Soupy Trumpet Blasts from the Web 5-31-2008

sogoodblog.com

Taco Bell Embraces the Drive Thru Rap

WEIRD NEWS

Japan man discovers woman living in his closet

lifehacker.com

ReplacementDocs Finds Manuals and Maps for Video Games

Grown Pumpkin will like that one.

RateBeer Finds You a Good Brew

I like that. Beer. MMMM!

gizmodo.com

Alien Video Uncovered: Real or Fake?

Make sure your computer speakers are on for the video. There’s audio.

1 out of 1 Sich Freuens Prefers Bag Balm for Nipple Issues

MC Spanky McGee, aka ginger balls, has certainly hit the nail on the head regarding my dry nipples. But since I discovered Bag Balm, I’m all good to go, bro.
This skin-softening balm was formulated by a Vermont chemist over 100 years ago to treat chapped and abraded cows’ udders. Over the years, it gained favor for use on other domestic animals, including cats and dogs, for chapping, scratches, abrasions and burns. It has even been used on search-and-rescue dogs, protecting their paws from damage while working in harsh conditions.Contains petrolatum, lanolin, and a mild antiseptic. It comes highly recommended by farmers and vets, and widely appreciated by pets, horses and other livestock. Packaged in an attractive traditional-style tin.

Spanky’s metal review: Black Tide

Listen to the three goddamned songs at this website.

http://www.myspace.com/blacktide

Apparently these dude are fifteen, and they’re from Miami, and they already have a record deal from Interscope.

Whoopdiefreakindoo.

Maybe I’m old. Maybe I’m jaded. Maybe I’m jealous. But maaaaaaybe I have some metal-wisdom.

Listen up, fuckers. Black Tide is nothing new. At all. They are Metallica (the Master-of-Puppets version), Slayer, a dash of Dave Mustaine, and Skid Row all rolled up into one.

Frankly, I think that Snake (of Skid Row) should kick some of their asses for ripping off his shit.

I don’t really have much to say, other than that this band is merely a record label’s cheap gimmick. All the guitar shit, all the drum shit, and all the lyrics, such as “Warriors of time,” are all 80s throwbacks.

Hell yes, I said it. 1. Those BOYS ain’t gonna read this review 2. They ain’t gonna care, even if they did.

I could listen to some little punks recreate some shit to which I listened while growing up. I’d rather just get out my old shit, hear the real deal, and rock out to Tommy Lee dropping fat syncopated swishes on “Dr. Feelgood.”

-MC Spanky McGee………. over and out

Think you like it rough?

This dude needs some help:

Canadian pierces lover’s heart in botched sex game

OTTAWA (Reuters) – A Canadian man who asked his lover to carve a heart-shaped symbol on his chest during a rough sex game almost died when she accidentally pressed too hard and punctured his heart, a newspaper said on Thursday.

The Winnipeg Free Press said the 25-year-old woman had been sentenced to three years’ probation after she pleaded guilty to assaulting the man in February 2007.

The 24-year-old man was initially given little chance of survival but made a full recovery and is backing the woman. Both had been drinking heavily and engaging in rough sex when he asked the woman to carve the symbol, the paper said.

Ok. This dude needs a reality check. First, he’s still together with a chick who is on probation for assaulting him. Second, she pushed pretty hard during their “rough sex.” Hard enough to puncture his heart. Seriously, man: go to Match.com and find yourself a new woman. But I wouldn’t mention the fact that your last girlfriend was a total psycho (and that you, too, might be nuts).

FLDS. Christ wept.

I’m somewhat surprised at myself for having not gone on a series of rant-rampages about this nutjob sect. But here I am–it’s 3 AM, and now I’m ready to spew.

Age of pregnant FLDS ‘girls’ disputed

When Texas child welfare authorities released statistics showing nearly 60 percent of the teen girls taken from a polygamist sect’s ranch were pregnant or had children, they seemed to prove what was alleged all along: The sect commonly pushed girls into marriage and sex. “

But in the past week, the state has twice been forced to admit “girls” who gave birth while in state custody are actually adults. One was 22 and said she showed state officials a Utah birth certificate shortly after she and more than 400 minors were seized from the West Texas ranch in an April raid.

