Since today has been designated Annual Do-Nothing Day, at least in my household, I thought I'd make a trip around the blogs and send back a report for your reading pleasure.
Alex Frantz has a lot more to talk about than banana slugs. He has a very sensible response to Nick Denton's suggestion (which I think is just plain stupid) that we treat Muslim communities in the West the way they treat others ("dhimmis"):
There's a tongue-in-cheek movement to push Matthew Yglesias as the Lefty Instapundit. But Matt, here's a hint: You will never make it with that current template. Small white-on-black text guarantees you lose a huge amount of audience share due to we don't want to go fucking blind reading your site. (Hey. I just got back from Lair's weblog; that's why the swear slipped in.) There are precious few sites that have designs that are harsh on my eyes that I will still read, and none of them are read regularly. If I'm not reading, I'm not linking, and neither are many other webloggers with the same sentiment. Save our eyesplease.
You know, while I was looking around, I found this guy, and in one of his posts, he was discussing the Stanley Fish thing that I was studiously ignoring because, well, discussions of post-modernism make me want to pick up my aluminum baseball bat and push it through either the wall, or the closest post-modernist, whichever one I can get first. But I liked this post. And the comments are even better:
I have always loathed the concept of deconstructionism, which insists that the very author of a book does not know what the book meant. Umto paraphrase a certain Dead European Male Writer: A word means exactly what I want it to mean, no more, no less. Idiotic is the perfect word for deconstructionists. Glad to know you, Will Wilkinson. (And there are many posts where he does not discuss philosophy, so click on the link and look around, you philosophy weenies.)
There's a new blog that exists simply as a directory of left-leaning weblogs. Brian Linse is doing a great job of helping the New Left find a voice, simply by cataloguing liberal blogs. Thanks, Brian. But move me up in the list: I've been around since April of 2001 and I have the archives to prove it. permalink
Is there anyone out there that still thinks Hussein's regime shouldn't be dismantled? Do you doubt that the man who sent SCUD missiles into Israel during the Gulf War won't hesitate to send anthrax and anything else in his weapons supply toward them, and toward our troops?
I'm giving W. the benefit of the doubt, still, but if I don't see any action this fall, I'm going to start agreeing with the crowd that insists Iraq is off the table and the oil ticks* are calling the shots.
And as a sideline to the above, the Times also details the latest Iraqi trickery regarding UN inspections: Trying to rewrite UN resolutions and get the inspections the way Hussein wants them. Amazingly, the UN is siding with the US on this.
I lied again. Teresa Nielsen Hayden made me laugh too hard to ignore her contribution to the Super Dating Game. (I think this topic will end when I run out of names for it.) She doesn't like my reasons for giving Wolverine four stars.
To answer your question, Teresa: As for why I like Wolvie, I'm sorry. There really isn't much more than that bad boy thing. I mean, okay, he's got a hairy chest and I think hairy chests are sexy. All right, so he's short, dark, and stocky, and my childhood sweetheart, who may have had some influence on the way I feel about men, was short, dark, and stocky. (He did not have claws or smoke cigars.) I may also be overly prejudiced by Hugh Jackman's portrayal of him. (Oh, let's face it, if there's a woman comics fan who didn't swoon for Jackman's Wolverine out there, it's because she's a lesbian.)
But overall, Teresa, I don't have a whole lot to go on. I really didn't think I'd be spending as much time on this topic as I have been, and I'm risking boring my readers with one too many posts about Sex and the Superhero, but heyyou asked. (And folks, check out the rest of her post for a series of hilarious comments, not to mention the theory that all superheroes are Jewish.)
Ben F. is the latest of several readers who asked me if I was aware of the infamous Larry Niven essay, "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex." Yes, I've known about it for as long as it's been around, and I like it even less with time. While a journey into whimsy is a lot of fun from time to timewitness the reaction to my rating the Superheroes, which created a new record for one-day visits (over 3,000, my God, do we all need a new hobby or what?)it's really an exercise in futility to try to apply real laws of physics to comic book characters. Besides, the best example I ever heard regarding comic books vs. reality was that only breaking the laws of physics can explain how those costumes can possibly stay on female superheroes. Especially in battle.
Avram, don't you be assuming I never read it because I didn't mention it. In point of fact, I edited out a reference to the essay because it didn't fit the rhythm of either the paragraph or the piece. So there.
