Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Real Sociopathic Boys


One of my new and favorite blogs is Sippican Cottage from the once great state of Massachusetts (wherein I lived for four years long, long ago.) The brain in the Sippican Cottage jar seldom fails to disappoint, but this morning -- what with all the meditations on returning to school seen here -- I cannot help but recommend to your attention his recent The Borderline Sociopathic Book For Boys. Samples:

(Since the Dangerous Book for Boys has upped the ante by claiming that learning to play chess makes you a ninja, we'll have to stoke the furnace of hyperbole further to get noticed at this point.)

1. Ride a bicycle without a helmet. You heard me. And no spandex spangled with lavender and chrome yellow blotches and French words. You'll wear canvas shoes, too. You will not have anything with you that people with helmets refer to as "hydration." Eventually, you can get a blast of rubber-tasting hot water from a garden hose.

2. Tell your 5th grade teacher, when she starts in with the Vegan lecture again during a spelling lesson, that you're going to kill and eat your supper as soon as you can get your hands on some weapons. Then inform her that if she gives you anything less than a 'B" on any report card because you told her that, your father will have a phalanx of lawyers turn her life into a deposition purgatory. Then don't pass in any homework for the remainder of the term. Let's see who has the stones.

3. We're playing FOOTBALL, without any equipment but the ball. There are no rules, so this chapter is short. Soccer is Irish stepdancing with a ball introduced. We don't want any of that.

4. We're going out with dad on Earth Day, and we're cutting down a tree with a chainsaw.

Not only is there more, much more at the link, but it has given rise to its own blog: The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys

Clearly an online educational resource we can all support.

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 31, 2007 9:10 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Decider of the Seattle P-I

deciderdave.jpgDavid McCumber, the current "Managing editor" at the risibly named Seattle Post-Intellligencer feels he got some splainin' to do. Having failed to learn the virtue of silence he blogs a memorable confession in "A ferry captain, the FBI and Benjamin Franklin." in which he states:

"I understand that people have a hard time with the concept that we get to decide what is news and what isn't, and what is fair and what isn't."
McCumber is from the Hunter-Thompson-Envy school of journalism and, of course, this is a brain-echo of the Scoop Nisker dictum: "If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own." Alas, McCumber is mired in the Thompson/Nisker/Pacifica/NPR Memorial Tarpits and fails to understand that making news about not liking the news is exactly what is going to happen to him and his ilk in this era. They never thought that not liking the news would come to include newspapers themselves. They thought, for decades, that they were immune. Alas, as we learn in the Holy Book of Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, "Nobody is immune from a bust."


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 23, 2007 2:25 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Joyful Moments and Sweet Sounds of Hempfest

The following video has been hidden after complaints that the soundtrack has caused the human brain to bleed. Take care....


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 21, 2007 8:36 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just Brilliant. Period.

The terse and graceful Sippican Cottage on newspapers "I'm Not Interested. Period."

The New York Times et al., like to tell people that the internet is killing their business. Please. I can't be the only one that noticed that the front page is the editorial section now, and the editorial page has the quality and usefulness of unhinged rants. I'm not really in the market for either. And I'm too young to read the obituaries.

You will read the whole thing.

What are you still here?

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 20, 2007 11:45 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Stoned to Death in Seattle: Hempfest 2007 Comes to Town

They came from the hills and mountains,
The valleys and the plains.
Some were kind and gentle,
And some too wild to tame.
A string of fearless hearts, on an endless ball of twine.
It's the same old train, it's just a different time.

-- Clint Black | Same Old Train

It's the "sweet sixteen" Hempfest down by the sound in ye olde Seattle. Yes, sixteen years of celebrating reduced cerebration busts loose in Myrtle Edwards Park; a slim strip of grass, driftwood, and a breakwater bracketed by genetic research institutes and the world's worst modern sculpture park.

It's a strange celebration and not only because the thousands attending are strange by birth, design and recent inhalation, but because the drug it celebrates is officially not in attendance. It's like an Oktoberfest without the beer.


Actually, dogs do get in even if they don't exactly run free. Everything else seem to be expressly prohibited. And to judge by the furtive deals going on down by the breakwater, the "Drug Free" zone is an illusion. The drugs here are anything but free. Ditto the burritos, bongs, and hemp brownies. Other than that, the crowd -- running to type and overwhelming predictability -- underscores the last line. No matter what else may be going on, This is not a free zone. It's a zone bounded by ritual and tedium.

I no longer remember, if I ever did, exactly what we had in mind at the San Francisco Acid Tests or the Human Be-In, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't anything as obvious as all this. We were, I believe, trying to "change the world," not sell it a hemp t-shirt.


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 19, 2007 2:48 PM | Comments (53)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hillary's Feeling "Good About Where I Am." In Pahrump, Nevada.

"Been there. Done that. Have the autographed panties."

