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April 30, 2006

Professor Verbal Snook

Salvete, Friends of the Revolution.
I’m taking the day off to work on the latest Aid or Invade and to check out the reggae show on KDU. If you're looking for something to read, you might wanna to turn to your right (Fashion!) and check out the "Other stuff you could/should be reading" section. Kennewick man is back in the news!

April 29, 2006

Plastic Roman Soldiers and Nixon's Comin'


Back when I was in college, I briefly belonged to an anti-nuclear organization. I say "briefly" because it turned out that, apart from one other person and me, the group was populated by hippies and Jesus-hippies. During the third, and final, meeting that I attended, the only other non-hippie and I (for some inexplicable reason) started making fun of the four students who had been killed by the National Guard at the Kent State protests back in the Sixties. One of the hippies (I can't remember if it was a Jesus-hippie or a garden variety hippie) happened to overhear us and was, not surprisingly, taken aback.

"What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground?" the hippie angrily yelled at us. It wasn't so much a question as a lyric from the song Four Dead in Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash, the Professor, and Maryanne. Caught completely off guard, I did my best by pointing out that I would, more-than-likely, call an ambulance. By the way, this is still my official policy when finding dead bodies.

Later that night, while drinking beers in my dorm room below my Sid Vicious poster, my friends and I discussed the ethical implications of "Knowing her and finding her dead on the ground":

"What if you knew her, but you didn't really know her all that well? Are you still obligated to call an ambulance?"

"How 'bout this: what if you knew her, but you hated her guts? Then it might be fun to call her mother and tell her that her daughter said to meet her at that spot because she had 'a big surprise' for her."

This got us wondering what the next line in the song was, as we were hoping that it might fulfill and "instructional" purpose in case any of us were to stumble upon a dead body in the future. We went down the hall and asked my friend Stenn who knew the words to just about every song ever written. He informed us that the next line in the song is "How can you run when you know?"

"Jesus. How can you not run? I mean, she's dead, right? There's nothing you can do to help her. And, correct me if I'm mistaken, but the song implies that people are still shooting. Hanging around would be the equivalent of committing suicide."

Stenn said that he thought the lyrics should be "What if you knew her" - in the Biblical sense - "then found out she had the crabs. Better shampoo down below" because, according to his experience "nine-out-of-ten hippie chicks have the crabs."


The Latin word of the day is:
calamitas -atis - misfortune

The ancient Greek word of the day:
teloj - in the end, finally

April 28, 2006

Answers in Genitals

Hey there, roaming gangs of trouble youth: hopped up on devil weed and looking for thrills.

I'm so dead tired that tonight's post is technically a séance. And to make matters worse, I've drawn Escalation duty (don't ask) for the weekend. Before I saunter off to take a nap on to be woken up by a call that forty servers just went down, I ask that you feast your eyes upon this steaming pile of Christian nonsense from our new friends at Gawd Done It!. Sweet Jesus served on a wafer: Ignorance in no excuse for breaking the laws of Science!

Escalation duty wasn't the only thing I've recently drawn. Here's a little cartoon sherbet to cleanse your pallet of the bad taste left by Fundy Funnies.

I'll see you all in a few hours.

The Latin word of the day is:
morbus -i - disease, sickness

The ancient Geek word of the day:
potamoj - river

April 27, 2006

Freak Storm Takes Out Phone Lines, Web Site For Three Days

Well, that day has finally arrived. OK, technically, that day arrived on Sunday, but I couldn't log on and post, as my phone service was down for three days do to storm. That day is, of course, the day I finally grew bored with mocking the tragicomic efforts of Thomas N. George: Editor-in-Chief of Boycott Liberalism.

I supposed the thing I'm going to miss most about Tommy is his fervent attempts to get me to boycott movies and TV shows that I had no desire to watch in the first place. This week, Mr. Thomas is insisting that we all boycott the movie RV. Were any of you planning on seeing RV? I know I wasn't: unless, of course, the film is suddenly recast with Selma Hyack and Julliette Lewis and the plot altered to involve the both of them sharing a tiny, cramped RV. In that case, I'll be attending the matinee, evening, and midnight showings…in a raincoat.

Oddly, Tommy has also decided to mark this occasion by leaving up last weeks Cartoon of the Weak, so that it could be mocked one last time. How sweet.

So, does this mean that the Monday Night (Thursday Night in the case of "Acts of Poseidon") Cartoon is no more? Fear not, gentle reader and enjoy the following poem by Nostrodomus which predicted the future of the Monday Night Cartoon over 500 years ago:

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall Which cartoonist sucks the biggest balls?" "Thomas N. George sucks buffalo balls That's certainly true But nobody licks dino nuts The way the folks at AiG do."

The Latin word of the day is:
medius, a , um - middle

The ancient Greek word of the day:
elpizw - to hope

April 23, 2006

Beating about the Brow


I'm going to assume, because you're reading this on a computer, that you're sitting down. However, on the off-chance that you're standing up, you'll want to sit down before you read anything further because you about to encounter the craziest fucking thing you've ever read.

