Fuck Oprah

3 May 2010

If you haven’t seen BBC’s nature documentary series Planet Earth, you’re really missing out.  Using innovative technologies and camera techniques, the producers of Planet Earth captured some of the most amazing footage I’ve ever seen.  Behold:

If that doesn’t give you a boner, check your pulse.  This is what nature documentaries are all about: CARNAGE.  I don’t even know how much I’d pay for a documentary that focused exclusively on animals ripping each other to shreds.  Get on it, BBC.

Planet Earth is narrated, of course, by David Attenborough, the avuncular Brit who’s narrated damn near every nature documentary ever made.  And with good reason – his voice is clear and mellifluous and, as a naturalist, his passion for the subject matter always shines through.

Last week I caught an episode of of Life, the BBC’s follow-up to Planet Earth, on the Discovery Channel.  The photography in Life is phenomenal, surpassing even that of Planet Earth. Too bad the Discovery Channel ruined it by replacing the original Attenborough narration with Oprah Fucking Winfrey.

What the hell were they thinking?  Did they really think that American viewers wouldn’t be able to understand Attenborough?  Somehow this hasn’t been a problem with the thousands of other documentaries he’s narrated, including Planet Earth, which flies off American shelves.

Moreover, why Oprah?  Does she have an amazing voice?  Does she know jack shit about nature?  No and no.  Besides, doesn’t she have enough money already?  If you insist on an American accent, why not give the part to an unknown voice actor?  Hell, even someone pulled off the street at random probably would have done a better job than Oprah – just look at these amazon reviews.  Get your heads out of your asses, Discovery Channel.

This Oprah fiasco is just another instance of the recent trend toward enriching established stars rather than giving fresh faces a chance.  A few months ago I made the mistake of seeing the animated movie Fantastic Mr. Fox. Not only did the movie suck aardvark balls, it pissed me off to hear George Clooney and Meryl Streep playing the lead voice roles.  What’s the point?  It’s a fucking cartoon; the actors don’t even appear on the screen.  I’m sure they could have paid a couple of unknowns to do at least as good a job for a fraction the fee.  Share the wealth, producers!

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It Doesn’t Work That Way

17 March 2010

Once again, the hopeless clusterfuck that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the news.  Israel’s plans to build 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem has prompted Palestinian riots and drawn criticism from the international community; even the fiercely pro-Israel United States has condemned the decision.

This criticism usually turns on the notion that East Jerusalem, like the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights, is an “occupied territory” and that Israel has no right to be there.   It is true that these regions were not within the original borders of Israel, but for some reason nobody ever mentions how they came to be occupied.

In 1967, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria decided to attack Israel; Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria also contributed troops and arms.  Israel had 50,000 troops; its opponents, over 500,000.  The stage was set for a Europorn-style gangbang.  Instead, the Arabs got their shit absolutely ruined in a mere six days, suffering over 20,000 casualties while  Israel lost fewer than 1,000.

During this epic ass-reaming, Israel prudently took control of the territories from which it was attacked.   Ever since then the Arabs have been demanding this land back, delicately making their case by firing rockets at civilians.  News flash, assholes: IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.  If I try to mug Steven Seagal and he breaks my arms and takes my gun, I don’t get to ask for the gun back.  If you had devoted your energies to building yourselves up rather than to tearing your neighbor down, you’d still have your precious patches of desert.

Speaking of which, I find it funny that some of the fiercest fighting is over some of the worst places on the planet.

More like "land of milk and dogshit."

Since the religious fanatics involved in this dispute cannot be dissuaded from their idiotic belief that God gave them this land, the only solution I see is for the secular Israelis to pick up all their stuff and move to Mexico, as suggested by Christian Slater in the underrated movie “Very Bad Things.”  The ex-Israelis would have Mexico humming in short order; meanwhile Israel, left to the Palestinians and ultra-orthodox Jews, would degenerate from modern, productive democracy to yet another backwards, third-world Middle East hellhole in about 0.4 seconds.


Tiger’s Wood

1 March 2010

For the past few months, all the major “news” outlets have been abuzz with the following “scandal”: Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer of all time, the wealthiest athlete in history,  a charismatic young billionaire who also happens to be strikingly handsome, likes to fuck women who aren’t his wife.

