Sunday, October 28, 2007

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox

for winning the World Series.

Also congrats to you, GFK.

You dick.

Here's a joke:

Q: What's the difference between Red Sox and Yankee fans?
A: Nothing. Everyone else in the world thinks you're both assholes.

Okay, that's not very funny. Here's another one.

Q: What's the difference between the Yankees and the Red Sox?
A: The Yankees spent $140,805.545 more on payroll than the Rockies, and the Red Sox only spent $89,102.214 more.

You might not laugh at that one either. Sorry. But at least you guys are a true baseball team, unlike those evil Yankees who just buy championships. You had a lot of home grown talent. You had Youkilis, Pedroia, Ellsbury and Lester. You only ran out and bought:
Manny Ramirez
David Ortiz
Jason Varitek
Coco Crisp
J.D. Drew
Julio Lugo
Mike Lowell
Curt Schilling
Josh Beckett


Daisuke Matsuzaka.

And you only had to spend $51,111,111.11 just to get the rights to offer him a contract! (That's more than the total payrolls of four different teams.) Then you only spent $52 million ON his contract. (That's also more than the total payrolls of four different teams.) Combined, that's more money on one pitcher than 24 other teams spend on their whole rosters in a year!

You guys are such lovable losers!

(Two WS in three years)

(Fuck you.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

so i got this film canister and a boring weekend

the gf is stubborn. way more stubborn than me, if you can believe it. the weathers been pretty good lately, so she made me go out both days this weekend looking for "bargains"

i fucking hate every part of this

first things first: you cant get drunk if youre bargain hunting. theres no staying up late with her and hoping she gets a little drunk and slutty and willing to let you do it real nasty together. none of that...just straight to bed...uggggh

second things second: forget drinking alone and playing some video games. because she wants to get up early, that means YOU get up early...its like no weekend at all. you cant open a sixpack and just let er rip. yeah ok, im cool with doing something sunday morning, but at least leave me friday night to get fucked up and play some madden and maybe do some shots and call my friends a little too late and go "yaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" into the phone or something. no dice. MUST. BE. AWAKE. EARLY. BOTH. DAYS. like i said, not even a weekend at all

third things third: instead of driving around and going to a ballgame or going to look at something cool, we go look at where things arent. like HIGH PRICES!!!! fucking kill me

im not even making this up, she has a fucking MAP - like she GOOGLED OR MAPQUESTED ALL OF THIS - of all the different yard/garage/away/rummage/whatever sales everywhere...she wakes up at like 7 am and looks on craigslist and the newspaper and just finds all these things and puts together a trip-tik like AAA for how to get to all of them the fastest. we have to get to all of them before noon

i really hate doing this, not just because id rather drink UNTIL 7 am but because its creepy...i dont like looking through other peoples lives. the fuck they do to me? - nothing. i dont want to rummage through their happiness and take shit away...i dont want to be a part of it. i think it sucks that sometimes they have to sell it off, but leave me out of it...i dont need the connection. the gf doesnt worry about this. i think she just sees dollar signs, and thats weird because she doesnt care about money with me and has never complained about how we live

i just dont want to butt in on people...but between the economy sliding and property tax here and the senior citizens dying off naturally, there are a LOT of these kinds of sales. people either want to get out or they checked out, either way you get to flip through all this personal shit that someones family really should be taking instead...but clearly they dont really want it and want to make money off of if you see some shit thats cool enough to make you kick some bucks back at them, i guess its ok

so like i said the gf dragged me to fucking a million of these this weekend, and i was at one of these sunday in a town called ruskin. it sounds like the outside of a weird, no you have to peel off the ruskin. thank god i have a dvr and there werent any football games on early in the day that i really gave a shit about, because i already wanted to kill someone. but it was ok for all that i guess

anyway i found a cool film canister labeled WH-TRAIN and there was this narrow drawer like an old card catalog filled with pictures, and there were a lot of train pictures in it. i think its just going to be family fun stuff, but ill post it and let you know as soon as i can transfer and upload this stuff

hope you guys had decent weekends

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cheney '94: Invading Baghdad Would Create Quagmire

From EC:
now, 60 years later, we learned that we produced the same many lies as they sent to us, WE sent to US. we got a double dose of lies, and it turned out the one place we were looking for truth was double-dealing us too. now we have more than one enemy...there are enemies all over the globe...even maybe here...and they could be anyone or believe in anything. and how much can you trust what we hear about them? we used to have one enemy and got fed a batch of lies about it. how many more do we get from multiple enemies? multiply the doubt by hundreds, thousands...i dont know.

I read your "Why Kremlinology" post the other day, EC, and I guess I sort of felt like you were overloading the doubt at the end, like maybe you were playing up how much we don't know. Then someone sent me this link today:

I don't want to be one of those people still arguing LOL BUSH IS DUM, CHENEY EVILL!!!!!!!! for the next decade. I'm sick of it. It gets you nowhere. It doesn't make friends. It bores people. But compare his statements then to what he said on Meet The Press ("We will be greeted as liberators") and what Rumsfeld said about the duration of our commitment ("Six days, six weeks, six months"), and it's just unbelievable. Hell just look at this:

It's gotten to the point where there's almost no statement made by someone in our current government where you can't find them making the exact opposite statement on video. Then another statement contradicting both. Then another contradicting the contradiction. If you made it a math equation, it'd be something like

Untruth - [Untruth - (Untruth - Untruth)] = a steaming mound of pure bullshit.

