Archive for December, 2014

conspiracy moment

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Oregonian letter to the editor.

‘The Interview': I’m probably not the only one who won’t be surprised if in a year or so it’s discovered that “The Interview” hullabaloo turns out to have been a colossal publicity stunt. Perhaps Seth Rogen blurted out, “What if we pretend North Korea threatened us? LOL,” and an eavesdropping CIA zealot loved the idea. Presto! “Black Ops” takes over and another lame-brained conspiracy is born.

This makes more sense than the movie.

Tamara Stromquist of Sherwood

As conspiracy theories go, this one is weird.  We have the national security state deciding to promote the film just for kicks, off of an off-hand joke by the film makers.  The Giant octopus apparatus is just in it for the lols.

As for the last sentence… well, it’s supposed to be silly.

truce smuce

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Every year, this piece of legend gets some mind-space in various media outlets.

The Christmas Truce of 1914.

Bah.  Peanuts and cocker-oil.  If they really wanted to impress me, they could’ve forged a truce for the entire fricking war.

You know… sometime before things turn bitter…

The following year, a few units arranged ceasefires, but the truces were not nearly as widespread as in 1914; this was, in part, due to strongly worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting fraternisation. Soldiers were no longer amenable to truce by 1916. The war had become increasingly bitter after devastating human losses suffered during the battles of the Somme and Verdun, and the incorporation of poison gas.

And… war breaks out during the war.

North Korea now winning Korean Conflict

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

So.  Watch a pirated copy of The Interview.  Will it show up on the annual “Banned Books” weeks, even though it’s not a book, above books that are not banned?

Pyongyang — a movie based on the interesting graphic novel / travelouge — is canned.

And Team America has been nixed from theaters, interested in trying to show some artistic support after the nixing of The Interview.

Oh my god, after all these years, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea is now kicking butt in that stalled war.  All thanks to harnessing control of the new-fangeled Internet.

How will they use the leverage to take control of the government?

merry amusements

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Interesting.  Skip to 23:50.  “So I joined the Communist Party”.  30:27.  “I cried at the end of Charlotte’s Webb.”  44:00.  Something about Star Trek.

Hm.

It’s official: dogs do not go to heaven.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The New York Times makes errors.  The New York Times makes corrections.

An article on Friday about whether Pope Francis believes that animals go to heaven — a longstanding theological question in the church — misstated the pope’s recent remarks and the circumstances in which they were made.

Longstanding theological question?  I remember that my CCD teacher in high school had to dissemble on the question, but I didn’t know it goes back to Thomas Aquinas…

But it’s curious, because…

He spoke in a general audience at the Vatican on Nov. 26, not in consoling a distraught boy whose dog had died.

But that latter part makes for a much more heart-warming story.  Which explains why it was passed off in the “Telephone” game as such… somewhere along the line, someone decided they needed to make this story entertaining.

According to Vatican Radio, Francis said, in speaking of heaven, “The Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us.” He did not say: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” Those remarks are reported to have been made by Pope Paul VI to a distraught child.

Where do dogs come into the picture?

An article on Nov. 27 in Corriere della Sera, the influential Italian daily, compared Francis’ comments to Paul’s, and concluded that Francis also believed that animals go to heaven.

Just reading into the words…

2016: all set in stone

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

More depressing than 1988?

So sharpen your straight razors, people. The 2016 primaries on the Democratic side will feature Hillary Clinton ignoring a handful of protest candidates who never get any traction. And on the Republican side they will feature Jeb Bush coopting his most formidable opponents on his way to defeating a Rand Paul insurgency that more closely resembles Eugene McCarthy in ’68 than Ronald Reagan in ’76. And the general election will be the most-depressing of our lifetimes.

But what of this Youth Movement heralded in by Obama?

connecting dots all over the place

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Conspiratorially, I heard that the charges being shuffled in now against Bill Cosby have something to do with shutting him up regarding Ferguson.
Yeah, it struck me as a reach.

the perils of mocking totalitarianships

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

As Hollywood prepares for tonight’s premiere of a comedy  film poking fun at the bizarre other world that is North Korea, two defectors have spoken out to remind us that the human rights abuses going on there are really no laughing matter.

Springtime for Kim Un and People’s Republic…

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, a defector and former officer of North Korea’s special forces described how he abandoned Kim Jong-un’s regime after watching chemical and biological weapons tests on disabled children and adults.

Winter for… uh…

Yeah.  That’s probably going to put a bummer as you laugh at the… hm.

“Complete Collection of Kim Jong Il’s Works” Vol. 9 was brought out by the Workers’ Party of Korea Publishing House. It is a library of the Juche idea and the Songun idea which deals with his works in a chronological order.
It contains 111 works published by leader Kim Jong Il from July, Juche 54 (1965) to May, Juche 56 (1967).
In the works including “On Establishing the Party’s Monolithic Ideological System in the Field of Literature and Arts” he underscored the need to ensure literary and art works depicting President Kim Il Sung at the highest level.

Or sleep at the…

What’s the balance on these things?  Charlie Chaplin as Hitler.  But then remember… beyond that funny mustache, he was an evil evil man.

converting to normcore

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The Wall Street Journal is funny.

Abercrombie and Fitsch.  Down 12 percent.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said its sales dropped 12% in the third quarter, much more than expected, thanks to slowing mall traffic and weaker results in the latter part of the period.

All good and well, but a question.

Abercrombie has been closing stores in an effort to improve U.S. margins, is restructuring its intimate-apparel brand Gilly Hicks and recently decided to remove logos from its apparel in response to teens that increasingly prefer unmarked attire. The company said sales of heavy-logo products continued to decline.

What the hell is a shirt from Abercrombie and Fitsch without a logo?

Theory number one.

Despite a string of similarly dreary results from Target (TGT), Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), and Macy’s (M), Abercrombie Chief Executive Officer Mike Jeffries said the summer business climate was “more difficult than expected,” and he seemed baffled by the bad news. “The reasons for the weak traffic we’ve seen in the U.S. are not entirely clear,” he said on a conference call this morning. “Our best theory is that while consumers in general are feeling better about the overall economic environment, it’s less the case for the young consumer.”

Or perhaps…

It’s simple trickle-down economics. When the money doesn’t flow far enough down the socioeconomic waterfall, no one is there to buy T-shirts with porcupines on them that read: “Do I make you thorny?” Of course, it’s entirely possible that the porcupine-tee market has gone cold apart from teenage job woes.  Maybe Abercrombie and its Hollister brand have simply fallen out of favor with its target demographic. So says Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business: “One generation of customers has moved on, and the next generation doesn’t see Abercrombie as cool,” he told Reuters (TRI).

Haven’t you heard?  The kids are all about “Normcore” these days!

Abercrombie’s past success was driven by brand power: selling basic attire at a big markup to teens eager to sport the A&F logo, once the ultimate symbol of cool. But teen tastes have done an about-face; logos are now shunned. In an attempt to resuscitate its brand, Abercrombie said in August it would remove logos from most of its clothing.

Can A and F sell Normcore?