Sunday, February 18, 2007


Have you ever had the experience where you're arguing a side and someone joins in on your side but is completely inept and/or offensive in the argumentation? Not just bad, but so bad that it actually seems to effectively rebut your entire position?

Years ago I was arguing with my friend John about the Kobe Bryant trial with he saying that Kobe was innocent based on certain evidence and that therefore it was likely consensual, and me saying that I tend to withhold judgment/ lean toward the alleged victim in situations like this because it's difficult to go forward with rape accusations to begin with (and is so rarely brought forward anyway.) Well an acquaintance joins in on John's side and starts saying "yeah, that bitch is a liar- she was totally asking for it. If you're in a room with a basketball star what do you think is gonna happen? Every girl loves Kobe..." and so forth.

Suddenly it looked to everyone in the room that John and our acquaintance were both claiming that Kobe should have the right to rape whomever he pleases without consequence, and that the alleged victim should be drawn and quartered for suggesting otherwise. So John couldn't even really defend his position anymore because it looked so bad. There should be a word/phrase for when that happens, maybe like "Ward Churchill syndrome." All you conservative Bush-haters and non-Fraternal Bob Marley fans know what I mean. Anyway, here's a ridiculous site (probably NSFW or for parents) that I found while Googling info for this post, dedicated to dispelling the apparently persistent myth that "Kobe Bryant's penis is so large, anal sex must have been painful."

Here is a largely irrelevant song by Voxtrot that I absolutely love and have been listening to frequently: Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives.

PS- just so I can argue with John in the comments section- doesn't it seem like the final summary statement made by the Kobe team was a confession?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The "Fox News" Daily Show

How can something be painful to watch when you're rooting for it to fail? I don't know but this manages. Fox News decided to make a conservative version of the Daily Show, and it is truly awful. Imagine the worst Colin Quinn Weekend Update you ever saw, then stir in a pinch of fox news and divide by 100 monkeys in a barrel. That's how shitty this is. Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh love it though.

Tackling the big questions

They're apparently having controversy week over at Catallarchy, and Scott's latest contribution- a post about abortion- reminded me that I think I may know of the best Pro-Choice argument you've never heard of. Maybe even the two best, as follows:

1. Consider the modern hospital. Life isn't determined by a heartbeat in a modern hospital; it's determined by deep brain activity, as commonly measured by an EEG. So, you take a man whose heart is kept artificially beating (from what I understand that's done in emergency situations, anyway) into an emergency room without any deep brain activity and he'll be pronounced dead. Anyway, fetuses have no brain stem until about 5 1/2 months into the pregnancy, and so therefore were we to take a fetus into an emergency room in the exact state in which it exists in a mother's womb at 3 months they'd simply declare it dead, end of story. This nicely evades the common slippery slope argument against abortions by simply proposing a reasonable common-sense bright-line definition of death, and moreover one that we use regularly in our society without qualm. Abortions which take place roughly within the first 2 trimesters are morally sound and should be legally protected.

2. This is a bonus argument: because the potential to create human life using a single human cell will almost certainly be attained within our lifetimes (if it isn't possible already) a good reductio ad absurdam/slippery slope argument can be made in the reverse direction. When a woman washes her hands she kills thousands of living cells, and since we know that these cells can very probably be turned into people under the right circumstances she would be in violation of destroying the "potential for life" merely by the act itself. So if, as many pro-life advocates will tell you, destroying the potential for life is wrong then you've either had thousands and thousands of immoral abortions yourself or I wouldn't want to shake your hand.

Postscript: In keeping with the logic of 1., I tend to think that voluntary 3rd trimester abortions are wrong. The violinist argument makes a good case that they should be legal but without a threat to the mother's health I think this rare procedure is highly questionable.

The new Arcade Fire album is all about the religious right and one of my favorite tracks from it is called "My Body is a Cage." The title has obvious significance for this issue, without taking it too lightly.

Not a joke.

From the Headline news desk: Britney Spears has gone batshit crazy.

Apparently she shaved her head because she was "tired of having things plugged into it" (!!!???) More info here photos here and probably all the speculation you could want here .

Friday, February 16, 2007

Dear Netflixians

Us Netflixians know there is no alternative.. well, there is an alternative but we wouldn't turn our backs on Netflix in favor of that evil company that ruined our credit before we even reached 18, just because we lost an N64 game. Anyway.. it's payback time. Take your Netflix flaps (that piece of paper you tear off your Netflix envelope) down to Blockbuster and take advantage of their free rentals for Netflix customers promotion. (Just don't switch! That is very important..)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

the advantage to reading a small blog

Anyone curious to hear what the new modest mouse album sounds like? It's called We were dead before the ship even sank but you already knew that.

Download it in compressed format over here (file removed- perhaps this could be called "the advantage to checking a small blog frequently".) I'm not exactly recommending this album you (anyone unfamiliar need not download it) so much as making people aware of it.

