Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Auld Lang Frickin' Syne

New Year's Eve.

Two more days and everything gets back to normal.

Thank Zeus for that...

Friday, December 30, 2005

The War Game

The BBC reported this week on some newly released papers from the seventies that detailed, among other things, Britain's plans for nuclear war. My favorite excerpt:

The prime minister would be taken to his bunker (under the Cotswolds) but there were no plans at that time to evacuate civilians.

However, the papers showed art treasures from London and Edinburgh would be saved by being sent to slate mines in Wales.

Nice to know they had their priorities straight...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Still Tricky After All These Years

Julian Sanchez of Reason Hit & Run reports:

The ACLU has a full page ad in the New York Times today comparing President Bush to Richard Nixon and calling for a congressional investigation into the NSA wiretap program.

My first thought was: well, there they go, bashing poor Mr. Nixon. It'll be fun to see all the Nixon apologists (Gordon Liddy, Ben Stein, etc.) coming out of the woodwork again.

My favorite example of Nixon apologism gone over the deep end comes from the late seventies and involves a conservative commentator I generally like, James J. Kilpatrick. Dismayed over the Carters' populist informality, Kilpatrick growled, "at least Nixon preserved the dignity of the office."

Strange, I thought; apparently in Kilpatrick's world, authorizing illegal surveillance was not as grievous a transgression as being seen padding barefoot around the Oval Office...

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Can 50 Million Mariah Fans Be Wrong? (Yes...)

I remember reading a few years ago that Star Wars was (at that time) the all-time box office champ...

...until, that is, you adjusted for inflation...

...in which case numero uno was still Gone With The Wind, by the proverbial country mile.

I thought of that recently when I read the following:

As Madonna's "Hung Up" jumps seven places to No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the pop icon matches Elvis Presley's tally for top-10 hits -- 36, the most for any artist in the rock era.


Mariah Carey's "Don't Forget About Us" rose to the top of Billboard's Hot 100 chart, putting her in a tie with Elvis Presley for second place among artists with the most No. 1 singles in the rock era.

OK, Madonna overtaking Elvis - that I can deal with. No doubt Madonna has proved herself, in terms of both lasting popularity and cultural impact.

But Mariah Carey?

Doesn't that have a kind of apples-and-oranges quality to it? I mean how do you compare today with 1956?

The market's different, the music scene's different, the whole damn world is different.

For crying out loud, you're comparing the King of Rock 'n' Roll with...

...Mariah Carey...

An overhyped car alarm with a boob job...

Don't innovation and the aforementioned "cultural impact" count for anything here?

(OK, Elvis did some crap movies, but at least he never did, well, you know.)

Surely there must be some way to adjust for "inflation."

Maybe slap an asterisk on her butt. If Ford Frick could do it to poor Roger Maris...

Better yet, giver her the Citizen Kane treatment: Mariah Carey, "singer"...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

More Of What I Do While I'm Supposed To Be Working Christmas Eve

(I'm sure you feel the same way about cut 'n' paste stuff as I do, BUT - I came across this while surfing and it's too funny not to share.)

Santa's Mailbag

Santa's been really busy this year, so he asked us to answer some of his mail. Here are a few letters we handled for him...

Dear Santa: I wud like a kool toy space ranjur fer Xmas. Iv ben a gud boy all yeer. --Yer Frend, Alton

Dear Alton: You no doubt attend the Failed Cincinnati Pubic Skools. I'm giving your older brother the space ranger. At least HE can spell! --Santa

Dear Santa: All I ask for Christmas is peace and joy and racial harmony for everybody! --Love, Sarah

Dear Sarah: You should've sent your letter to the Morning Fishwrap. They love that kind of crap. --Santa

Dear Santa:I don't know if you can arrange this, but for Christmas, I'd like for my mommy and daddy to get back together. --Your pal, Teddy

Dear Teddy:Your dad's banging your baby-sitter like a screen door in a hurricane. He's not gonna give that up to come back to your frigid mom. It's time to give up that dream. Let me bring you some nice Legos instead. --Santa

Dear Santa: I want a new bike, a Playstation, a train, some G.I. Joes, a drum set, and a pony. --Francis

Dear Francis: Who names his kid Francis" these days? When you grow up, you'll probably turn out to be gay. --Santa

Dear Santa: I really really want a puppy this year. Please, please, please can I have one? --Timmy

Dear Timmy:That whiney begging may work with your folks, but it won't work with me. You're getting pink bunny slippers again. --Santa

Dear Santa: I left milk and cookies for you under the tree, and I left carrots for your reindeer outside the back door. --Love, Susan

Dear Susan:Milk gives me the runs and carrots make the deer fart in my face when I'm riding in the sleigh. You want to do me a favor? Leave me a bottle of Scotch. --Santa

Dear Santa: What do you do the other 364 days of the year? Are you busy making toys? --Your friend, Thomas

Dear Thomas: All the toys are made in China. I have a condo in Vegas, where I spend most of my time making low-budget porn films. I unwind by drinking myself silly and squeezing the asses of cocktail waitresses while losing money at the craps table. Hey, you wanted to know. --Santa

Dear Santa:Do you see us when we're sleeping? Do you really know when we're awake, like in the song? --Love, Jessica

Dear Jessica: Are you really that stupid? Forget the toys this year. I'm skipping your house. --Santa

Dear Santa: I'd like to run for class president. Can you help me, please, please? --"Greggie"

Dear "Greggie": Forget it, kid. You're such a loser. You'll get an hellacious ass whipping, just like all the bullies give you every day after school. --Santa

Dearest Santa:We don't have a chimney. How will you get into our house? --Love, Bobby

Dear Bobby:Just like your mother's boyfriends, through your bedroom window. Sweet Dreams! --Santa

Dear Santa: I've always wanted a Red Ryder 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. --Ralphie

Dear Ralphie: Sorry, kid. You might shoot your eye out. --Santa

These are the real letters to Santa. Any other letters to Santa you may see published are surely fake...

