I cannot lie to myself or any of you. I don't give a shit that Michael Bay is directing it. I don't care that the kid in the trailer is wearing a Strokes t-shirt. And I don't care that I'm 28.

Now that they've released a decent trailer, I'm really fuckin' excited to see this.


Today's No-Politics Friday ™ topic requires YOU – Time Magazine Person of the Year that you are – to cast votes and settle an important debate.

A hundred years from now when historians cast their backward glances at the time period in which we live, I fear that they will be unable to determine the worst, most embarassing Rap Performance By a White Girl. Hopefully they can find this post and use your votes to guide them.

The Contenders

1. Blondie, "Rapture" – This literally makes blood come out of my ears. It sounds like the mom from Malcom in the Middle being forced to rap at gunpoint. Since Edison's wax cylinders made audio recording practical more than a century ago, I am not sure that anything more awkward has ever been committed to tape.

2. Madonna, "American Life" – The first time someone emailed me the lyrics to the "rap" segment of this "song" I was convinced it was either a joke, incorrect, or a Weird Al Yankovic song. It absolutely blows my mind that they not only recorded this but subsequently listened to it and said "Yup, sounds good!" rather than burning the tape. And then they went a step further and said "Sounds like a single to me!" What. The. Fuck. We always knew Esther the Kabbalist was a talentless whore, but come on.

I'm digging on the isotopes

This metaphysics shit is dope

And if all this can give me hope

Hold on, I have to go kill myself.

3. Gwen Stefani, "Orange County Girl" – Unbelievably, this is probably the least painful of these three songs. Think about that for a minute. Objectively, her "flow" is about as smooth as an El Camino with square wheels barreling through a minefield. But next to Blondie she sounds like Dr. fuckin' Dre. And her ridiculous lyrics read like the greatest poem ever written when compared to "American Life." Regardless, when this Robber Baroness of Black Culture finally dies the coroner will list the cause of death as "God fixing a mistake."

So who wins? I realize that no one "wins" in situations like this, but….you know what I mean. (Feel free to make additional nominations if you can actually think of anything worse that these specimens)


First Pinochet dropped dead. Now Turkmenbashi has been promoted to Father of All Dead Turkmen. If deaths come threes among similar people, I'd be shitting my pants right now if I were Teodoro Obiang.

When I got to grad school three years ago and met my first Turkman (actually Turkwoman) I was introduced to the wonderful world of Saparmurat Niyazov (a.k.a. "Turkmenbashi" or "Father of all Turkmen"). I have always had a soft spot in my heart for dictators. Not the cruel, authoritarian military ones – the batshit insane cult-of-personality ones. And with Kim Jong Il quickly becoming less interesting as contact between him and the west increases, Turkmenbashi may have been the last picking-peanuts-out-of-crap crazy dictator left. He was a living answer to the question, "What would happen if we let Ol' Dirty Bastard run a country?"


Aside from the usual kleptocrat dictator fare (erecting golden statues of himself, plastering his face on every flat surface in the country, etc) he has had a productive career of codifying his bizarre eccentricities. To wit:

  • All hospitals outside of Turkmenistan's capital were closed last year.
  • He required all public servants to write articles lauding him
  • He has all the nation's doctors swear an oath to him rather than the Hippocratic Oath
  • All libraries outside the capital were closed because "average Turkmen don't like to read"
  • All schools based their teachings on his Ruhnama (a North Korea-style mixture of made-up biography, fantasy history, and awful poetry from the dictator himself)
  • He ordered the word for "bread" to be changed to the name of his late mother to honor her memory

    Yes, it's true that there are plenty of dictators left in this world. Just ask my friends over at Dictator of the Month. But there are very few isolated, deranged, "watch an entire nation dance to a lunatic's whims" types left. Goodbye, Turkmenbashi. You are part of a dying breed.

    Of assholes.


    I have wasted the overwhelming majority of my life, but I'm fairly certain that no portion of it was more thoroughly wasted than the 30 minutes I just spent watching Our President's press conference on The New Way Forward (tm) in Iraq.