At this point, there's no way to not go down the rabbit hole forever just searching for something basically decent, accurate and still-meant-later. It's like pulling the peel back on a banana to reveal an unpeeled banana underneath. Then peeling back that layer and finding another and another and another until you pull back that last layer of peels and there's nothing underneath.

Then try to take a step anywhere. You can't. Your government's littered the ground around you with so many untruths that there's no way you won't slip and fall and hurt and humiliate yourself. You look like a fucking clown.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why 'Kremlinology'?

i realized i meant to get this post out before i started reviewing things and making comments, but i guess i got distracted by "Soft Rains" and just started in without thinking. GFK originally asked me to write something explaining the blog name, since i picked it, and i said i'd follow through...soooo...why the name?

kremlinology is a really cool term invented during the cold war to describe anyone who specialized in analyzing the soviet union. you think you know photoshop on the internet? shit, you dont even know who invented it. the soviets were so obsessed with wiping out party members whod said the wrong thing that theyd photoshop them out of thousands of official pictures...all before photoshop even existed. the thing was, with a country that never told the truth about ANYTHING, getting a hold of doctored photos was sometimes the only way americans and other NATO countries could ever figure out what was going on

"oh, this guy disappeared from photos...which one was he?"
"he was the guy who talked peace and openness"
"i guess the peace party isnt coming to the negotiating table anymore."

the thing is, i didnt pick the name because of that. it just came to me because we all like cool soviet propaganda stuff. we dont like it because we love communism: honestly it just looks cool as shit most of the time. we were all in a chat at the time though, and after i typed the name out, i thought, "damn, that makes so much sense"

like GFK said in his earlier post, we got booted from another board for being "problem kids" or whatever, but i think a better word for it is "doubters." i dont like the term "skeptics" because that makes us sound eggheaded when we not like "hmmm...does the data correlate???" i think its a gut feel, like something is wrong here. like "i cant even be sure about this data in the first place."

maybe that comes from digging old soviet posters and writing and movies. you look at them, and theyre really beautiful and sometimes just really well made, and you appreciate them for that...but you also laugh at how many lies are in there. that laughter remember, someone believed this with his heart. someone died believing this. someone cried to his kids telling them about this because he believed it so much...and it just breaks your heart

because then you think about your dads or uncles or friends of the family who died on the other side for the same bullshit. "russian communists have an interest in vietnam." fuck no they didnt. nobody gave a fuck about vietnam except the vietnamese who just wanted their own fucking country and everyone else to fuck off. my mom still gets tears in her eyes talking about kennedy sometimes, and he lied about a missile gap...there wasnt one! we had so many more fucking nukes than the russians it was SICK. my older brother gets more misty-eyed about fucking REAGAN than our own grandpa, and he lied too. contras, iran, russia, fucking pick one

thats where the name started to sink in with me. because look at the last five years. WMDs that never existed. yellowcake uranium that might as well of been fucking angelfood cake. Osama and Saddam are buddies...oops! they never talked at all. iraq did 9/11 --- ha! we send people out to die based on info, and the more i think about it, the more i wouldnt even go to the corner store based on it

so i immed everybody, "why not kremlinology?" and it turned out someone already had that blog. but LS said "new kremlinology isnt taken," and i said "take it." because honestly that makes even more sense. 60 years ago, all anyone knew was that the soviet union was our enemy. we had to read into it and figure it out and try to guess what to do next...because everything that came out of it was lies and misinformation.

now, 60 years later, we learned that we produced the same many lies as they sent to us, WE sent to US. we got a double dose of lies, and it turned out the one place we were looking for truth was double-dealing us too. now we have more than one enemy...there are enemies all over the globe...even maybe here...and they could be anyone or believe in anything. and how much can you trust what we hear about them? we used to have one enemy and got fed a batch of lies about it. how many more do we get from multiple enemies? multiply the doubt by hundreds, thousands...i dont know. i want to be like that poor russian guy who cried to his kids telling them a lie he believed so hard, instead of sitting here wanting to cry because i cant believe anything

we picked the blog as a place to shoot the shit and figure out life and have fun like anyone else. with a little help from your friends and with a little help from effort. it seems like it takes a lot more effort these days, or maybe a lot more friends to divide up the reading just to figure shit out. i didnt want this to be depressing. the name might be right, and its right to doubt, and maybe we find something true along the way. i just hope its fun.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

There Will Come Soft Rains

i dont handle the review thing as well as GFK does, but i saw this first, so i figured id be the one to write something up about it.

apologies ahead of time for the writing...ive been using all-lowercase and no apostrophes for so long in inter-office im and email for so long that i actually take twice as long to write if i stop to put in the right punctuation. my brain doesn't even understand it anymore. i sent out two pages to a buddy on my team the other day, and it took me about 20 minutes to write, but when i got home and started writing an email to my mom (which i always dress up like adult writing) i swear it took me something like an hour to write the same amount. i actually have to stop and think about every word, and then i wind up doing that thing you do when you overthink a word, like, "lamp? lamp? is that really how its spelled? god, that doesn't look's got to be something, wait, spellchecker thinks its ok."

