Campaign season: Brunch in America

It’s brunch again in America. Today more urban singles will wait in line for eggs than ever before in our country’s history. With wait times for tables at about half the record highs of 2008, nearly 2,000 long-term couples will split a carafe of bloody marys made with locally-sourced ingredients than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will tweet a picture
of their eggs benedict, and with upload times at less than half of what they were just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to people liking their pics. It’s brunch again in America, and under the leadership of Vice President Joe Biden, our country is hipper and funnier and has more twitter followers. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago.
 
 

Story About Evan: Episode II

Kyle continues what promises to be the greatest work of literature in the entire human canon:

Evan effortlessly guided himself through the plane’s rear cargo door, switched off his jetpack and came to a soft landing. A few moments later President Bartlet came spiraling through the same entrance and crashed to a stop next to Evan. Bartlet frantically removed his jetpack as the heavy cargo door shut behind them.

“Let’s never do that again,” the President said, pushing himself up off the cold metal floor.

“Maybe next time I’ll invite the House Speaker instead. He’s good at jetpacks.”

“Hmmph. Here.” Bartlet handed Evan a holster. “You almost left this with the raptors down there.”

“My lightsaber!” Evan exclaimed. He fastened the holster around his waist. “Thanks, Jed.”

The President—eager for Evan’s validation and trust because Evan is such a cool guy—smiled.

“No, thank you for having me, Doctor Captain Executive Editor Mintz, Esq.”

The two proceeded through the plane toward the control deck. They passed the petting zoo, the Treasure Room, the Additional Treasure Room, an onboard replica of the Starship Enterprise’s main bridge that was also a ball pit, the Animorph petting zoo, and finally made it to the heavy blast door separating them from the control deck.

Evan tapped on his communicator.

“Stephen,” Evan began, “it’s me, Evan. Open up the bridge door so we can come in and talk about how I was just riding raptors around with President Bartlet.”

There was no response.

“Stephen, I’m going to keep GETTING LOUDER UNTIL YOU OPEN THIS DOOR.”

“Evan, look,” President Bartlet said, quickly tapping Evan on the shoulder.

“WHAT?”

Evan turned around to see a familiar, sinister figure emerging from the onboard Executive Washroom that was reserved for Evan and Evan only.

“What are you doing here?”

“Using your bathroom, Evan,” a high-pitched, nasally voice replied.

“Look!” Bartlet shouted, pointing toward the knocked-out body sitting on the floor of the bathroom. “He’s knocked out the pilot and left him sitting on the floor of the bathroom!”

Evan upholstered his lightsaber and activated the blade.

“Nobody mistreats my talented staff of sports writers slash airplane pilots but me!”

President Bartlet cowered in a corner and called his intelligent, liberal-minded cabinet for encouraging words as Evan and the mysterious yet oh-duh-I-wonder-who-it-is figure prepared to do battle.

“You couldn’t defeat me back in college,” the small man said, snorting with laughter. “My scouter says your power level is pathetic.”

Evan made a serious face. Suddenly the air around him became charged with static and the clouds passing outside darkened to pitch. The scouter fixed to the stranger’s face beeped frantically as Evan’s power level climbed over 9,000.

“Auuuuuggggnnnhnnnn,” Evan said. “Aaaaauuuugnnnnnnnhh!”

He charged toward the intruder, lightsaber in one hand and a drawn fist in the other.

“GET OFF MY PLANE, LEEBRON!”

A story about me comma Evan

Kyle wrote a story about me. Yay Kyle!

Since he asked for it…

“We should have arrived at the clearing an hour ago,” President Bartlet admitted with uncharacteristic hesitation in his voice. He pulled the reigns on his mount and the raptor let out a shrill cry before coming to an uneasy stop. “I don’t know, Evan, what do you think?”

“Well I think we should have brought more snacks,” Evan replied as his own mount stopped next to Bartlet’s. “Especially since you keep getting us lost.”

“I’m sorry, Evan. You were always better at planning these safaris.”

“I know. And I’m funnier, too.”

“So what do we do now?” Bartlet asked.

Evan lifted his hat and wiped the sweat from his brow. The sun was setting over the forest canopy. He knew they would have to find a way out from the thick of the jungle soon, or face the dangerous creatures that lurked around at night.

“We need to get out of here.”

“I can call in the Marines. We’ll be out of here in an hour.”

“I’ve got a better idea,” Evan said as he dismounted the raptor. He gave the creature a rub on the snout, because Evan was a friend to all the animals, then turned back to Bartlet. “Let’s try out the jetpacks.”

“They haven’t even been tested!”

“Look, Jed. I know the guy who build these, and he was the best Ops cartoonist to ever grace page two of the Thresher.”

“How does that make him qualified to build jetpacks?”

“Do you even know how important I am?” Evan snapped back. “I invented jokes about Ping!” He tossed a pack at Bartlet. “Now shut up and put this on!”

“I don’t even know why I go on adventures with you.”

“Because I wouldn’t let you use the Executive Washroom if you didn’t. Now come on.”

Bartlet donned the jetpack over his stylish yet sensible suit and wished his raptor goodbye. The animals would be fine for the next few nights. They were pack hunters, after all.

