Saturday, February 17, 2007

"Why do the Japanese Work so Hard? - Japan: Stippy"

Or any of us, for that matter?

Great op-ed. Much more at the link...

Why do the Japanese Work so Hard? - Japan: Stippy:
"There remains this enormous and wicked sociocultural myth. It is this: Hard work is all there is.

Work hard and the world respects you. Work hard and you can have anything you want. Work really extra super hard and do nothing else but work and ignore your family and spend 14 hours a day at the office and make 300 grand a year that you never have time to spend, sublimate your soul to the corporate machine and enjoy a profound drinking problem and sporadic impotence and a nice 8BR mini-mansion you never spend any time in, and you and your shiny BMW 740i will get into heaven.

This is the Japanese Puritan work ethos (much like that in America of course), still alive and screaming and sucking the world dry. Work is the answer. Work is also the question. Work is the one thing really worth doing and if you’re not working you’re either a slacker or a leech, unless you’re a victim of Koizumi/Abe Co’s budget-reamed Japan and you’ve been laid off, and therefore it’s OK because that means you’re out there every day pounding the pavement looking for work and honing your resume and if you’re not, well, what the hell is wrong with you?

...The powers that be absolutely rely on our lethargy, our rampant doubts, the attitude that says that it’s just too difficult or too impracticable to break away. After all, to quit a bland but stable job, to follow your own path implies breaking the rules and asking hard questions and dissing the status quo. And they absolutely cannot have that.

...We are designed, weaned, trained from Day 1 to be productive members of society. And we are heavily guilted into believing that must involve some sort of droning repetitive pod-like dress-coded work for a larger corporate cause, a consumerist mechanism, a nice happy conglomerate. Is this really how you want your life to turn out? (see video)

But the truth is, God (or whoever it is up above that looks over us…) loves nothing more than to see you unhinge and take risk and invite regular, messy, dangerous upheaval..."

Evolution is a Kabbalist Conspiracy!

Today's batshit political craziness, brought to you by Texas Republicans! [You kinda had to figure...]

Crooks and Liars » GA Lawmaker: “Kabbalists” Behind Evolution:
"Powerful Texas state Rep. Warren Chisum (R), an advocate of religious-right causes such as banning adoption by gay couples and amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, has passed along a "memo" from a kindred spirit in the Georgia House claiming that "teaching evolution amounts to indoctrinating students in an ancient Jewish sect's beliefs," reports the Dallas Morning-News...
'Indisputable evidence - long hidden but now available to everyone - demonstrates conclusively that so-called 'secular evolution science' is the Big Bang, 15-billion-year, alternate 'creation scenario' of the Pharisee Religion,' writes Mr. Bridges …

Mr. Bridges also supplies a link to a document that describes scientists Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein as 'Kabbalists' and laments 'Hollywood's unrelenting role in flooding the movie theaters with explicit or implicit endorsement of evolutionism.'"

Science VS Faith

Hilariously brilliant. Via

Friday, February 16, 2007

Actually, my wife took this quiz first [how cool is she?]...

...and got Randy Couture as a result, so I took it and got Forrest Griffin... That works.

Which UFC Legend Are You?

You Are 'Forrest Griffin'
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |
| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

I, myself, frequently skip lunch.

Overheard in the Office | Retard Sandwiches? So '80s:
"Frustrated clerk to group of traders: Did you guys have retard sandwiches for lunch or something?
Smart-ass in back: I had a burrito.

Trading Desk
Chicago, Illinois"


Working on it, dammit.

You Only Need $40,000 to be Happy » Brazen Careerist:
"Start believing that if you take action, good things will happen. Tell yourself good things happen because you expect good things and bad things happen to make you stronger.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Forget it. I don’t believe any of this works. And I can’t do it anyway.” But that’s part of your problem, isn’t it?"

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Best Valentine's Day Story Ever.

Boing Boing: Report: woman ties up her Valentine, then drinks his blood:
"An NBC affiliate in Arizona is reporting that 23-year-old Tempe resident Tiffany Sutton 'tricked' a 43-year-old man 'with an offer of kinky sex,' but things quickly turned nonconsensual:
...after tying him up, police said, she pulled out a knife and cut the man on the leg. She then told him she likes to drink blood and proceeded to drink from his leg, officials said.'"
C'mon, what's a little blood if you're getting to hook up with a girl twenty years younger? Seems like a fair trade.

But now I've got a compelling urge to watch some Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Weird.

"Stop buying this crap."