Sitting? OK, here we go:

Do you remember a few weeks back, right on the heels of the discovery of Tiktaalik, when scientists unveiled the fossil of Najash rionegrina: a transitional creature between tetrapods and snakes? Now, you probably knew, right then and there, that the Fundies were going to have something crazy to say about the find, but none of us members of the Thinking Class could've ever, in our wildest dreams, guessed at just how totally fucktarded their response would be:

Some Fundies are claiming that Najash rionegrina is not a confirmation of the Theory of Evolution, but proof positive of the accuracy of Genesis 3.14, wherein God punishes the serpent by forcing it to crawl about on its belly.

I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry about that. On the one hand, it's a postulation so uniquely insane that you have to admire it on the grounds of sheer originality. On the other hand, it's such a sad and desperate attempt to preserve an outdate view of natural history, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that one is left just shaking his or her head in sorrow.

Of course, not all Fundies are eager to jump on the of Genesis 3.14 bandwagon. The folks over at Answers in Genesis ("Upholding the Authority of the Bible from the Very First Verse") say "not-so-fast, our speaking-in-tongues brethren!" No, not because the idea is bat-shit crazy, but because they claim that the Najash rionegrina fossil dates to the time of the Biblical flood: 1,500 years after the snake was forced to give up its legs.

Please excuse me while I attempt to duct tape my skull back together.

How do rational human beings, like us, counter that sort of unbridled ignorance? The truth is that we can't. We've tried using logic and evidence, but those tools have never been able to make even the slightest dent in the thick craniums of people whose worldview is based on superstition. But that doesn't mean that we can't have some fun.

Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you Operation Browbeat

All you need to play along is a free email account, a deep-seated sense of outrage, and an overt foundness for quotation marks. Speaking of quotations, you might also want to memorize the following from Deuteronomy 14:1:

"Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not ... make any baldness between your eyes..."

Now just pick a target. In this instance, I'm aiming for the Theological Questions section of the website of our new friends Answers in Genesis.

Dear Fiends-in-Christ,

First, I'd just like to take a minute to praise you for your good works. In this morally objectionable age when we Christians find our faith constantly under attack by "scientists" with their "facts" and "evidence", it refreshing to find an organization willing to stand up say "Enough already!"

That said, I have a theory that I'd like to share with you: Not a smarty-pants college-boy theory like "Evolution", but a real theory based upon what I believe to be a divine revelation. Have you ever noticed that when the Darwinists show a depiction of a "Cave Man" the dimwitted ape-like creature always has thick, connecting eyebrows? By equating dense, unplucked eyebrows with knuckle-dragging proto-humans, the satanic Evolutionist are tricking the sectarian masses into violating Deuteronomy 14:1:

"Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not ... make any baldness between your eyes..."

I'm sure that you see the validity of my theory. In fact, you may have already thought about this yourselves. I would greatly appreciate it if you would contact me immediately so that we may collaborate an article exposing this sinister plot. If I don not hear form you, I will be forced to assume that your organization has been infiltrated by the very satanic forces you claim to oppose.

Yours in Christ,

Jerry "Fongo" Fongowski


April 21, 2006

The Electric Kool Aid Deoxyribonucleic Acid Test

poperead.jpgWhenever I hear the word "Acid" I immediately think of Dragnet.

Dragnet is one of those shows that work in spite of themselves. In Dragnet's case, it works despite the presence of its lead character: Joe Friday. Joe
Friday was the sort of holier-than-thou ass-potato who ironed his boxer shorts and spoke in short, clipped sentences. Why? They sound tough. Those short sentences. Worked for Mickey Spillane. Didn't work for Friday. Got parodied. Got parodied a lot. Savagely spoofed in an episode of Bullwinkle.

Somehow in a mere forty years, our society has managed to go from Dragnet’s Joe Friday to The Shield's Vic Mackey. We are either the most screwed up population in history, or the greatest society mankind has ever produced (either way, we should all start drinking heavily right now!). Shit Luther, making Joe Friday the lead character on anything other than a high school science film about sand is like making Frank Burns the lead character on MASH.

Don't confuse Jack Webb, the actor who played Joe Friday with the character.
Jack Webb was reportedly an off-the-wall kind of guy who enjoyed a good joke, whereas Friday never seemed to realize that the joke was on him. Sweet, surly Jesus on his fifth boilermaker, Friday's badge number was 714. Do you have even the slightest concept of how may "Luddites" must've pissed themselves laughing over that? Joe Friday might've given all of those hippies a good, long talkin’ to about the dangers of drugs, but as soon as he closed the door behind him, they all fired up and stated imitating him in way that was not the purest form of flattery. And where did all of Joe Friday's righteous indignation get him? Take a look around the downtown area of any major city and ask yourself "Who won: Joe or druggies?" And that's why I love Dragnet. There's nothing like watching Joe struggle against the stream knowing that when he finally reaches the ocean he'll be unable to spawn because nobody, other than Laura Bush, wants to mate with a turd-hat.

The following are six of my favorite episodes of Dragnet. If you ever find yourself channel surfing and you come across these bizarre little gems, remember that viewing them is mandator and they will be included in your final exam. I've paired 'em up and categorized 'em before ironing by boxer shorts.

Klepto Kids:

Junior Achievement - Joe and Bill (played by the always terrific Harry Morgan who portrayed the judge in Inherit the Wind, wasted several years of his live on Dragnet, and eventually found meaningful employment as Colonel Potter on MASH) investigate a string of burglaries that turn out to have been committed by a group of eight-year-olds working under the tutelage of a pre-pubescent super criminal/pathetic dipshit.

