William Shatner vs. The Gorn, again

Internet hatred burns eternally

Clusterflock.com? More like Cluster-steal ideas from other blogs just because noboody reads them so it’s easy to get away with.com

What’s the word for when people steal ideas from other people and then fail to properly cite the person who had the original – and usually much funnier – idea in the first place? You know that thing that college kids are always being kicked out of school for?

Oh, that’s right. It’s murder. Clusterflock is guilty of murder.

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Class of ’92

I look across the table and you stare back at me. Our eyes lock above your corn on the cob captured between those little fork-handles. I never knew anyone who used them, and yet here you are at this picnic and you brought your own. Were we enemies, or friends, so many years ago? It doesn’t seem to matter now; the important part is that we’ve survived.
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Headline of the day

Man who claimed horse stole lunch fined £200

Miss McRobert asked: “This started because he tried to feed the horses, what were your concerns for the horses?”

The witness replied: “It would harm them if it went in to their digestive system, they can be sick, it can give them the likes of Colic.”

Miss McRobert asked: “It can be fatal?”

PC Coulter replied: “It can, yes.”

(via The Scotsman)

from the archives: October 10, 2010

“Have You Ever Stood Next to an Elephant, My Friend?”

What’s the opposite of teambuilding?

I shouldn’t take it personally but I can’t help it. I’m not intolerant, but if he doesn’t stop that damned sneezing I will crush his larynx. Everybody sneezes. I do sometimes. But this guy sounds like a Quentin Tarantino movie. How can you sneeze like that and not hurt yourself? Imagine sitting in an office and hearing this every fifteen minutes for eight hours, day after day: four sharp reports of staccato gunfire combined with a wheezy whistle and a semi-articulate “a-HN!” that makes it sound approximately human. Almost of this world. Maybe he’s not really sneezing. Satan’s dog is barking at me. I miss my family.

Fight over soda at East Dallas apartment sends pillow, glass jar, chicken flying

A Dallas man was arrested early Wednesday after he and a woman came to blows over a soda, police said.

By the end of the argument, a glass jar, a tire iron, a pillow and a box of chicken were all used as weapons, according to a police report.

Diamond Lydia, 18, is being held on a charge of aggravated assault.

Not going to Chicago

Going to Disney World. Waaaaah!

(Thanks to Daniel Lestarjette.)

I don’t know who has been fucking with clusterflock

But would you please stop?

Slower Traffic Keep Right on Driving in the Left Lane

I recently got back from France (a trip I plan to share a little about soon) where I was struck by how well people stick to the left-lane-is-just-for-passing rule. Having just driven 12 hours for something else this weekend, on highways both crowded and uncrowded, I’m now just kind of angry. It seems that it’s a point of pride to stay in the left lane (hell, I must be going faster than someone!) and almost never was I able to convince anyone to move to the right (I tried gentle creeping, tailing, light-flashing, and signalling). I now think that I’m generally better off staying in the right lane, where I’m only occasionally forced to pass someone in the traditional manner.

First of all, why do you think there’s a difference (or do you think there’s a difference)?

Secondly, how could the culture be changed? It seems that until tickets for violating the slower-traffic-keep-right rule are as easily given out and as profitable as speeding tickets, it’s not going to be enforced by police (nor do I think it should be, really).

what it is what it is

From The Advocate Archives: 1969 Article on the Stonewall Riots

June 28 and 29 mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riot, a 1969 event many recognize as central to the gay rights movement of the 1970s and beyond. Editors researching The Advocate archives for the magazine’s forty-fifth anniversary issue came across a piece that appeared in September 1969, reprinted from a summer newsletter of the New York Mattachine Society.

Titled Police Raid on N.Y. Club Sets Off First Gay Riot:

Plainclothes officers entered the [Stonewall Inn] at about 2 a.m., armed with a warrant, and closed the place on grounds of illegal selling of alcohol. Employees were arrested and the customers told to leave. The patrons gathered on the street outside and were joined by other Village residents and visitors to the area.

