Friday, May 21, 2004

He shoots ... he scores


So far we know as much about the Oil-for-Food mess as we do the Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal. Other than the sensational pictorial evidence from the prisons, the only difference in the respective ongoing audits is that the U.S. military is fully investigating its own while the U.N. is stonewalling. But if dozens of Iraqis may have been humiliated and perhaps even tortured by renegade American soldiers, tens of thousands of women and children faced starvation while corrupt U.N. officials at the highest levels knew about billions of needed dollars in illegal kickbacks skimmed off hand-in-glove with a mass murderer.

Victor Davis Hanson, "Season of Apologies"


3. Begin your first paragraph with a grandiose sentence and end with a terse, startlingly unexpected contradiction:

a. The future of civilization depends upon open communication between Yasir Arafat and Ariel Sharon. If the two don’t speak to each other, the world edges closer to the precipice of total war. If, on the other hand, they manage to engage in open conversation and resolve their differences, Israelis could soon be celebrating Seders in Saudi Arabia. But for now, the two men can’t speak. Why? You can’t make a collect call from Bethlehem.

Write your own Thomas Friedman column!


Consider this: to fly a jet plane into a building, blow yourself up along with a bus full of people, or personally slice the head from a living human being requires more than misguided ideology, misreading of religious canon, or a lack of job opportunities. These acts are catalyzed by prolonged immersion in cults of hatred and demonization - cults with many sources, and many manifestations. We’ll be examining the ingredients and expressions of these cults of hatred in our monthly briefing.

"Hatewatch," a new feature at "Winds of Change


Gentlemen, I believe we have it down. We will stuff the rooms with banal games that provide less than 30 seconds of entertainment for a token, meaning that the kids will leap from one machine to the other like nits on a hotplate. We have chosen as our mascot a particularly odious form of rodent based directly on Mortimer, the annoying mouse who not only courted Minnie, but showed Minnie to be somewhat of a roundheels: she’s impressed by the guy. We will have a scary anamatronic Chuck E. at each locale. And I do not mean the rapper. We will have Tvs playing the Chuck E. Cheese show, in which a wide variety of post-childhood generational archetypes are ridiculed, interspersed with skits featuring obvious Muppet knockoffs. Are we missing anything that would make it all an experience parents are loathe to repeat?

(coughs, murmurs)

"Uh – sir? Johnson here."

Yes, Jackson. What?

"Uh – we make the pizza an inedible simulacrum of the worst pizza ever served to sentient beings?

Exactly! Bravo, son. Bravo!"

Lileks imagines the "meeting of the consultants who came up with the original concept for Chuck E. Cheeses"