The state has in custody two dozen other young mothers and others whose ages are in dispute. If most of them also turn out to be adults, it would be a severe blow to the state’s claim of widespread sexual abuse.

So the claim is that one of these females turned out to be legit, and now the reporter (or some other asshole) is trying to claim that the Texas authorities may be on a statistical slippery slope?

It seems that the author has made a mistake here. Even if it turns out to be the case that the state was wrong about its claim about the “60 percent,” it wouldn’t follow that the abuse was not widespread. Because (1) the number the author is pushing reflects only the supposed victims and not the number of abusers (I’ll return to this in a second) and (2) “Widespread” is sufficiently vague and could tolerate a connotation of even less than half.

But point 2 is sketchy. I’ll stay with 1. If it was common knowledge in the sect that underage girls were being abused by being forced to marry, etc., then the abuse was widespread. In other words, you had accomplices and accessories in a system of wrongdoing towards these girls. (I’m not exactly making a legal case, but a moral one. The legal definition of “accessory” may differ from the one I’m pushing.) In other words, the supposed new lower-than-expected number of abused girls is irrelevant, because the community of adults shared in the responsibility in the crimes that were committed.

Man, I miss the Heaven’s Gate crew….

-MC Spanky McGee

Wife Swap, Faith, and the Need to Balance Conviction and Skepticism

In his recent and, so far, very interesting book Experiments in Ethics, Kwame Anthony Appiah writes:

Now, in real life reasonable people will not hold most of their beliefs with the level of conviction that we call certainty. Most of us, most of the time, will allow that most of what we believe about the world could turn out to be wrong. So our actual reasoning is not from certainties to certainties but from the probable to the probable. (pp.51-52)

I wonder if Appiah is not being a little too charitable here when he says that “most of us, most of the time, will allow that most of what we believe about the world could turn out to be wrong.” I have two reasons for being skeptical. The first comes from occasionally (and even that is embarrassing) watching Wife Swap. They usually manage to find some kind of podunk, redneck family, and some kind of extreme new age, lefty, artsy, hippy kind of family and then swap the wives for two weeks. The first few days the new wives live by the “rules” of the new family, but after that they get to make their own rules for the family to live by, thereby imposing their views on how to do things on the new family. From “occasionally” watching this show it seems to me that people tend to think that they and they alone know how things are, and how things should be done; and they are unwilling, for the most part, to consider that they could either be wrong or that there might be other ways to do things.

But more importantly, the second reason for questioning Appiah’s claim, has to do with the number of Christians, and I imagine at least a good number of Muslims, that accept things on “faith.” Faith in the sense of holding beliefs without reasons supporting those beliefs or in spite of contravening reasons. It seems to me that when faith is involved, and when that faith “infects” all of one’s other beliefs, then there is not a snowcone’s chance in hell that one will be properly rational. And that is very unfortunate, given the importance of rationality and because I don’t see why one cannot be religious or spiritual and still go about it rationally (however, that does not mean that I see how one could be Christian, etc., and still be rational).  And if one denies the importance of rationality, then I’d like to hear the REASONS for doing so.

At the great risk of sounding pedantic as hell, one of the most important things I have learned from studying philosophy is the importance of balancing conviction with skepticism, conviction with the acknowledgment that I may have to revise some, most, or all of my beliefs given appropriate reasons. And that balancing act is not always easy to do; and it can be even harder to get others to realize its importance.

Church of Jedi in Britain attacked by Vader. Kinda.

UPDATE:
Here’s the video. Much lamer than imagined:

[youtube width="425" height="355"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LHjL5EvfKs[/youtube]


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24604338/?GT1=43001

A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of a group calling itself the Jedi church was given a suspended sentence Tuesday.

Arwel Wynne Hughes, 27, attacked Jedi church founder Barney Jones — aka Master Jonba Hehol — with a metal crutch, hitting him on the head, prosecutors told Holyhead Magistrates’ Court. “

“Darth Vader! Jedis!” Hughes shouted as he approached.

Hughes claimed he couldn’t remember the incident, having drunk the better part of a 2 1/2-gallon box of wine beforehand. “

I am simply flabbergasted.

Man, I used to love Star Wars, but, as usual, the goddamned lunatics have taken a thing too far and have turned a good thing into a nightmare.

One more thing: fuck reality TV. The best shit in the world is in the news. Dildonics galore.

