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April 14, 2005
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A talking Jesus doll is due to go on sale in May, along with versions of Moses, the Virgin Mary and David, as a teddy bear maker tries to find a market with churches and religious families.
Actually, and this is no joke, there's already a company which makes Talking Jesus dolls. And what I particularly like is that their version of Talking Jesus recites--
--the Ten Commandments.
I assume that even this site's largely secular audience will understand what's wrong with that.
...various nitpickers are insisting that this would not be theologically inconsistent, because Jesus, as a Jew, would have been intimately familiar with the Commandments. Well, sure, and Abraham Lincoln was undoubtedly familiar with the writings of Thomas Jefferson, but if you're making a talking Abe Lincoln action figure, trying to convey the essence of the man with a few ounces of molded plastic and an embedded thirty second sound chip, are you going to have him reciting excerpts from the Declaration of Independence or the Gettysburg Address...?
...Greg at the Talent Show has more...
Speaking of the Pulitzer
Congratulations to Willamette Week (the paper that runs my work in Portland, Oregon), and to their reporter Nigel Jaquiss, who was awarded a Pulitzer for an investigative series about an ex-Governor's history of sexual abuse of a teenage girl.
Despite the fact that they've been around for several decades, the altweeklies are still treated as the poor and somewhat unruly cousin of Serious Journalism. It's nice to see one of these papers getting the respect it deserves.
One of the first emails that came in this morning was from a reader warning me to brace myself before looking at Brooks' latest column, and boy was he right. McBobo's latest canard is that opposition to the appointment of John Bolton as UN ambassador is coming primarily from one-world utopians who in their heart of hearts want to abolish national borders and create a world governing authority, but gosh darn it, this tough-talking Bolton fellow stands in the way of their squishy-headed dream.
Brooks doesn't content himself with building straw men. Brooks builds straw populations. Brooks brings forth straw galaxies out of the inchoate darkness of what is clearly an overactive imagination. He seems to believe that, by spinning these ideological fantasies out on the op-ed page of the Times, he can give them form and substance--turn his straw men into gold, if you will.
And within each column, there is invariably at least one demonstrably false assertion, and Brooks does not disappoint today:
We will never accept global governance, third, because we love our Constitution and will never grant any other law supremacy over it. Like most peoples (Europeans are the exception), we will never allow transnational organizations to overrule our own laws, regulations and precedents. We think our Constitution is superior to the sloppy authority granted to, say, the International Criminal Court.
Okay, this is just forehead-slappingly stupid, as anyone who's paid the slightest attention to international trade agreements like NAFTA and GATT is well aware--our love of the Constitution aside, we already have effectively given transnational organizations the ability to overrule our laws and regulations. (Here's one quick example for the inevitable doubters in the audience.)
The intellectual banality of this man astounds even a simple uneducated cartoonist such as myself.
They asked me to come on Hannity & Colmes last night to talk about Nick Anderson, the cartoonist who won the Pulitzer this year. Apparently the Powerline types are having conniption fits because he, you know, makes fun of glorious leader. (Imagine how they'd react if I ever won the damn thing.) I declined the invitation because I had other obligations, but even if I'd been available, I can't say I would have been awfully enthused about a four hour door-to-door round trip in order to have a few minutes on a Fox News shouting heads show. (They wanted me in studio for this one.) Then again, I can't say I'd be awfully enthused even if they wanted to do a remote right down the street. I've been on their show before--there was admittedly a time when a walk on role as a monkey in one of these little televised circuses seemed emminently desirable to me. It's just that these days, I can't quite remember why.
At any rate, I was sort of curious who they booked in my stead and was poking around the H&C website when I found this extraordinary transcript from last month. It reads like satire, something I myself might have written last December when the various Fox shouters were busy defending Christmas from the godless liberals--but it is quite genuine. Trust me on this, you really want to read this one all the way through--it's completely surreal. The whole thing is an exercise in people babbling for the sake of babbling, which I guess is the point for me--I just don't want to be one of those people.
BOB BECKEL, GUEST HOST: Welcome back to "Hannity & Colmes." I'm Bob Beckel, filling in for Alan Colmes and stealing Sean Hannity's lines!
April 13, 2005
Their drummer sent me a complimentary note a month or so ago, so I looked up their site and liked what I heard--growly blues, vaguely reminiscent of Morphine. Anyway, a generous reader bought their latest CD off the Wish List, and it's quickly become one of my current favorites.
As Negroponte prepares for his Senate confirmation hearing today for the new post of director of national intelligence, hundreds of previously secret cables and telegrams have become available that shed new light on the most controversial episode in his four-decade diplomatic career. The documents, drawn from Negroponte's personal records as ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, were released by the State Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Washington Post.
Two videos you need to watch
At DNext, they call him "one-take Georgie." Remarkable footage of glorious leader. And then there's this inexplicable music video which everyone else has linked to already, but just in case you missed it...
Coming soon: resin maquettes of your favorite angry penguin and very nice dog duo, with real protesting action! Sparky stands about a foot tall. His wing moves up and down, and the sign is removable. And Blinky has real wire whiskers.
...we're also considering having it so you can swap out slogans on the sign. I'm feeling a little too close to the forest to see the penguins right now, so I'm going to throw this one out to all of you--what other Sparky-ish phrases would you like to see?
Note to Des Moines readers
The paper that runs my cartoon in Des Moines, City View, has apparently just been bought by another company. I was contacted by them last week--they wanted to keep running the cartoon, asked what they needed to do. Seemed very concerned about missing a single week's installment, very eager to keep running the cartoon. Today, however, with no explanation other than that "decisions were made regarding content," I've been informed that City View will no longer be running This Modern World after all.
I'm not posting an email address or phone number here, because I'm not interested in astroturfing them. But if you live in Des Moines and would like to register your disapproval of this decision with the new owners of City View, you should certainly pick up a copy of the paper and look up the contact info and let them know how you feel.
April 12, 2005
It may be a banal bumper sticker slogan, but it's also pretty good advice, given how often power breeds duplicity.
Dennis Kyne put up such a fight at a political protest last summer, the arresting officer recalled, it took four police officers to haul him down the steps of the New York Public Library and across Fifth Avenue.
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