Three more things

OK. This is it. I got three things that have been sitting around my web browser forever and a fortnight, and it is time to finally clear them out and my browser actually clear of all non science related detritus for the first time in a long time.

As for the science stuff, well, I will get to that tomorrow.

Is it too early for this to count as spring cleaning? I doubt spring starts in February in any part of the world. But what the hell, it’s cleaning, and that’s the most important part.

Call it pre-spring cleaning, then.

Here’s the stuff.

First, we have this proof that Elizabeth Warren was placed on this Earth to put things right.

And all she does is ask the dead simple questions that everyone who is not wrapped up tight in the warm cocoon of lies and illusions and false respectability of the financial industry has wanted to ask for a very long time.

Questions like… “When was the last time any of you actually prosecuted anyone?”

Imagine if instead of financial regulators, she was talking to the head of the DEA, and he had to confess that he had never prosecuted any drug dealers, just negotiated fines that the drug dealers simply paid out of their massive illegal drug profits.

That would be a huge scandal and Republicans would be out for blood and screaming about how the Obama administration is “soft on crime”.

But switch over to the financial sector and suddenly the same thing is okay.

I think this reveals a massive weakness in the Republican position. Deep down, they just do not think white collar crime is as important as drug crime or any other kind of crime, and the reason is as obvious as a rose on grass.

All the other kinds of crime are poor people crime. White collar crime is rich Republican crime, or at the very least, it’s the kind of crimes a lot of their base hopes to be rich enough to commit some day.

And when it comes to policing their own house, they simply do not have the guts to do it. They are all for law and order when it’s all about the fun of punishing people nothing like themselves.

But when it comes to something that might have an impact on them, suddenly they turn into a bunch of limp wristed anarchists full of peace love and granola, saying “oh, don’t let the mean old government step on me, I should be allowed to be free as the wind!”

Yeah, well, fuck you and your buddy too. The law is the law. Comply or suffer. No exceptions.

Moving on to lighter fare, let’s talk about the latest hilarious bad thing to happen to celebrity chef and the man who is to food what Larry the Cable Guy is to comedy, Guy Fieri.

Apparently, the dude is a big deal over at the Food Network, presumably for making three more straight guys watch the network and hence double their coverage of that demographic, but I first heard about this living douchebeard when I heard about the epic bad review the NYT gave to one of his restaurants.

In a true measure of verbal virtuosity, the entire review is in the form of questions. so it’s almost like a Socratic deconstruction of the whole Guy Fieri meme.

And that is fun enough. I have nothing against the guy, but he has to expect that when he more or less declares war on good taste and traditional food criticism, it is going to fight back and it is not going to be a pussy about it, either.

But where the ridiculous became the sublime was when one smart cookie noticed that the domain for Guy’s chain had expired, snapped it up, and put up this masterpiece of surreal wordfuckery in its place.

Go read it all. Read it many times. Each time, you will discover wonders anew. Things like :

Deep fried snake with a printed out picture of David Lee Roth stapled on it and a sparkler stuck into each eye. Served with a side of Bud Light you have to write out of a Hawaiian shirt.

Or this one :

The Blitzmas Beast
Two jumbo Big Gulp Slurpee cups filled with nacho cheese and tied to each other with 25 bacon strips fashioned into a giant bow. Shellacked with Slim Jim style jus, and topped with a dollop of smoked kitchen leavings.

Hilarious. But I think my favorite is this one :

Popcorn crusted popcorn chicken stuffed inside Guy’s Nuthin’ Fancy Meatloaf and superbanged into a volcano of Tabasco butter. We pour it into a Lucite heel, smother it with our own Jalapeno sugarbrew, and set it on your lap on a neon sign. Served drunk and on fire.
Add a Cinnabon and two more Cinnabons 4.95

Served drunk and on fire. LOL.

Finally, I would like to introduce you to an intriguing fellow, a fellow with the unlikely name of Melton (no, not Milton, Melton) Barker.

From around 1930 to around 1970, Barker made his living in an unusual way. He traveled from town to town, making the exact same movie over and over again, with the exact same script, and charging the parents of their town a fee for having their children star in it.

He would roll into town, make a deal with the local cinema to show the as yet unmade film, then make the movie with whatever kids showed up with the money.

I object to the way the article I linked to above insinuates that he was some kind of con man. He was not. Everybody got exactly what they paid for.

And the town always got to keep the movie, too. Sure, it wasn’t much of a flick, just a corny thing where the kids foil a kidnapper then do a few song and dance numbers.

But just think of what joy that movie could bring to people over the years. It would be like a home movie for the whole town. Think of what a kick the young stars would get out of it when they watched it as adults, and remembered back when.

Imagine what a treasure it would be to have locations in the town preserved on film, so people who miss that old malt shop or the hardware store where their Dad worked can see it right there on the screen.

So no, the man was no huckster. He might have prayed on people’s pride in their child and their town a little, but that’s not fraud, that’s marketing.

And just think of how interesting it is that, somewhere out there, there could be hundreds of versions of the exact same movie.

So far, only 20 of them have been found, but that is still pretty interesting. I would love to see if you could seamlessly splice one into the other, or run them side by side and have them sync up.

All in all, I find the whole thing fascinating, and I applaud Mister Barker’s ingenuity and industry.

If you want to sample his oeuvre, there is a website with all existing prints on it here.

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