Elias presents ... a worm!    Thoughts on family, philosophy,
and technology


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Victory versus our strategy of defeat

John Lewis lays it out in stark black-and-white. One pearl among many:
It is obvious that the defeat of the Republicans in the 2006 mid-term elections was a repudiation of President Bush's policies in this war. But it is more important to understand that President Bush has not mounted an offensive strategy, and that an offensive strategy is not the reason why American troops are dying in Iraq. There has been no drive to victory, only a string of casualties and the progressive discouragement of the American people. As a result, our primary enemy has been strengthened, and allowed to address the world as a leader just a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City. (Imagine Hitler being granted this privilege.) Bush's war strategy of non-war has resulted in a functional paralysis caused by our self-imposed failure to identify and confront open and avowed enemies.

If I may add: Bush is an altruist, which means he believes in the moral sanctity of self-sacrifice, which is exactly what his policies have given us: an unrelenting sacrifice of American blood, money, and liberty to the irrational societies of the world. So much for the claim (e.g., "elections are about the issues") that a politician's philosophy should not be the principal criterion when voting.


Friday, November 10, 2006


We saw Borat. Despite some laughs, we were underwhelmed and at times repulsed. There are so many rave reviews for this film, we were amazed at how juvenile and unclever it is. And that doesn't even describe what is worst about it.

Actor Cohen's schtick can be summed up in one word: disrespect. Undercover as a foreign ignoramus, he goes around making truly offensive (often racist or sexist) statements and acts before unsuspecting folks exactly in order to draw out of them either equally offensive statements or, failing that, responses of surprise, disgust, and fury. The audience of twentysomethings we were with loved it when Cohen handed his gracious dinner host a bag of what was supposed to be his own shit. Hardy har har!

Best review of the movie is here.

Is it legal to dupe people, if they sign some sort of consent form? Can a person consent to be tricked? I don't think the concepts are compatible. Cohen's targets obviously were not told the whole truth of the situation, except, one must presume, via abstract and technical legalese. So I don't know, but I doubt it should be legal.

It is definitely immoral. Cohen is professionally dishonest, and he deserves contempt. Two victims of his dishonesty are suing 20th Century Fox and other production companies involved with the film. I hope they win.

If I want to be entertained with juvenile silliness, I'll take Tommy Boy or Anchorman anyday.

UPDATE: Petzold has a good take on it.

UPDATE 2: Amy makes a good point: in
Borat, Cohen is only uncivil to people who deserve civility.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Unknown woman nabs celebrities

Wire reports indicate Winnie the Pooh and Piglet were recently removed from their home and carried like stuffed animals through the streets of Portland for an indeterminate length of time. The kidnapper claimed afterwards that she just wanted them to "have fun." When asked about the experience, Mr. Pooh only knocked on a table, grinned from ear-to-ear, and declared: "Trick or treat!"

More here.