War on Christmas - It's Christmas Eve and Joe’s on duty because God hates his fuckin' guts. Anyway, the baby Jeebuz has gone missing from a church’s crèche. Instead of proclaiming a miracle, the priest calls in the heat. It turns out that the figurine was "borrowed" by some Mexican kid who promised JC that if he got a wagon for Christmas, he'd give The Son of Man(son) a ride in it. Whatever happened to opening your presents on Christmas Day and not Christmas Eve? WHYY, here in Philly, shows this episode every year on December 24th.

Baby (not Jesus) Goes Bye-Bye

Fat Donna - A woman finds a (live) newborn in a garbage can. The careless mother turns out to be Fat Donna. Much, much funnier than it sounds: honest!

Worst Tub Toy EVER - Joe meets a pair of young, clean-cut, middle-class. They live in a nice house, have a baby daughter... and they enjoy smoking pot. No, the baby doesn't smoke pot: just the parents. Joe gives the cannabis loving couple his standard talking to, and they just laugh him off. But who's laughing when the parents get so stoned at the kind of pot party where no Tupperware is exchanged that they forget to check on their daughter's progress in the tub. Now that's stoned! This is why I don't smoke pot. There obviously hasn't been any good baby neglecting shit around since 1968.

Sammy Davis Only Had One Eye, But He Gave Acid to the Children

You think you can pick him out of a lineup? - Someone is selling Acid on the streets of LA. That someone is Blue Boy. And why is he called Blue Boy? Because he paints half of his face blue. Duh. The highlight of this Dada masterpiece involves Friday showing people a picture of Blue Boy (with his trademark half-blue look) and asking them if they've seen him. One-by-one, the helpful citizens study the photo and say shit like "I dunno; looks kinda familiar" and "I think I may have seen him around, but I can’t be sure." Fuck me upside the head with a bazooka. I know this is LA in the goddamn late ‘60s, but were there that many people were running around with half their face painted blue that the locals couldn't tell them apart?

Tune in; turn on; and drop a load in your pants - Joe Friday spends an entire gawddamn episode debating a "thinly disguised" Timothy Leary character (Subtlety was never one of Dragnet’s strong points: the actor might as well be waring a name tag reading "Hi, my name is Timothy Leary"). When the guy postulates that he’s taken LSD over four hundred times and yet is just as sane as Friday, the audience is forced to agree, as we have all seem homeless people covered in their own feces who are every bit as sane as Joe Friday. Former captain of the Bumfuck Debate Team, Friday, counters that the faux-Leary has taken so much LSD that he wouldn't know it if he were insane. Touche! If you're crazy, you definitely think you're sane. And if you're sane, you might think you're crazy (which would make you kind of crazy, I guess), but you might also think that you are, indeed, sane. In Joe Friday's world, sanity can only be verified by a qualified third-party. And the only one qualified is, of course, Joe Friday.

Well, that (in roughly one thousand words) is why when I hear the word "Acid", I think of Dragnet. This is definitely not the case when it comes to my nephew and nieces.

To my twenty-one-year-old nephew, raised on a wonderfully inappropriate and exceptionally entertaining diet of violet video games and movies, acid is a corrosive material to be thrown in the faces of camp councilors in order to transform them, years later, into burley machete-wielding maniacs. Ah, the innocence of youth.

When my young nieces hear the word acid, they think of the Deoxyribonucleic kind (this must confuse them when watching documentaries about the Sixties). Before you say "Oh, that's so cute" you should probably know that my nieces are using their knowledge of DNA to build a mutant army with the sole purpose of enslaving you. If it weren’t for Bush’s War on Science, my nieces' school would’ve had enough money in its budget to fund their twisted experiments. Think about that the next time you call him "President Dumbass".

While we’re on the subject of DNA, we might as well talk about mine. A few of you might remember that I sent my DNA off for analysis a few weeks ago (although the majority of you are Chinese citizen who are only reading this site because it somehow managed to slip past your government’s internet filters). So what has my DNA been up to since then?

According to the Genographic website, my samples traveled to the Houston, Texas office of Family Tree DNA, where they were assigned to a batch and shipped to the Arizona Research Labs at the University of Arizona (I wonder if the people of those states are aware of the gawdless Evil-looshun work being done in their backyards). There, my samples were sorted by computer and allocated to a specific location in one of sample grids. In other words, my DNA was placed alongside the DNA of total strangers. All of our genetic paths had diverged over 200,000 years ago, but here we all were: together again.

Next, the cells in my sample were broken open by incubation with a protein-cutting enzyme. Oh, like I couldn’t have done that at home. Then a robot used silica-coated iron beads to extract my DNA. Fuck yeah! I've lived long enough to write that sentence! From now on, no matter where I go, what I do, or how shitty my life may become, I can always say "At least I’ve had my genetic material harvested by a robot."

After that my DNA was transferred into PCR (polymerase chain reaction ) amplification plate for testing using – get this, fuckers – another robot. Then a human (perhaps a cyborg) staff member used a computer program to assign a score to my sample. The computer generated score was reviewed by two additional cyborg laboratory staff members.

