out nearly every country in the world wants him. Only they don't want him dead. They want to kidnap him and, as Schaeffer stutters to his girlfriend, "Put me in one of those brain laundries!"
When she suggests maybe he's imagining things, he tells her, "I'm not paranoid! They're all spies!" And he's right. They are. So he does the only thing a rationally paranoid man can do: he flips his lid and he flees. Right into the station wagon of the Bing Quantrell family, gun-toting, karate-chopping New Jersy "militant liberals." He flees from them, too, when spies try to snatch him in the street ("Muggers!" shrieks the wife gleefully, and with a series of "Hee-Yahs!" chops, kicks and flips the attackers to the pavement while her young-Hitlerish-looking husband calmly blasts the rest with his .357 Magnum).
There is a scene which is a bit hard to catch on TV. As Shaeffer is frenetically scurrying in circles, trying to escape his pursuers, he runs underneath a theater marquee advertising the movie No Running.
His next stop is the VW bus of Snow White (dressed in a very sheer, clinging, see-through gown) and the Old Wrangler (Barry McGuire, of "Eve of Destruction" fame, who babbles some hilariously lame Kung-Fu-Grasshopper Eastern "philosophy"), both playing quintessential hippies who disguise Schaeffer in red-tinted shades and a Neil Young wig.
From there things get really weird. He ends up chloroformed and on a boat, kidnapped by Canadian spies ("Canadian spies?" he giggles, strapped to a couch). FBR killer sheeple Sullivan (Arte Johnson, best known as a comedian on Laugh-In and for his role as the bug-eating myopic dwarf Renfield in Love at First Bite) attempts to remove his head with a 44. Magnum ("After I shoot you, I'll take your picture and prints."). When Schaeffer tries to talk him out of it, Sullivan, the perfect hypnotized bureaucrat, replies, "No! No! Rules are rules!"
Next stop: Russia, courtesy of Russian secret agent Kropotin (marvelously played by Severn Darden, one of the original founders of the Second City comedy troupe). That's all of the movie I'll give away, except for one last thing: Schaeffer finally ends up in the secret headquarters of the most evil organization on earth, where he utters the only PG-word in the whole movie: "Take that, you hostile sons-of-bitches!"
Coburn, who in the '60's was best known for mocking spy films in his Flint series, here goes to the other extreme: instead of being an action hero, he's an overly cerebral innocent, one who's wound up just a little too tight. He chews up the scenery with an over-the-top performance, hugely grinning with a set of choppers that would do Bucky Beaver proud. And every time that huge, knowing grin spreads across his face, it's a sign he's gone just a little bit more wacky.
Holding their own against him are Godfrey Cambridge as a friendly CEA agent whom Schaeffer helps with his lack of guilt over being an assassin (the opening scene between Cambridge and Coburn, in which Cambridge relates his childhood shock when he discovered that he was a "nigger," is a classic), and a rumpled Will Geer (Grampa Walton), who shows up briefly as Schaeffer's elderly but longish-haired analyst.
What, ultimately, is the movie about? The ultimate threat to us is the State, and especially the collusion between State and Big Business. Maybe we should be paranoid about them. They certainly don't have our best interests at heart. What does it celebrate? The important things – family, friends, fireplaces, snowy Christmases.
There is one caveat. In the original version, there is a scene is which several spies attempt to grab Schaeffer in a grassy field (while Snow White's gauzy gown floats away on a balloon). Interspersed with this is McGuire singing and playing his guitar so intensely that he's flopping around on his back and kicking his feet. Yet, in some of the versions now available, McGuire and the song have been cut, and replaced with an annoying and totally inappropriate instrumental. It ruins what is the best scene in the movie.
The only thing that is out-of-date about this 35-year-old film are the fashions (and I'm sure someday they'll come back). Otherwise, it's smart, fast-paced and witty – and its message is timeless.
The show that would not rest peacefully in it's grave is coming back, in Canada:
This is the Microsoft staff from 1978. Gates is the one on the lower left. It proves what I've been saying for years--the day is soon coming when we will be ruled by pot-smoking, science-fiction reading, computer nerd-geeks. The day is close at hand when Uber Geeks shall inherit the earth. This might not be such a bad thing, though. All hail the new masters! Homo Nerdus Geekus!
The newsnetworks and cable stations and internet bureaus all stink on ice. And so do the "political bloggers" (except the ffine ffolks we link to) and it just gets worse all the time. Having flipped them all off - we are now giving these people a try:
Herebouts, we don't suffer Carpetbaggers and Scalawags, even if they do reside in Alabama, and eventually we do something empty and meaningless about it (like, this post) . So the " Liberty" and Power Blog was delinked from TSC without fanfare ('til now) a few weeks ago after we read increasing amounts of inane, anti-southern rhetoric posted to their site by professors who oughta' know better. Just shows that the faculty at southern universities ... 'aint southern. And, mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be sucked into the maw of enormous, state-controlled, land-grant colleges - make them be cowboys and computer geeks and such.