Karin at the Silk Velvet Asylum is not a mainstream snob. She's got the (mostly) Indie superheroes dating ratings. You go, girl!
Greg Harris is giving us the other side of the ratings: He's rating the female superheroes. I'll give him a link, even if he is dissing one of my all-time faves, Ms. Kitty Pryde. (Dude, she's 16 now, and that's legal in some states.)
Garrett Moritz isn't rating the studleys, but he does have interesting commentary on the Green Goblin and the Dark Knight. Garrett: You do have too much time on your hands. Sigh. Shakespeare in the Park. You lucky dog. Next week I'm going to see the Dogwood Dell version of Into the Woods. Wish I could see it on Broadway.
Jim Treacher wants me to know that A) he wasn't calling me a homewrecker; B) Did I tackle Bouncing Boy on the ratings?; and C) Did I know that (Elongated Man) Ralphy Dibney's nose would vibrate when he smelled a mystery? As a matter of fact, yes, I did know that, but I was trying to stay at a slightly higher level, but then, Dolly's ratings helped bring me down to R instead of PG, so here I go again. Bouncing BoyI did consider him or one of the other Legionnaires, but they're really not much more than boytoys for me, Jim. Maybe at a later date. Of course, the Legion has been around for so long they should all be working on great-granchildren by now, but that's comic book time for you. Wish I lived in comic book time.
Reader Andy F. asks me why I didn't mention the superhero who can "part his hair with his tongue." I do believe he's thinking of supervillain the Toad, and if so, the Toad in the X-Men movie is a much, much more palatable version of the loser in the comic book. And that is loser with a capital LOSER. That's why, Andy. He's unrateable. But thanks for the email. (Hm. Sequel: Rating the villians... nah.)
I do believe that will be the last word on dating/rating comic book superheroes for a while.
Back from Busch Gardens and still exhausted; 12 hours outdoors in 95-degree heat and Virginia humidity take a while to get over. And yes, I did ride Apollo's Chariot. Twice. No goose incident, though.
You folks filled my mailbox with many interesting letters, some were even about something other than the sex lives of superheroes. I'll get to them all soon; the synagogue I may be joining has invited me to a Jewish version of a luau tonight (I get to pull my Hawaiian shirt out of mothballs and wear it), which of course means no roast pig.
I see that Bill Herbert and Jeff Goldstein have been pretty active during my brief break; Bill takes down a Jewish(!) defender of Hamas, after Jeff got through with him. I see I have some catch-up reading to do.
Yeah, it's a bit incongruous after what happened below, but life goes on.
Yesterday's Superstud finder brought in a bunch of email. From my pal Dolly:
Starhawk wants to know why I left out the Silver Surfer. Here's why:
Silver Surfer: Ex-herald of Galactus, you never know when the old boss is going to show up and try to eat your world. And not in a good way, like Jimmy Eat World. Plus, that silver unitard doesn't ever come off. It's part of him. And he'swellsexless. I've always considered the Surfer frankly genderless, much like a Ken doll. And if you do ever try to get something going with him, what is with that archaic lingo? Talk about boring you to death. Pass. No stars.
Laurence Simon complains that I'm a snob for ignoring Dark Horse studleys such as The Tick, The Mask, and Concrete. I would add that I also left out Predator and Alien because, what am I, chopped liver? Of course I would be after a date with either of the latter. But yeah, I'm a mainstream snob. So sue me.
A certain blogger whom I shall call only "A" pointed out to me that Aquaman is much hotter and more interesting these days, and that a bathtub would go a long way toward solving that one-hour-out-of-water problem. Ya know, "A" is right. Give Aquaman another star, for a total of: Three stars.
Glenn Reynolds reports that Jim Treacher reminds us Ralph Dibney is happily married. I knew that. I was ignoring it. But the happily-married Prof is lusting after Supergirl in his blog. See, he gets it. All in good (but not so clean) fun.
And I'm off to Busch Gardens in the morning. Talk among yourselves while I decide whether or not to conquer my fear of heights on Apollo's Chariot, the roller coaster where Fabio got smacked in the face with a goose. I rode it two years ago, but I dunno... I can barely look down from a second story these days. permalink
Headline in today's Jerusalem Post: All killed in university attack are non-Israelis.