And the results?

Well, I should have those in a few days. In the meantime, you could always amuse yourselves by betting on my ethnicity. The smart money is riding on "run-of-the-mill Honky", but I wouldn’t rule out "Slav" "Mongolian" or even "Red Sea pedestrian". Let the wild speculation begin!

The Latin word of the day is:
ales - alitis - bird

The ancient Greek word of the day:
ropalon - club, cudgel

April 18, 2006

The Defense of Traditional Eyebrows Act

malkocl1.jpgYesterday we took a brief look at highbrow versus lowbrow humor (just like the guy who sings for that other "Dead" band, I thought the lowbrow caption was funnier), but what about unibrow humor?

If you're not afflicted with a unibrow, then you probably know someone who is. Famous unibrowed Americans include alcoholic General and President Ulysses S. Grant, Bert from Sesame Street, and future host of The View Henry Rollins. But I bet you didn't know that shaving the space between your eyebrows is a SIN on par with murder, robbery, or fucking some dude in the dumper. It's true. Just check out Deuteronomy 14:1

"Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead."

Got that? Don't shave between your eyebrows* even if some dead guy asks you to. And yet tens of millions of Americans (and as many as a dozen Armenians) shave between their eyebrows every day. Will no one put an end to this sacrilegious madness?

I don't know about you, but when it comes to madness, I think of one name before all others...

Dear Senator Santorum,

"Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not ... make any baldness between your eyes..."

God said it; you and I believe it; and, in a perfect world, that should settle it. Unfortunately, there are many secular types out there who think nothing about shaving the space between there eyebrows in order to eliminate what the godless liberal elitists who control the media and many of minor league hockey teams have deemed "Unibrow".

If people start shaving their eyebrows, who knows what they might start shaving next.

That's why I'm asking you to sponsor the Defense of Traditional Eyebrows Act. The bill (I'll give you the "bare-bones" version. Feel free to "flesh-it-out" however you please. If you want to add a rider to build an Air Force Base in Allegheny County, that's none of my beeswax) would essentially allow employers to fire anyone they suspect of shaving between their eyebrows. Also, people who shave between their eyebrows wouldn't be allowed to adopt (except, maybe, Mexican kids), or to owe hockey teams (either Major or Minor League). You might want to also amend the marriage ceremony to include the following: "These eyebrows that God has brought together, let no man put asunder."

With your help, Senator, and by the grace of a loving yet vengeful, jealous, angry, and capricious God, victory will be ours.

Unshavenly yours,

Rodney Anonymous

* Yes, I know that Leviticus 14:1-9 says "It will be on the seventh day that he shall shave off all his hair: he shall shave his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair", but that's only because...um...hey, look over there!

The Latin phrase of the day is:
Currus magnus, mentula miniscula - big car, tiny dick

The ancient Greek word of the day:
- for, as

April 17, 2006

Anally Raped By Dilbert

Each-and-every Monday, instead of preparing for the Rapture, Thomas N. George, predator-in-chief at Boycott Liberalism, posts a painfully unfunny Cartoon of the Weak, which a group of highly skilled art forgers, here at RATYHTL, then set about recreating in the minutest detail.

Since last week's savaging of Mr. George's work wasn't posted due to a clerical error, RATYHTL will offer our reader(s) a choice of parodies this week.

Highbrow EB White "Once More to the Lake" version

Lowbrow poop-joke version

The Latin word of the day is:
potens -entis - powerful

The ancient Greek word of the day:
kurioj (+Genitive) - having control over

April 16, 2006

Go Tell It on the Video Mountain


There used to be a restaurant in Chicago with the terrific name of See Your Food. Less than a block away was a video store with the truly wonderfully name of Video Schmideo (which still exists, although oddly no longer in Chicago, and it seems to now be a production company. You'd think that by now they would've changed their name to DVD DVSchmee.)

Video Schmideo is a great name for a video store.

Video Mountain is not great name for a video store.

I have a friend who once lived across the hall from a woman who was obsessed with opening a video store called Video Mountain. The day after my friend moved in to his new apartment, there was a knock at his door. He opened it and on the other side was a woman who immediately launched into what my friend could only describe as a "sort of 'mantra'":

"Hi. I'm Laura from across the hall. I just wanted to say hello and to tell you that I'm thinking about opening a video store and that I'm going to call it Video Mountain. I mean, isn't that just the greatest name for a video store, Video Mountain?"

My friend, wisely deciding that it may not be such a great idea to express his true opinion about the name Video Mountain to someone who seemed so taken with the moniker and with whom he would be living in relatively close proximity to for at least the next year, lied:

"Um, yeah. Sure. I mean, I guess so. Video Mountain? Sure. Great name."

A few days later, my friend encountered Laura on the steps of their building. "Hi." Laura said. "Hello" said my friend. "Listen," said Laura, "If you don't mind, I'd like to get your opinion about something. You see, I'm thinking about opening a video store and I'm going to call it Video Mountain. I mean, isn't that just the greatest name for a video store, Video Mountain? You'd rent your videos from a place called Video Mountain, right? I mean who wouldn't?"

"I think you mentioned that the other day when we first met," my friend said.