“Evan, I don’t even know how to drive this thing.”

“Roads?” Evan asked, ignoring whatever Barlet had been talking about. “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

He flipped a switch on the jetpack’s handle and went shooting toward the sky.

A random list of Valentines Day movies/TV shows based on relationship type

I basically stole this from How About We.

If he’s a scoundrel and she’s a princess, and the sexual tension is becoming too much and you’re in outer space: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

If he’s a deputy chief of staff and she’s his secretary and it takes 7 years to get together: the entirety of The West Wing

If they’re lesbian dinosaurs: Jurassic Park

If he’s a dinosaur and she’s a dinosaur and they’re married and have dinosaur babies and also are muppets: Dinosaurs

If muppets: The Muppet Movie

If he’s an 8 year old Chinese boy and he’s a professor of archeology: Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom

If he’s going through pon farr and she is leading an expedition to the Genesis planet and we all know that was rape but let’s not talk about it: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

If he loves her but she insists they’ll have to be in love in secret: The Royal Tenenbaums.

If he’s just so self-obsessed and so is she despite being beautiful and oh my god we’re both just so miserable despite having otherwise first world lives: Just any Wes Anderson movie fuck you.

If she loves quiche and books and isn’t fat and he isn’t dating her: First three seasons of 30 Rock

If she loves quiche and books and is fat and he is dating her: Angel, probably. They both probably watch that together because they’re just cliched miserable fatties who have found happiness in each other’s nerd folds and just watch all of Joss Whedon until they die of diabetes.

If he’s Jewish and she wants to control every aspect of his life: The Hebrew Hammer, or whatever she wants.

If he is a whiney baby and she is softer than sand, m’lady: Star Wars prequels

If they both think they’re so freakin smart and the world can’t go on without them spreading their genes: Children of Men

If he is a Green Lantern and she is a Hawk Girl: Justice League

If he is a film producer and she is an aspiring model/actress: porn

If he is a teacher and she is a cheerleader with poor grades: porn

If she is a nubile teen and he likes to watch her via webcam: porn

If he is a high government official and she is 10 women of prime breeding age: Dr. Strangelove

If he is a phlegmatic everyman and she is Big Brother: 1984. I guess that’s a book.

 

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 75,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I already wrote about crazy racist things that Ron Paul allowed to be published under his name

The other day, Tim Faust posted to facebook an article from Vice Magazine about some new, old news. Did you know that Ron Paul used to have lots of various publications printed under his name? And did you know that these publications used to be filled with awful, racist screeds attacking Martin Luther King Jr and black people in general?

Well, you would totally know that if you had read the Rice Thresher Backpage in January 2008. Because I totally wrote about it then. (pdf: thresher backpage ron paul racist)

So many great quotes were published under Ron Paul’s name. One of my favorites was about how Dr. King was “not only a world-class adulterer” but “also seduced underage girls and boys.”

The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy revealed before his death that King had made a pass at him many years before.

And we are supposed to honor this “Christian minister” and lying socialist satyr with a holiday that puts him on par with George Washington?”

George Washington owned slaves.

But anyways, letting such (assumedly non-satirical) language be published in one’s own newsletter should probably disqualify someone from running for president for one of three reasons. As Mobutu Sese Seko states in “RON PAUL: REACTIONARY RACIST LEPRECHAUN

There’s no way Paul could have been ignorant of the content in an 8-12 page newsletters published under his name for over ten years. Paul supporters face three losing propositions:

-He lacks the competency to control content published under his own name for over a decade, and is thus unfit to lead a country.

-He doesn’t believe these things but considers them a useful political tool to motivate racist whites, which makes him fit to be a GOP candidate, but too obvious about it to win.

-He’s actually a racist, which makes him unfit to be a human being.

These are some pretty hard hits against Ron Paul, but Ron Paul supporters don’t fall easily.

For example, when I wrote about Ron Paul’s racist newsletters, I did so on the satirical Backpage. But that didn’t stop Ron Paul supporters from writing letters expressing their indignation about such awful reporting in the not-news section.

To the editor:

I was surprised when I found an entire page in the latest Thresher devoted to attacking my favorite presidential candidate (“Backpage,” Jan. 18). Published were some grainy photos intended to attack the character of Dr. Ron Paul, a ten-term congressman.

If the author spent more than two minutes researching the subject, he would know that someone else had written the texts in question, yet Paul still took moral responsibility for not keeping tabs over the content. This issue was discussed and buried as irrelevant over a decade ago, but is now being dug up as the only way to attack a man who has gained the grass-roots support of millions across the country.

I suppose I should be proud to support a candidate whose biggest flaw is what someone else wrote decades ago, who has the largest number of contributions from blacks among all the Republicans, who consistently has spoken against all forms of institutionalized discrimination.

The larger problem is the journalistic dishonesty on the part of the editors. Yellow journalism labeled as satire still serves to exploit and sensationalize. Knowingly publishing false statements using the name of Rice University is a violation of the trust placed in the editors by the student body. In addition, attacking the many students who support Paul, implicitly accusing them of “racism by proxy,” should not be allowed to stand.

