A Venn Diagram For Perplexed Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Staffers

Posted in Music, News on July 27th, 2014 by Brian

Story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Ted Nugent calls Wisconsin critics “unclean vermin,” but Oshkosh show still sells well:

The Detroit-born rock star encountered bad concert karma this week. A Native American tribe in Idaho canceled an August show he planned at its casino, citing his “racist and hate-filled remarks” as cause for concern. Soon afterward, a Washington casino followed suit, canceling two August shows for the same reason.

But Nugent’s Saturday show at Oshkosh’s Leach Amphitheater is still on and selling well — even though the performer, 65, had some choice words for his critics here.

In an interview with the Appleton Post Crescent, Nugent said Wisconsinites who are upset by him are “unclean vermin,” calling it “a badge of honor” to know that some people had problems with his Badger State visit.

He went on: “By all indicators, I don’t think [the critics] actually qualify as people.”

Nugent, 65, was reacting to the online uproar caused by a letter published in the Post Crescent by an Oshkosh resident that called for the show at the Waterfest Concert Series to be canceled, criticizing what the writer called “outlandish behavior and threatening statements that border on the obscene to the bizarre.”

So.

To recap:

  1. Ted Nugent does as Ted Nugent is.
  2. Some of his concerts were cancelled elsewhere.
  3. Someone in a letter to the editor to an Oshkosh newspaper complaining that Ted Nugent Thinks Bad Thoughts And Should Be An Unperson.
  4. Ted Nugent does as Ted Nugent is.
  5. People who think Ted Nugent’s concerts should not be allowed did not buy tickets to Ted Nugent’s concert.
  6. People who are aware of Ted Nugent when he is not part of the Approved Current Two Minute Hate, that is, his fans, bought tickets to the non-cancelled concert.
  7. Perplexion!
  8. Sorry, that’s a chain of thought, which might be a bit much for journalists. Here, I have produced a Venn diagram of the situation as Venn diagrams are very popular on Web sites that feature lists of pictures instead of flowing logical thought:

    A Venn diagram of Ted Nugent's fans and Ted Nugent's critics, part 1

    A Venn diagram of Ted Nugent's fans and Ted Nugent's critics, part 2

    In a stunning turn of events, people who wanted to see Ted Nugent and know Ted Nugent did not boycott Ted Nugent at the behest of a letter to the editor.

    Ted Nugent is conservative and outspoken. One would say extreme, but one who said that does not know the word hyperbolic. That is what Ted Nugent does.

    What sorts of headlines did we see when the Dixie Chicks went off on the president of this country abroad during a time of war? “Dixie Chicks Mock President, and Commercial Appeal Evaporates”? No, see saw things like, “After Speaking Truth To Power, Dixie Chicks Release New Album”. Which did not sell, because the appropriate headline should have been “Dixie Chicks Offend Their Audience, Appeal To People Who Do Not Buy Dixie Chicks Albums”. The Journal-Sentinel headline would read “Dixie Chicks Express Right Sentiments, But Concert Sales Flag”.

    It’s not even a matter of who’s right or wrong politically here; Ted Nugent played to type, and the Dixie Chicks did not. He said something characteristic to Ted Nugent, and Ted Nugent fans accepted it.

    The perplexion comes in because journalists think what Ted Nugent said is wrong, and that the mere power of a letter to the editor should have illumined that to backwards classic rock fans and hunters in outstate Wisconsin. The unspoken follow-up, perhaps, is, “Gawd, people in the state where I live and work are soooo dumb! I wish I could get a job in Austin or Boston.” I suspect it’s there anyway.

    (Full disclosure: I’m a lightweight fan of Ted Nugent, having bought a greatest hits collection of his on cassette way back when one bought greatest hits collections from record clubs one saw advertised in magazines. I also, when attending the university, was tasked with writing a myth for my Mythology class, and my shaggy long-haired nineteen-year-old self wrote about the invention of rock and roll where Prometheus “gives” an electrified six-stringed lute to a boy in Detroit, and the teacher asked me to read the myth to the whole seventy kids in the auditorium-sized class.)

