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Archive for April, 2004

My Cat Never Used To Fetch Sticks

April 30th, 2004 by olly

Need To Know points to this. (Inappropriate pictures notwithstanding, the actual story is quite interesting.)


April 30th, 2004 by Timothy

The newest issue is now online. Tgraf did the majority share of the work, and it looks like he did a pretty nice job. Links above and at left, as usual. This issue totally kicks ass, so bloody read it already.

Another Post On Video Games (And Sex!)

April 30th, 2004 by Sho

Last month, Courtney made a comment on Tim’s post on video games:

I’ve had a few conversations with a variety of girl friends and we’ve reached a consensus. There’s no real need for girls to worry about their boyfriends cheating on them with other girls; the only competition a girlfriend has anymore is Playstation.

This article is a week old, but it adds some weight to her comment.

Of course there are girls out there who don’t see their boyfriends’ toys as competition, as I know one who would love to kidnap my Game Boy Advance.

Yet Another 3:30AM Post From The Office

April 30th, 2004 by Timothy

Steven Den Beste has an interesting read regarding youthful rebellion. I think he’s pretty dead-on here. All young folks have some sort of need to piss off their parents, hell, just ask my roomate what I was like in high school if you need evidence of that, and I agree that a lot of the youthful new-left movement is part of that. However, I also think a lot of real hard-line young conservatives are very much in the same vein. Take our favorite example of a reactionary douchebag, Scott Austin: he’s against everything liberals are for because…wait for it…liberals are for them! And I think a lot of the real hard-core young conservatives react in the same way…just go to a CN conference for evidence of that. Extremism is never the parent of rigorous thought.

(Not So) Poor Little Paul

April 30th, 2004 by Timothy

It seems that Paul Allen has apparently squandered away nearly a third of his wealth, mainly through bad investments in unproven technology markets. Now he’s apparently doing the smart thing and diversifying his portfolio, and pursuing a sensible investment strategy. Not that he’s not already wealthy, but anybody has to invest sensibly to maintain wealth, as a finite fortune, however large, will only hold up to consistent losses for so long. He’s also apparently developed new discipline with his investing:

The best prospects got a 30-page report that went to Vulcan’s investment committee. For those that made the cut — just 30 in 2003 — the advisers compile 300-page reports, complete with forensic accounting and background checks on management. Only then could a company get money from Vulcan; just a dozen or so did last year. “We’re just so much more thorough, meticulous, demanding, and focused now than we were just a few years ago,” says Allen.

Hopefully his basketball team can develop something similar, albeit in a different arena.

Shakra Was A Rolling Stone

April 29th, 2004 by olly

Here‘s this week’s exciting episode. I like the new practice of ending columns with cliffhangers, by the way.

Unfortunately, patriarchy is continually propagated as the perverted norm. Now add to this the concept of compulsive heterosexuality.

I’m pretty sure he means “compelled heterosexuality”, but it’s certainly funnier this way. Here we go again with the gender roles. I liked it better when he was rewriting term papers.

This segregation exists in the forms of gendered spaces, friendships, and spatial separation between boys and girls — with boys typically controlling areas such as large playing fields, and girls controlling smaller enclaves like hopscotch. Examples like these solidify the gendered orientation for each group.

Ladies, can you speak to this? I know I’ve often speculated as to the origins of my deep-rooted fear of hopscotch.

Seriously, I think my problem with the notion of “patriarchy” as usually explicated on this campus is that it’s so deeply collectivist: the underlying assumption is that there is a concerted effort underway by all men (and gender-traitor females) to oppress “women, nature, and children”. This oppression is everywhere, like the Matrix, and absolutely everything can be viewed as a symptom of our pernicious “hetero-patriarchal” socialization. What results is columns like this one: unintentionally humorous and utterly devoid of semantic content. I’m every bit as opposed to forcing people into traditional gender roles as Shakra claims to be, but I (as regular readers will have surmised by now) think he sounds like an asylum inmate when he starts talking about the patriarchal attitudes instilled in us by the institution of elementary school. (And my heterosexuality remains, alas, compulsive.) As ever, though, the ideas become much clearer when cast into verse:

Or, like one of my favorite poets once said: Break free songbird, break free — break free songbird, break free.

Oh, the humanity! But rhyming “free” with “free” is cheating, sir.

FOIA Was Featured In The Little-Known Sequel, “1985”

April 29th, 2004 by olly

This isn’t really any more inane than all the other “Quacks And Smacks” features (Quacks to people who separate their recycling! Smacks to colon cancer!) but one of the Smacks deserves a comment:

Smacks to the Pentagon for withholding images of dead soldiers’ coffins until a Freedom of Information Act request forced their release. The limits imposed on the press are downright Orwellian and violate the spirit of open government when it’s needed most.

