August 30, 2004

Hotscot's Original Miscellany

It might seem like, following Mariana's lavish praise last week, I've been resting on my laurels. Actually, I've just been very busy entertaining Alison and her sister, who have been visiting.

Today, I saw an interview on the Beeb with a Republican senator. The interviewer asked him what he thought of protestors who were accusing the Republicans of exploiting the emotional legacy of September the 11th, by holding their convention in New York. He replied:

"Well, I think protestors will do anything to get on TV, get their issue out . . ."

Umm... That's, you know, kind of the point.

I also saw a repeat of Blossom (I know!) on Nickelodeon today. Was there really a character in that show whose name was 'Six'? What the hell?

I finally went and walked past the new Scottish parliament the other day. It really is the most fantastically ugly eyesore I have ever seen. Maybe if we get Prince Charles up here, pronto, he'll go into apoplexy and die-- and then Prince William can be our gorgeous boy king and everyone in the world can have an orgasm.

Question: what would be the sound of six billion people having an orgasm?

On second thought, I think it would be cooler to time everybody's orgasm so it was more like a Mexican wave.

That seems like a good place to stop.

August 23, 2004

187 Bloggers Walk Into a Navbar...

As much as I've ranted about the new navbar, I have to admit that I've been quite enjoying using the "next blog" button to browse while I'm bored. The great part is, none of the URLs are saved in your history or in your 'Back' menu, so there's no need to ever have any contact with any of the screwed up people you find, ever again. It's kind of like one-night stands, but without risk of herpes. Some quotes that I've particularly appreciated today:

"Are bears Catholic?"

"Do you realize that we are gay bloggers in West Hollywood headed to a bar to meet other gay bloggers? We are on the cutting edge right now, really."

"If you are female and have a one-time sexual experience with another woman, you are probably exploring your physicality, expanding your morality, gaining an understanding of what you will (and will not) desire within the context of a mature, ideologically consensual relationship. If you are male and have a one-time sexual experience with another man, you are probably gay."

"I was becoming a full-fledged sex addict. No, I already WAS an addict for a very long time, perhaps since the incident with the pictures and Mom." (not nearly as bad it sounds, taken in context-- but what a sentence!)

I fully encourage all of you to click the 'next blog' button now and find a couple of your own.

Photojournalism At Its Finest

Do you know, I realized this morning that it's been absolutely ages since I did any of my *chuckle* hilarious Speech Bubble Photoshops™. So here are a bunch to make up for it...

[Snip! Images were eaten by the FTP server and not backed up, so are lost forever in the annals of vaguely remembered hilarity.]

By the way, while I was trawling the Bush-Cheney website for a banner to hijack, I discovered one that read "W Stands For Women" (more like, "W stands for White Women"). Anyone who cares to suggest other ironic things that W might stand for are more than welcome to leave their comments.

August 22, 2004

Big Fat Man Has Big Fat Following

Update: It seems I was not the only person to appreciate the deep ridiculousness of Patrick Deuel being weighed on a livestock scale with the help of The League of Human Dignity. This page on 'Chattablogs' has compiled a list of other blogs that mentioned Deuel's story, recently. They all made the same joke. Mine was still funniest.

A propos of all this, I feel I should correct my apparent callousness the last time I mentioned Mr Deuel. Believe me, I wish him no ill, and genuinely hope he makes a full recovery. What pissed me off (indeed, continues to piss me off) is the way he tried to shift the blame away from his own gluttony (because let's face it, to get that heavy you'd have to have acted the glutton at least once or twice). I whole-heartedly believe that genes are not an excuse for anything: not violence, not crime, and certainly not obesity. Deal with it.

In other news, a terrifying man has written a song about how much he wants to have sex with Keira Knightley, the irritatingly English star of such films as Bend It Like Beckham, Love, Actually, and Princess Of Thieves (in which, I believe, she plays Robin Hood's lesser-known sister). The song is thoroughly vile, but I couldn't help but giggle at:

Can you cancel that restraining order?
Because it slightly offended my mother
I promise I won't do it again
Unless I am drunk and you are topless


Rhyming 'order' with 'mother'? Genius!