Pick Your Star Trek Scenario

Posted in Movies, News on July 26th, 2014 by Brian

You’ve all seen this story because the Internet loves stories about sex, space, and lizards: There is a lizard sex satellite floating in space and Russia no longer has it under control:

At this very moment, a Russian satellite full of geckos — (possibly) having sex — is floating around in space — and mission control has lost the ability to control it.

The Foton-M4 research satellite launched on July 19 with five geckos on board. The plan: To observe their mating activities in the zero-gravity conditions of Earth orbit. Several other earthly creatures, including plants and insects, were also placed on board for experiments.

But shortly after the satellite made its first few orbits, it stopped responding to commands from mission control. The equipment on board, however, is still sending scientific data back to earth, a spokesman for Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems said.

So does this lead to the Star Trek: The Motion Picture scenario, wherein these geckos return at some point in the future with super intelligence and super powers to talk to the Russians who thought this was a good idea, or the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home scenario, where some aliens come to earth in the future to hook up with some swinging geckos and threaten to destroy the planet until their reptilian needs are met?

Exit question, which is only partially facetious: How well did the Russians arm those geckos? Because that could result in an alternate scenario altogether.

Our Own Royko

Posted in News, Springfield on July 21st, 2014 by Brian

The Springfield News-Leader has a metro columnist now. His debut is entitled “Springfield as good a place as any“. Highlights:

Springfield, in my estimation, is as good a place as any. It’s got its own drama and history. It has highlights and faults.

It has culture and religion and art. And, if you’d prefer to avoid a 15-hour flight for comparisons, you can just take my word for it.

. . . .

I’m not saying I’ll never leave Springfield, but it’s got enough to continue my curiosity, for awhile.

This piece, by way of introduction, is to explain what I’m doing as the News-Leader’s metro columnist.

I am pretty sure he’s serious.

The newspaper, meanwhile, is almost to the point of its distributors taping it to rocks and throwing it through living room windows.

The Whut?

Posted in News on June 26th, 2014 by Brian

Stronger Economy Means More July 4 Drivers

– Is it a burst of patriotism, a sense of tradition or another sign that the economy is recovering?

Maybe it’s a combination of all three factors. Motor club AAA is projecting 41 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from their homes this upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend. That’s an increase of nearly two percent from last year’s figures, and a 14 percent jump compared with the recent Memorial Day holiday weekend.

And AAA says about 80 percent of those travelers will be on America’s roads. Nearly 35 million people are expected to move about by car during the July 4th weekend; the highest level for that holiday since the pre-recession year of 2007.

Stronger than what? Stronger than a 4% decrease in economic activity or a 2% decrease in durable goods orders, baby!

People are driving more in older cars rather than taking airplanes, and this is a sign of boom times to news media that are experiencing boom times of their own.

Was It Attempted Suicide, Or Was The Deer Targeting The Family?

Posted in News on May 28th, 2014 by Brian

Deer jumps from Ill. overpass, lands on van below:

A suburban Chicago woman is grateful her family is safe after a 200 pound deer leapt from an overpass, landing on their minivan as it traveled along an Illinois interstate.

Surely, there is an M. Night Shyamalan film in there somewhere.

To Be Fair, Twenty-Two-Year-Old Writing The Headline Only Knew Paul Simon Was Somebody Because His Grandmother Listened To Him and Because Someone Wrote This Story In The First Place

Posted in News on April 28th, 2014 by Brian

Headline: Paul Simon, wife arrested after ‘dispute’.

The wife, of course, is Edie Brickell.

Go ask your mom.

An Inadvertent Oxymoron

Posted in News on April 25th, 2014 by Brian

From an article on the suspicious deaths of a pair of children, we have this beauty:

“The circumstances surrounding the death of the two children had various similarities,” Wilcox said in a statement emailed to the News-Leader. [Emphasis added]

Various, from variety, implies many different. Literally, you can’t have varied similarities without risking the delicate balance between existence and non-existence in our fragile universe.

Unfortunately, various has been abstracted to mean nothing more than many or several in the argot.

