MY CALLING

Posted in Rants on August 31st, 2006 by Ed

So I've figured out what I want – nay, must – do with my life. It's called the Mongol Rally. As the name implies, it is a rally involving Mongols.

On the surface it doesn't seem all that exciting; participants must drive from London to Ulan Baatur, Mongolia. Deserts must be crossed, bodies of water forded, unpaved terrain traversed, blah blah blah. Pretty standard Executive VP Who Shops at REI road rally stuff.

But here's the catch: all entrant vehicles must be complete pieces of shit and there is no support crew of any kind. In the average "adventure" rally, rich people drive military-spec SUVs over allegedly forbidding terrain, and if they so much as get a hang nail the race organizers send in a helicopter (and a new truck). Not so the Mongol Rally (note the number of "no, we really aren't going to rescue you" disclaimers on the website).

rally.jpg
Not pictured: quality automotive engineering

Maximum engine displacement is 1.0L. For the automotively declined, there are no vehicles currently on sale in the US with an engine that small. The only US-legal entrants I can think of would be 1st-gen Geo Metros (which sneak in at 0.998L). Even the friggin' Yugo had a 1.3L powerplant. Fortunately, in Europe microcars with sub-liter engines are quite common since most people use them as intra-urban commuters. Popular cars like the smart or Fiat Panda would comfortably fit in the glove compartment of an American car.

The only other requirement is that, and I quote the organizers directly, the car must "generally be regarded as crap." I love that. You have no idea how much I love it. Rumor has it that anything with a retail value of over 500 Euro will probably not make the cut.

So in summation, this rally consists of people driving on unpaved roads over the Caucuses and through two deserts using cars that probably couldn't handle a trip to the supermarket. In this year's rally, 160 started, 64 finished, 19 were abandoned, and 77 currently are in whereabouts unknown. Where do I sign? One man managed to finish in a $150 (off eBay!) 1990 Daihatsu Charade while setting a record by completing the rally without breaking down once. Them Japan fellas can make a car, boy howdy.

By the way – it's all for charity. Each entrant must raise 1000 GB Pounds for Mongolian charities in addition to footing all costs related to the vehicle and return travel from Mongolia (or wherever their car finally takes a dump).

If only we could hunt down Mike Konczal's 1994 Ford Tempo – a vehicle so shitty that rather than selling it, he had to pay someone to take it. Do photos exist of this trusty steed? Failing that, I have little to no doubt that I can make Khazakstan my bitch with an old Honda T. Who wants shotgun?

HMM, I WONDER WHY

Posted in Rants on August 28th, 2006 by Ed

I get a big kick out of listening to people on the Sunday talk shows debate about losing the war in Iraq. Guess what? We already lost. The fact that we're going to be there another five years doesn't change that. If you're unclear about why or how, watch this short video. Be sure to go all the way to the end or else you'll miss the quote of the year.

If I were a billionaire, I would make a 30 second TV commercial out of this clip and pay to show it 50 times a day on every network. I suppose this is what you get for sending the bottom 10% of every high school graduating class halfway around the globe to fight a pointless war among and against a culture they couldn't even begin to understand.

FUCK YOU, CLYDE TOMBAUGH

Posted in Rants on August 24th, 2006 by Ed

(What, too soon?)

Pluto is no longer a planet. Please adjust your mnemonic accordingly: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies.

Plutonians-751799.jpg
"Your dongs are tiny and useless, Earth astronomers."

How in the hell does something get de-planeted? The eccentricity of the Plutonian orbit doesn't really change the fact that it's a planet-sized rock under the primary gravitational influence of our sun. So its orbit overlaps Neptune's. Big fuckin' deal. Forgive an object that's 17 terameters from the sun for being a little wobbly.

As you can tell, I have strong feelings about this subject.

BOY PANTS DOWN

Posted in Rants on August 23rd, 2006 by Ed

Anyone who's ever seen and/or enjoyed the motion picture Black Hawk Down are probably aware that it depicts real events from the nonfiction book of the same name with a surprising (at least for Hollywood) level of accuracy.

One part of the film is fictionalized, I've learned. Apparently the nervous coffee-loving Grimes (Ewan McGregor) is comic relief, but he isn't a real person. "Grimes" is a character based heavily on real-life Spc. John Stebbins, a coffee-obsessed nebbish of a clerk. Apparently the US Army powers-that-be demanded that Stebbins' name be altered (unlike any of the other characters in the film) before agreeing to assist with the film.

For some reason, they didn't think the story of heroism, valor, and unpreparedness would resonate with audiences when they realized that one of the heroes, Mr. Stebbins, is doing 30 years for raping a 6-year old girl.

Oh, and it was his daughter. Good night.

LIKE THAT TYSON-SECRETARIAT FIGHT

Posted in Rants on August 18th, 2006 by Ed

What in God's name would posess someone to punch a horse? That's approximately equivalent to punching a minivan. Corey Logan found that out the hard way. $100 and 20 hours of community service later, he's still wondering how he avoided breaking every bone in his arm.