My Holiday Wish To You And Yours

That the following people, in no particular order, should dry up and blow away:

Sean Hannity
John Gibson
Bill O’Reilly
Michele Malkin
Shit-nia Twain
Julia Roberts
Cindy Crawford
Star Jones
All those “Free Tookie” people
Brent Bozell
99% of all radio talk hosts
Kanye West
Mary Hart
Laura Schlessenger
Tom Tancredo
Molly Ivins
Star Jones (I REALLY don’t like her)
The Entire Cast Of “Malcolm In The Middle”
The President Of Venezuela
That Dirtball Who’s Married To Britney Spears
The Entire Cast Of “Gray’s Anatomy”
John McCain
Celine Dion
Those Creepy Little Neo-Nazi Twins
Their Mother
Terrell Owens
Morgan Spurlock
Joan & Melissa Rivers
My first wife

That’s all I can come up with at the moment. Damn, getting old…

Oh…did I mention Star Jones?

A Holiday Gift To You

General announcement:

There will be no self-indulgent "Best Of" retrospectives on this here blog.

Not this year, not ever.

You're welcome.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Requiem For A Format

There are so few spoken-word formatted radio stations that are even listenable. Now there's one less. From All Access...

"The ST. PETERSBURG TIMES reports that WBZZ will flip back to its previous WQYK-A calls and start the simulcast (of sister Country WQYK-FM) on JANUARY 1, dropping the "hot talk" lineup of HOWARD STERN, DON AND MIKE, and local shows launched in JULY 2004..."

It had to happen...a "talk" station that didn't air the same old Rush-clone crap. We couldn't have THAT now, could we?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

That Sound You Hear Is John Gibson's Head Exploding...

Just in case you’re wondering how goes the Great Culture War in my little corner of the world…

Earlier this week, I paid a visit to my local Wal-Mart to take care of a few remaining items on my shopping list (or, to be more specific, my fiancé’s).

During my visit, I had several encounters with store staff and fellow shoppers.

Some wished me, “Merry Christmas.”

Some said, “Happy Holidays.”

Some said, “Have A Nice Day.”

Some said nothing at all.

Strangely enough, I’m cool with all of the above.

Of the many issues that are relevant to my day-to-day life, this particular one doesn’t even show up in my Top One-Hundred. I have this thing, you see, called a life…

So I guess I won’t be appearing any time soon as a talking head on the Fair & Balanced News Network.

I can live with that...


At the risk of sounding smug, I must say: it’s rather amusing to listen in on the Rev. Falwell (and his unevolved following) reacting to the latest verdict in Scopes II. Particularly chuckleworthy is the whining about how the ruling is an "attack" on "Christianity." Like you can't be a Christian and believe in common sense.
Well, I suppose in Falwell's world...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Come Fly With Me...Not

Libertarian writers James Bovard and Charley Reese have both written chilling columns regarding the shooting of Rigoberto Alpizar by air marshals earlier this month. If this is the kind of "security" we can expect from the sky-cops, I think I'd rather take my chances with the Islamofascists and their boxcutters...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Happy Humbug To All...

...and to all a good night...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Something Else That Wasn't Covered In My Baltimore Catechism

Apparently it's now a mortal sin to have a sense of humor...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

North To Alaska

I'm still wondering how anyone from a state that keeps sending a guy like Ted Stevens back to Washington can keep a straight face when describing their home state with terms like "rugged individualism"...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Richard Pryor, R.I.P.

We knew it was coming, but damn...

It's The Big Picture, Stupid

Words of wisdom from Reason editor Nick Gillsepie (with embelleshments from your truly) :

If you're into partisan politics, it's easy to lose sight of the big picture - the truly seismic shifts in culture and technology that, in the long run, underwrite human progress (or lack thereof).

Just tune in your local News/Talk radio station and marvel at the pointlessness of it all...

It's deceptively easy to mistake the petty skirmishes of the moment for nothing less than...end-of-the-world scenarios...

Believe it or not, there are more important issues in this world for most of us than whether Tweedle-dee or Tweedle-very Dumb gets elected next year. Ya wouldn't know it from watching Hannity and Colmes...

Especially in these hyper-partisan times, politics is filled with penny-stock distractions that keep us zeroed in on what is, in the end, trivia.

Who's gonna really care a year, or even a week from now, what happens to Tom DeLay? Who cares, even now, who the hell Scooter Libby is? Who among us, with one foot planted in the real world, really gives a wet slap whether the guy at your local Wal-Mart wishes you a "Merry Christmas," or a "Happy Holidays?!?"

But maybe I'm saying too much; if all you radio talk hosts out there really start getting a clue, it will be that much harder on those of us who already have one.

So...pay no attention, Rush (not that you would). Disregard everything you hear from guys like Nick and me, Sean and Bill. Just keep pandering to the old geeks in their underwear...

And leave the other 90% of the listeners for guys like me, heh heh heh...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Old Rascal, You

All too often, when someone of note dies, it's someone I like. Someone I'm sorry to see go. Someone without whom the world is a worse place.

Not this time...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Winter Of My Discontent

Winter has arrived in Bismarck.

God, I hate winter.

Just three months and change until the first day of spring. Hang on to your hopes my friend...