October 30, 2005

Bork bork bork!

In homage to my Halloween costume, the following post will be written in mock Swedish, courtesy of the encheferizer.

Edreeenne-a und I throo a Hellooeee perty oon Freedey neeght; es yuoo cun see-a frum zee beloo peectoore-a, I vent es zee Svedeesh cheff frum zee Mooppets. Bork Bork Bork!

I elsu muneged tu snep a cuoople-a ooff pretty foonny peectoores ooff zee fereeuoos oozeer deleenqooents present, emung vheech my fefuooreetes ere-a:

Geel und Edreeenne-a, luukeeng fery chermeeng

Burees Bedenuf huldeeng a peectoore-a ooff Burees cet

A ruckeen' dunce-a perty

• Sexooelly froostreted (und hoongry, epperently) leb esseestunts

Heppy Hellooeee!

October 28, 2005

Conversations With Greatness LI

Other possible punchlines:

"A princess."

"A slutty nurse."

"Obsessively masturbatory."

And, of course:

"Your mom's lover."

October 27, 2005

Your 'Liberal' Media Bias At Work!

Featuring more from the 'Seen on Netscape' department:


1. The American flag is a nice touch, awkwardly shoved into the foreground. Where is it coming from? It almost looks like somebody else is trying to hug the soldier from behind-- but we don't ask about those sorts of things in the military.

2. Ah, the touching embrace of love. They're even smiling! Notice the implication: this soldier is willing to defend his country, even if it means leaving behind his hot young wife. So why is his wife's employer being such a douchebag? Because he hates America! (The woman was fired from her no-benefits, no-paid-leave job for saying she'd be back at work on Monday and not coming back to work until Tuesday. While this is lamentable, it reveals more about the horrendous working conditions that lower-class Americans have to endure, than it does about her employer's lack of patriotism.)

3. This is actually my favourite part: the couple shown here is in their twenties, whereas in actual fact the soldier in question is forty-five, and his wife is forty! The couple also has three grandchildren, which I think makes it even sadder that he is having to leave home-- but where's the discussion of the government depriving large, lower-class families of their main source of income? Where's the discussion of sending a forty-five year old man to the middle of the desert?

4. And finally, the headline, which implies this: "Man supports country, gets screwed over for his efforts." Of course, the actual story goes like this: "Man shipped to New Jersey, from where his unit will "soon" be deployed to Iraq. In an unrelated story, his wife is fired for not turning up to work when she said she would."



1. There's an American flag here, too, but notice how it's darker, out of focus, in the background, and cropped out as far as possible. Also, it wasn't deliberately inserted into the picture (like above), but was rather an incidental part of the background. And besides...

2. ...Boy, does Kerry look unhappy to be standing in front of it! Not only does he look unhappy, he looks positively evil, as if plotting his next purchase of flimsy summer footwear. Now, come on: this man ran for President! There must be thousands of pictures they could have used here-- so why choose the one where he's doing a Bond villain impression?

3. This headline is about as glib and misleading as the last. A more accurate (and equally succinct) headline would read like this: "Kerry: Begin troop withdrawal soon." The senator's suggestion is that the huge military presence in Iraq is causing unnecessary tension between the US and Iraqis, who quite rightly feel a little put upon; therefore, he argues, a gradual withdrawal of troops, contingent on successful elections in December, would help to dampen the insurgency. He's not saying we should just bring home all (or even a lot) of troops now (only about 12.5% of them, in December), and he's certainly not saying, as an RNC spokesperson would have you believe, that he believes "ignoring the presence of terrorists is the best policy for the safety of America."

Yay, critical consumption of media messages! Now, if only I could get anybody to read my blog.

October 25, 2005

Hi! My Name Is...

For those of you who haven't been following Montreal's municipal elections (how could you not?!), you might be surprised to hear about one of the candidates for Equipe Ville-Marie.

His name is William Shady Elhami.