"I did?" Laura said, seeming to genuinely not remember either meeting my friend or broaching the subject of Video Mountain.

"Yeah," said my friend, "because I remember telling you that Video Mountain was a really good name."

"Thanks," said Laura who then when inside.

That Sunday morning my friend was doing his laundry in his building's basement when Laura once again appeared:

"Hi. My name's Laura. I live across the hall from you. I think we may have already met. Do you mind if I as you a question? You see, I'm thinking about opening a video store and I'm going to call it Video Mountain. That's a really, really great name, right?"

My friend looked around for a few seconds to see if he could spot a hidden camera before finally giving in and saying "Yeah, great name. Whish I'd thought of it." Almost instantly my friend regretted making that last statement because Laura suddenly grew angry and shouted "Well, you didn't, and if you try to steal the name I'll see you in court and I will win because I thought of the name Video Mountain first and everybody knows that I did." And then she turned and stormed off.

As it turned out, she was right about one thing: everybody know she'd thought of the name Video Mountain. Later that day, my friend struck up a conversation with another (alius, alia, aliud) one (unus, una, unum) of the building's residents. When the other tenant asked my friend which apartment he occupied, my friend answered that he lived in 4C and within minutes he had the scoop on Laura.

As it turned out (over the next several months the story was confirmed by a dozen or so of my friend's neighbors) Laura, who although see appeared to be in her early fifties, was a thirty-something year old former employee of the Department of Transportation who had suffered some sort of nervous breakdown and was now known around the neighborhood as "Laura, the Video Mountain lady" for the obvious reason that no matter how many times she had told someone about Video Mountain she felt compelled to do so again. Many people in the surrounding two blocks had heard the god news about Video Mountain as many as a hundred times each. The man who had last lived in my friend's apartment said, upon leaving, that he was moving back to Pakistan so that he would never have to hear the name Video Mountain ever again.

When my friend pointed out that he was unlikely to be asked about Video Mountain again because he's apparently angered the nonexistent store's prophet, he was told that it didn't matter because Laura, the Video Mountain lady, suffered from short-term memory problems and would not remember the perceived insult. And sure enough, later tat very afternoon, my friend was once again approached by Laura, the Video Mountain lady and asked if he thought that Video Mountain wasn't the greatest name ever for a video store. "Yes, yes it is," my friend said, suddenly realizing why the rent on his apartment was so cheap.

And so it went for two more years until my friend saved up enough money to attend graduate school in another state.

The first question that I asked my friend when he first told me the story of Laura, the Video Mountain lady, over beers about five years ago, was "Did anybody ever fuck with her? I mean, did anybody ever tell her somebody had already opened up a sore called Video Mountain or say 'Hey, that's the worst goddamn name I ever heard'?"

"Oh, everybody fucked with her," my friend, who is too polite to fuck with anybody, said. "There was even a local band who used to do a cover of Neil Young's Sugar Mountain, only they changed the words to 'Oh to live on Video Mountain'. Somebody sent her a tape of them doing the song but she never said anything about it. I guess she just forgot. And then there was the smartass who plastered the neighborhood with posters announcing the grand opening of Video Mountain."

"So, let's say that she had opened a store called Video Mountain, you would've rented all of your videos from there, right? After all, it's such a great name!"

With no hesitation whatsoever, my friend said "No. No I definitely wouldn't. Because when you have to hear about something ten times a week for two years, you want to avoid it like it's a leper with the plague."

That pretty much sums up my relationship with Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.The more people who told me that it was a really, really, really good movie and that I should see it, the more I wanted to avoid the film like it was an insurance salesman with a face covered in festering boils.

For years now, well-meaning Christians have been attempting to get me to watch The Passion of the Christ in the misguided belief that somehow upon viewing this film I would magically reject my commitment to rationalism and immediately welcome Jesus into my heart.

[Let's stop right here for a moment. The term "well-meaning" may be a bit of a misnomer. While I'm fairly certain that many of the people who've tried to talk me into viewing The Passion did so because they like me and therefore don't want me to go to Hell, there are plenty of others who've urged me to view the film because they're under the impression that they have a duty to convert godless Freethinkers like me or else they, themselves, might not get into heaven or be force to go to some sort of lesser heaven (the one filled with Mexicans). It's really a form of a spiritual pyramid scheme.]

Well, last week I managed to make it all the way through The Passion and at present…well, let's but it this way…

Attention Christians: If you're looking for new recruits, then The Passion is the last film that you want to be showing them. Shit Luther, you Christians would have better luck with King of Kings, Jesus Christ Superstar, or even the Eric Estrada vehicle The Cross and the Switchblade. The Passion is to Christianity what Battlefield Earth is to Scientology: I'm sure true believes get it, but the rest of us are just, pardon the pun, left behind shaking our heads with a mixture of revulsion and confusion.

In a way, you could say that The Passion reaffirmed my Atheism. Thanks, Mr. Gibson.

Before I piss all over Mel Gibson's magnum opus, I'd like to a few nice things about the film. I should also point out that I'll be using a rating system comprised of "units of Mel". Each Mel is approximately equal to the atomic weight of Bohrium multiplied by thirty Pieces of Silver and then divided by the distance from my house to Pat's Steaks. In other words, they mean nothing:

Overall Look of the Film - Six Mels


All-in-all, The Passion is a really good looking film. There are some very nice, darkly lit interior shots, and the costumes are pretty authentic. Unfortunately, you can say the same thing about Alexander, and The Passion doesn't have wannabe funeral director Angelina Jolie.