Not surprisingly, the silly rant's been picked up over at "Reason" online . Figures.
posted by ~ Supreme Uber Junker, citizen of the Vichy South and one editor who will never forget, hell... or the Daisy Dukes. Yeehaw!
Just a twenty-five year old 350 Chevy small-block. This one is an inboard-outboard mercruiser. Hasn't been turned over since Thanksgiving '03 and has been bobbing around out in all kinds of weather. So - pour in some gas, top up the battery, recrimp a ground cable, turn the key and voila ... varooOOOOM! starts first time. And that's typical of the breed.
Posted by Tortuga Tommy, editor who knows summer doesn't really start until after the 4th of July
Ah, the wonders of the free market and the advances in technology it gives us. Here's an example:
When I was a kid my parents used me as the remote control for the TV. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was used this way.
The first TV I remember my parents buying was one of the gigantic fake-wood consoles with the rotary dial to change channels. These things weighed so much it took four guys to carry them inside the house. The reason they weighed so much is because they were full of vacuum tubes. Whenever a tube burnt out, my father would take it to the drug store and test it on a machine on the top of which he plugged in the tube to see it if the filament was broken.
It was fun testing the tubes, but it wasn't fun whenever my father wanted to change the channel. "Bobby, go change the TV to channel five," he would order from his recliner, while I sat on the couch on the other side of the room. I used to crawl to the TV on my hands and knees, going "Ack, gack!" and then collapse halfway across the room. My parents didn't find it funny. Instead, they decided I was weird.
For a while, I wondered if the reason parents had kids was to the change TV channels, take out the trash, and clean up when the dog got sick. Usually, she got sick because my sister and I fed her those mushy canned green beans and even mushier peas we didn't want to eat at dinner.
I got my revenge on my parents, though. I'd drive my father nuts by turning the dial as fast I as I could. To this day I can remember the sound: BRRRP!
"DON'T DO THAT! YOU'LL BREAK THE DIAL!"
I used to throw the pliers back on the TV and miss the cloth.
"DON'T DO THAT! YOU'LL SCRATCH THE WOOD!"
"It's not wood, mom. See, here, I'll peel it up."
"DON'T YOU DARE!! I HOPE YOUR KIDS TREAT YOU THE WAY YOU TREAT YOUR PARENTS!"
My father never got the dial fixed. He knew I'd break it again. I guess he thought I couldn't BRRP! the TV with the pliers.
He was wrong. Few things are more enjoyable for a kid than to drive his parents batty.
Just as bad were the rabbit ears antenna on top of the TV. I was forced to stand and and adjust them until the picture was clear. The problem is that I was standing so close to the TV I became an antenna. When the rabbit ears were adjusted, and I'd move away, the TV would go out of focus again.
There were times my father forced me for five minutes to move back and forth like a little choo-choo train, adjusting the rabbit ears, until finally the picture was clear when I wasn't near the TV. Not only was I the remote, I was the rabbit ears!
I adjusted the rabbit ears so many times they finally wore out and bent.
"THAT'S COMING OUT OF YOUR ALLOWANCE!"
"SLAVES DON'T GET ALLOWANCES!"
"YOU THINK YOU'RE FUNNY? I'LL BEAT YOU LIKE A RUG!"
Sometimes he would pretend to loosen his belt, as if he was going to whap me. He never did, because if he took off his belt, which was clinched somewhere around his chest, his yellow golf pants would have fallen down.
On the front of the TV there was a little flip-open panel with little knobs inside. The only two I remember were "color" and "tint." The TVs were so primitive in those days most of the people in the programs were green. So, I had to twiddle the dials until my father decided everyone was flesh-colored enough. Unfortunately, when their skin was flesh-colored enough, their hair would be blue. There was no winning this battle.
I spend most of my childhood evenings adjusting the TV. I don't remember watching many programs the entire way through, except on Saturday when I got to watch The Groovy Movie on the local UHF channel. Usually it was one of those beach movies with a villain named Erik von Zipper. That's the extent of my knowledge about TV programs when I was a kid--a guy named after a pants zipper, who was the villain in such movies as "Beach Blanket Bingo."
I don't miss those days at all. Yes, I am happy TVs have evolved to the point where the purpose of children isn't to be remote controls.
Unfortunately, when real remote controls showed up, it took my father a year to learn how to use them. He thought they emitted x-rays, and forbid everyone to point the remote at anyone else. "You'll get brain cancer," he informed me. Either that, or else there be nothing left of the person except a pair of shoes with smoke curling out of the tops.
When my parents first bought a VCR, it, along with the remote, created havoc. I remember watching a movie I had taped, and in the middle of it, there was half-an-hour of a football game. "I didn't do that," my father told me.
Still, for all the problems inherent in parents learning to use advanced technology, I prefer today to yesterday.
Kids today have it made. They don't have to be remote controls, or antennas. They don't have rotary phones (which were owned by the phone company) so heavy you could brain an ox with them. Or window-unit air conditioners that are 250 pounds of pure metal.
I have to admit, though, I do miss that BRRP!