Now, I ask you, who in their right mind would vote for a politician whose middle name is 'Shady'? Who in their right mind, for that matter, would run a political candidate whose middle name is 'Shady'. It's just begging for trouble!

Or maybe Montreal voters are, just in general, more mature and informed than me.

October 24, 2005

Developing a Point

I think the stress of midterms must be getting to everybody, because my Developing Societies seminar today was very silly indeed.

The class was having a discussion about introducing Western technology to developing countries, and most people seemed to be leaning towards the viewpoint that, NO, the West has no right to enforce its technology on others. Developing countries should be free to develop their own indigenous solutions, and anything else is arrogant paternalism by the developed world.

At which point, one guy chimed in with what I think is possibly the best point anybody has ever made, ever:

"Guys, come on, this is ridiculous. Look at it from the other side. Suppose there was some alien race who had the cure to cancer. Now, even if we could work out the cure ourselves in, say, another thousand years, don't you think we'd prefer that the aliens just gave it to us now, even if they were kind of assholes about it?"

(Not verbatim, but you get the gist.)

Steven Pinker would be so proud.

October 22, 2005

Where's Lynne Truss When You Need Her?

I think this sign I saw today probably needs an extra comma somewhere:

"Sexuality Workshops
...For free baby!"

October 21, 2005

Conversations With Greatness L

I say, start year two of CWG as I aim to finish it.

October 20, 2005

Vacuous Reporting Strikes Again

From Netscape Celebrity:

"Say good-bye to the metrosexual."

Oh NO!

"While he was busy exfoliating and primping in the bathroom mirror, someone else took his place in the female psyche. That someone is an übersexual."

From the German "über", meaning 'over'; as in, 'That guy just came all over me.' No?

"An übersexual is a man who embraces the positive aspects of his masculinity or "M-ness"— confidence, leadership, passion, compassion— without giving in to the stereotypes that give guys a bad name, such as disrespect toward women . . . Übersexuals are the most attractive, most dynamic and most compelling men of their generations."

Hmmm, say, I'm having some trouble conceptualising exactly what you mean, here; could you maybe give me some examples?

"The world's top 10 übersexuals:

1. Bono"

I'm sorry, Bono is the most attractive and compelling man of his generation? Somebody's been wearing their rose-tinted glasses a little to much, methinks...

No, seriously. Bono wears those glasses too much.

"2. George Clooney
3. Bill Clinton"

Ha! I knew it! A man who comes all over you!

"4. Donald Trump"

In this case, I think the 'über' in 'übersexual' means 'over the hill'.

"5. Arnold Schwarzenegger"

What?! Are you just saying any name that pops into your head? How does Arnold Schwarzenegger not live up to negative stereotypes of men? HE GROPES WOMEN!

"6. Barack Obama"

The guy from Mortal Kombat?

"7. Ewan McGregor
8. Pierce Brosnan"

Pierce Brosnan is particularly high in "M-ness" because of his role as James Bond alongside 'M', played by Judi Dench.

"9. Guy Ritchie
10. Jon Stewart"

I agree, perhaps, that Jon Stewart is a dynamic and compelling member of his generation; but I think describing him as über-anything is a little inaccurate considering how short he is.

By the way, do you think the opposite of an übersexual is a goobersexual?

October 19, 2005

Something For Everybody

Is anybody else struck by the uncanny resemblance between man-of-the-hour media pundit Stephen Colbert, and this "ultra-orthodox Jew" celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles?

I'm just getting word that, in fact, the above should read: "Feast of— TABERNACLES! I've been impaled with this plant stalk!"

Also seen on BBC News In Pictures:

"In India it is the eve of Karvachauth, Husband's Day. As well as painting their hands with henna, married women fast and offer prayers for their husbands."

I don't mean to be culturally insensitive or anything, but isn't every day Husband's Day in some parts of India?

D'oh! And I wonder why people leave irate comments on my blog.

