TONIGHT ON FRENCH TV (or maybe not, haha, scroll down a little for English translation)
IN FRENCH (obviously)
Nous interrompons votre programmation régulière pour une adresse du Président de la France.
Bonsoir, messieurs et mesdames. Ce soir, je voudrais parler avec vous sur la crise dans le Conseil de Securite. Nous tous convenons que Saddam Hussein est mauvais. Et que la France est fiere de soutiendre son allie les Etats-Unis dans sa lutte contre le terrorisme et les armes de destruction massives.
Si, naturellement, George Bush et l'Amerique font exactement ce que nous leur disons de faire. Et si George Bush vient a Paris et baise mon cul au Champs Elysees a midi un jour ensoleille avec le media en attendance.
Aussi, je souhaite vous informer que les meilleurs proctologistes en France on pu trouver mon honneur. En tant que nous avons pense, il reste coince entre mes fesses, avec mon cerveau et un epi de mais. Malheureusement, en dépit de leurs meilleures tentatives, ils n'ont pas pu l'enlever. Donc je reste un connard.
Merci, bonne nuit, vive la France, et mort aux cochons Yanquis imperialistes.
Nous vous retournons maintenant aux Dixie Chicks, jouant en simulcaste toute ce soir sur TF1, Antenne2, et Canal+.
Merci a/thanks to littlegreenfootballs pour l'inspiration et le linque/for the inspiration and the link.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for an address from the President of France.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight, I would like to speak with you about the crisis in the Security Council. We all agree that Saddam Hussein is bad. And France is proud to support its ally the United States in its struggle against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
Provided, of course, that George Bush and America do exactly what we tell them to do. And, of course, that George Bush comes to Paris and smooches my rear end on the Champs Elysse at high noon on a sunny day with the media gathered in attendance.
Also, I wish to inform you that the best proctologists in France have been able to find my honor. As we suspected, it is stuck in the crack of my rear end, along with my brain and a corncob. Unfortunately, in spite of their best efforts, they have not been able to remove it. So, I will remain a butt-head.
Thank you, long live France, and death to the Yankee imperialist pigs.
We now return you to the Dixie Chicks, simulcast all night on TF1, Antenne 2, and Canal+.
RETURN TO NORMALCY
Today (Friday) was the holiest (non-religious) day of the year for all North Carolinians, both resident and expatriate such as myself. Namely, the first day of the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball tournament, for those of you raised or living far away from the true homeland), when the top 8 teams play all on the same day.
This is a true holiday; all my life, I have never seen anyone work or go to school on this day if I was in NC or was with anyone from NC. Sure, you might see people inside office or school buildings because they had to, but they weren't working or learning. Even schools. Every year on the Friday of the ACC, they would roll TV sets into the classroom so that we could watch the games.
The funniest moment was when I was in the 9th grade watching Carolina play Wake while sitting in Health class, when Warrren "Mystery Foul" Martin (a funny guy to begin with) got hit in his, um, groin area, and sat in the middle of the floor, clutching his manhood and wailing like a banshee. And Jefferson Pilot kept focusing on this shot, not cutting away for a moment to a Holly Farms or Food Lion commercial to spare us from the slapstick agony. Needless to say, we were uncontrollable for the rest of the day. But I digress.
AND, OF COURSE, CAROLINA WON TODAY.
The score: Carolina 82, Suburban Washington, DC 74 (whoops, excuse me, Maryland).
Wow. For the second time in five days, a win over a top 20 team. Even sweeter, this means we're going to the second round of the ACC Tournament. Even more sweeter, this was over a team that, words fail me, beat us like a narc at a a biker rally, by 40 points, in the last game up in College Park.
Of course, this win means that we will have to face Axis of Evil founding member Duke again tomorrow, six days after we vanquished them at their house. But I have faith; the boys played with poise and a new sense of confidence tonight.