Filter has a little first impressions review of the record, and they pretty much nail it: "Keeps the trademark guitar bendy sounds." Yep.

Grossman and Obama

I came across this article on written by Michael Essany. Matt and I started chatting about it and we came to the realization that Mr. Essany's comparison of Rex Grossman to Barack Obama is rather absurd, fortunately Essany makes some necessary clarifications.

Matt: this is the lamest sentence of all time: "Of course, no one is suggesting that Obama don a Bears uniform next season or that Grossman should seek the presidency."
Matt: ohhhh snap!
Matt: zing!
Matt: "just because they are vaguely similar in some respects- that doesn't mean that Obama literally has professional level football skills, hahhahah!"
John: it's embarrassing
John for the author
Matt: exactly
John: thank god for this explanation... "The comparison begins and ends with the challenging situation in which both icons of Illinois find themselves."
Matt: totally
Matt: "my love is like a rose, but earth to Matilda! that doesn't mean that I literally want to be planted in the soil and watered daily"!!!!!
John: haha
John: I literally shit myself when I read this article
Matt: "The Iraq conflict bears a mild resemblance to Vietnam", but I'm in no way implying that Iraq actually resides in South East Asia or takes place during the 1960s"
Matt: I figuratively shot myself in the face when i read that article
John: "His charisma and junior status in the U.S. Senate have inspired many to label this 2008 presidential contender as the next JFK."
John: Not that he's going to get shot in the head
Matt: or sleep with marilyn monroe
Matt: or attend Edward Devotion School for four years (kindergarten in 1922 to third grade)
John: I hope Corey Williams doesn't literally have his way with Obama as well...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

and here's the part where I solve the Iraqi withdrawal problem...

There's much ado about the "difficult" question of setting a timetable for the US withdrawal from Iraq. Joe- an online acquaintance of mine- blogged recently about this very thing, and I think his post is rather typical of many people's thoughts on the matter, albeit expressed in a more erudite, lucid manner. Joe weighs the options and while he doesn't exactly commit, he seems to settle on not instituting a timetable for withdrawal. His reasoning is really what I'm taking issue with. So, as promised, here is my crystal clear solution to this difficult issue in 1 1/2 points:

1. Do what the Iraqis want us to do. Not only is this our responsibility as an occupying force, but it's the only thing we should care about if we're doing this to "help" the Iraqis. 70% of all Iraqis think we should set a solid timetable for withdrawal regardless of the security situation. Um... so what exactly do we have to argue about?

1 1/2. Huge majorities of Iraqis think our presence makes the security situation worse. This is beating a dead horse (because point one is strong enough to stand on its own) but this is twice the reason to get out of Iraq (perhaps even now.) Sure, we might like to view ourselves as the last strand holding the thin veneer of Iraqi society together but that's pure fantasy. 64% of all Iraqis (ibid, your honor) think that crime and violent attacks would decrease as soon as we leave, and they also think they'd better able to cooperate in Parliament.

Of course, I may be emboldening the enemy as we speak (the 3:00 mark.)

A hint: Kirkpatrick

Can anyone tell me what the eff moral equivalence is? I'm not kidding that I have found no serious definition of it that makes sense. Is it moral equivalence to say that one murder is as bad as another murder?

I seriously don't know. Help.

this is a call

Calling all religious people, moral conservatives, fiscal conservatives. Calling all Libertarians, minarchists, Rothbardians. All Bush voters, devil's advocate debaters, political agnostics. You're sure you're right and you just know that if people would listen to your reasons, or be forced to answer your tough questions they'd understand how right you are. You may have loudly complained that Lefties duck the hard questions, that there are no intelligent left-wingers who'll defend their view around you long enough to be crushed beneath the merciless heft of your airtight logic. You will find a home here in our comments section, and you will find two left-wingers who will respond to you in a manner that will (at the very least) convince you of the power and seriousness of leftist thought.

BUT- we also intend to post often about sports (often sports economics,) our general disdain for Bush as a media figure (we don't know if that's the real him or if he matters to policy) and even celebrities as we see fit.

AND- if all that stuff sounded lame to you- then we were totally joking.

SO- what is our goal? We want to make a thousand billion dollars, and we know that blogging is the best way.

Everyone stop for a second of silence in accordance with this rare and historic event: a new blog has sprung into existence.

Introductions all around

No one is reading this blog yet, so it may be fruitless to introduce ourselves. When you you future Wikipedians dig this old stuff for the purposes of our biographies however, it'll be helpful to have a mission statement for you to look at.

AAAAthatsfiveas is about the difficulty of communication in today's world. It's about being misrepresented. It's about the clear Orwellian falsehoods we're asked to consider seriously. More importantly though, it's a joke we ripped off from (Timothy) McSweeney's (Internet Tendency) and it will ideally place us first in the roll-call of bloggers. "Present" we'll say, and then we'll just fucking relax while all the other names get called knowing we don't have to even pay attention.

PS- OMG Nicky Hilton is getting sued OMG