August 20, 2004

Scandalous Olympi-ads

From SportsIllustrated.com: Iraqi Soccer Players Angered By Bush Campaign Ads

In a recent ad for the Bush campaign, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan are shown, along with the narration: "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations-- and two fewer terrorist regimes." Terrorist regimes have been a regular fixture of the Olympics since Ceaucescu won the doubles badminton for Romania in 1976.

Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir said that "Iraq as a team does not want Mr Bush to use us for the presidential campagin." His teammate, Ahmed Manajid, was slightly more vocal in his attack on the President, saying: "How will he meet his God having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes."

Scott Stanzel, a spokesperson for Bush's campaign, defended the ad. "[It] simply talks about President Bush's optimism and how democracy has triumphed over terror . . . Twenty-five million people in Iraq are free as a result of the actions of the coalition." He added: "Seriously! Those people will work for nothing!"

Bush latched on to the Iraqi soccer team last Friday, after their victory over European champions Portugal. During a campaign speech, he remarked: "The image of the Iraqi soccer team playing in this Olympics, it's fantastic, isn't it? Because, no matter how stupid the game of soccer might seem to us, they are free to do whatever they want." Mr Bush then collapsed in a fit of girlish giggles.

Midfielder Manajid remains angry. He claims that were it not for his presence at the Olympics, he would "for sure" be fighting with the resistance in Iraq. There's a campaign message for you, Mr President!

---

I've come up with a crappy stop-gap solution to fix my template, but I'd still like some more competent help if anybody can provide it...

August 18, 2004

Pain In The CSS

As I mentioned on #644, I can't get my page template to display properly now that Blogger's installed these stupid Navbars at the top of every blog. If anybody knows anything about CSS/HTML and can fix it for me, I'd be very grateful.

Big Brother Steps In

This post has been removed.

August 16, 2004

It Was Bound To Happen Sooner or Later...

Do you know what I realized today? I've been doing this blog for over a year now. And so, appropriately enough, I will now make some sarcastic remarks about a sex article I read on Netscape:

Men's Top Sexual Complaints About Women

"1. Women are not kinky enough . . . Men are more turned on by the forbidden." You know, like walking on a lawn where there's a 'Please Stay Off the Grass' sign. Or having a threesome with their mother.

"2. More frequency, please! How can women last so long without sex? Months can go by and they feel nothing. No urge, no boredom sex, no mention of it." Incidentally, women's top sex complaint about men: they use the term "boredom sex".

"3. Women get upset when we can't understand their anatomy. Let's make a comparison: men's bodies and women's bodies. I think I've made my point." Ummm....

Back to the A-grade material tomorrow, folks...

August 11, 2004

Pop Classics, Revisited

The other day, British daytime talkshow host Richard Madeley got himself into a spot of bother by referring to lesbians as 'dykes' on air (he claimed he did it because he thought the term had changed from a derogatory one to a "hip" one).

Anyway, all that's really by the way, but the reason I bring it up is because, while reading the BBC's report on the incident, I discovered that another term entering the already overflowing arena of homolexemes is 'boi', meaning "a boyish gay man or lesbian".

Which I think throws a whole new light on Avril Lavigne's song 'Sk8er Boi'. Let's take another look at the lyrics, bearing this new information in mind...

He was a boi
She was a girl
Can I make it any more obvious?


Clearly, the use of the term 'boi' throws the character's gender into doubt. Although Lavigne does specifically use the term 'he', the concreteness of this term is later belied by the claim that "He wanted her"-- clearly, for a 'boi' to be sexually interested in a 'girl', the term must be referring to a homosexual female, not a male. Given this, I would suggest that 'Sk8er Boi' is, in fact, a very masculine homosexual girl (the line "Can I make it any more obvious?", in this context, takes on a playful irony: Lavigne could, indeed, make things far more obvious).