I’ll pause for a moment to allow that stunning revelation to sink in.

Seriously, though: why is this news?  Of course Tiger Woods lays pipe; that’s the whole point of being a rich superstar athlete.  Do people really expect this Nietzschean Übermensch to jack off to softcore porn in his hotel room like the rest of us when there are beautiful women queuing up to satisfy his every sexual fantasy?  Come off it.

I could have sex with him and it wouldn't even be gay.

More importantly, why do we even know about this? How is Tiger’s sex life anyone’s business?  This is the stuff of trashy tabloids, and yet it’s the top story on CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and other so-called “legitimate” news outlets.  I suppose I can’t place all the blame on the media, since they only report what will bring in ratings.  We’re a nation of prudish busybodies that cares more about what a golfer does with his cock than about issues of genuine importance; how pathetic is that?


Donut Puncher

20 January 2010

While food shopping in Pittsburgh’s Strip District last weekend I happened by a large crowd of freaky people raising a ruckus in front of a store on Smallman Street.  I asked one of them what all the commotion was about and was told that they were protesting a new hippie-themed bakery called “Peace, Love, and Little Donuts.”

Why?  It turns out that the store’s owner, Ron Razete, is a far-right wing nut who maintained a blog (now taken down) in which he called homosexuals an “immoral minority,” expressed his admiration for Joe McCarthy, and so forth.

Oops.

Mr. Razete is entitled to express his beliefs, and if he’d called his store “Ron’s Donuts” or “The God Hates Fags Olde-Tyme Sweet Shoppe,” nobody would have given a flying fuck.  Well, people might have been a bit upset about the second name, but at least Razete could not have been accused of misrepresenting himself.  Instead, he tried to con the very people he disdains as sinful and un-American into handing him their money.  Ron, did you really think you’d get away with this, or do you genuinely lack even the faintest idea of what the hippies stood for?

On a related note, why are Christians so hung up on homosexuality?  I’m no biblical scholar, but I’m fairly certain that the Bible in general and the New Testament in particular devote considerably more ink to charity and forgiveness than to homosexuality.  Despite this, it seems that many “Christians” devote far more time and energy to persecuting people for what they do in their bedrooms than to helping the poor.

Furthermore, I don’t hear Ron Razete and his ilk calling for adulterers to be stoned to death, even though this prescription, along with many others that any decent human being would find abhorrent, can be found in the same biblical passages that condemn homosexuality.  Presumably, these people quite correctly figure that certain aspects of biblical morality are too antiquated for our modern society.  Thus, they are holding biblical morality up to some higher ethical standard, which raises the obvious question: why not just employ this higher standard exclusively and dismiss the Bible as a moral authority?  Perhaps society can find a way to carry on without guidance from an inconsistent, inaccurate, derivative and poorly translated scroll.


On the Origin of Species: Fucked by the short dick of intellectual inadequacy

19 November 2009

Here’s the video.  I apologize ahead of time for the stress and ulcers:

The peckerwood you see in above video is none other than Kirk Cameron, a shit-actor from the 80’s who has transitioned quite nicely into a has-been shit-actor in the 00’s.  Unfortunately, unlike other talentless hacks from his era, Kirk is under the ill-informed impression that he has something to contribute to anybody.

Kirk has become perhaps more famous in recent years by his exploits with his band of Creationist goons.  Using arguments that a sixteen-year-old from the Enlightenment could derail, Kirk and his squad depend heavily on the fact that the religious zealots buying his shit don’t read.  They don’t read the Bible, and they sure as hell don’t read anything else.  How else do you push arguments that David fucking Hume blew holes in hundreds of years ago?

At any rate, this time they added a new foreword to On the Origin of Species, chock full of ridiculous claims and equivocations.  These idiots can’t even separate the big bang theory from evolution in their muddled, half-sentient heads, even after beating them against the topic for well over a decade.

I don’t have the time or energy to step into all of the things wrong with this video.  If you feel the need to fly into a rage today, then watch it.