The police behaved, as is usually the case when they deal with homosexuals, with bad grace, and were reproached by “straight” onlookers. Pennies were thrown at the cops by the crowd, then beer cans, rocks, and even parking meters. The cops retreated inside the bar, which was set afire by the crowd.

The Cow and the Dog (a Fable)

The cow and dog were best friends. They had been close companions for longer than any of the other animals could remember. Even the draft horse was unable to recall a time before this great friendship.

“I am pleased to see such harmony,” the draft horse said, “but it is unusual just the same. No good can come of it.”

The donkey said nothing and continued feeding. He cared only for fodder and pulling his little cart. The barn cat did not speak—she believed herself to be invisible and did not want to reveal her position. The chickens scratched and hopped around the dusty courtyard in front of the stock barn. They didn’t say anything because they are so incredibly small-minded and stupid.

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Your Memorial Day tune: A More Perfect Union (Titus Andronicus)

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, instituted after the American Civil War to commemorate fallen Union soldiers.

So here is a song for the day. A More Perfect Union. Titus Andronicus. From 2010.

Dharun Ravi

How do you feel about Dharun Ravi’s guilty verdict? Here’s background from the New Yorker, and the recent announcement in the Atlantic.

Politics as Usual

I was thinking this morning about the government gridlock in Washington, but it upset me, so I sat down at the computer to calm myself and look at a few of my favorite sites. The connection ran slower and slower until my browser froze. This made me even angrier. Instead of punching my monitor, I went into the kitchen to have breakfast—I thought it would take my mind off whatever troubled me. The yogurt container was completely empty, which didn’t matter because the refrigerator apparently stopped working last night and all my food was spoiling. I decided to go buy ice in an attempt to save some of the food, but my car wouldn’t start and I had to jump it from a battery charger. The cable was frayed and it gave me a nasty shock. Now I was super-mad. After jumping around for a while, I shook off the tingling sensation in my arm and drove to the convenience store for ice for my food and a bandage for the electrical burn on my hand. I ran out of gas on the way home, because the car’s fuel gauge has been broken for a long time and I can’t afford to keep the tank filled, thanks to the high gas prices those assclowns in Washington seem to be unable to do anything about, which really pisses me off and then my ice melted.

From my site (here)

Anatomy of an Unsafe Abortion

The urologist, whose room I appropriated, blustered and sputtered in behind me. “What the fuck are you doing barging in, I’ve got another case…” but as we moved my patient over to the operating table and he saw the blood, he stopped. He grabbed a tray of instruments and opened. “I’ll be your scrub.”

13 Years After The Phantom Menace

To mark its re-release in 3D, Moviefone asked 13 writers, reporters and critics to reflect back on their experience watching The Phantom Menace for the first time:

We drove home in silence. The first thing I can remember saying was “Well … it looked cool.” The droid army was absolutely intimidating. Yoda didn’t look like a pile of spoiled lunchmeat. And it certainly wasn’t weird that Samuel L. Jackson was on the Jedi council … at all. I had developed Stockholm Syndrome — I’d become a full-fledged Lucas apologist. “No, that was just bad. Really bad.” Kate paused, “And you’re not allowed to pick out any movies anymore.”

Some wounds take longer to heal.

Punishment

“She took a hammer and smashed my game. Hard, all to bits. It was a punishment.” He sat in the backseat, strapped in, his face to the window. Then his eyes met mine through the rearview mirror. He saw something, a flinch, a startle, maybe. “I deserved it,” he said.  “Really I did.”

Another day, they were laughing. They could have been brothers, the two cutups. We drove past a stand of trees and then it was quiet in the car. “Have you been to that graveyard?” Asking me, this time. I had no idea a cemetery was in that neighorhood, hidden somewhere amid well-tended yards and fine, old houses.