The win also means that this guy will keep his job with the win. And NO, this guy is NOT related to this other guy, no matter HOW MUCH some of you may hate Carolina or just think Coach's hair looks goofy.
Actually, today was a good day for all North Carolinians, even those who, for some strange and illogical reason, hate UNC (the Southern part of Heaven, the physical manifestation of goodness and light, a beacon of hope in a world beset by terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and new marriage shows on Fox)
All four of the state's teams made it to the Saturday semifinals: Carolina, Wake Forest, Moo U. (OK, NC State, why so sensitive?), and Dook.
The "Big Four" playing in Greensboro takes me back to my childhood, when the preseason Big Four tournament used to be played there right after thanksgiving. Mom, Dad and I would hop in the car and drive up to the triad to stay with my aunt, uncle, and cousins (different set, Dad's side) and go see the tournament in person. Carolina, State, Wake and Duke, all together, with killer basketball and the attendant pageantry, rivalry, and bitter freaking hatred of those other, lesser teams from every side. Perfect tobacco road b-ball, good holiday quality time with the family, and probably one of the few moments of my life when my father and I actually bonded as father and son.
Everything you could ever want in a tournament. It's a shame they killed it off, and the Harris Teeter Classic in Charlotte (Carolina, South Carolina, two rotating small Catholic colleges from somewhere in the Northeast selected at random) has never come close to replacing it.
Just sent a note off to my cousin, a Marine serving in an somewhere west of Afghanistan and east of Israel.
He is part of the reason I started this blog. I support our troops, as we all do, along with their mission to liberate Iraq. Those readers who know me in Dallas know that last bit quite well (especially how the other side of the debate, especially the celebrities and the French, tend to make me even crankier than normal).
So instead of sending lots of individual e-mails and buttonholing people at odd moments to convice those who feel differently about the need for war and the importance of overthrowing Saddam, I decided to post my thoughts here. That way, you can take it or leave it, and my message might go out to a larger group (probably not, but you've gotta have a dream). And my cousin (or any other serviceperson over there) can see it as well (of COURSE they have the web; the military INVENTED the Internet, for gosh sakes).
And since I've talked a little about Tad with most of my friends and mentioned him here on the blog, I'd like to show you some pictures of him and the family from a happier time, Thanksgiving, when we all went fishing on a body of water west of the Eastern Shore and east of the Western Shore (OK, Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, guess that doesn't need to be classified).
Yes, we look rather ragged in these pictures, but we (even the civilians) had to get up at 4:00, which, I understand, is referred to in the military as zero-dark-hundred, or zero-dark-hundred-minus-one, since I was still on Central Time. And it was colder than (insert your own simile for a freaking cold day here). Most of these pictures were taken when we got back to land, around 1:30 in the afternoon (13:30 Lima, 18:30 Zulu).
It was so cold that fashion sense seemed to fall by the wayside.
Ben (another cousin's husband) swears that he likes this hat; I'll let you make your own judgement. I did try the hat on, though, and it did work well at keeping the head warm and dry. And Dallas friends who look even more closely at the photo will note that I did approve of the camouflage mock turtleneck anorak (though it could be in a darker hue).
The weather and the early wakeup only affected the way we looked, though. We had a wonderful time, and caught a lot of rockfish (big thanks to Uncle Pat!). So much rockfish, actually, that the rest of the holiday threatened to become a Rivah version of Forrest Gump: rockfish dip, rockfish casserole, baked rockfish, rockfish omelette, rockfish burger (not really a burger, just on a burger bun), rockfish tacos, rockfish etouffee, rockfish jambalya, rockfish ratatouille, rockfish ceviche... (but thanks to Aunt Patsy and a lack of ducks on the Bay, it didn't get that silly).
In this picture you see (left to right) Sarah's son Taylor, Tad the Marine, Rick, and Tad's dad Brookie. Tad is wearing the white and green hat because he caught the "biggest" fish of the day, winning a free hat from the fishing boat's captain.