October 17, 2005

Analyse This

From BBC NEWS | Wales: Sex 'therapy' psychologist guilty

According to the British Psychology Society, Dr Steven Manley:

•Is a psychologist.
•Convinced a patient that the best therapy for her condition was to have sex with him in car parks.
•Persuaded her to see him as a private client, as well as on the NHS, so that she was actually paying him £35 (US$61) per session to have sex with him. ("He made me feel special", she says.)
•Talked her into leaving her husband and daughter to move into a caravan with him. ("He had taken me over by that stage," she sagely notes.)
•Ended the relationship a year later.
•Was found guilty of "conducting himself . . . in a manner likely to be detrimental to client and of exploiting a relationship of influence and trust."
•Has been suspended from practising psychology . . .

. . . For three years.

If he undergoes professional training during those three years, he will be allowed to practise again, at which point psychology as a profession will pretty much lose all credibility.

I mean, for God's sake! Will they let any sexually predatory schmuck get a job helping the mentally vulnerable these days, or what?


[Edit: Since, joy of joys, I seem to have gained the attention of the Google gods again, a clarification for the benefit of anybody who stumbles on this page and wants to leave a comment accusing me of anything...

My issue here is not with Steven Manley or anything he allegedly did or did not do. My issue is that the BPS evidently believes that he *did* do *something*, otherwise they wouldn't have suspended him in the first place; and if they truly believe that one of their members was having sex with clients in car parks and that a suitable punishment is only three years of suspension, then I question their standards, regardless of what actually happened.

That is all.

October 14, 2005

Conversations With Greatness Anniversary Special

It's the one-year anniversary of the first Conversations With Greatness today-- so we threw an exclusive VIP party and only OUR cameras were there to show you all the hot behind-the-scenes footage...

October 12, 2005


I was watching Jeopardy over dinner (as is my custom), and this week is "Back to School" week— so all the contestants are ten years old.

One of the questions showed a picture of Madonna and asked who it was. Not a single one of those kids had any idea.

Ha! Take that, Madonna!

Also, how bizarre it is that I still instantly remember the name of the protagonist from Where The Wild Things Are, despite not having read it for about fifteen years? What other pointless minutiae are still hidden away in my head, I wonder?

October 11, 2005

I've Had the Guggenheim of My Life

So, New York was wicked fun, as usual, despite copious amounts of rain and equally scarce amounts of sleep (thanks, respectively, to next-door parties until 7:30am, snoring mothers, and early flights).

By far the most New York of my nights was Friday. Once a month, the Guggenheim opens up as a sort of pseudo-nightclub from 9pm to 1am, complete with bars, a DJ, and dancing. So I had the notable pleasure of going to the Guggenheim for less than standard admission, and getting to sup red wine delicately and look at their excellent exhibition of Russian art.

The DJ looked like the hipped out love child of Dennis Hopper's character in Easy Rider and our Lord Jesus Christ, so to be more precise I actually had the slightly bizarre experience of drinking wine in an avant garde art gallery while Jesus spun house music to ecstatic, middle-aged Manhattanites.

As it happened, Mike Skinner from The Streets was also in attendance that night, so I suppose it would be better to say that I had the surreal exploit of meeting a famous British rapper-of-sorts in an upscale New York art gallery, enjoying a tannic Cabernet and listening to Christ's greatest dance anthems.

Also, something I'd eaten had pretty strongly disagreed with my lower intestine, so what really happened was that I had the dubious distinction of getting severe diarrhoea, surrounded by Russian art in one of New York's trendiest museums, while a British musician with bad teeth swayed to the Holy Son's best efforts, and impatient Upper East Siders drunk on cheap red wine banged on the bathroom door.

Ironically, by the way, I'd give Mike Skinner an 8 or a 9, but doesn't he just know it?

October 10, 2005

It's A Matter of Degree

Upon landing in Montreal this morning, the captain made the following announcement:

"Welcome to Montreal, where the time is 10:31am, and the temperature is approximately nine Canadian degrees Celsius."