He wanted her
She'd never tell
Secretly she wanted him as well.
But all of her friends
Stuck up their nose [sic]
They had a problem with his baggy clothes.


Clearly, these lines are not the diatribe against high school cliques that they seem to be; they are, in fact, a scathing critique of the "compulsory heterosexuality" of mainstream society (see, for example, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" by Adrienne Rich). The 'girl' of the song is struggling to come to terms with her newfound feelings of desire, including the possibility that she may be a homosexual. However, her teachers and peers have socialized her to believe that homosexuality is 'wrong' (indeed, is not even an option), and the 'girl' is forced to remain in the closet ("secretly she wanted him as well"). Of course, in today's climate of political correctness, it would be quite impossible for people to openly tell the 'girl' that homosexuality was wrong; thus, they veil their message in superficial criticisms about the 'boi's' apperance.

He was a sk8er boi
She said 'see you later, boi'.
He wasn't good enough for her.
She had a pretty face
But her head was up in space
She needed to come back down to earth.


However much the 'girl' tries to resist her homosexual urges, Lavigne seems to be suggesting that she will, one day, have to face them ("See you later, boi"). In the meantime, however, she tries to justify her decision not to pursue the 'boi' with superficial, hegemonic values: since she has "a pretty face", she must clearly be destined to complete an idealized heterosexual family (one with a beautiful wife, rich husband, big house, etc.). Lavigne disputes this heterosexual ideal, painting it as nothing more than a pipe dream ("she needed to come back down to earth"; the 'ideal' is merely "space", nothingness).

Five years from now
She sits at home
Feeding the baby, she's all alone.


Here, Lavigne further compounds the falseness of society's heterosexual ideal. Although the 'girl' has fulfilled her dream, she is still "all alone", as the dream was always an empty one.

She turns on TV
Guess who she sees?
Sk8er boi rocking up MTV.
She calls up her friends,
They already know,
And they've all got tickets to see his show.


Although Sk8er Boi might seem to have been accepted at this point (appearing in mainstream culture), this acceptance is a hollow one. The same homophobes who rejected the 'boi' earlier on are now his 'fans'; but clearly the relationship is one of convenience. Sk8er Boi provides them with entertainment, and so is kept around for their amusement, like a member of a freak show (a freak show for which everyone--ie. society-- "has tickets"). Lavigne is striking out against the treatment of homosexuals as 'jesters' for heterosexual society (eg. Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, etc.).

She tags along,
Stands in the crowd,
Looks up at the man that she turned down.


"Stands in the crowd" is an obvious metaphor for being swept away by society. The juxtaposition of "looked up" and "turned down" symbolizes her wavering feelings about her own sexuality.

Sorry girl but you missed out;
Well tough luck that boi's mine now
We are more than just good friends
This is how the story ends.


The story ends, as Lavigne later explains, with the 'boi' in love and having his (her) world rocked ("Haven't you heard/How we rock each others' world? [sic]"). In other words, only a homosexual who has fully come to terms with his or her homosexuality can truly be happy in life. Those, like the 'girl', who repress their own desires will "miss out".

Finally, to remove any doubt that the 'boi' is in fact a homosexual female, I draw your attention to these lines in the final verse:

Too bad you couldn't see . . .
There is more than meets the eye
I see the soul inside.


...

Yes, I may be taking the piss just a little.

August 07, 2004

Amsterdamn!, This Place is Fine!

I have something of an embarassing confession to make. You know that expression, "He couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery" (ie. "He is very incompetent")? Well, I have a new and updated version: "He couldn't find the red-light district in Amsterdam".