I put "biggest" in quotes, of course, because I had a difference of opinion (I notice that none of you readers who know me are very surprised). Tad's fish was indeed LONGER than my biggest fish, by 1/4 of an inch, I will not dispute that. But my fish was 4 pounds HEAVIER than his.
We joked about it, naming his fish "Kareem", the tall one, and mine "Emmitt", as in Emmitt Smith, almost as tall, but thicker. I noted that in terms of length and girth, mine was heavier, and that I've read somewhere, probably on a bathroom wall, that girth is just as important, if not more so, than length.
But since we were at sea (OK, 30 minutes to an hour away from dock in the middle of the Bay), the ship's captain, showing more decisiveness than Hans Blix or anyone else at the UN, ruled that length was the criteria, and that Tad got the hat.
Thinking back on that day, perhaps if we did the fishing now, I'd be able to pick up some tips about arguing inspection and verification from Dominique de Villepin, but I'm glad Tad got the hat. That was the last time I saw him before he shipped out in January for the Gulf.
I've known him all his life, and I even remember the day he was born, since Big Mama was with us in North Carolina that weekend, worried about it until she got the news, then happy and ecstatic (and Carolina beat State in football that weekend, too). But we grew up in different states, and I never got to know him that well until this Thanksgiving, when I got to know him as a friend. He was always a great kid. That weekend on the Rivah, I learned he's become a good man. And now he's standing in harm's way on our behalf, alongside a whole bunch of other good men and women.
As I write this and listen to the braying din of commentators and diplomats on TV, it looks like the war is actually going to happen. Godspeed, Tad. I pray for you every day, as do all of us in the family. Thank you for the dangerous work you and your comrades do to keep us safe. Take care. Do right. And get home soon so we can catch more fish when they start blitzing again in the fall.
Semper Fi, friend.
I FART IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION
When I read about Americans fighting in wars, there's just something about the the tradition of soldiers writing slogans on bombs and shells that has always made me smile for some strange reason. Maybe it's because even though, as That Yankee said, War is hell", the slogans bring a little humanity to the often antiseptic, industrial, PlayStation-like machinery of modern warfare.
There's an interesting article in the London Times today about the slogans Our Boys In 3-Color Desert Pattern Camo are writing on bombs as they sit in the desert waiting around and trying to find something better to eat than MREs.
My favorite part of the story? Many of the slogans don't even talk about Saddam, Iraq, Osama, or any member of the Axis of Evil. The biggest scorn is heaped upon the leading country of the "Axis of Weasels", nos amis, the French.
There's even a bomb message labeled "Fuque the French". Sounds like someone over there is reading Pave France in their spare time.
Dominique de Villepin, your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.
Now go away, Jacques, or I shall be forced to taunt you a second time.
WHY WE FIGHT, PART I
Supposedly, Miller Lite and Ogilvy are producing a sequel to the controversial "Catfight" commercial.
You wouldn't see THAT on Iraqi TV or Al Jazeera!
Tad, if you're reading this, you and your team please be safe, keep the faith, and win the war quickly. We'll have even more beer and cosmetic-surgery-enhanced women wrestlers writhing on TV waiting for y'all when you return. You're in your early 20s, and you're Marines. As the '80s song says, we know what boys like.
WHY WE FIGHT, PART II
A very stirring piece of commentary as we gird ourselves for battle from Italian journalist and interviewer Oriana Fallaci:
"I do not believe in vile acquittals, phony appeasements, easy forgiveness. Even less, in the exploitation or the blackmail of the word Peace. When peace stands for surrender, fear, loss of dignity and freedom, it is no longer peace. It's suicide."
No, we don't have a picture of Saddam and Osama sitting in a hot tub, sipping top-shelf margaritas, playing footsie, and clearly going over the operational plan for the 9/11 attacks. Too bad; life isn't always a movie. But this is why I support the upcoming liberation.
IRONY BEING IRONIC, PART DEUX
"The French rejected our tests before the Iraqis. Enough said."