Introducing the Assault iPhone

Posted in News on April 2nd, 2014 by Brian

Add a camouflage case to the next generation iPhone, and it magically become an iPhone worth of banning:

Just days after leaked images suggested Apple’s iPhone 6 will have a protruding camera, a patent has been issued giving an insight into what this feature may be used for.

The patent, initially filed in 2012, describes a bayonet mount system for an iPhone camera.[Emphasis added.]

A bayonet mount, as you know, is one of the cosmetic features that make a rifle into an ASSAULT RIFLE BADBADBAD!

Connect the Dots, Man

Posted in News on March 14th, 2014 by Brian

Dustbury links to this disturbing story:

There are plans to build the country’s largest single family residence in northeast Edmond.

Last year, the Edmond Planning Commission was asked to give approval to a mega mansion on the northwest corner of Sorghum Mill Road and Westminster Road.

“It’s truly a castle,” says Bob Schiermeyer, who saw the first renderings late last year and tells News 9 the plans call for a draw bridge and spires that reach 90 feet.

Well, it’s just a story until I mix my own brand of disturbed into it.

Because this is not the first castle to be built in the region recently. See also:

As the monolithic structure began to rise on an isolated mountaintop in Missouri’s Ozarks, the chatter grew: Who was building this cement castle?

. . . .

The massive structure will require several thousand yards of concrete to build. The building materials include a concrete additive that contains tiny pieces of wire that will allow the structure to withstand everything from an F-5 tornado to a bomb blast. Tornadoes are certainly a concern, as Pensmore is in rural Christian County, Mo., not too far from Joplin, the town that was ravaged by a powerful tornado on May 22.

I got two words for you: Marcher lords.

This is the Internet, after all. What do we have to do around here but speculate wildly?

Although I have to admit, if I had the dinero for it, I think I’d have a castle built, too.

What World Am I Living In?

Posted in News on February 5th, 2014 by Brian

Certainly not that of the Wall Street Journal columnists.

First, in Bret Stephens’ Dancing in the Nuclear Dark, a bit of alt-pop-culture:

Where do federal government reports go once they’ve been published and (lightly) chewed over by second-tier officials, congressional staffers and think-tank wonks? I picture them being packed into crates and stored in some vast warehouse, like the Ark of the Covenant in the last scene of “Indiana Jones.”

The film’s name was Raiders of the Lost Ark.

At the bottom of the page, Fay Vincent offers Ten Tips for New Executives which includes:

Be sure to manage down. Spend time with the lower-level employees in your company and try to be decent to all of them. A polite greeting to the elevator operator, a thanks to the mail delivery person and a kind word to the assistants will be appreciated.[Emphasis added]

The elevator operator? Might as well have guided people to be kind to the stenographers and the milkman.

The New York Observer sez:

IT’S WELL KNOWN AMONG THE SMALL WORLD of people who pay attention to such things that the liberal-leaning reporters at The Wall Street Journal resent the conservative-leaning editorial page of The Wall Street Journal.

Apparently, the fact checkers hate them, too.

(Link to the Observer piece courtesy of the Ace of Spades HQ sidebar.)

Cars Don’t Kill People; Hit-and-Run Drivers Kill People

Posted in News on January 21st, 2014 by Brian

According to this story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, more objects are becoming murderous: Police seek pickup after man, 80, is killed in hit-and-run near Hillsboro

An 80-year-old man was struck and killed this morning near Hillsboro and authorities are searching for the pickup believed to have struck him before driving away.

So guns aren’t the only self-activating agents of human destruction any more.

On the one hand, it’s not passive voice, which is poor writing. On the other hand, ascribing actions to objects is worse than obscuring agency through passive voice.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Writer Displays Ignorance Of Gun Owners, Gun Culture

Posted in News on December 14th, 2013 by Brian

And who would have guessed it from the accusatory headline, What’s an Olivette man doing running pro-gun website?:

Sitting inside a Starbucks, sipping black coffee, joking with the baristas, Dan Zimmerman doesn’t look like a gun guy.