Fun with Native Tongues - Seven and a half Mels


You have to give Mel credit for deciding to film The Passion in Aramaic with English subtitles. Especially when you consider the low literacy rate of his target audience. Of course there was a smattering of Hebrew and decent chunk o' Latin (Someone should've told Mel that Pontius Pilate would've spoken Greek around the house). Speaking of Latin, there's a scene in which Jesus and Pontius Pilate hold a lovely conversation in Latin. Could Jesus speak Latin? Fuck if I know. Someone who would know, however, is John Dominic Crossan, a professor of religious studies at De Paul University, a Roman Catholic school in Chicago. Here's an actual quote for the good professor:

"Jesus talking to [Pontius] Pilate and Pilate to Jesus in Latin! I mean, in your dreams. It would have been Greek."

But I guess if you believe that Jesus was the son of God, he could've spoken Eskimo if he'd wanted to. However, there is some question as to rather or not Jesus could read Latin. If Jesus could read Latin, why would he need to ask whose face was on the coin in the famous "render onto Caesar" story?

Possible Subversive Message - Four Mels


The Passion includes an odd flashback scene (Truth-be-told, The Passion is pretty a collection of odd scenes) in which Jesus, while showing his mother a new table that he's just made (WWND: What Would Norm Do?) laughs. While there is no mention in any of the canonical Gospels of Jesus laughing, there is a Gospel in which Jesus does crack up: the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas. I'm not sure how Mel's buddies in Opus Dei are going to take to his drawing inspiration from apocryphal text.

Unintended Irony - Eight Mels


At one point, Jesus' followers complain that he was arrested without cause and tortured. I guess it's different when it's being done at Guantanamo Bay.If the Ironically Challenged are ever allowed to compete in the Special Olympics, prepare your ears for plenty of victory speeches praising George Bush and Jesus.

Historic Accuracy - half a Mel.


As stated above, the costumes are fairly accurate. Oh, and the Jews look really, really Jewish (minus the spots and horns). No mistaking these Jews for Swedes. But that's about it for historical accuracy.

Of course, Mel Gibson has never let history get in the way of a good story. Take the movie Braveheart, among the numerous facts which Mel managed to ignore are: A) although jus prima noctis (the right of a Lord to deflower a peasant woman on her wedding night) did exist was definitely NOT practiced in either England or Scotland at the time the movie takes place [Don't forget; this is the film's major plot point] and B) William Wallace's second love interest, the Princess Isabelle, was actually nine-years-old and living in France when the film takes place. She never met Wallace and certainly did not give birth to his child.

Sure, Gibson adapted the screenplay for The Passion "from a composite account of The Passion assembled from the four Biblical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John" (that's from the film's official web site), so the blame needs to be spread evenly around. In the interest of fairness, I'll be sticking to the historical inaccuracies in the film and not bringing up other New Testament errors like the Roman census that forced everyone to return to their hometown, or the Slaughter of the Innocents: both of which never happened.

Inaccuracy One: Pontius Pilate was a sensitive guy who really, really, really regretted crucifying Jesus.

pila1.jpgSince the Gospels were being pitched to a Roman audience, it was in the authors' interests not to portray Pontius Pilate as a villain. The historic Pontius Pilate was a not a nice guy; like all good Romans, he was a brutal psychopath (Shit Luther, he managed to pick up the name Pilate, which means "armed-with-a-javelin", because of his skill with the pilum: kinda like being "Machine Gun" Kelly, or Tony "the big knife" Tarlucci.). He ruthlessly governed Judea and condemned thousands of people to death. Here's anthropologist Joe Zias on just how Pilate treated the Jews he governed:

"The Romans crucified so many Jews that "eventually they ran out of crosses and they ran out of space."

Inaccuracy Two: Jesus carried an entire cross all the way to his crucifixion.

Let's go back to Joe Zias who seems to know way too much about crucifixion for this one:

"Nobody was physically able to carry [the entire cross]. It weighed about 350 pounds. [Jesus] carried the crossbeam, maximum."

True believers may counter that Jesus, being the Son of God, could easily bench-press twice that amount of weight. If that's the case, then why didn't anybody along the crucifixion route point out the fact that they'd never seen anybody drag an entire cross after getting their ass kicked all day, and start worshipping Jesus on the spot?

Granted, rather Jesus carried the entire (totus) cross or just the beam isn't really a huge point, but it does help to establish a pattern of inaccuracy. Just like this next item:

Inaccuracy Three: Jesus was a long-haired Hippie

If you look at the frieze on Rome's Arch of Titus, you'll notice Jewish men with short hair being taken into captivity after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. According to Lawrence Schiffman of New York University:

"Jewish texts ridiculed long hair as something Roman or Greek."
Inaccuracy Four: There is a God; he knocked up some broad; their son got nailed up by the Romans but, somehow, the Jews are to blame.

You know what? I've wasted too much time on this. If there ever was a Jesus, he'd want you to avoid The Passion like it was a guy in the woods wearing a goalie's mask and wielding a claw-hammeror a store called Video Mountain.

