October 30, 2012

A Match Made in Hollywood Heaven, or Star Whores

One big happy family
In what can only be described as years overdue, Lucasfilm has been purchased by the Disney dorks.  They are perfect for each other, because both are willing to mine actual culture, bastardize it then sell it back to the masses at an obscene profit.  Plus, merchandising.  (Spaceballs reference!)

As for the venerable Star Wars franchise, it has already been adulterated beyond recognition.  (And, they weren't great films to begin with.)  So, only my seven-year-old-self will even notice, and he has been enervated to the point of irrelevance thanks to years of cynicism, drinking, and maturing tastes in the arts.  I weep, however for my son, who will only know a world where The Phantom Menace (not to mention the inevitable Episodes VII - XX) exists.

October 29, 2012

The Enthusiasm Gap, or Institutionalized Voter Indifference

Most any poll you see these days makes a distinction between registered voter results and likely voter results.  One has to wonder whether this is the worst part of our nation's democracy: the fact that one party's only chance at winning is to make sure that discrepancy is a large as possible.  We have seen many different explanations as to why voter turnout tends to be weaker among certain groups, but we have to ask whether the fact that the people reporting on elections and public affairs are hardly representative of the constituency has anything to do with disaffection among minorities.  See also: Univision staging their own debates, lack of women debate moderators, the near uniformity of newsroom demographics.

Anyway, we'll be traveling overseas again over the next few weeks, so posting will be light and sporadic.  As a result of our travel plans we have already cast a ballot.  Let's just hope the right guys win on Nov. 6th so they let us back in the country.  What?  You didn't know that the passport office checks your voting record and submits it to CBP?

October 25, 2012

We Are Making a Slight Pivot; or Don't Worry, No One Is Reading This Anyway

We've focused quite a bit on politics on this little blog for the past several months.  That was because we got a little riled up about what was going on in the presidential campaign starting with that farce that was the Republican primary contest.  We have always meant for this to be a place to talk about the Really Big Stuff - everything from cosmology to cosmetology - and that largely will not change.  You may notice, however, less of an emphasis on horse races, Coke vs. Pepsi, or however you want to derisively refer to our democracy.

We plan to take more time to look at the real and substantive issues that have meaning to most of us and are discussed rarely by Our-Great-And-Powerful-Leadership-In-Washington.  For example, what has happened to discussions of climate change (Go watch Frontline from last week.  Right now.), where economic growth comes from and why we aren't doing it right, why you can't change Washington and why that's not such a bad thing, and other deep thoughts.

We will also keep bringin' the Science! down on your head, among other topics we find interesting from the fields of technology, the arts, popular culture (but not too popular), and sport.

Of course, we are never too stuffy to avoid the occasional foray into whimsy...just like the last few days.

What is more whimsical than a picture of a flying pony
with "Whimsical" as a headline?  (Thank you Google Image Search)

Fun ways to amuse oneself, or finding meaning in chaos

Search for strange, obscure, and/or obscene things on sites like Home Depot or Amazon.  The results will both amuse and intrigue you.  This is probably a good starting place for a new religion.

October 23, 2012

Back From Hiatus, or A Joke to Forget

We've been away for a bit doing other stuff.  If you missed us, then our plan to make your heart grow fonder worked.  If you didn't miss us, then assume we never left and you weren't informed where the super-secret posts are hidden.

In observance of the coalescence of this year's Fall Classic, here is an appropriately high-brow joke:

Upon the conclusion of the harvest season of 1317 B.C., Bacchus (bah-cuss') - the Roman god of the grape harvest, and of winemaking, and of ritual madness and ecstasy (read: orgies)  -  decided to throw a party for his favorite pair of deities - Ceres (seer'-ees),  the goddess of the grain harvest, and of fertility, and of motherly relationships (wink, wink), and Janus (Jan'-uhss), the two-faced god of beginnings, and transitions, and doors, and gates, and thresholds, and bottlecaps, and jelly jar lids, and anything else that separates two things that can be opened.  Bacchus, being an experienced party promoter hired the best DJ, and served the best hors d'oeuvres, and poured the best cocktails.  Everyone overdid it, more or less. Ceres, at one point, was staggering and turning in circles; Janus, equally shit-faced, was trying to dance with her. Bacchus feared that the pair might fall over, so he went to steady them.... This marked the first time that a whirled Ceres was held with a double-header.

You're welcome.

October 1, 2012

Missouri Loves Company, or Akin for a Win

Supporters -- all male -- of Todd Akin line up behind the podium in advance of yet another press conference in which Akin announced he's staying in the race for Missouri Senate.
These are Republicans: white, badly coiffed, men

Today's post is brought to you by the Bad Puns Division of Distasteful Inelegance.  We mostly keep them locked away in a soundproof chamber, but every once in a while one of the Pad Puns Specialists sneaks out and whispers several particularly odious puns over the PA system here at DI World Headquarters.  We are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of earworms after the Autumnal Equinox, so unfortunately we couldn't keep them out of this post today.  We apologize, and assure you we will be more vigilant against the evils of bad pun-ditry in the future.
On to today's topic...

Since we have stopped wondering who will be the next President of the United States, we have started thinking about what will happen in the second Obama Administration.  [A series of post on this topic are in the works.  Oh, and sorry for not editing out all the bad puns today.  We are tired after a long weekend of bacchanalia. -ed.] A lot of the way the next four years will play out has to do with which party controls the Senate.  As recently as August, the smart money was on a switch in Senate majority.  Now, however, it is looking far more likely as not that the Fightin' Donkeys will retain their slight majority in that body.

The thought of the Democrats holding the Senate seemed like a fantasy earlier this year, but as President Obama has built momentum this summer he has carried along the prospects of his fellow Dems in Congressional races.  This has put ever increasing pressure on the Republicans to claw back any competitive Senate race possible in order to regain control of both houses of Congress and ratchet up their game of keep-away with the President's policy agenda.

Now, with precious little time left to reverse the trend, we are seeing signs that that Akin fellow in Missouri isn't quite so radioactive to Conservative backers anymore.  It's a telling moment for the Republican brand when they can reverse themselves thusly on Akin and come to his aid with little apology.   We might ask ourselves, as a nation, whether we can countenance a party that would even want to win a Senate seat, regardless of its importance, by these means let alone be represented by such a person.  Unless this is just a public acknowledgment by Conservatives that they are just going to punt the female vote from now on, which is even worse than impugning 47% of you since women are more than half the population.

Just as we noted earlier, Republicans are shuffling along to their own irrelevance.