Thursday, August 14, 2003

le parcours

Steven Den Beste gloats about European economic woes and makes a gloomy pronouncement about Europe's future.

It's become apparent to me that the Marmot long ago acquired a taste for human flesh. In a recent post, he goes after Tom Plate. Bloody chunks of meat everywhere.

The Vulture, meantime, covers several topics: (1) the Korean film industry (and Korean cultural insecurity); (2) the hypocrisy of Korean whining about American cultural imperialism, even while President Noh vows to make Korea into a cultural superpower; (3) the goofiness that is the Korean online universe.

Instapundit notes that a bunch of bloggers named Kevin have been blogging about Arnold. But yours truly isn't mentioned, dammit.

Alas! Chief Wiggles deprives the Hominid of any hope of being on his blogroll, but this is probably for the best, and my hopes weren't all that high, anyway. Chief's reasoning for removing his blogroll is sound. I'll continue reading his journals all the same.

Theft of Maria Shriver's favorite dildo perhaps not as important as first thought.

ArnoldWatch: The Big Man thought Riordan too confused and disorganized to run for governor?? So writes Robert Novak. This displeases me, because if true, this substantiates the implication made on the DUdu site that Arnold had betrayed his friend. At the same time, this pleases me because it shows Arnold is capable of the Machiavellian thought process (and determined focus) that will help him win the recall election. Interesting to note that Novak completely ignores Arianna Huffington. This is good.

I think Camille Paglia should run for governor of California. She'd bitch-slap that state into post-feminist mindfulness. She can be loopy and disorganized herself (ever read Sexual Personae?), but I love the woman.

Dates set for Beijing orgy. Expect a lot of sweaty, fat bodies covered in olive oil, a lot of grapes and oysters inserted in orifices... and at the end of the orgy, NK will go, "Well, that was cool. Thanks for all the concessions; we'll think about whether to honor our part of the bargain."

I still think Kim Jong-il needs to be caught and forced to star in a bukkake porn flick.

The American police state creeps further into view. I think this'll happen in bits and pieces. It won't be Big Brother in the sense of one master overseer; it'll be various agencies/interests, for various reasons, from which a decentralized-but-ubiquitous Big Brother will arise epiphenomenally.

When French citizens are exposed to high heat, THEY BEHAVE LIKE BRIE AND MELT TO DEATH. When British troops are exposed to even higher heat... THEY GET MAD, and refer to the 140-degree Iraqi summer as "unpleasant conditions." Hats off to these badasses.

A desperate Gray Davis's attempts to clone Democrats to replace him goes horribly, freakishly awry!

DUdu goes on the warpath (when isn't DUdu on the warpath?) about celebrities who get into politics. The article features some interesting points along with a lot of nonsense.

Frank J at IMAO riffs on the subject of presidential biker gangs.

A shining example of the interconnectedness of all things.

More freakiness. A warning to gun owners: carelessness can kill.

Uh-oh. Not good PR. Keep on this and see what develops.

The UN still thinks it can be picky: Annan reiterated last week that he would support a new U.N. resolution with a broader mandate to get the world to pull together and help stabilize the country. But the secretary-general said, "the membership are not ready to move on it yet."

Interesting Salon article about Mel Gibson's "The Passion" (again, I won't provide the link because Salon makes you either pay or watch ads to view so-called "premium" content). A somewhat superficial treatment of the scriptural, historical, and theological issues revolving around Gibson's narrative, but a good jumping-off point for discussions. I'm interested in seeing the film and will probably write a review of it here if/when I have the chance to see it. In the meantime, I want to reserve judgement. A similar furor, for different reasons, surrounded the arrival of "The Last Temptation of Christ"; I remember being with my good friends in DC, standing in line for tickets, and being accosted by picketers. Gibson's film will generate controversy, but that'll die down. To many Christians' credit, though, this probably won't result in Christian fatwas calling for Gibson's death (trivia: the Koran mentions Jesus by name [he's called "Isa"] more often than it mentions The Prophet). Imagine if Gibson decided to make a film about the life of Muhammad. In Islam, you're generally not supposed to even depict Muhammad.