If our newspaper editors want to print personal attacks, let them do it under their own names, not under the banner of the university.

Of course, it was irrelevant a decade ago because Ron Paul wasn’t running for president a decade ago. And, despite magically turning pointing out racism into a crime worse than actual racism… well… as Tim Faust responded to Alice Townes: “Gurrrrrl, you don’t *need* to be clever when the source material is so rich.”

If you want to see the real racist, look in the mirror!

One can at least try to respect the intellectual consistency if the articles were about Gerrymandering problems that arise out of the Voting Rights Act, or unintended consequences of legislating racial integration, or funny third thing. But when there is a pattern of ad hominem attacks on civil rights leaders, and black people in general, well, I don’t need to think of a way to end this sentence.

Then again, as the letter asserted, “I suppose I should be proud to support a candidate whose biggest flaw is what someone else wrote decades ago.” But as Seko asserts, this is the least of Paul’s issues. Paul may express some positions appealing to many voters, beyond the insanity of deflationary gold standard policies or entirely eliminating the Federal Reserve. But his justification for these positions  isn’t exactly the same as voters’.

Liberals cheer his opposition to America’s wars, but his isn’t a moral choice so much as it is an echo of George Washington’s injunction against “foreign entanglements.” Further, while Ronald isn’t down with wars that cost money and expand federal power, he’s totally fine with the government making a buck from other people’s wars: He was the only member of congress to vote against the Darfur Divestment Act, which proposed the radical idea of prohibiting the American government from investing in businesses fueling a fucking genocide.

Of course, this justification leads to crazy votes and policies about which casual Paul supporters don’t really know and serious supporters don’t really advertise.

Independents sick of the government’s invasions of privacy celebrate Paul’s veneration of the Constitution, but that veneration is as convenient as Bush and Obama’s. Paul has repeatedly submitted the “We the People Act” to Congress, whose provisions remove Supreme Court review of First Amendment cases. If a state chose to criminalize being Muslim, citizens would have no federal redress. If a state chose to criminalize birth control, the penumbras of individual protections of privacy as explicated by William O. Douglas would disappear.

But nobody wants to hear that stuff. Government non-interference is sexy when it’s sold to you as, “Ron Paul opposes the War on Drugs.” What isn’t mentioned is that he has no problem with the concept of 50 individual state wars on drugs, and deregulating evidently stops when it comes to uterine production—he’s OK withvoting for federal partial birth abortion bans, for instance.

The way to fix the 21st century is to return to the values and socioeconomic order of the 14th. After you gut the FDA, you can even literally bring back the plague, which shouldn’t affect the rich people in Congress. They’ll be able to afford all the colloidal silver they can drink.

 Now, the super Paul supporters will just claim that this is out of some severe adherence to the plain language of the Constitution, as if that justifies the effects. But Paul doesn’t even like the Constitution. He likes his own crazy imaginary version of the Constitution:

His Constitution would also be a lot slimmer. He subscribes to the notion that the FourteenthSixteenth, andSeventeenth amendments are invalid or must be repealed. So long, income tax, but also so long to voting for senators yourselves. And if you don’t like foreign brown people, Paul’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act means you won’t have to share a dinner table with them for their last meal before they join 10 million other human beings in railcars, calling at all points south.

And in my view, the Constitution should have an extra amendment that forces the states to enforce the calling of “shotgun” when sitting in a car.

Of course, none of this is news. Ron Paul has had these political positions for a while. But opposing the drug war or supporting legalization of marijuana fit better into headlines than the underlying policies that lead to them.

But as the Republican primary continues, with primary voters more fickle than a gaggle of high school girls over the latest school hottie, Ron Paul has been the Justin Beiber with nearly religious support from a tight group of dedicated fans.

So these proclaimed buried issues are going to be readdressed on the national stage. And the world needs to know that I already did that in 2008 in the made-up joke section of a small college newspaper.

What do you do with a BA in History?

Today I found myself in a very familiar situation. Someone’s brother/sister/friend/self is thinking of going to law school.

“No!” Evan yelled, as the patrons of Inversion coffee looked up slightly to see what the commotion was, especially that one cute girl who was like totally checking him out. “Don’t do that!”

“Why not?”

“Because the legal economy is shit. It isn’t a guaranteed job. Unless you know exactly what you want to do, or are going to a very top law school, you’re risking throwing away lots of time and money.”

“Well what’s a good job for someone with a degree in History.”

I don’t know.

Twitter had some ideas, though.

Well, right now I’m doing it backwards.

First is supposed to come the attempt at fulfilling the dream career. Work for the Thresher forever? Opinion journalism? Comedy writing?

Then, if that fails, go for the pragmatic moneymaking operation with the lifelong goal of a steady, if possibly rewarding, career. Law school!

Of course, I did it backwards. So here I am, a member of the Texas bar (once they get my check) trying to freelance write and fulfill my eudaimonic purpose.

But first I have to face the same problem I always have: Getting my butt in the chair and freakin’ writing. (Not to mention all the half-written blog entires)

So what is the plan C after the plan A after the plan B? I guess Twitter has the answer: History teacher.