Why would anyone do such a thing? Alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

A TAYLOR HICKS BEATDOWN

Posted in Rants on August 17th, 2006 by Ed

So we somehow made a top 10 list of things to do in Indianapolis this weekend. Note that while we lag behind slightly more deserving acts like Kanye West and John Fogerty, we pwned the American Idols Live show.

I really wouldn't have it any other way.

ALL I WANTED WAS A PEPSI

Posted in Rants on August 14th, 2006 by Ed

NATURAL MALE ENHANCEMENT

Posted in Rants on August 10th, 2006 by Ed

Well, the amount of money allocated by Homeland Security to places like New York, Chicago, Washington DC, and Las Vegas has been dramatically slashed in favor of election year pork to marginal Congressional districts. If you missed that story, Indiana was deemed to have the highest number of terrorism targets in the nation.

I'm not fucking kidding. They have seriously identified the following as terrorist targets, among others:

  • Sweetwater Flea Market (Knoxville, TN)
  • Nix's Check Cashing (???)
  • Apple and Pork Festival (Clinton, IL)

    In case you were wondering what these high-risk targets have been doing with their massive slush-fund checks, let's use Germantown, TN (a state with a key open Senate seat) as an example.

    The affluent community has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation. It is home to endless McMansions filled with white-flight Memphis baby boomers. It is 93% white and has a $94,000 average household income – nearly three times the national average.

    For some reason (not because it's an election year and not because Bill Frist is a Tennesseean) the community got a $200,000 grant from DHS to purchase a military-spec armored vehicle called a "BearCat" to "put the community at the forefront of preparedness."

    bearcat1.jpg

    God only knows what Germantown, TN needs to be prepared for, but one thing is abundantly clear – there's a whole town full of 52 year old white guys with a giant boner right now. This is the best marital aid ever devised for rich, suburban, reactionary conservative Middle Class American Dad. I mean, just look at this ridiculous fucking thing. I'm surprised it doesn't say "TONKA" and have racing stripes on it. But it's good to know that Germantown has it (instead of nearby crime-ridden and Democrat-leaning Memphis) in case things get out of hand at the Pier 1 Imports this weekend.

    (Thanks AutoBlog)

  • NO, REALLY: FUCK JOE LIEBERMAN

    Posted in Rants on August 9th, 2006 by Ed

    We have a strong front-runner for the 2006 Ginandtacos Cocksucker of the Year. In fact, if someone else manages to out-suck Joe in the next 4 months we may need to invent a special lifetime achievement award for him.

    The best thing about this fiasco is that the White House and Republican Party are scolding the Democrats left and right. That's all you need to know to understand why Lieberman lost to a nobody. The sight of Bill O'Reilly moralizing…Shame on you, America, for voting this poor, dedicated civil servant out of office! Why on Earth would you want to get rid of this man who just happens to agree with President Bush on just about every issue?

    It's so nice to see the GOP rush to the defense of "good" Democrats, i.e. the ones that are indistinguishable from Republicans. Thanks for your concern, guys. Really. And as for Lieberman's rationale behind his defeat – "extremists" have taken over the party – well, if voters who demand that the party in opposition show at least a slight differentiation from the GOP are "extremists" then I guess he has a point. Asshole.

    Rather than accept his primary defeat as a sign of voters having exercised their will against Uncle Joe's blank-check support of the Iraq War, the cocksucker's sense of entitlement is such that he's insisting on running as an independent. Why? Because he can win the general election by getting Republicans to vote for him. How? Because he acts exactly like a Republican and allows the GOP members to use him (since Zell Miller's retirement, of course) as a form of tokenism. See? Look how tolerant we are! We like some Democrats! Like this Lieberman fellow, the one who is to the right of a lot of Republicans on most issues….we really like him!

    Congratulations, Joe. You are to the GOP what his or her one black friend is to every suburbanite in America. And if the Republican Party isn't smart enough to read these tea leaves correctly – that the next few months are going to be real, real tough on out-of-touch reactionaries who support the hell out of a war that the entire public is sick of – then they deserve to be blindsided in November.

    PS – No, really. Fuck you, Joe.

    BOYS GONE WILD

    Posted in Rants on August 8th, 2006 by Ed

    Wow. I didn't know anything about the founder of Girls Gone Wild before I read this piece in the LA Times, but…..in a way, I knew all of this without having to read it.

    Tell me which of the characteristics of a psychopathic personality disorder do not apply to this man. It's all there – pathological lying, crippling self-loathing combined with raging narcissism, seductive charm paired with violent rage, an inability to take responsibility for his actions, and the baseless perception that his own bizarre, frightening behavior is appropriate. I think Mr. Joe Francis is a dissertation waiting to happen for some budding criminal psychologists out there.