I saw "The Last Temptation of Christ" again two years ago, on video. It was actually better the second time around. I should make a list of religious films I recommend. They'd have to include "The Exorcist" and "The Matrix," of course.

I tend to view this not so much as an isolated incident, but as the rumblings of a brewing diplomatic storm. People've been predicting this for a while: a sharper focus on Saudi Arabia. As the oil begins flowing more freely in Iraq, Saudi will lose its clout, and we'll be a bit less buddy-buddy with it. In this sense, yes, oil has been and is an issue. Our [to my mind, shameful] dependency on oil makes it an issue. But the flip side is that we'll finally be facing a problem that needs to be faced: Saudi has never been a true friend.

Also on Salon: Joe Conason talks about Arianna Huffington. To her credit, Huff has more of a platform, right now, than Arnold. Unfortunately, polls put her support at around 4% (this according to the Conason article). Plus, if you read Conason's quotes of Huff's draft speech, you may wonder: if California's woes are mostly Bush's fault and not Gray Davis's, then why is she legitimizing the recall election by running in it? Shouldn't she be on the sidelines, pulling to have people vote "no" to the recall? The Naked Villain was right to call her "an evil little social climber." At least Bill Maher poo-poohs the whole thing (even if I disagree with him). Arianna, social climber that she is, wants to straddle, to have it both ways. Woman-on-top position may be sexy, but this is California we're talking about, and straddling issues in Cali is like straddling a sandpaper-covered dildo. I don't think she can ride this to conclusion without a lot of bleeding. A peek at Arianna's political future, then: here.

Check out guest blogger Air Marshal on the Naked Villainy blog as he explores the meaning of an Arnoldian candidacy, especially here and here.

Incestuous Amplification tackles the issues of concessions to NK, Bolton's absence from the upcoming NK talks, and the value of straight talk.

A Washington Post article meditating on the NK threat to global security.

A WaPo analysis of an Arnoldian victory in Cali.

Little Buddhas.

WaPo on Europe and health care.

Russia and China are chewing over their own security guarantees to NK. Considering that Russian troops recently trained with South Koreans, this strikes me as... I don't know. Bizarre. Considering that China and NK already have a mutual defense pact... that's also bizarre. Is this China's way of showing it still leans NK-ward? I'm very much against any sort of American guarantee to NK that they won't be attacked-- unless we make a "guarantee" knowing full well that it's bullshit. I think we could make a guarantee, but openly claim "right of revocation" based on NK's own precedent. By acknowledging that we value US-NK agreements as much as they do, we'll keep NK on its stubby little toes.

President Noh presses the attack against, uh, the press.

August 15th is Assumption Day for Catholics, but for Koreans in the North and South, it's the day to celebrate liberation from the Japanese.

China remains tone deaf about how the market works.

Koreans bellyache about unemployment, but it's one of the consequences of things like privatization-- a welcome trend that's getting a bumpy ride in South Korea. I'm all for more privatization and entrepreneurship in Korea. Variety and decentralization are key for a healthier market that weans itself from the Japanese model.

The expressive press responds to Noh's pressing a repressive suit against the press! Impressive or depressing?

Flashlight pointed under fridge discovers more roaches.

When chaebols attack! Hanaro is in the process of being torn apart by three biggies. Hominid pulls up lawn chair to watch.

Another reason why I'm not convinced when pro-war people argue that nation-building has worked in places like Japan and South Korea. The old values (and dysfunctions) are still firmly in place, and they are the constant cause of shit like this.

No pity for the baking French, but much pity for the Scots. I like salmon.

The Scotsman also offers insights into interconnectedness. This is doubly of interest to those of us attracted to Buddhist-Christian stories.

L'Express decides its lead article should be irrelevant: it's about blondes [in French, and not particularly gripping].

Merde in France mocks the French health care system, brought to its knees by the heat wave even while French journalism doggedly focuses on the body count in Iraq.

Interesting article on Corporate Motherfucker exploring the "throwing water in the fryer" image. If you're in the office right now, you corporate motherfucker, you may find this article depressing.

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