Great rant. Especially for those, like me, juuuuuust on the edge of getting sucked into all the "shiny, cool" stuff.

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Spank Us All for Supporting Crap - Gizmodo:
"Stop buying this crap. Just stop it. You don't need it. Wait a year until the reviews come out and the other suckers too addicted to having the very latest and greatest buy it, put up a review, and have moved on to something else. Stop buying broken products and then shrugging your shoulders when it doesn't do what it is supposed to. Stop buying products that serve any other master than you. Use older stuff that works. Make it yourself. Only buy new stuff from companies that have proven themselves good servants of their customers in the past. Complaining online about this stuff helps, but really, just stop buying it.

You want to know the punchline? The average Joe that makes up the market is smarter than you saps. The market-at-large waits until a clear leader emerges, then takes a modest plunge. You may think you're making up the 'bleeding edge' of 'gadget pimpatude' but you're really just a loose confederation of marks the consumer electronics industry uses as free market research and easy money. 'Give me the latest version,' you coo, hiking up your skirt another inch over your exposed wallet. 'Point Oh One upgrades make me so hot.'"

I would totally live in one of these.

C'mon, how cool do they look?

And the name alone - "Reversible Destiny Loft" - SOLD!

The Discomforts of Home - Newsweek: International Editions -
"Shusaku Arakawa, a Japanese artist based in New York. He and his creative partner, poet Madeline Gins, recently unveiled a small apartment complex in the Tokyo suburb of Mitaka that is anything but comfortable and calming. 'People, particularly old people, shouldn't relax and sit back to help them decline,' he insists. 'They should be in an environment that stimulates their senses and invigorates their lives.'

With that in mind, Arakawa and Gins designed a building of nine apartments known as Reversible Destiny Lofts. Painted in eye-catching blue, pink, red, yellow and other bright colors, the building resembles the indoor playgrounds that attract toddlers at fast-food restaurants. Inside, each apartment features a dining room with a grainy, surfaced floor that slopes erratically, a sunken kitchen and a study with a concave floor. Electric switches are located in unexpected places on the walls so you have to feel around for the right one. A glass door to the veranda is so small you have to bend to crawl out. You constantly lose balance and gather yourself up, grab onto a column and occasionally trip and fall. Even worse, there's no closet space; residents will have to find a way to live there, since the apartment offers only a few solutions. "You'll learn to figure it out," says Arakawa. Ten minutes of stumbling around is enough to send even the healthiest young person over the edge. Arakawa says that's precisely the point. "[The apartment] makes you alert and awakens instincts, so you'll live better, longer and even forever," says the artist."

Hey look, the government may give back the essential civil rights specifically granted by the Constitution that they decided we didn't need anymore.

Cause, you know, the elections are over now.


Crooks and Liars » Menendez, Dodd Will Introduce Bill Banning Torture, Restore Habeas Corpus:
"After all the uproar over Senator Menendez's vote a few months ago for the unconstitutional Military Commissions Act which eliminated habeas corpus and legalized torture, it appears he's had a change of heart. That vote was taken under immense pressure during the campaign, and he's now doing the responsible thing and cleaning up the mess he helped make. According to an announcement from the campaign, Menendez and Senator Chris Dodd will introduce legislation to correct the "flawed Military Commissions Act":
WASHINGTON - TOMORROW, Tuesday, February 12, 2007, U.S. Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will hold a press conference to discuss the Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act which will restore habeus corpus rights, ban torture and uphold the Geneva Conventions. The senators, both members of the Foreign Relations Committee, will discuss the need for these protections in the fight against terrorism."

Today's reason why Japan is superior to America.

Japan has a wealth of issues, but Japan would never try to take "punitive action" against an American who violated an American law while living in Japan. You know, because they're different countries.

With different laws.

American bureaucracy, otoh, would do somthing this retarded. Because obviously, American morality and regulation really should be in charge of the whole world. I mean, if we've learned nothing else...

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Feds Continue to Assert World Jurisdiction:
"Federal officials are contemplating 'punitive action' against Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Seems Matsuzaka endorsed a brand of beer and, in a television commercial, actually took a sip of said beer. That's a violation of (stupid) U.S. alcohol regulations.

Here's the problem: It was a Japanese beer. And the TV commercial aired only in Japan."

I for one, salute Matsuzaka's imbibing. Even as a kid, I reaaaaaaaaaally didn't need need the government "protecting" me from the idea that - OH MY GOD! - a professional athlete might actually drink alcohol.

God save us from the nanny state, please.

Huh. You'da thought I was crazier than this.