Hillary needs better staff advance work. Monday she said, in a parting shot at Karl Rove when asked about his observation that she is a "flawed candidate,"

Mrs. Clinton:" Well, aren't we glad to see him go, I think is the answer to that. You know, I am thrilled to be running this campaign, and to be getting the response that I'm getting all over the country. I was in Pahrump, Nevada, just today, earlier. 2,500 people. I feel very good about where I am." -- OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today
One thing you don't want to say when you are a candidate for President is that you "feel very good" about being in Pahrump, Nevada. Pahrump, Nevada, is -- for those who know -- the whorehouse capitol of Nevada, and hence, as far as legal brothels go, the whorehouse capitol of the United States. Now that might be the normal metaphysical environment for politicians of all parties, but it just isn't done to glory in it.


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 16, 2007 10:26 AM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How the Final Fools Were Sucked Into The Bubble

A Century-21 Come-On ad from about a year ago, just before the first hiss of air escaping from the housing bubble began to be audible. I wonder where this couple is today. The hectoring agressive wife is no doubt kicking herself that a divorce just won't bring her the money she needs...


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 15, 2007 11:22 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Cindy Beauchamp Foer's Folly -- or -- "Oh Yeah? You and What Army?"

foer.184.jpg (Left) One Too Many Lattes and a Thousand Miles Behind: "Franklin Foer, 31, is eager to "produce journalism that people read." (2006) New York Times

The very young editors ** of The New Republic want to spin but they only twist slowly in the wind. ("I think I'm going to be circumspect..." -- NR editor Michael Crowley)

Well, I've got no dog in the New Republic/Weekly Standard fight like Eli Lake or Michael Crowley, so I've no use for circumspection about this endlessly unreeling game of gotcha.

Except to say it was game over and winner The Weekly Standard from the very moment Michael Goldfarb read Scott Beauchamp's obvious fictions and felt the needle on his bullshit meter wrap several times around the pin.

The untold fact of the matter is that, when you're editing a magazine, no matter how "fair and balanced" an editor may wish to be in his or her heart, the stories with the grit and the blood and the atrocity always put out a clarion call that proves hard to resist. Printing "ripping yarns" is why you're in the business in the first place, and there just aren't a lot of those going in Foggy Bottom.

Young magazine editors -- especially those of the ostensibly male persuasion -- always have a soft-spot in their heads for the "man of action war story." This is mainly because, to tell the truth, young male magazine editors today are simply not very manly. In general, they rise out of a culture and an educational background where manliness is discouraged and put down, even as the expectation of it, within and without, remains attached like some phantom limb to the neutered body.


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 10, 2007 5:15 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Trinity: Sorta Female, Sorta Black, Sorta Gay


Let's just get it over with, okay? I'm sick of it. You're sick of it. The whole damn country is sick of it. The "coming" election, that is.

The only problem is that the election is more than a year off and everybody, including the candidates, is so sick of it I expect projectile vomiting contests to replace the "debates" in order to garner an audience somewhere north of negative numbers.

So let's just cut the crap and, with a minor adjustment in one candidate's candor and another small alteration in the US Constitution, get those worthy democrats into office and on with the business of running the country, the world, and your life.

By turns:


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 10, 2007 2:38 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Anthem for the Global Warming Blowhards

"Years of bad data corrected; 1998 no longer the warmest year on record" -- DailyTech - Blogger Finds Y2K Bug in NASA Climate Data

Yeah, come on all of you green-hue-mens,
Mother Earth needs your help again.
She's feeling the heat, she's got the fear,
Way up yonder in the thermosphere!
So hold down your carbon and pick up your blather,
We're workin' Earth into a lather!

And it's one, two, three
Whose ox are we goring for?
Don't ask me, I'm getting hot.
Don't sign Kyoto, you should be shot!

And it's five, six, seven,
Open up those new tax gates!
Ain't no time to wonder who
Cranks out the most C-O-2!

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 10, 2007 9:55 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It's a Big Machine

Wired editor-at-large Kevin Kelly, a sane and insightful man, looks at technology through the eyes of technology.

Well worth the 20 minutes it takes to listen to.

Key points:


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 7, 2007 10:43 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Simmer Skool: The Ultimate "Word-A-Day" 'Application'

"My name is Marina and I am a philologist. I love to discuss the origins of words." You too can attend -- HotForWords' online school! This is strongly advised even if English is not your second language.

(For the answer to Guess the Word -- plus "staring contest" -- CLICK HERE.)

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 6, 2007 4:57 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Time to play....

... wherein we discover that, yes, the world gets dumber one day at a time.


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 4, 2007 12:21 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This American Wife: Elizabeth Dewberry and Her Reborn Molester Ted Turner as Told by the Cuckolded Husband, Robert Olen Butler

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 1, 2007 11:56 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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