He looks like a guy who might work in accounts receivable, which is what this Olivette resident did for years. He is 53, balding, wearing tortoise shell glasses, carrying a little extra weight and dressed in the beige tones of business casual. He smiles easily. He is working on a laptop at a back table.

He also might be packing heat. Could be his .38 snubby. Maybe his Kahr 9 mm. He won’t say.

“I really don’t talk about that,” he says.

No word on whether the journalist asked to see it or hold it.

No word on what the journalist thinks a gun guy looks like, but I suspect its informed by the film version of Winter’s Bone.

Feed a Deer, Go to Jail

Posted in News on November 13th, 2013 by Brian

If I lived in Chesterfield, Missouri, I would be a wanted man:

Chesterfield residents caught feeding animals will serve up to three months in jail, according to an amended city ordinance passed at a city council meeting earlier this month.

It’s true: I am a notorious deer-feeder. I have planted delicious young fruit trees around Nogglestead for their dining pleasure. Or so they think.

And in today’s science lesson:

Under the amended ordinance, it is now illegal to feed all wild mammals, including pigeons and Canada Geese.

Does the writer need remedial science courses or simply remedial writing courses? In the modern era, I fear the worst.

Political Persecution Yes, Political Prosecution No

Posted in News on September 19th, 2013 by Brian

No criminal charges for Obama protesters arrested in St. Charles for distracting I-70 drivers:

A pair of St. Charles County men won’t face criminal charges after their recent arrests during an anti-Obama protest on an Interstate 70 highway overpass.

. . . .

The men were arrested in August for failing to obey orders by Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers as the pair gathered above I-70 to protest the president.

Would they have been arrested if the signs had said, “Happy Birthday Mindy!”

Of course not.

But the goal was served, prosecution or not. They were removed from the bridge and prevented from sharing their message. And perhaps they’ll think better of peacefully assembling and speaking their minds in the future.

I’m Walking, I’m Falling

Posted in News on September 18th, 2013 by Brian

A bow hunter following a deer he wounded pushes through a bush and falls seven stories to his death:

A deer hunter walking in a wooded area in rural Pulaski County died Monday when he fell into a deep sinkhole, authorities say.

. . . .

The sinkhole was about the size of a car at ground level and was estimated to be approximately 65 to 70 feet deep.

. . . .

It is believed Powelson did not see the opening before falling into it because it was hidden behind tall foliage, and the light was poor, according to the sheriff’s department.

Well, I’m going to give up on hiking in the woods. Not that I’m a hiker. But I’m far less inclined now.

(Another sinkhole nightmare explains why I gave up on golf, another hobby I never had.)

Your Internet Conspiracy Theory of the Day

Posted in Humor, News on September 7th, 2013 by Brian

A story from Instapundit yesterday:

SO A FRIEND HAD A WEIRD EXPERIENCE LAST WEEK — her car was struck by lightning on the Interstate. All the electronics were fried, they managed to coast to the side of the road, and then they couldn’t get out because the door locks and windows were frozen.

A story from the television news yesterday:

A motorcyclist riding on Interstate 5 survived a lightning strike Thursday as a tumultuous day of weather saw thunderstorms and rain roll through Washington on both sides of the Cascade Mountains.

Is this a coincidence or is the government testing its lightning drones on American citizens?

I was going to embed a tweet here that was something like this:

“The government is listening to your phone calls, reading your emails, and cracking your encryption.” – a crazy person one year ago

But that tweet has disappeared. Or I can’t find it again. Which is the same thing. (Conspiracy theory style note: italics are important!)

Frankly, I’m only bringing this to your attention because it’s been a little dry around here lately, and my gardens could use the rain that would come with my lightning strike.

UPDATE: Edward Snowden just emailed me this NSA internal video:

It All Started When They Started Sweetening Coke With Lead

Posted in News on August 20th, 2013 by Brian

Is Soda Making Our Children More Aggressive?:

According a new study out of Columbia University, children who drank soft drinks every day were more likely to become violent, hurting other children and destroying things.

Researchers tracked 3,000 children since their births. Nearly 40 percent drank four or more sodas a day. Some who drank just one soda a day even showed more aggressive behaviors.