April 13, 2006

Aid or Invade: Spurning Japanese

While I realize that it hardly makes up for an absence of several days, the latest installment of Aid or Invade has been published.

Oddly, this was the first Aid or Invade to be altered by my editor. Click on the link above to read AoI the way the rest of the world read it; then click here to see the original final paragraph in which I'd planned to introduce a new catch phrase.

The Latin word of the day is:
tegere - to cover

The ancient Greek word of the day:
glwtta - tongue

April 8, 2006

Female Filipino Fumes and Fuels Fractious Frustrations


Yesterday, when I was wondering how Michelle Malkin and the other mental munchkins over at FOX News were going to attempt to put a positive spin on the revelation that Scooter "Irving" Libby learned of Valerie Plame's identity from George Bush himself, I speculated that the "Special" news team would tow the standard "The President only did it to protect us" line. What I failed to predict was that Brit Hume would take a rather novel approach and employ a tactic seldom seen in debates of recent times: the Completely Bat-shit Crazy Strategy.

For your bold departure from reality, RATYHTL salutes both you and your attractive tinfoil party hat, Brit Hume!

I was really hoping for some top-notch insanity on this issue from Malkin, but she's been oddly silent about her leaky President. There is, of course, precedent for Michelle suddenly going mum. When the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, Malkin chose to ignore the story, instead spending two weeks focusing on the exploits of Courtney Love.

So, you might ask, what news story does Malkin currently think deserves more attention than he President of the United States divulging the identity of an undercover CIA agent?


Or, to be more specific, a segment on Dateline NBC in which the program sent a group of Muslim men to NASCAR race in Virginia in order to see if they would be mistreated (other than having to endure sever hours of accident-free auto racing that is).

Stop for a second and think about it this. It took an undercover investigation by national news show to determine that the average NASCAR fan is a dumber-than-shit cactus-fucking racist. Shit Luther, I could've told you that, and I flunked outta my High School journalism class.

Oh, so now you're going to accuse me of stereotyping NASCAR enthusiast? Fuckin' A right I am! Look, I'm not the one sitting in the bleachers waving a "Rebel" (loser) flag while a car with Jesus Saves painted all over it continually circles before my Coors-bleary eyes. And I'm certainly sure-as-shitting not the one who pissed his pants the moment Abdul and Muhammad sat on either side of me. When I see an Ay-rab I don't think he's going to blow me up (I do, however, - based on their previous behavior - think that all rednecks have a bomb or two tucked away in their basements); I just naturally look for his taxi or convenience store.

So if you don't want to be thought of as a dumber-than-shit cactus fucker, climb down out of the bleachers, pull your dick out of that cactus, and take yourself and your drooling idiot family to the library or a museum or something. And lose that "Lee surrendered; I didn't" t-shirt.

And you Ay-rabs would like to stop being thought of as terrorists, then stop blowing shit up. All it takes is a simple "Hey Muhmar, instead of strapping a pound of TNT to our asses and exploding a bus today, how 'bout we just hang around the house? SciFi channel is showing the new Doctor Who episodes."

The only alternative is to embrace your inner stereotype. It's worked for the Irish, who used to be thought of as dangerous thugs and are now considered lovable drunks. It's also worked for Blacks, who used to be thought of as lovable drunks and are now considered dangerous thugs. The minute Black people stopped trying to be accepted by Whites and embraced the image of the Gangsta, every White kid from Kennybuckport to Kalamazoo wanted to be Black.

If them there Ay-rabs at that NASCAR race would've been smart, they would've introduced themselves by saying something like "Hello. I'm Rasmadhuda and I like to blow up Jews and oppress women." Then, instead of getting the cold trucker-tan shoulder, they would've been warmly greeted with "Hello. My name is Billy Bob and I don't give a damn what color you are, for we are truly brothers-under-the-skin, for I too have planted more than my fair share of pipe-bombs in Synagogues and whenever Darlene opens her mouth, her comments are instantly stifled by the back of my hand. Want a Coors?"

The Latin word of the day is:
ullus -a, -um - any

The ancient Greek word of the day:
paiw - to strike

April 6, 2006

Let's See Malkin Spin This

But first...


I believe I once read somewhere that the Roman playwright Terence had been quoted as saying "Quot homines, tot sententiae", which roughly translates as "There are as many opinions as there are people" (Technically, it translates as "There are as many opinions as there are men", since women weren't allowed to have opinions until 1973). When it comes to illegal immigration, everyone has an opinion. Libertarians want open borders, the abolishment of the minimum wage, and a gardener named Juan. Social Conservatives want to build an electrified fence and surround it with landmines. Smelly Lefties think that we should embrace cultural diversity as long as it only causes economic hardship for working class Whites. Border-bouncing-Jesus-on-a-burrito-high, even the Catholic Church has an opinion about illegal immigration.

Yes, in the last few days, everybody has been speaking up about illegal immigration.

Everybody 'cept the Fundies, that is.

Amazing, isn't it, that the same people who feel the need to call a press conference whenever they suspect a Telletubbie of being Gay have remained remarkable silent on the issue of our wage-lowering neighbors to the South.