Yes, as you know, I've been in the Dutch capital, and yes, even after an aggregate eight hours of wandering around, I was completely unable to find the red-light district. Perhaps this isn't as bad it seems to me, but the impression I got from my parents, and from Bill Bryson (who wrote a very unflattering chapter about how filthy Amsterdam is, in every sense of the word), was that you couldn't walk five feet in the city without bumping into a prostitute/stripper/dildo (and gosh!, what an unsettling experience bumping into a dildo would be).

In fact, Amsterdam was not the seedy midden that I was expecting, given the accounts I got of it before going. Certainly, the canals look like bong water (indeed, in some parts may well be bong water), there's a nauseating stench of marijuana all over the place, and the touristified areas right downtown are pretty disgusting-- but tourists generally have that effect on cities (I saw one woman standing in a large, crowded sqaure, with pidgeons climbing all over her, giggling something to her camera-wielding boyfriend-- probably along the lines of "Quick, take my picture!", or "Look, honey! The vermin here are so friendly!"). Once you get away from the central core around the train station, though, the hackneyed stereotypes just fade away and the city transforms into something beautiful.

The buildings are old and extremely picturesque, red bricks, wooden decorations, ornate stone-- it reminded me a lot of Beacon Hill in Boston, only it was an entire city, not just a couple of blocks. There are sidewalk cafes everywhere, too, which was just too wonderful for words. There's nothing like sitting at a rickety metal table, painted with chipping black paint, sipping at beer from a glass wet with condensation. Throw in the underground music stores planted at every other corner (see below) and I was seriously considering throwing away my return ticket and just finding myself a nice little Dutch girl to settle down with (and there were all these pretty girls blowing kisses at me from store windows, too, so that would have been easy!).

The other nice thing about Amsterdam is that there are hardly any cars. Anywhere. Between the trams, canals and bicycles, there's not really any need for them. There are enough bicycles in Amsterdam to-- what's the expression?-- feed a small a country (about 500,000 in a city of 600,000), and it really makes a difference. Everything's quieter, cleaner, and you can just wander wherever you like without having to worry about having your legs removed.

It's a great city to wander in, too. I had neither map, nor guidebook, but managed to stroll leisurely through the city without once feeling lost or in any kind of danger. It's a much nicer way to see a city, I find, than following the tourists from museum to museum. I have an easy method for staying in the safe parts of town, too:

1. Imagine you have a daughter.
2. Look at the types of men who seem to prevail around you.
3. Think about whether or not you would feel comfortable having your daughter go out with these men. If you would, you're probably in a pretty safe part of town. If you wouldn't, shame on you, you paternalistic bastard! Your daughter is perfectly capable of taking care of herself and can go out with whoever she damn wants! (Hi, Alison!)

Anyway, that was Amsterdam. I would warmly recommend it (but if you want to see a sex show, better buy a map, just in case).

August 03, 2004

Nether-Netherland

Hello, poppets! Sorry I haven't posted anything in the last few days-- I've been in Amsterdam. And no, I haven't been to a coffeeshop (except to get coffee), and I haven't been to a brothel/strip show/purveyor of large penis replicas.

I did walk past Anne Frank's house, but I didn't go in because there was a big line outside. I have to say, though, from the outside it looks like either:

a) They've seriously renovated the building, or
b) That little phony was whining about nothing
(and I think we all know which is closer to the truth).

Speaking of tasteless jokes about the Holocaust, I noticed that the elevators in my hotel are manufactured by a company called Schindler-- so I have quite literally been on Schindler's lift.

Otherwise, I've just been walking around town, taking in the scenery, and buying music (Amsterdam, it turns out, has just as many fabulous music stores as it does prostitutes). I've particularly enjoyed listening to people talking in foreign languages, and trying to guess what they're saying. For instance, the Dutch word for 'no' is pronounced 'nay', so at least half of the conversations I've overheard have included the line, 'Oh, go on: do a horse impression'.

Anyway, I'm in a hotel, and the guy at the computer next to me sounds as if he's about to gouge out his computer-illiterate mother's eyes, something I'm not sure I want to be around for. More later.