I think it's cause the way they phrased the quiz questions. Probably a conspiracy in that somewhere...

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Conspiracy files | Conspiracy test:
"Your responses indicate that you have a medium level of belief in conspiracy theories. You may well be quite trusting of your close friends, partners, those you work with and others but sometimes cannot be sure of all of them all of the time. You may also feel that your voice in terms of wider political decisions is rarely heard or acted upon, perhaps because government and big business is more concerned with their own interests than with those of the average person."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Be early. Stress kills.

Don To Earth: My Grandfather And Others:
"My point is that the way he chose to live was very easy on his heart. I never saw him excited, and his lifelong habit was to be 20 minutes early for everything. grandfather was knowingly not under stress, and was always ready ahead of any appointed time. Not everyone is like my grandpa -- some like to see how close to the line they can come, and they frequently miss, some being late by a predictable 20 minutes, which seems to be the magic length of time to be late or early... I tend to be about five minutes early for whatever is happening, and it is so calming that I do not know why everyone does not deliberately follow the example of my grandfather."

One might be tempted to blame the Texas educational system...

Ah, the south... I miss you so.

Overheard in the Office | Tell Me What You Think a 'Book' Is:
"Patron: Ummm, I'm looking for a book.
Librarian: Okay, well, do you know what it's called?
Patron: No.
Librarian: Do you know who wrote it?
Patron: No.
Librarian: Are you just hoping that we have some sort of book?
Patron: Yeah.
Librarian: You know you're in a fuckin' library, right?

Austin Public Library
Austin, Texas

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Joe Rogan VS Carlos Mencia

Joe Rogan smacks down Mencia. Too funny.

Joe Rogan VS Carlos Mencia onstage

Add to My Profile | More Videos

From Joe Rogan's blog:
"So here's how it all went down…
I had a set at the comedy store Saturday night, and after I closed, I was bringing on the next comedian, a guy named Kirk Fox that works for Carlos Mencia.
I introduce him saying that he's a funny guy, and that he opens on the road for Carlos 'Menstealia.' That's the name we call him at the comedy store, and of course Carlos doesn't like it one bit.
Carlos was apparently in the room when I said this, and the perfect combination of ego and timing made him decide that this was the night to put his foot down.
As I got off stage and headed towards the back of the room, he grabbed the mike away from Kirk, and said that I was too much of a pussy to say that shit to his face.
Which to me is something akin to the hottest girl in the world daring you to fuck her while you're standing there in her bedroom naked with a boner.
Of course I had to disagree with him, and I decided to get onstage with him and have this "meeting of the minds" as it were.
On video.


Now, a lot of comics have had a problem with Carlos stealing material for a long time now, but for whatever reason, many of them don't like to talk about it publicly, mostly because they're afraid that people are going to think that they're just jealous. That, and they're worried about him using his power in "Hollywood" to have them black balled for talking badly about him. But in private, they talk about it. A LOT.

...For the record, I don't hate the guy. I never really did.
I hated what he was doing, but him as a person it's really more like I felt pity for him.
The dude was living a gigantic lie, and no matter how fucked up and powerful your ego is, there's got to be a part of the back of his brain that realizes what's going on, and cringes at the reality. I think maybe it's even his own subconscious knowing that he's doing something wrong that forced him into this un-winnable battle.

...When all was said and done at the end of the night, especially after I saw the video, I actually felt sorry for him. I think there's part of him that actually believes his own bullshit. I compared him to OJ in the video, in that they've both convinced themselves that they're innocent, and really I think it's a valid comparison."
Much more detailed writeup at the link...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Japan, I love you.

Prosecutors demand 10 months' jail for 70-year-old female stalker - MSN-Mainichi Daily News:
"A 70-year-old woman on trial for violating an anti-stalking law by bombarding a 79-year-old man with love letters and repeatedly visiting his home should be jailed for 10 months, prosecutors have told a local court.

...According to the indictment, Suzuki forced her way into the man's home on seven occasions between July 12, 2006, and Oct. 31 that year, despite being handed a stalking prohibition order by the Ibaraki Prefectural Public Safety Commission.

Prosecutors said the woman sent 206 love letters to the 79-year-old man and cleaned his family's grave site 85 times. After the prohibition order was issued, the woman demanded 1.25 million yen from the man for the amount she paid to get a driver's license to travel to his home and for the gasoline costs.

Later, she reportedly started sending threatening letters to the man, saying, "If it comes down to it, you could die," the indictment said. (Mainichi)"