The Palestinian reaction,
via AP photographer Markus Schreiber)
Do you see any adults in that picture?
Say hello to the next generation of murderers. permalink
Just once, I'd like to be able to let a humor piece stand by itself, without surrounding it with blood. Just once. permalink
Instapundit, you know not what you wrought when you wrote this:
Now, this may put me down in the Internet history books as both a comic book geek and a total freak, but hey, I can't stop my mind from goin' where it wants to go. Just because most comic fans are guys doesn't mean that we girls can't make lists like this, too.
So, uh, I was thinking: What kind of dates would the various superheroes be? Since there are so many of them, we'll have to cherry-pickforgive the expressionrather than choose them all. I'm doing this mostly from memory, as my Marvel and DC Universe comics are lost somewhere in one of my unfiled comic boxes, so the marvel of Google research and my steel-trap memory will have to suffice.
The DC Contingent
Aquaman: Can only stay out of water an hour at a time. No chance at a long-term relationship. Plus, he always smells like fish. Two stars.
Batman: Mm-mm. Love those bad boys. Just make sure the kid's not around. Sans Robin: Four stars. With Robin: Two stars. (And no, that doesn't mean with Robin. The kid's a minor, f'r cryin' out loud!)
Green Lantern (classic, Hal Jordan): Boooo-rrrring. Boooo-rrrring. I don't care what you can do with that ring, Hal, you have no imagination. That's why they killed you off. One star.
Green Arrow: Let's see. Used to be rich and boring. Went broke. Then became a sexist, bleeding-heart liberal (what was up with that? Sexists are supposed to be conservatives!). Got more interesting. Got badder. The beard is sexy, but that name? Oliver Queen?!?!? Howsabout we just call you "Spike"? Good for a tumultuous, LTR, lots of fights, lots of making up. Definitely one of the Hero Hotties. Four stars.
The Flash: Are you kidding? I want a man with a slow hand. One star.
Superman: The world's biggest, most powerful Boy Scout. This is a tough one. Problem is, you're guaranteed never to have a complete date with the guy. Just as you're starting to get hot'n'heavy, along comes a "Help! Superman!" from some nitwit who couldn't stay out of the bad side of Metropolis, and he zooms off, leaving you achin' for more. And by the time he's finished with his next forty-seven save-the-world errands, you have fallen asleep, alone, again. Nah. Pass. Two stars.
Nightwing: Ex-Robin, out of Batman's shadow. Always has a bit of an inferiority complex, but he's a man now, no longer a boy, and hasn't worn short pants in years. Been in more than one LTR, he knows his way around the block. Good potential. Three stars.
The Elongated Man: I'm sure I don't really need to expand upon this subject. I don't even mind that his first name is Ralph. Four stars.
Captain Marvel: You'd have to be twelve to want to date this guy, because he's, uh, like twelve himself. Pass. No Shazam, no stars.
Bat Lash: Yeah, I know he's obscure, but there was always something about the guy that drew me to him. Three stars.
Sgt. Rock: Mean, green, fightin' machine. Sorry, for guys like him and girls like me, it's one-night stands only. Three stars.
Swamp Thing: That's a joke, right? I'm not a vegetarian. No stars.
The Marvel Group
Spider-Man: Cute, not nearly as young now as he was portrayed in the recent movie, but a bit too angst-ridden for me. And the wisecracksthey'd wear on you after a while. Good for a short fling. I'm curious to see exactly how amazing he can be. Three stars.
Wolverine: Another bad boy. Yeah, we have that attraction to the bad boys. So what? And short? So'm I. I do have to wonder, thoughwould there be a snikt during the heat of passion? Could be extremely hazardous to your health. Or at least to the health of your bed. Best not use a waterbed. Still: It's Wolvie. Four stars.
Mr. Fantastic: Yeah, why do you think they call him that? Four stars.
The Human Torch (FF, not original): Hotheaded, childish, prone to bursting into flame without warninghey, I like 'em bad, not sulky and stupid. Pass. No stars.
The Thing: Hm. Nice Jewish boy, skin condition, rock-hard to the touch, but all over. Impossible. It'd be like dating your wall. Pass. No stars.