ANYWAY, i ran across "There Will Come Soft Rains" the other day on youtube. the film is a soviet adaptation of a ray bradbury short story, whose title came from this classic anti-war poem by sara teasdale
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
the premise is pretty basic (spoilers ahead!). in the year 2026, automated robots tend to a family, making food, waking them, playing phonograph records and broadcasting beautiful images of the outdoors on telescreens. the gotcha! part is that the family is dead...annihilated by a nuclear war. by 1:54, you see the robots lifting sleep pods up to start the day, only to see the dark figures inside crumble and spill out on the floor...they are piles of ash.

the most chilling moments come after the 6:15 mark. a pure white dove (what could that represent???) appears at an open window. the robots that automate the dead victims' lives asks for a password. since a dove cant, like talk, the robot goes berserk trying to destroy the converts its normal seeing/manipulating appendage (which sort of looks like a face) to a big stabby thing. it keeps trying to stab the bird, missing, destroying the inside of the house, stabbing a crucifix, creating more holes in the wall..and eventually blinding itself.

the imagery and atmosphere is very effective. the robot is conditioned to protect, but it does it without thinking or weighing threats it treats them all like crises and in the end destroys itself for lack of perspective. there is no mercy (stabbed christ), and the uberprotectiveness just weakens the whole more than a lowered guard (putting more holes in the wall). the worst thing is, if you're committed blindly to a program (like fearing everything from outside), youll eventually blind and destroy yourself following it.

the cartoon is really effective and pretty to watch, and sad. too bad it's a modern piece. "There Will Come Soft Rains" was made in 1984, so theres less of the sinister stuff that makes for good soviet propaganda films. its also probably not a rarity since its current enough that there are probably multiple clean copies out there. still, given the good story, it's probably a must-own for a good cold war buff

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Why here?

Those friends of ours who (we hope) will stop by might wonder, "Why here? Why blogger?" Other people probably just wonder, "Who are you dudes?" My response would be, "Who are you and why would you even care? We're all idiots."

The story is a pretty simple one. We're all guys who met in our 20s a couple years ago on a message board and discovered we shared a lot of interests. Sports, politics, history, activism, collecting. We eventually got banned for "causing trouble," which is shorthand for "being irritating to mods who didn't have a reasonable explanation for banning us."

The shorthand version for why we were irritating was "our politics."

The better explanation is: we don't fall easily into groups of liberal or conservative, anarchist or socialist. We distrust, but we're not paranoids (except for maybe one of us *wink*), and we love our country, but we're not patriots. At least not in the "owning a lot of guns kind of way." (Except for one of us. Don't kill me please, EC) For most people, this living outside labels is really really annoying. They don't want to listen to what you have to say: they want to listen until they find something juicy enough to sink teeth into and disagree with.

So when you act like you don't trust your government but also think socialism's not a bad idea, people don't know whether to write you off as a Milita Man Gun Nut or a social revolutionary. They just know they want to write you off. That creates a lot of flame wars and a lot of enemies. People like being able to dismiss you because it makes it easier to reinforce what they think of themselves if they can make you their yin while jerking their own yang.

Eventually, the mods at the board got rid of us. Banning a couple hundred other people who weren't adult enough to have a conversation without freaking out would have been a lot harder than banning the few of us, who were grown up enough to walk away.

Maybe you think that people like us would go apeshit about FREE SPEECH and be outraged at being banned, but those are the breaks. Websites are private things. People pay to put them up and run them; they don't have to pay attention to you. If I ran those websites, I might have banned us too, just because I already have enough headaches.

We thought about starting our own board, but that would have been gay. It's only a few of us, so we could just talk on IM or myspace blogs. That's what we did for a while, but then weird members of the old board tracked down our myspaces and were generally being assholes playing "internet sleuth." It got so we couldn't post a new blog for our friends and comment back and forth on it without seeing a mirror of it appear on the old site, with people tweaking the language and rewriting things to win a flame war we didn't care about anymore.

Because of this, we wanted to talk openly to our friends and allow strangers to read what we had to say (but it's any guess why they'd want to), but we also didn't want to do it with our own names attached anymore. Some people online are malicious, and we all started to worry about maybe losing a job opportunity down the road because somewhere someone was spamming a website with copy-and-paste jobs of our myspace discussions, tweaking the language, making up other stuff and attaching our names to it to make us sound like kooks.

Hence the blogspot. Here we can be anonymous to strangers but also show our friends whatever weird thing is on our minds. Here we can get our ideas out without the burdens of real names and worrying about any consequences. Here we can have fun. We don't expect anyone else to really care about this junk, but if you've stumbled across it, we hope you have fun too.