After four years and 8o0 some posts, I think it’s safe to say that this blog is dead.  It’s been swell, folks.  :)

– Lucy, Matt, Mike Jones and Maggie

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FOR F!@#’S  F!@#$%^ SAKE!




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It’s harder than you think

To get a dog to wear a wig.




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I couldn’t help myself

Philosophy is giving away free samples of its new perfume, Unconditional Love, if you log in to their website and submit a love story.  Since I am a sucker for freebies, I logged on this morning to sign up.  But what to write?  I didn’t want to submit a real love story.  So…. I made one up.

My story title:  “I’m very bendy.”

“I was a classically trained ballet dancer.  He was a hip hopper b-boy from the streets of Baltimore.  We met at the grocery store, where he was a bagger and I bought my special lemon diet tea and a fresh cucumber once a week.  Even though he was rough around the edges – totally not my type – I felt a strange attraction to him anyway.  I could see in his eyes that he wanted me too — cruelly, crudely, blatantly, without shame.

I was at the store one night when it was closing.  He was there.  I could feel his penetrating stare from across the store, as I glissaded my way past the cat food aisle.  Possessed by a sudden urge I couldn’t explain, I suddenly turned around and faced him.  Desire blazed in his eyes.  Meeting his gaze, I reached down to my foot, pulled my leg up, extended it up- up – up – beyond my ears, and held it there for several long seconds as he stared at me.  Then, in a flash, he was at my side.

I took him in the stock room, behind a shipment of Yoplait yogurt.

To this day, I think about him every time I buy my lemon diet tea, and purge after class.  He still makes me smile.”

— sparkles!


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King Henry VIII . . .

. . . is happy to see you!



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We get it; your verdict has been reached

Another guest post, and one with which my wife probably doesn’t agree.


It’s a story about Israel killing the mastermind of Hamas’ rocket attacks.

That’s why they have a picture of a dead child directly under the headline.

The tooltip showing is what appears when you mouse over the image.

So, just to be totally clear, the story is about Israel Murders Children. Probably eat ’em, too, right?  Sounds familiar.


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. . . yet another guest post by this lady’s husband.

For reasons far too boring to explain, I’ve recently taken an interest in serialized horror stories (“Penny Dreadfuls”) from the 1800s.

I’ve been checking out Google Books as a source for this, as their bread and butter is public domain literature.  Copyright laws being what they are, all the subject matter I’m interested in should at this point be public domain.

But this isn’t a post about serialized horrors from the 1800s.  This is a post about Beavis and Butthead, about Dungeons and Dragons, and about violence on television, in music, and in movies.

From “Adventures in Criticism,” by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1896, p 278), itself a compilation of essays and articles:

Our friends have been occupied with the case of a half-witted boy who consumed Penny Dreadfuls and afterwards went and killed his mother.  They infer that he killed his mother because he had read Penny Dreadfuls (post hoc ergo propter hoc) and they conclude very naturally that Penny Dreadfuls should be suppressed. But before roundly pronouncing the doom of this — to me unattractive — branch of fiction would it not be well to inquire a trifle more deeply into cause and effect?  In the first place, matricide is so utterly unnatural a crime that there must be something abominably peculiar in a form of literature that persuades to it.  But a year or two back, on the occasion of a former crusade, I took the pains to study a considerable number of Penny Dreadfuls.  My reading embraced all those — I believe I am right in saying all — which were reviewed a few days back in the Daily Chronicle; and some others. I give you my word I could find nothing peculiar about them.  They were even rather ostentatiously on the side of virtue.  As for the bloodshed in them it would not compare with that in many of the five-shilling adventure stories at that time read so eagerly by boys of the middle and upper classes.  The style was ridiculous, of course: but a bad style excites nobody but a reviewer, and does not even excite him to deeds of the kind we are now trying to account for.

Upon reading this I immediately thought back to the little boy who burned down the family trailer and killed his sister, and blamed it on Beavis and Butthead, or the little lunatic who constructed dungeon complete with lethal traps in the steam tunnels of a university.  How funny that, even after 100 years, people are still blaming insanity on whatever is new and titillating.

But as funny as it is to see people long since dead decrying the stupidity of blaming morally inexecusable actions on entertainment fiction, there was a hullaballo 15 years ago (doesn’t seem that long today, does it?) over an otherwise entirely forgettable movie called The ProgramThis article from the NYT will surely refresh your memory if you don’t yet know what I’m talking about.  It came up at dinner the other night, and I had forgotten about it completely.

Apparently there was a scene in the film where some characters attempted to prove their bravery by sitting or lying on the double-striped lines of a busy highway.  This then inspired a series of other beef-headed jackasses to do the same, with disastrous results.

As much as I scoff at the idea of a couple of 20-sided dice making someone construct a pendulum from Poe’s pit, or a cartoon character stating “fire” causing a  five-year-old to light the drapes, The Program clearly indicates that morons are indisputably inspired to act by media.

It doesn’t appear that this clear connection implies that any particular form or genre of media should be banned.  After all, probably 6,000 different people saw The Program while it was in theaters, and after that, probably another 4,000 have seen it on BetaMax or VHS or whatever they were using in 1994.  And if, of those 10,000 people that watched these scenes of bravado (in what was surely a great steaming turd of a film), only 5 were moved to prove Darwin’s Laws, then obviously there is no statistical purpose to banning similar scenes from future movies.

Indeed, because each of those teenagers dead in 1993 did not raise children, when the mind-warpingly stupid movie Wanted (with Angelina Jolie) came out, we did not see people at firing ranges trying to “bend” the trajectory of bullets and end up accidentally putting speed-holes in the crania of the firearms enthusiasts in the lane next to them.

So I believe that this acts as DEFINITIVE proof that “abominably peculiar” acts in media should be encouraged rather than discouraged to ensure the continual improvement of mankind.



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