Friday, February 27, 2004

End of Ender's Game

While browsing the "books on CD" at my local library, I recently came across a book called Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I looked it up on Amazon to see what it was about and read some really positive reviews; apparently, it is considered a sci-fi "classic." Although I'm not too big of a sci-fi fan, I thought I'd give it a listen to expand my horizons. Although I enjoyed the book, I found out some information today about its author that disgusts me.

In 1990, he wrote a article called "The Hypocrites of Homosexuality" (read it here). The purpose seems to be a statement to the Church of Ladder Day Saints that it should make a stand against homosexuality and punish those who practice it. He doesn't just stop with the church, however; he also states,

"Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society"

He also says the following about homosexuals:

"...for most of them their highest allegiance was to their membership in the community that gave them access to sex"

This seems to be what homosexuality is about for him -- only sex; he doesn't mention the possibility of actually loving a person who happens to be the same gender.

A couple of weeks ago, he reiterated his position in the Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC. (read it here). In short, it's laughable...and he's so damn wordy! To be honest, I couldn't even make it through the whole thing.

I have decided to "vote with my wallet" and will not read any more books by Orson Scott Card. Although I can't choose to fund anti-homosexual behavior in the case of our idiotic President, I can choose not to send money to particular authors. He has a right to say what he believes and I'm glad that he does -- now I can use it against him.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Clear Channel Clearly Idiotic

So Clear Channel (owner of 1200 radio stations and concert promotions) is "dumping nationally syndicated shock jock Howard Stern from its stations under a new "zero tolerance" policy toward indecency. " They claim a recent Stern show was "vulgar, offensive and insulting, not just to women and African Americans but to anyone with a sense of common decency." How his show changed suddenly to warrant this, I don't know. I'm pretty sure every day someone would find him vulgar and offensive, he would talk about penises and anal sex, and say something degrading about women. I kinda thought that was the schtick.

Ironically, one of Clear Channel's original CEO's was Randy Michaels, who in one article is noted as "a true radio original, Michaels had achieved legendary status inside the business as a shock jock (before there was a Howard Stern), and an effective but often tasteless programmer."

However, animal cruelty is A-OK. In a brief from a petition to boycott Clear Channel, I discovered the following: "A Denver disc jockey (KPBI-FM) was recently convicted of animal cruelty for orchestrating a stunt in which a chicken was dropped from a third-story balcony to see if it could fly. In Wheeling (VA) a steer's execution was recorded and aired for 129 stations during a live broadcast. Another similar event involving a Clear Channel DJ (KEGL-FM) in Dallas involved feeding a rabbit to a snake- on the air. (This station was forced to record a public apology on the air and publicize animal welfare information on their web site.) In addition, Clear Channel's Tampa station dj was just charged with felonious animal cruelty for castrating and then butchering an unanesthetized pig in the parking lot of the station. Many consider this a ratings stunt. The animal was screaming in pain."

Texas based Clear Channel also donates a fair bit of money to everyone's favorite president, G.W.B. "It's no coincidence that Clear Channel executives Tom Hicks and L. Lowry Mays have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Bush's gubernatorial and presidential campaign coffers. Or that Clear Channel gave $119,370 in "soft money" to Republicans in 2001-2002, this on top of the $82,850 it gave in 2000. (Democrats, meanwhile, got $25,000 in soft money in that same three-year period.) Or that Clear Channel stations have been known to pull radio ads criticizing Republicans."

I've been lax about my personal boycott of our local CC station - 105.9 The River. They actually play some decent tunes. I think now I can live without it.

Other CC offenses: Refusing to honor employee contracts when they take over a new station; using its concert promotion division and radio stations to gang up on local competitors; offering its stations a list of songs with "questionable content" after 9-11, which they were expected not to play even though it was a "voluntary" ban (this includes stating that no Rage Against the Machine songs should make it on the air at all); taking the Dixie Chicks off their playlist after their comments about Bush; and the fact that many recording artists claim that Clear Channel reduces their airplay if they refuse to hire CC as their tour promoter.

Fuck 'em!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


That is Friends of Viggo to you newbies.... Well, I actually just made it up. And I'm not "into" Viggo, like all in love with Aragorn or whatever. But for those of you who don't know, the star of LOTR is an artist and painter and photographer as well.... he has a new book of photography you can check out at the site of the publishing company he owns - Perceval Press. Yes, I found it because it is about horses.

Anyway, I went to the "We Recommend" section at Perceval Press, and there are a ton of very interesting books that they recommend, a few of which I've never heard of but should probably read (because I just love to read things that make me mad). Viggo is quite a lefty it seems. There are also a slew of links, ranging from punk band the Vandals, to The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, to the Montreal Canadiens (go Habs!). Here is a pic of Viggo with a homemade anti-war shirt he wore to a book signing.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Chewy Goodness

Have you ever accidentally touched the bottom of a table in a public place and felt the stucco of gum? Did this inspire you? Yeah, me neither. However, this guy must have been -- he makes art out of chewed gum! According to his bio, it is all unadulterated chewed gum He does point out, however, that he does not chew it himself. Be sure to check out Gum Blonde V, Buffy fans!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Precious Scientific Funny

Here is a sample abstract from the 8th International Global Atmoshperic Chemistry Conference. I'm a science nerd and Rings fan, so I found it amusing...


"A minor complication was the near drowning of the first author in a particularly noxious pool, but disaster was averted by the timely intervention of the third author."

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Ahoy! Wipe Your Bum with the Skull and Bones!

Finally, you can incorporate your Pirate lifestyle with your home decor. It's the Pirate Bath Collection! Wear your pirate shower cap, while you bathe behind your pirate shower curtain. Don't forget to use the pirate washcloth for those delicate areas...

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Vanity Cards

So I just watched another funny episode of Two and a Half Men, with Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and the hilarious Holland Taylor as their mom. Anyway, at the end of the final credits there is always a screen that says "Chuck Lorre Productions", and has a ton of tiny text. Thanks to Tivo, I can pause it and read them. Thanks to Chuck Lorre's website, you can read them too. They are called Vanity Cards, and apparently he started this while making Dharma and Greg.

Here is a bit of Vanity Card #109. It is about Two and a Half Men, and is the first one I ever paused and read: "A car horn or other random noise will never be used to cleverly disguise naughty words. We will never have a character enter a scene if it reminds us of Lenny and Squiggy. Pop culture reference jokes are cheap, easy and date the show. We will not do them. There will be no pedantic, socially conscious stories. No matter how poignant the moment, we will never broadcast our studio audience going, "ahhh". Similarly, no matter how titillating the moment, we will never broadcast our studio audience going "wooo!". If we see 'it' coming we assume you see 'it' coming and we will therefore do our utmost to avoid 'it'. No fat jokes (unless they're really, really funny). The same goes for penis jokes. And finally, unless Chuck gets hit by a bus and Lee takes over, there will be no wacky scenes with little people or night-vision goggles."

If you don't give a shit about any of this, at least check out the show for the great theme song: "Men men men men manly men men men.... MEN".

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