Monday, 19 May 2008

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton, SNL Style

'Barack Obama' and 'Hillary Clinton' summarize the circular firing squad that the Democratic party has degenerated into over the past months in a pseudo-advertisement [1:18]

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Those Damn Funny Apes at The Onion!

Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters [2:24]

I hate to say it, but this video sums up the current state of electoral politics in North America all too well. Democracy, as it is practiced here, has little meaning because no major changes are going to be implemented by the government that don't going to screw the citizenry over.

Like when Adlai Stevenson was running for the presidency in 1956 and a supporter observed that he had the vote of every thinking man in America. Stevenson thanked them and then unwisely quipped that he still needed the majority of votes to win.

Contemporary elections are like a high school popularity contest staged in hell. Each candidate attempts to outsmart the others without actually saying anything.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

I'm Too Lazy to Think, But Monty Python is Still Hilarious.

And now, a bunch of random Monty Python quotes.

Why, you may ask.

Because they're funny, of course.

‘They should attack the lower classes, first with bombs and rockets to destroy their homes, and then when they run helpless into the street, mow them down with machine guns. And then, of course, release the vultures. I know these views aren’t popular, but I have never thought of popularity.’
- Stockbroker [John Cleese]

‘Are you nervous? Irritable? Depressed? Tired of life? Keep it up!’
- Enterprising undertaker [Terry Jones]

‘We must never forget that, if there was not one thing that was not on top of another thing, our society would be nothing more than a meaningless body of men gathered together for no good reason.’
- President, Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things [Graham Chapman]

‘Never kill a customer.’
- Head Waiter [Michael Palin] to the cook

‘One day you’ll realize there’s more to life than culture! There’s dirt, and smoke, and good honest sweat!’
- Ken [Eric Idle] to his playwright/father

‘Kids were different then. They didn’t have their heads filled with all this Cartesian Dualism…’
- April Simnel [Michael Palin], neighbour of the Piranha Brothers

‘Using this diagram of a tooth to represent any small country, we can see how international communism works, by eroding away from the inside. When one country or tooth falls victim to international communism, the others soon follow. In dentistry, this is known as the Domino Theory.’
- Uncle Sam [animated]

‘I don’t think any of our contestants this evening have succeeded in encapsulating the intricacies of Proust’s masterwork, so I’m going to award the first prize this evening to the girl with the biggest tits.’
- Arthur Me [Terry Jones]

‘If that idea of yours isn’t worth a pound, I’d like to know what is. The only trouble is, you gave me the idea before I’d given you the pound, and that’s not good business!’
- Merchant Banker [John Cleese]

Monday, 5 May 2008 harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice.

'I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hand of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; - but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - AND I WILL BE HEARD.'

The preceding words were penned by William Lloyd Garrison, the 'Golden Trumpet of Abolition', in the 1 January 1831 debut issue of The Liberator. The Liberator ran for 35 years [until the end of the American Civil War in, as you already know, 1865], mobilizing the disparate forces of the anti-slavery movement across the northern states.

On 3 December 1964, Mario Savio, arguably the most noteworthy of the spokespersons for the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, observed that:

'There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!'

Then I go look at my all-too-humble little blog where I discuss what I had for breakfast and I get really damn depressed.

Intro to Lord of War [3:23]

Well, what can I possibly say about Nicolas Cage that hasn't already been said? He destroyed two films last year [Ghost Rider and the utterly abysmal remake of The Wicker Man] but every once in a while he puts his name on a good film.

This is the introduction to one of them.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

May Day!

It's that time of the year again! It's May Day!!

Knowing full well that workers in other countries don't even enjoy the luxury of celebrating this day, I wandered down to the the local May Day parade/march/spectacle to watch events unfold. A strangely diverse number of groups came together to celebrate. Some of it was predictable, by-the-numbers street theatre but the anarchist marching band was a real improvement over previous musical efforts.

I might as well give in and celebrate the seductive allure of the REAL working class holiday [as opposed to so-called Labour Day, which sold out to the miltary-industrial complex ages ago] and add a few of the classic hymns of the European proletariat to my blog.


The Internationale
Eugene Pottier and Pierre Degeyter [1871]

Arise ye pris’ners of starvation
Arise ye wretched of the earth.
For justice thunders condemnation
A better world’s in birth.
No more tradition’s chains shall bind us,
Arise ye slaves no more in thrall.
The earth shall rise on new foundations
We have been naught, we shall be all.

‘Tis the final conflict
let each stand in their place
The Internationale shall be the human race.
‘Tis the final conflict
let each stand in their place
The Internationale shall be the human race.

The law oppresses us and tricks us,
The wage slave system drains our blood,
The rich are free from obligations,
The poor the laws delude.
Too long we’ve languished in subjugation,
Equality has other laws;
‘No rights,’ says she, ‘without their duties.
No claims on equals without cause.’

Behold them seated in their glory,
The kings of mine and rail and soil.
What have you read in all their story,
but how they plundered toil.
Fruits of the workers' toil are buried
in strongholds of the idle few;
In working for our restitution
We claim our rightful due.


Solidarity Forever
Ralph Chaplin [1915]

When the union’s inspiration through the worker’s blood shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
But the union makes us strong.

Solidarity forever,
Solidarity forever,
Solidarity forever,
For the union makes us strong.

Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite,
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
Is there anything left to us but to organize and fight?
For the union makes us strong.

It is we who ploughed the prairies; built the cities where they trade;
Dug the mines and built the workshops, endless miles of railroads laid;
Now we stand outcast and starving midst the wonders we have made;
But the union makes us strong.

All the world that’s owned by idle drones is ours and ours alone.
We have laid the wide foundations; built it skyward stone by stone.
It is ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own.
While the union makes us strong.

They have taken untold millions that they never toiled earned to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn
That the union makes us strong.

In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold,
Greater than the might of armies, magnified a thousand-fold.
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old
For the union makes us strong.

We’re the women of the union in
the forefront of the fight,
We know of women’s issues, we
know of women’s rights,
We’re prepared to fight for freedom,
we’re prepared to stand our ground,
Women make the union makes the union strong.


Or, as the late Abbie Hoffman observed in his 1982 book Soon to be a Major Motion Picture:

'Morality seems to enter the picture only when individuals interact with each other. It's universally wrong to steal from your neighbor but once you get beyond the one-to-one level and pit the individual against the multinational conglomerate, the federal bureaucracy, the modern plantation agro-business, or the utility company, it becomes strictly a value judgment to decide who exactly is stealing from whom. One person's crime is another person's profit. Capitalism is a license to steal; the government simply regulates who steals and how much.'