Cyclops: What a stuck-up weenie. Sure, he's cute, but damn, can't you ever break a rule, just once in your life, Scott? Plus, definitely no deep, soulful looks into each other's eyes with this one. Well, not if you want to survive the relationship. Pass. No stars.
Professor X: Can you read my mind? Yeah, then you know you're creeping me out. Pass. No stars.
Sabretooth: Oh, yeah, right, I'm suicidal. I said I like them bad, not sociopathic. Pass. No stars.
Daredevil: A blind lawyer with really great acrobatic skills and extra-sensory perception. Hm. Potential. Brings new meaning to the phrase "read my lips." Three stars.
Captain America: I love what he stands for, buthe makes Supes look almost exotic. (Can you imagine the two of them having a brew in a bar? Yeah, me neither.) Not my type. One star.
Nick Fury: I could even put up with that damned cigar, at least for a little while. Nick is just, well, hot. War hero, secret agent, the eye-patchwhat's not to like? Brief, tempestuous relationships, on and off for a few years, then forever the one you wonder "What if?" about. In between more brief, tempestuous relationships. Three stars.
Doctor Strange: Oh, just cut it out with the mumbo-jumbo and the cape and the spell stuff. So not into it. Bet he watches John Edward. Pass. No stars.
The Hulk: (Yeah, I know, it's the one you've all been waiting for.) Well, there are some major problems with the Hulk. Dr. Bruce Banner, well, sure. He's smart, has a great job, saves the world on a regular basis, and is a good, faithful husband. But he has this slight problem: When he can't control his temper, he turns into a rampaging monster. And often, he stays that rampaging monster for months, maybe years at a time. And, well, take a look at the Hulk. Now take a look at Betty Banner. See the difference in size. Makes me think that when the Hulk is the Hulk, there ain't a whole lotta shakin' goin' on. Could be hazardous to your health, particularly that "being squashed" factor. The problem with someone as strong as the Hulk is that he doesn't know his own strength, in spite of the comic writers' best hopes. And I like my body in one piece, thank you. So, sadly, I'm going to have to give the Hulk: Two stars. But three for Bruce.
Well. Either I'm as nuts as the bulk of the fanboys out therethe ones I sometimes make fun ofor my funny bone just got a little exercise.
I have a bad feeling I'm going to cringe every time I look back on this post. permalink
(Note to new visitors: Scroll up the page, there's more. Then go check out my main page, where the Hulk pops in from time to time.)
A suicide bomber blew himself up in Jerusalem today, but thankfully killed no one else, and wounded only five, "moderately." Here's the graph I thought might be of most interest to my readers:
Feeling like your donations are timely? They are. Keep those checks coming. That new trauma equipment will save lives. permalink
So due to the readers who emailed me that they upped their donations, the new tally is $3,195 for Shaare Zedek. I'm still off from the Blogathon tally by $51, so the actual tally may be $3,144. Either way, it's a figure to be proud of. So take a bow, and don't forget to send in those checks. permalink
In fact, I have not. She runs a website that promotes Israeli products. And no, she doesn't get a cut. It's all to support Israel.
I'm apparently the site of the day for The People's Republic of Seabrook. Now, one might think that this is a clever marketing ploy by Jackpick some bloggers you like, make 'em site of the day, and get them to link to youbut I prefer to think that he's a better man than that, and means it most sincerely. (You could insert one of those ASCII grins here and be none the worse for it.) A quick read of his website shows me that Laurence Simon isn't the only nutcase in Texas.
I'm puzzled, though, as to why I'm not getting any Tripod ads while I'm there. The link he sent me was this one: I didn't join the cloaking service and just deleted that part of the URL to find his site. Maybe it rubbed off. Or did Tripod finally get rid of those annoying pop-ups? permalink
Three of you have emailed me to tell me you increased the amount of your original pledges to Shaare Zedek. Two have doubled (Nick Danger was one, thank you!), and one (Mike at Left of Center) has more than tripled his pledge. Paul L. contributed the highest amount to date: $200! You folks are amazingly wonderful. The new tally will come out tomorrow; I have to bug my brothers first. At this rate, we may make it to $4,000. permalink
Howard Feinberg's latest article on Tech Central Station discussing the manipulation of Palestinian casualty figures by the Pals and the media is also being discussed, over at Ipse Dixit. Susanna Cornett thought I'd be interested in both, and she's rightexcept that I covered the original story weeks ago. But check them out anyway, folks, there's tons more information than was available in the original Village Voice article.