-MC Spanky McGee

The Christian Right are some crazy motherf*ers…

I cannot believe what I just read. This shit is almost too crazy to summarize, so you’ve really got to read it for yourself. Some of it is so absurd it made me laugh out loud in a room full of people who have no idea what I was reading. But some of it really made me worry about these vote-wielding crazies – especially those who promote casting out the “demons” of such things as the intellect, philosophy, and…handwriting analysis.

Jesus Made Me Puke: Matt Taibbi Undercover with the Christian Right

Some highlights:

[B]y my third day I began to notice how effortlessly my soft-spoken [Christian alter-ego] Matt-mannequin was going through his robotic motions of praise, and I was shocked. For a brief, fleeting moment I could see how under different circumstances it would be easy enough to bury your “sinful” self far under the skin of your outer Christian and to just travel through life this way. So long as you go through all the motions, no one will care who you really are underneath. And besides, so long as you are going through all the motions, never breaking the facade, who are you really? It was an incomplete thought, but it was a scary one; it was the very first time I worried that the experience of entering this world might prove to be anything more than an unusually tiring assignment. I feared for my normal. ….

By the end of the weekend I realized how quaint was the mere suggestion that Christians of this type should learn to “be rational” or “set aside your religion” about such things as the Iraq War or other policy matters. Once you’ve made a journey like this — once you’ve gone this far — you are beyond suggestible. … [O]nce you’ve gotten to this place, you’ve left behind the mental process that a person would need to form an independent opinion about such things. … Once you reach that place with them, you’re thinking with muscles, not neurons.

This isn’t Christianity. This is a form of pop-pyschological brainwashing combined with a vague grasp of mythology. And it’s fucking scary.

Gotta get me some ed-juh-muh-cay-shun!

Apologies for the long post, but this shit makes me want to vomit.

On April 23, 2008 Congress blocked consideration of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, in a 56-42 cloture vote. (You can see who voted for/against the bill here.) This act was in response to a Supreme Court decision that Lilly Ledbetter, who had worked for Goodyear Tires for nearly 20 years, was not entitled to the $223,776 in back pay and more than $3 million in punitive damages that had been awarded her by a jury of her peers. Ledbetter had received two performance-based awards, yet when she approached retirement, she was informed by an anonymous letter that she was making approx. $560 less per-month than the lowest paid man at Goodyear.

The Supreme Court determined that she was not eligible for the damages awarded because she did not file her lawsuit within 180 days of being issued the paycheck reflecting the discrimination. As Gail Collins of the New York Times points out in a great op-ed column on the subject, “In other words, pay discrimination is illegal unless it goes on for more than six months.” Bullshit.

The legislation in question would have allowed potential plaintiffs to go to court over pay discrimination, even if the requisite six months had passed.

Now the fact that this legislation failed in the Senate is bad enough. It’s rare that employees know what other employees are making, and if they find out, it’s not normally within the first 180 days of their employment. But what makes this all the worse is that presidential nominee John McCain failed to even show up to vote on this important issue.

Think that’s bad? It gets even worse. When asked about his absence, McCain defended his decision, claiming that he wouldn’t have voted for the LLFPA anyway, since it “opens us up for lawsuits, for all kinds of problems and difficulties.” DUH. If women, who currently make an average of $.77 to every $1.00 earned by male employees, were to be able to sue their employers for pay discrimination, there would likely be a lot more “problems and difficulties” for the douchebags who have failed to pay them fairly.

But it gets even worse. McCain went on to claim that women need more “education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else. And it’s hard for them to leave their families when they don’t have somebody to take care of them.”

Wait a second. In a nation where women make up at least 57% of most college campuses, and where more than half of all associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees are awarded to women, McCain thinks that we need to get more “education and training”? As far as I know, McCain received no more than a Bachelors Degree, so maybe he’s the one who needs to get a little more education on the issues. (I apologize for the obvious ad hominem, but seriously.)

Apparently John McCain thinks most employed women look something like this:

[youtube width="425" height="355"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww[/youtube]

An an educated woman, I am pissed. If you want to sign the MoveOn.org petition calling out John McCain on this issue, you can go here. They also encourage educated women to upload their anonymous CVs to show JM that we’re not as dumb as we (apparently) look.