So notes a UK Foreign Office source in the NY Times. Now even the LABOUR PARTY's rank-and-file are ready to roll. This is the same political party who, 20 years ago, in the wake of "The Day After" and "Threads", wanted to unilaterally disarm Britain of nuclear weapons just as the Cold War was heating up for the last time.
L'ironie? Jacques' and Dominique's cold, calculating and intransigent power-grabs and grandstanding against "l'hyperpuissance americain" have probably done more to alienate the Anglosphere and bring us to battle than anything Saddam could have done.
The people who constantly chide we Yanks for "simplisme" in diplomatic matters. Comment dit-on "boneheads" en francais?
THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT, AND I FEEL FINE
VERY funny take on the government's new civil defense pamphlets.
Definitely worth a look. And just to prove this isn't some stunt to trick anyone into reading warmongering right-wing propaganda, here's an example, with pamplet picture and new caption:
If you spot terrorism, blow your anti-terrorism whistle. If you are Vin Diesel, yell really loud.
After seeing this, I went back to the government site to look for other examples of unintentional humor that the author may have missed. And there, in the section on radiation, I found the best one of all:
That's right, the (sample) radioactive danger zone is a NORTHERN SUBURB OF HOUSTON. I don't know about radioactive, but a danger zone, for sure.
Fun political personality test at Quizilla.
They got me down pretty well:
Libertarian - You believe that the main use for
government is for some people to lord it over
others at their expense. You maintain that the
government should be as small as possible, and
that civil liberties, "victimless
crimes", and gun ownership should be basic
rights. You probably are OK with capitalism.
Your historical role model is Thomas Jefferson.
Which political sterotype are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
HARK, THE SOUND OF TAR HEEL VOICES
The ACC has just named Michael Jordan (UNC '85) and Mia Hamm (UNC '93) the greatest male and female athletes in the conference's history.
Not that there was ever any doubt.
Now, if only Coach D'Oh! could get this year's basketball team to be consistent, the homeland (or at least my home) would be truly secure.
HAVE THE TERRORISTS WON?
And if these days aren't dark enough... filming on the 5th season of the Sopranos has been postponed indefinitely. Come on guys, we need you.
THE CIA HAS A PRESS OFFICE?
According to CNN, the CIA is busy accepting the "secret surrender" of Iraqi military units. Good work Langley fellas, but if it's a SECRET, why tell CNN?
I think we're all looking forward to a larger not-so-secret surrender, though.
Appeasement is deadlier than war.
FREEDOM FRIES UPDATE
New development in the disturbing trend to rename "French" things in this country to "Freedom": freedom fries, freedom toast, freedom kissing, etc.
Turns out the name "French" will be applied to one food.
Or maybe not...
JAW-JAW VS. WAR-WAR
Nice column from Charles Krauthammer on where we go from here with the UN. It's time to **** or get off the pot.
OBLIGATORY INTERNET STAR TREK REFERENCE
Scifi Channel is now showing reruns of the original Star Trek.
In these days of wars and rumors of wars, it's nice to have such a positive vision of the future to watch. Namely, the vision that the future will be filled with lots of young, flirty women in Austin Powers-era miniskirts, go-go boots, and funky eye makeup, with the only difference between alien women and human women being green body paint.
Perhaps this was a dying gasp of the Rat Pack-era perspective on feminism. Roddenberry deftly balances things out, though, with William Shatner (hairpiece) and Patrick Stewart (no hairpiece). Even though mankind has abolished war, can travel at warp speed, invented the transporter and the medical tricorder, etc., there will be no cure for male pattern baldness 300 years into the future. Indeed, even 20th Century innovations like Rogaine and the Hair Club for Men seem to be largely forgotten.
Maybe the new show, Enterprise, will shed some light on this. It's the show with the Vulcan cutie in a tight outfit, Jolene Blalock.
CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES, SEE THEM DRIVEN BEFORE YOU, HEAR THE LAMENTATION OF THEIR WOMEN
I've written before on how much I enjoy the smooth, creamy, conservative goodness of Fox News.
But tonight, in between the good news (and continued weirdness, what the heck were the kidnappers doing with her in SLC?) of the Elisabeth Smart coverage, we get to see Hannity and Colmes interviewing Alexander Haig about Donald Rumsfeld's tendency to make comments that can be a bit tart to some people.
Al Haig? AL HAIG? Mr. "I'm in control here" from the 1981 Reagan assasination aftermath? Next thing you know, they'll be asking Ed Meese about John Ashcroft. Whoops, they did that on Susteren last night.
I'm all for bringing a conservative voice to the news. Years of watching CNN's Captain Planet tendencies and listening to NPR's penchant for balancing 10 minutes of news coverage on All Things Considered with 20-minute "insight" pieces on how evil American culture, business and materialism hurts the lives of lesbian poet berry-pickers in Guatemala have made that painfully obvious. And Bill Bennett should be on TV as a commentator more often.
But sometimes you can take it to the point where your bias is as marked as the media outlets you stand in opposition to.
But please don't take this as criticism of Secretary Rumsfeld. The man IS the Secretary of Defense, and you want a guy with a bit of military bluntness in that post. Mr. Rogers was a nice guy, but you wouldn't want him running the military in time of war.
Witness these two recent "exchanges" with the press, here, and here. Whether they're real or not is your call, but they're definitely funny.
Yes, you sometimes get a whiff of the screed Ann Coulter wrote after her friend, conservative pundit Barbara Olson, was killed on Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11:
"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war."
You need a bit of that in your warfighting chief when you're at war, though.
A BIT CLOSE FOR COMFORT
I love Adweak, the ADWEEK parody, and there's a new issue out. They have some wonderfully nice clothing as well.
DOES A BEAR ____ IN THE WOODS?
Maybe it's me, but I find it very disconcerting that the campaign idea for Charmin toilet paper (excuse me, bath tissue) involves cartoon bears frolicking in a forest.
The death flu has subsided and the evil cough has gone to the point where I no longer sound like Brenda Vaccaro after three bourbons and two packs of cigarettes. Prayers, medicine, and chicken soup FINALLY worked, lol.
Of course, this means it's back to the strict Atkins and Pilates. Grrr.
ONCE MORE, AVEC FEELING
If you really want to get the scoop on the French, check out Merde in France, a very funny and very insightful weblog written by an American who's been living behind enemy lines for some time now (hopefully not too far, in a place like Sarcelles, but far enough).
The coolest thing to me about the site is the fact that it uses the right slang in both English AND French on the site; always fun to see how different cultures use different idioms for the same thoughts. Maybe that's just my inner planner geek speaking, but this is my blog, and I'll geek if I want to. Just be happy I haven't written at length about text and subtext in The Matrix or the sheer crunchy goodness of Apple Computers. You know we have the capability.
GOING TOO FAR
As you can tell from my posts below, I'm pretty ticked off at the French for their craven power-grab at this crucial moment when we needed them to help (or at least get out of our way).
And while I don't approve of a trade war with France, I can sympathize with those who support a voluntary boycott because, hey, it's a free country and it's your choice. For my part, I probably won't be picking up any Pouilly Fuisse or Veuve Cliquot from the Central Market anytime soon. Heck, even my martini preference will be switching back to Absolut for the first time in years, since Grey Goose is French and Stoli is Russian.
But this idea, renaming "French Fries" to "Freedom Fries", is just silly. First, French Fries aren't even French; renaming them or banning them won't hurt the French one bit. Second, you just KNOW they're having a good hearty smirk about this on the Champs-Elysee. As they drink their coffee and eat their crossants, you know they're just laughing at our simplisme. Since the French think of "frites" as American, they aren't offended at all.