Howard, Bubelah, not only did I scoop you on this one, but I scooped you on Ben Grimm coming out as a Jew. (And James Wolf scooped us both.) You need to read my blog more. It's the only way you're going to keep up, what with being so busy planning that wedding and all.
By the way, I bought that issue of the Fantastic Four. It was one of the best I've ever read. It's trying to lure me back into collecting comics. Sigh. And Karl Kesel's name is misspelled in the Forward article. Kesel is an excellent writer and was instrumental in bringing back the Hawk and Dove, a series I loved as a child.
Combustible Boy is adding to my nuclear fears. He's talking about the WaPo web chat that followed its Sunday piece on redesigning missile silos. (I think they'd make great places for parties, myself.) Thanks, C.B., just what I wanted: More nuclear nightmares.
cheesecake. Blame the fixation on
Left of Center has dirty pictures on his blog. Of men. Okay, it's really a classic of Sisyphus, and I am exposing my ignorance to all by saying I don't know who painted it, but it's nice to see a bit of beefcake for a change. Even if it is classic beefcake. Plus, his little girl took her first steps today. Proud papa! Congratulations!
All right, folks, now that the stunned people over at Shaare Zedek have called me back ("Who? She did what? How much? What's a blogathon? What's a blog?), I can pass along the official information regarding your checks: Send them to any of the regional offices and the money will get to Shaare Zedek.
Shaare Zedek representative Judy Calder, who will be sending me more interesting facts, pointed out to me that Shaare Zedek, one of four Jerusalem hospitals, has received 41% of the victims of recent terrorist bombings. That $3000 we raised for the trauma room is even more timely and extremely meaningful. She also tells me that the organization is discussing initiating an American website, and that the hospital is about to celebrate its 100th birthday.
If it makes you feel more comfortable, send your checks here (and don't forget to write yourish.com in the memo field):
By the way, if you didn't get to pledge during the blogathon, you can still send in a check. Send me an email and I will be more than happy to thank you in a future post. permalink
N.Z. Bear has an excellent "what-if" piece up about blogging in 2014after the U.S. made some pretty big mistakes in the War on Terror.
I read it bottom-to-top, but you can read it either way and appreciate it just as much. That boy can write.
And speaking of the future
Laurence Simon gets in on the action-to-be with his post on the real reason why The New York Times keeps leaking Iraqi war plans: It's to lure future travelers back here to help.
Anyone else writing about tomorrow today? Drop me a line, I've got the theme. permalink
Wishing you a fatal heart attack, Lukashenko. Or apoplexy, I don't care. I am so sick of lying politicians who won't face up to the haters in their backyards for fear of losing the neo-nazi vote. But wait, there's more:
Imagine that. A fascist insisting there is no anti-Semitism in his nation. Where have we seen that before? Oh, that's right. Everywhere. permalink
Can you believe this? The Israeli Philharmonic can't find a U.S. security firm willing to safeguard their 100-member orchestra, forcing them to cancel their U.S. tour.
I understand the concept of rent-a-cops, but are you telling me there isn't a single private security firm in the country that hires actual police officers?
I think if the police agencies of New York City can keep safe the myriad foreign diplomats, world leaders, and sundry celebrities, then at least one American security agency could safeguard the Israeli Philharmonic.
Unless there's something to the story that they're not telling us.
So Australia and Taiwan aren't worried about protecting the musicians from terrorist attacks, but our weenie rent-a-cop firms are. Nice to see that post-9/11 spirit is still working. Glad to know that life goes on as usual. Oh, unless you're Israeli, that is. permalink
Or what passes for normal.
I have a call out to the Shaare Zedek folks in Manhattan to see if you need to do anything special, but really, all you have to do is send a check out to whichever of these addresses you'd like to use. The money will get to the same place. (I'm thinking this time they'll actually answer my email, since I told them I'd raised $3,000 for the hospital.) Write yourish.com in the memo form on the checks to embarrass them a little more.
Send your checks to:
Is anyone else out there as tired as I am, even after a good night's sleep? I'm betting some 200 people who were involved in the Blogathon.
Last week's blogs are archived. Here's the Blogathon. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.