Well, maybe it's not so amazing when you consider that, by appealing to their core audience by criticizing illegal immigration, Robertson, Falwell, et al run the risk of (pardon the pun) alienating millions of potential converts, pissing off their Catholic allies in the War on Choice, and angering big business.

Illegal immigrants will, of course, do the jobs that no American is willing to do. You know; the jobs in the United States Armed Forces. Think about it; what did the Roman army (the real one, not the tiny plastic one) do when recruitment slimmed down to a trickle and they found themselves with too few soldiers to guard their empire? They offered the Goths citizenship in exchange for military service. Hey Pablo, if you like the deserts of northern Mexico, you're just gonna love Iran.

Please, please, please don't wake me if I'm just dreaming this...

Scooter "Irving L." Libby has apparently told prosecutors that George Bush authorized the leak of intelligence information about Iraq.

"And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."

- George Bush

Please keep in mind that "taken care of" could mean "Given a bundle of that leftover Abramoff cash and smuggled to Saudi Arabia".

The big question here is, of course, how will Michelle Malkin and the special kids at FOX News spin this story? There seems to be nothing about Scooter's accusation on Michelle's site, so now would be the perfect opportunity to pitch her some ideas. If I were Malkin (I'd still have a penis), I would go with some crazy rant about how Bush was just trying to protect America (and, by extension, Israel) from Valerie Plame, who has know ties to foreign governments (in that she spied on them for the CIA) and has traveled extensively in areas where bird flu has recently broken out.


The Latin word of the day is:
Neuter, neutra, neutrum - neither

The ancient Greek word of the day:
skhnh - tent, stage (in theater), stall, booth

April 3, 2006

Black and White and Red State All Over


Every Monday, for longer than many of you have believed humanly possible, I put on my tinfoil pith helmet and brave the quagmire of strangeness that is Thomas N. George's Boycott Liberalism. The purpose of this wingnut safari is, of course, to return safely to my hunting lodge with BoyLib's Cartoon of the Weak strapped to the hood of my Range Rover.

Unfortunately, Mr. George must be finding it more difficult to draw while wearing a straight jacket as he has failed to post this week's cartoon. In the interest of fairness, I'm going to take last weeks RATYHTL's cartoon comeback and give it a new caption.

The Latin word of the day is:
eximius -a -um - selected, distinguished, exceptional

The ancient Greek word of the day:
aitia - stop, put an end to

April 2, 2006

Major Quaintance, US Army

ajax4.jpgI was originally going to begin this piece with an apology for not posting for a few (paucus -a -um) days and an explanation that I've been busy with work, contributing a chapter to a book, reviewing an early draft of a friend's book, and, of course, Aid or Invade. Then I realized that this site is FREE and chock full o' enough "greatest hits" content to keep the average reader busy for weeks. The best analogy I can think of is when Creationists complain about "gaps" in the fossil record. Considering how fragile fossils are, it amazing that we have as many as we do and that we haven't shoved those fossils up some Fundie's ass because he couldn't get it through his thick hillbilly skull that the Earth is much, much older than a mere few thousand years. When you consider all that I have on my plate, it's amazing that I get as much written as I do.

Warriors Come Out To Plaaaayyyy-aaayyyyyyy

Let's start off with some good new: damn good news in fact: The palace of Ajax has been found! Yes, the Ajax from the Iliad. Remember him? Big fellow: Achilles' cousin. Oh happy day! We are now one step closer to proving that the entire Pantheon of Gods are real. Look; if every time some archeologist digs up a chunk of rock that may or may not be traced to the reign of King Solomon, some Christian call get all worked up about it being proof of the historical accuracy of the Bible, then we can do the same with Ajax's palace. Only we can get all worked up on the streets of Amsterdam. I'm not sure where I was going with that. Let's move on…

Warriors Come Out To Slaaaayyyy-aaayyyyyyy

Looks like I began assembling my tiny plastic Roman army just in time: just in time for the War on Christianity, that is. As if we weren't busy enough with the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Gaymarriageistan, we are apparently engaged in a War on Christians.
Rather or not this is a separate war for the War on Christmas, I can't say. What I can tell you is that earlier this week "The War on Christians and the Values Voter in 2006" conference was convened in our nation's capitol. Keynote speakers included the usual rogues gallery of knuckle dragging troglodytes such as Phyllis Schlafly (who has a Gay son), Alan Keyes (who has a gay daughter, Gary Bauer (who, despite rumors of an affair with a twenty-six-year-old female staffer<.a> [put the "staff" back in staffer] is a screaming faggot), and Tom DeLay.
Tom DeLay?
Deposed House Majority Leader Tom DeLay? The same Tom Day whom, nearly one year ago today, was proven by RATYHTL scientists to be lower than whale shit in the Marianas Trench? That Tom DeLay?

Warriors Come Out To Praaaayyyy-aaayyyyyyy

With Generals like Tom DeLay calling out the battle plans, the brave Christian warriors can expect to take a great deal of casualties. For their sake, they'd better not count on faith-based medical treatment. For this was the week in which the world learned something that the rest of learned a long, long time ago: Shit in one hand, pray in the other. See which one fills up first.

The Latin word of the day is:
optimus -a -um - fertile

The ancient Greek word of the day:
akinatoj - motionless