Pictures of soldiers’ coffins: OK. However, I think that is the first time I have ever seen the word “Orwellian” in the same paragraph as the phrase “Freedom of Information Act”.

It’s Official: No More Sales of Cigarettes In The EMU

April 29th, 2004 by Sho

EMU Director Dusty Miller will follow through with the recommendation made by the EMU Board to ban the sale of cigarettes in Erb Essentials, the EMU convenience store. The ban is planned to go in effect in fall term.

EMU Food Services Director John Costello said the ban would cause Erb Essentials a loss of $100,000 in sales and about $25,000 in revenue.

According to the Daily Emerald article, some members of the board were concerned about the loss of income for the store, but EMU Board Chairwoman Christa Shively said it shouldn’t be a concern.

“I trust (John Costello’s) entrepreneurial skill,” she said.

One of the proposed replacements for tobacco in the store: sushi.

Funny Drudge Photo Caption Fun Time Contest Turbo II!

April 28th, 2004 by Sho

Today’s subject: Ariel Sharon

Deadline is by Tuesday night or something. Winner gets a 7/8 filled Subway club card.*

*Winner must find this staff member at the Commentator office or at Rennies in order to accept prize. Prize is subject to change and may become a filled Subway card by Tuesday.

Give The Anarchist A Cigarette

April 28th, 2004 by olly

Apparently the powers that be just voted 8-4 to ban the sale of tobacco products in the EMU.

Leaving aside aesthetic concerns and questions about whether the University is endorsing unhealthy lifestyles and blah blah cancer whatever, that’s a fairly considerable chunk of EMU revenue (Bruce Miller reckons $100K/year) down the tubes. But what the hell: it’s only money, right?

Create your own Thomas Friedman Op Ed (from McSweeney’s):

April 28th, 2004 by pete

Last week’s events in [country in the news] were truly historic, although we may not know for years or even decades what their final meaning is. What’s important, however, is that we focus on what these events mean [on the ground/in the street/to the citizens themselves]. The [media/current administration] seems too caught up in [worrying about/dissecting/spinning] the macro-level situation to pay attention to the important effects on daily life. Just call it missing the [desert for the sand/fields for the wheat/battle for the bullets].

When thinking about the recent turmoil, it’s important to remember three things: One, people don’t behave like [computer programs/billiard balls/migratory birds], so attempts to treat them as such inevitably look foolish. [Computer programs/Billiard balls/Migratory birds] never suddenly [blow themselves up/shift their course in order to fit with a predetermined set of beliefs/set up a black market for Western DVDs]. Two, [country in question] has spent decades [as a dictatorship closed to the world/being batted back and forth between colonial powers/torn by civil war and ethnic hatred], so a mindset of peace and stability will seem foreign and strange. And three, [hope/freedom/capitalism] is an extraordinarily powerful idea.

When I was in [country in question] last [week/month/August], I was amazed by the [people’s basic desire for a stable life/level of Westernization for such a closed society/variety of the local cuisine], and that tells me two things. It tells me that the citizens of [country in question] have no shortage of [courage/potential entrepreneurs/root vegetables], and that is a good beginning to grow from. Second, it tells me that people in [country in question] are just like people anywhere else on this great globe of ours.


They Killed Uncle Henry!

April 28th, 2004 by olly

Controversy strikes the coast, as the towns of Coos Bay and North Bend consider merging. R-G story here.

Coos Bay seems to be very gung-ho about this idea – on the grounds that the border between the two cities was arbitrarily drawn up as an afterthought to the treaty of Utrecht? – but the people of North Bend stand on the “Uncle Henry” principle, explained here by activist Pat Choat Pierce.

It’s very difficult to celebrate the life of a city when there’s no city to celebrate. That would be like continuing to celebrate your uncle Henry’s birthday, long after he’s gone.

Indeed. If I were them, I’d at least hold out for a better name than “Coos Bay-North Bend”. (Would it sweeten the deal if they went with “North Bend-Coos Bay”?) My suggestion: Methapotamia.

Would PETA Approve Or Disapprove Of This?

April 28th, 2004 by Sho

Here’s one man’s journey into solving his cat’s bowel problems, illustrations included!

In Harm’s Way

April 28th, 2004 by olly

OK, I hadn’t heard about this. Its inception comes too late for Bryan, but I believe there is an Atkinson brother out there who might conceivably benefit.

On a less prurient note, it’s difficult to come up with a category classification for this kind of link.

On Rape Culture

April 28th, 2004 by olly

Headline of the year nominee, here: Groups Raise Awareness For Sexual Assault.

Ouch. I see the Preposition Fairy has paid another visit to our friends down the hall. You go to sleep with the word “of” under your pillow, and she replaces it with something else chosen at random.