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Category Archives: Funny Stuff

Man, the Gregory Brothers cannot and will not stop. Magical.


There were some remarkably bad dancers that episode. Again, Mary lays down some unnecessary sexism on that Hawaiian guy by dissing his dance as “feminine”. I was actually troubled by the way Sex was talking to his mom, but I think CPS wouldn’t interfere if the abused is like 28. The Ukrainian guy cracked me up, if only because of the immediate association I made with my Russophile friend Paulya. I’m surprised that Nigel didn’t fall head-over-arse in love with the cute blonde contemporary dancer from L.A.; maybe it’s a sign of sexual senescence, which might be good for his judicial impartiality.

It was good to see Joshua and Katee again. And Mia Michaels, for that matter. And speaking of…

This video shows what it would be like if you mixed me with my friend Dan. The aesthetic absolutism and the Midwestphilia are all mine, while Dan contributes the violent impulses, the facial hair, and the storytelling finesse. I’m thinking of grabbing some merch just because it’s been a while since I got a new t-shirt.

It’s called “noodling.” This is really really crazy. I can’t understand a single word they say.

Thanks, kottke.

Sorry, this is just a test. Besides, she’s 17 in the alleged pictures, and that means it’s illegal.

Here’s your consolation:

If you can’t prove causation, you can go for correlation. If you can’t prove correlation, well, you can always lie.

Courtesy of the recession, one might assume.


If you liked Auto-Tune the News, here are the debates set to song and dance.

If the Olson clan keeps at it, I see big things in their future.

There are 390,000 self-identified followers of the Jedi faith in Britain, according to the new census. Setting aside the question of what an army of British Jedi means for international security, also setting aside the question of what a truly practicing Jedi would look/act like, and setting aside the question of whether or not Jedis are a little bit fascist, let’s focus on this: what’s the difference between a fake religion and a real one?

First, the difference between a cult and a fake religion: not all fake religions are cults. It’s the difference between the Jedi and the Heaven’s Gate crowd. A cult might be a fake religion, though. Or it could be a young religion that doesn’t have an evolutionarily sustainable strategy. Like having all your members kill themselves every time a comet passes near Earth.

One way to separate the Jedis and the Scientologists from the Christians and the Muslims would to require religious sources to be separate from science fiction literature. If a danger of young religions/cults (they’re generally indistinguishable at the beginning, which is not to say they’re the same thing) is that they are marketing schemes concocted by charlatans to make a lot of money, then that criticism is particularly potent when the religious founder has established herself as a talented storyteller and marketer.

This criticism is different from Hume’s attack on religious belief, which was that the likelihood of a mistaken perception or a lie is always greater than that of a miracle (defined as breaking the laws of nature, which have been tested by centuries of human experience and experiment). I’m afraid that Hume’s argument boils down to: miracles are inordinately unlikely, and it’s not good policy to believe that inordinately unlikely things are true. I have problems with the mechanics of this argument and its implications. The talented storyteller/marketer criticism focuses more on the problem of being used instead of the problem of believing a false proposition.

Let’s take a Wittgensteinian tour of religious propositions just to show why I would focuse on used-ness rather than truth. First off, lots of religious language isn’t propositional, it’s imperative. Peace be with you. God bless you. Love your neighbor. Such sentences are meant to influence lives, not to describe the world, and so they don’t have truth values. Of the relatively few religious claims, like Christ is risen, Jesus loves you, We’re all God’s children, or God set the universe in motion, some look like historical claims, but I believe that, properly understood, they are actually extra-scientific. Like expressing views on the origins on the universe, or moral attitudes. Areas where science has no methods for generating truth.

This isn’t to say that religion and religious language are always properly understood by believers. People who claim that the earth is really 6,000 years old or that Jesus rode dinosaurs are offering claims that land squarely in the jurisdiction of science/history, and claims that happen to be contrary to all kinds of evidence. That is an example of religion overstepping its bounds. But when religion is within its bounds, discussing human dignity and the good life, judgment, and c., there’s no direct way for science to contradict the statements, because they’re more generating and sustaining attitudes than describing states of affairs. And then all’s right in heaven and on earth.

I’ve heard of generation gaps, but there are like 8 of them between me and George F. “Bow-Tie” Will. An exerpt from his latest op-ed:

Denim is the infantile uniform of a nation in which entertainment frequently features childlike adults (“Seinfeld,” “Two and a Half Men”) and cartoons for adults (“King of the Hill”). Seventy-five percent of American “gamers” — people who play video games — are older than 18 and nevertheless are allowed to vote.

He’s getting frumpy about Seinfeld and video games, man; nobody tell him about that rap music or he’ll freak.

But seriously, I think he’s wrong. I think if he could spit out a much more convincing (and relevant) frumpy article about about the designer jean phenomenon. Which is almost the exact opposite of what he thinks denim fashion is: it’s an arms race to the top, to be as flashy with your expensive jeans as your bank account allows. He could argue that hipsters (if he had heard of them) are obsessed with a faux working class vibe, but I think that that has its roots in a yearning for the masculinity of another era, not an affinity for juvenility.

Friedersdorf at the American Scene says Will should set his sights on pleated chinos, but I’d like to think bigger. A quick check of his bio reveals something abhorrently low-class, and terribly un-white (Webster’s 2c, “marked by upright fairness,” or 3d, “favorable, fortunate,” nothing racist, I assure you) about him. A long neck-tie? How awful. I would hardly wear such an accesory to the lavatory, and I deem it suitable only for beggards and lepers. A quality bow-tie, preferably of the Ben Silver or Brooks Brothers marks, now that might be a civilized piece of neckware.