“There’s a little boy’s grave. I go when I’m riding my bike. He died a long time ago, but somebody leaves teddy bears. And cookies and things. On the boy’s birthday? There are always cookies. I don’t touch them.” I asked why he went there. “I like to,” he said. “And it just makes me really sad.” I held my eyes steady, steely straight ahead. I kept clearing my throat. Finally I said all I could say, “It makes me sad too. It’s nice of you to think about him. You know, you are such a good kid.”

We haven’t laid eyes on him in years. But I still can see him, sitting at the grave of a long gone boy. The living keeping  company with the dead.

Nasty Doritos

Concerning events in and around Anoka, MN

This is so depressing/infuriating that I actually recommend putting off reading until you have time to decompress afterward. I took it in two chunks.

“This isn’t something you kid about, Brittany,” her mom scolded, snatching the kitchen cordless and taking it down the hall to call the Johnsons. A minute later she returned, her face a mask of shock and terror. “Honey, I’m so sorry. We’re too late,” she said tonelessly as Brittany’s knees buckled; 13-year-old Sam had climbed into the bathtub after school and shot herself in the mouth with her own hunting rifle. No one at school had seen her suicide coming.

No one saw the rest of them coming, either.

Stolen Instruments (Public Service Announcement)

This is of primarily local (Chicago) import and is not your typical clusterflock post, but what happened makes me so blistering mad that I want everyone I know to know about it and to keep their eyes and ears open.

STOLEN INSTRUMENTS alert! Violin and 2 guitars stolen from trunk of car outside The Whistler on Milwaukee on Sat night:

VIOLIN — Handmade, bears label: “Samuel Giovanni Casco in Örebro Anno 2010 For Ethan Adelsman”. The back has these measurements: 35.2 cm, 16.5 cm, 11.1 cm, 20.3 cm. The linseed oil-based varnish is a warm orange-brown color on a golden ground. The bow: Handmade by E. Herrmann of Brazilian pernambuco wood with silver mounted hardware. The bow bears inscription: E. HERRMANN *** Violin & bow were in a Bam Lotus case, black with grayish stripes on the top and black backpack-style straps.

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Dear Clusterflock

How do you deal with the unbearable rudeness of strangers? I’m serious, here, guys. It’s starting to really affect my life.

It could be anything — the guy who cuts you off when you’re clearly waiting for the men’s room, the guy who switches to the fucking right lane after he sees the “right lane ends 1000 feet” sign, the elderly couple who really ought to know better than narrate through the entire showing of The Artist (even after you finally yell “hey” after he says “he didn’t do it” – BANG!), the woman who starts doing her makeup next to you on the train, the omnipresent imbeciles yelling into thin air (oh, they’re on the phone).

I’m thinking of never going to another movie again (damn kids nearly ruined Red Riding Hood for me), or moving to a cabin in the woods. I’ve been checking Craigslist for jobs, but so far, nothing.

headline of the day

Boy throws rocks at cars, shot by crossbow

Funk songs from Vietnam GIs

If you didn’t get a Christmas present from me, it’s because I’m waiting till the New Year to buy you East of Underground: Hell Below. (Thanks to Valerie for the tip.)

In 1971 the US was pulling troops out of Vietnam, and its bases in Germany were full of draftees at a loose end. “You were painting shovels, picking up cigarette butts – it was a lot of busy-work,” remembers former serviceman Lewis Hitt. “There was a longing by everyone, especially the draftees, to get home and go back to what you were doing before.”

This was the crucible in which were formed scores of raucous funk bands made up of servicemen, four of which have just been compiled by Now-Again Records. Adoring crowd noise was crudely dubbed on top of their records, which were then distributed in recruitment centres. These bands were used by the army to present service as varied, even hip. But the songs they cover – the bitter, suspicious likes of Backstabbers and Smiling Faces Sometimes – undermine any potential propagandising.

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