One Canadian degree Celsius is, as I'm sure you're all aware, equal to about 0.85 US degrees Celsius. It used to be less, but in the current climate, degrees Celsius have dropped dramatically in the US.

Pun! Punpunpun!

I'll do a proper update later, once I've done some work.

October 06, 2005

English How She Is Writ

Despite my best efforts (taking a leave of absence, formally withdrawing, etc.), Emerson College continues to keep me on their mailing list for campus goings-on. Consequently, I often receive messages from William McCabe, a stalwart Bostonian who is Chief of Campus Security, and an absolutely master of nonsensical police-speak. Like this message I received the other week:

"As the crowd was leaving the club in the vicinity, a person opened fire with a firearm and hit two other persons.

A Boston Police Officer on duty in the vicinity responded and shot the perpetrator.

The two victims have been hospitalized. It is believed that the perpetrator has deceased."

Quite apart from my disgust in the de facto death penalty inflicted upon the shooter, I nonetheless had a giggle at the idea of somebody 'deceasing' (it is a verb, but an archaic one). What next? Were the people who were shot victimming at the time? Were they saved from certain deathation? Cruelly gunned down in the midst of a long and happy be?


Since I'm going to be in New York sans laptop tomorrow, and since next week is the official one-year anniversary of the first Conversations With Greatness, I'm holding back this week's strip until next Friday, at which point there will be a super-celebratory extravaganza. Bait your breath!

October 03, 2005

Feed Me

If you subscribe to this blog's XML feed:

I am switching from Blogger's proprietary feed to a Feedburner feed, at feeds.feedburner.com/exbostonian. Please update your links accordingly. I'll be disabling the Blogger feed on Monday, the 10th of October.


If you didn't know this blog had an XML feed:

You do now! You can find it by clicking on the nifty orange XML button in the top right-hand corner.


If you don't know what an XML feed is:

Many websites publish their informational content in a machine-readable, unformatted way. This is an XML feed.


If you don't know why this is important:

In the connected age we live in, many people find themselves in the position of having to keep track of ten, twenty, or even more regularly updated websites. If those sites publish an XML feed, specialised software known as 'Aggregators' or 'Newsreaders' can collect all the feeds in the same place and check for updates automatically. Then, you don't have to waste time navigating from site to site; you can just open one window and see all the new content available.


If you thought an aggregator was something that lived in the Florida Everglades:

No, you're thinking of alligators. Alligators are reptilian predators with long, flat bodies and a broad, toothy snout.


If you thought those were called crocodiles:

Actually, crocodiles have a narrower snout and their eyes are further forward. They also tend to be lighter in colour.


If you still don't understand:

Try not to worry. The links between XML feeds and aquatic reptiles are tenuous at best, and their intricacies little understood— however, they are unlikely to affect the nature of your everyday life. If you are still concerned, a rigourous programme of training in Computer and/or Zoological science may help to further put your mind at ease.

Have a nice day.

October 02, 2005

It Should Be Axed

Considering its marketing campaign focuses on how it will make women 'want' you more, I think Axe (Lynx in the UK) deodorant's newest variety is a little inappropriate:

As you can see, the can is adorned with an image of a giant blue spermatozoa, and the name of the fragrance is 'Conviction'; as in, "The prosecutors were hoping for a conviction in the sexual harassment case".

Oh dear.

October 01, 2005

Does That Make Them Antistate?

From BBC NEWS | Health: Anger over cancer ad censorship

"Campaigners are criticising a radio watchdog's decision to only allow a prostate cancer ad starring comedy star Ricky Gervais to be aired after 9pm.

The Prostate Cancer Charity ad features a doctor inserting a finger inside a man's rectum to check for cancer.

The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre, which governs commercial radio, has also ordered the removal of a "squish" noise from the advert."


Cancer activists are furious at the decision, criticising the radio watchdog for being too strict. Said a spokesperson: "I don't know why they can't just pull out they stick they have up their ass, and... oh."

You can listen to the ad if you follow the link to the BBC story.