KOLR10 News spoke to one local pediatrician who said the study is not exactly conclusive.

“They haven’t looked at what it is in the soda that’s causing that, whether it’s the sugar or the caffeine or exactly what is involved,” says Dr. Ashley Merrick with Mercy.

The story doesn’t link to the study itself, but I wonder how they controlled for other environmental factors, such as what kind of parents allow their kids to drink four or more sodas a day?

Have a Nightmare on Me

Posted in News on July 25th, 2013 by Brian

Giant carnivorous, venomous centipedes here in the Ozarks? You betcha:

“I was climbing up to Devil’s Tea Table down near Kissee Mills and grabbed a stick to pull myself up,” Maynard recalled about his July 17 hiking trip. “This thing was on the back side of the stick and got me on my right index finger. It felt like someone had stuck a hot soldering iron under my skin.”

Maynard had inadvertently grabbed a 6-inch giant red-headed centipede, and it bit him with its two sharp fangs, injecting venom that caused his finger to immediately swell. Sweating from pain, he knew he was in trouble.

. . . .

The 6-incher that bit Maynard was a pipsqueak. Miller said giant red-headed centipedes can grow upwards of 10 inches in length.

. . . .

Unlike spiders that inject venom into their prey and then suck out the insides, Miller said, giant red-headed centipedes eat all of the creatures they catch, ranging from other centipedes and insects to small frogs and lizards. The centipedes actively hunt at night…

Frankly, the title of the horror movie would be The Centipedes Hunt At Night.

UPDATE Thanks for the link, Mr. Hill. Hey, readers, don’t forget my novel John Donnelly’s Gold is available for $.99 Kindle and in other formats. Charles Hill himself said of John Donnelly’s Gold:

This really should not have worked as a novel: technical descriptions tend toward the mundane, and most of the techies I know are decidedly short on drama. What makes this worth your time is Noggle’s attention to detail: J. Random Noob will appreciate the extra exposition, and your local expert will nod, “Yeah, that’s exactly the way I’d do that. If I were going to do that, which of course I’m not.” There might be a hair too much geographical exposition — by the time you’re finished you should be able to hire on as a cab driver in St. Louis County — but no matter about that. The plot is more than sufficiently twisty; I’m pleased to report that I did not even come close to predicting the way it ended. And if the dialogue meanders a bit, hey, that’s the way these people talk. I’ve heard them, and so have you.

Doesn’t that sound like it’s worth a dollar?

Some Swedish Total Recall-Style Plot in Jeopardy

Posted in News on July 16th, 2013 by Brian

Man found in California motel awakens with amnesia:

Doctors are looking into the mystery of a Florida man who awoke speaking only Swedish, with no memory of his past, after he was found unconscious four months ago at a Southern California motel.

Michael Boatwright, 61, woke up with amnesia, calling himself Johan Ek, The Desert Sun reported (http://mydesert.co/145PNGw ).

Boatwright was found unconscious in a Motel 6 room in Palm Springs in February. After police arrived, he was transported to the Desert Regional Medical Center where he woke up.

Hospital officials said Boatwright may have been in town for a tennis tournament in the Coachella Valley. He was found with a duffel bag of exercise clothes, a backpack and tennis rackets. He also carried four forms of identification — a passport, a California identification card, a veteran’s medical card and a Social Security card — all of which identified him as Michael Thomas Boatwright.

A botched memory implant, a double life, extensive skills with weaponry (albeit medieval weaponry), foreign bank accounts….

It looks as though a Swedish plot to infiltrate the United States has gone awry. Or is that what they want us to think?

A Wounded Animal Lashes Out

Posted in News on July 15th, 2013 by Brian

Asiana to sue San Francisco TV station over names:

Asiana announced Monday that it will sue a San Francisco TV station that it said damaged the airline’s reputation by using bogus and racially offensive names for four pilots on a plane that crashed earlier this month in San Francisco.

You know, I think it was something else in this incident that might have harmed Asiana’s reputation far more than a juvenile prank.