    Never have I seen someone look more desperate and clueless, nor have I heard anyone say less with so many words. That felt like an episode of Max Headroom – random phrases combined with epileptic, disconnected delivery.

    "New Way Forward" and "we won't retreat" and "bipartisanship" and "extremism will not win" and "sectarian violence" and "surge" and every other random catchphrase you could imagine jammed into every answer, irrespective of the question. He even repeated that ol' chestnut about how we all need to shop more to help the economy. What in god's name that had to do with anything, I cannot say.

    A quick summation and translation: "I have absolutely no fuckin' idea what to do. If I dove headlong into this situation without a plan, why would you think I'm capable of devising one now? So we're just gonna stay the course, lose, and then blame it on the Democrats. Like Vietnam! We only lost that war because the liberals made us quit! I tell ya….10, 15 more years and we woulda won that sumabitch!"

    Carry on with your day. I will stay awake an extra 30 minutes tonight to compensate for the void in the space-time contiuum that I just exited.


    It may not be progress, but at least it's progressive. A progressive increase, that is.


    I'm so fuckin' tired of all these people who are embarassed because of how loudly they proclaimed this war was a good idea in 2002 (i.e. It will only take 6 weeks, they will hail us as liberators, etc). Now they're SO desperate for some rational cover that they keep seizing upon these "turning points" that supposedly beckon the end of the insurgency.

    Remember when Hussein was captured? That was going to cause all his former supporters to realize the futility of further resistance and lay down their arms. Remember when Iraq held elections? That was the nail of democracy into the insurgents' heart. Remember when Zarqawi was killed? That was the great tactical blow that severed the insurgency's alleged command-and-control.

    There is no "turning point" and there is no end. It gets worse and worse every goddamn day. I have very little aside from pure spite for all these people (in the media, in the neocon right, and in the voting public) who in the past two years suddenly decided that they dislike George Bush and that Iraq is a disaster.

    You voted for the guy (probably twice) and you jumped on the We <3 War bandwagon without the slightest bit of thought in 2002. You were wrong and now a lot of people are dead. It's entirely your fault. I know you won't learn from this, and I know that next time we come to a similar situation you'll flap your gums and bang the drum just as loudly irrespective of the fact that you were wrong about absolutely everything in Iraq. But in the meantime, the least you could do is show a tiny shred of humility and spare us from being expected to entertain your guilt-driven fantasy rationalizations about how the insurgency is just about to collapse.

    In closing, fuck you.



    I think the best indicator that a fledgling nation is successfully marching toward stable democracy is when the Red Cross throws in the towel.

    True, the ICRC may have operated in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and every other hellish collapsing nation of the past 100 years. But packing up and leaving Baghdad is nothing less than an endorsement – clearly the reason they are evacuating is that there is no more work for them to do. The Iraqi government has "stood up," so now international aid agencies can "stand down."

    The President was right.

    Mea culpa

    To prove how wrong I have been about Genesis' greatness, I humbly submit the video for "Illegal Alien":

    Yes, it's exactly what you think it is: Phil Collins in a Dirty Sanchez mustache singing in faux-broken English about trying to sneak across the US-Mexican border. Neither your eyes nor your ears deceive you.

    Listen to those ultra-realistic coffee-can drum samples!


    Posting about Genesis had two unexpected side-effects: arousing controversy and bringing Erik Martin out of a year-long posting hibernation. I am therefore not sorry for having posted about Genesis nor for pointing out how much they blow.

    But I have an aversion to dissention. I wish to bring different peoples together in harmony. That is why I am now posting a video of Heino, the German version of….well, I'm not sure there is anything comparable in any other culture.

    It is like a David Hasselhoff song, only much worse. Unless it is an elaborate joke that I just don't get.


    I honestly don't know anymore what I enjoy ironically or not. I can say that I have spent untold number of dollars playing this song on internet Jukeboxes while enebriated. It tends to put a smile on my face.

    Also, at one point in time I purchased a copy of "Foxtrot" because I was informed that Genesis with Peter Gabriel was "good." That was not true.