The thing that bothers me the most about shit like this isn’t even how absurd it is.  It’s that people like Cameron are the intellectual pinnacle of a large swath of the American public.  These shitty, invalid, factually inaccurate, straw-man, non-sequitur arguments are so obviously wrong that even watery chunks of my shit know they’ve met their match.  Like Glenn Beck, Cameron is the voice of a generation: a generation of bottom-feeding, toothless red-necks who don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground.


Back to Basics

21 October 2009

Several Moral Hazard readers have recently complained that the blog has become too cheerful in tone.  Actually, that’s a lie; nobody reads this blog.  Nonetheless, I’ll devote today’s post to doing what I do best: bitching and moaning about utterly insignificant bullshit.  Without further ado, here’s the latest installment of Things That Piss Me Off ©.

1. “College” t-shirts.

Comic legend.

Comic legend.

Unoriginal douchebag and probable circle-jerker.

Unoriginal douchebag and probable circle-jerker.

When John Belushi wore this shirt in the National Lampoon classic Animal House, it was original and clever.  When some closet case fratboy asshole does so over 20 years later, it is neither.  I bet a lot of these idiots don’t even get the joke.

2. The standard system.

Question: how many inches are in a mile?  Answer: nobody knows.  The standard “system” (a loosely used term if there ever was one) makes it impossible to make these sorts of everyday calculations.  Compare that to the metric system: if you want to know how many centimeters are in a kilometer, you just move the decimal point.  The standard units of volume are almost as bad: you’ve got tablespoons, cups, pints, quarts, gallons, and who the fuck knows what else.

I don’t get it: the base 10 number system was around when the standard system was invented, and yet for some reason they thought that 12 inches in a foot, 3 feet in a yard, and 5,280 feet in a mile sounded about right.  Really, what were they thinking?  At least they have the excuse of living in an age before science, however; what’s the United States’ excuse for continuing to use this cumbersome nonsense?  Probably that Europe uses the metric system, so switching would be unpatriotic.  This is the same reason we don’t have universal health care.

3. Those push-button faucets in public toilets.

You know the ones I’m talking about, right?  The ones where you push down on the faucet(s) and water comes out for about 1.5 seconds?  Those fucking things drive me absolutely nuts.  You push the faucet with your soapy hands and race to get them under the brief flow of water, but you don’t have time to rinse them completely.  You have to push the faucet again, getting more soap on your hands in the process; this cycle continues until you give up and wipe your hands while there’s still soap on them, leaving behind a most unpleasant residue.  These faucets should be banned as a crime against humanity; they’ve caused at least as much human suffering as land mines.

4. Dogs with human names.

The other day I stopped to pet a dog in Frick Park.  I asked its owner what its name was; “Joe,” he replied.  “Joe?” I asked.  “You named your dog Joe? You must be the least creative motherfucker on the planet!  It’s a dog, not a person; give it a badass name like Cujo or Bonecrusher,” I suggested.   “Alternatively, you could go for humor; Steve Martin had a dog named ‘Shithead’ in The Jerk.  Anything, absolutely anything, would be better than Joe!”

I would have continued, but by then he had motored pretty far away on his Rascal scooter.

Meet my dog, Pete.

Meet my dog, Jerry.

5. Lottery drawings during sports games.

I don’t have a problem with the lottery, which is really just a tax on people who don’t understand probability.  If they want to flash the day’s winning numbers across the bottom of the screen during a ballgame, I’d be fine with it.   But no; they devote 3/4 of the screen to showing the little white balls being drawn, distorting the game and reducing it to the size of a postage stamp.  As there are several drawings, this can go on for several minutes.  Why is this necessary?  Do people really need to see the drawing to confirm that it’s not rigged and that their chance really is one in 300 million?  I hate everyone.


Question

18 October 2009

I’d like to share a question that’s always puzzled me: how many toddlers would it take to kill me?  Suppose that we’re in the middle of a large, enclosed space and that no weapons are available.  On the one hand, I feel like I should be able to kill toddlers indefinitely; after all, what damage could they do?  On the other hand, killing them would be tiring, and it seems like there must be some number of them that would be overwhelming.  I honestly don’t have a good idea of what this number might be, so I’d like to appeal to the wisdom of crowds:

Please respond to the poll and post your reasoning to comments.

Edit (19-10-09): A reader pointed me to this resource.  It’s about fighting 6- and 7-year-olds, but some of the principles apply.