Protest, boycott, mock, whatever. That's your right. But please, please, let's not act like a bunch of Jethros and then pat ourselves on the back as if we've done something.
The root of the problem all along has been France's meaningless gestures. Making a few of our own may feel satisfying, but it just brings us down to their level (and since they're spineless earthworms, that's pretty low).
STILL TICKED OFF
The Simpsons on The French. That's "Les Simpsons", for our French-speaking friends.
CONNARD NUMERO UN
"L'honneur? Je ne peux pas le trouver... peut-etre, il est coince entre mes fesses avec mon cerveau et cet epi de mais."
"Honor? I don't know where it could have gotten to... maybe, it's stuck in my rear, along with my brain and this corncob."
Sometimes reality is funnier than anything you can make up.
Madonna, in an interview with UK tabloid The Sun:
"'It (the 1992 book Sex) wasn’t just about sex. It was about money and power and the way things looked — getting people’s approval — all that stuff. I was just being an ego-driven nutcase. I thought I was doing a service to mankind, being revolutionary, liberating women. I wasn’t.'
She claims she now realises she is famous 'for a reason'. Madonna added: 'My real responsibility is to bring light to the world and make the world a better place.'”
Here's the photo she did to run with the interview. She's bringing something, but I'm not sure what it is exactly.
COWS AND D-DAY
According to US military communications intercepted by Israeli TV, the war starts next Tuesday, March 18. However you feel about the war, pray for our country and the brave men and women standing in harm's way on our behalf.
My favorite part of the story, though, is the military's secret code word for Iraqi forces: "bad cows". It adds another layer of subtext to Chick-Fil-A's long-running campaign. It also reassures me that our troops are trying to eat healthy instead of loading up on burgers while waiting in the desert for the campaign to begin.
It's also good to know that our military planners are doing trademark searches in the wake of Moab, Utah being miffed about having to share its name with that big new bomb. Wouldn't want any confusion with mad cows or even raging cows.
Of course, if the bomb works as advertised, we won't have to worry about the temperament of the cows for very long. They would soon be barbecue.
LADIES OF FOX
I do watch a lot of cable news, especially Fox News. I like the "fair and balanced" (OK, conservative, so shoot me) slant on things, sort of refreshing, actually.
But I've also noticed that Fox News seems to be striving for a higher, um, babe quotient among its newsreaders. Consider the evidence.
Primetime reader Laurie Dhue--smart, pretty, Carolina graduate, and a, well, interesting mouth.
Newsreader Kiran Chetry, separated at birth from twin sister Alyssa Milano.
Their morning anchorblondes, on the weekdays and weekends, respectively.
Alert viewers will also notice that there also seems to be a short-skirt dress code for Fox News' female employees.
They even made Greta van Susteren undergo extensive cosmetic surgery when she came over from CNN.
So who's next for the fair, balanced, and leggy news channel? I can think of three contenders right off the top of my head: Jillian Barberie, already a Fox diva with stints on Fox NFL Sunday and its local LA morning show, Good Day LA; Rudi Bakhtiar, evening newsreader on Headline News; and Sarah Kozar, finalist on Joe Millionaire and bondage video queen .
Jillian, Rudi, Sarah.
If I can ever figure out how to add e-mail or comments to this thing, feel free to send in your thoughts.
My money is on Rudi, but you gotta have a dream.
AXIS OF EVIL UPDATE
Click here to sing along with me!
Carolina 82, Dook 79. Beautiful. Krzyzewski's down, Saddam and Osama are next, Kim Jong Il is on hold until football season.
Doherty, like W, knows that the key to keeping his job is standing up to and dispatching the forces of darkness.
NUDES FOR PEACE
Mark Steyn is BRILLIANT. This is the best (and funniest) indictment of the appeasement crowd I've seen so far:
"Even more telling than the human shields scramming out of town is the alarming failure of recent "naked protests" to get naked. Many of my fellow warmongers have mocked the nude protests mounted by the women of California's Marin County, cruelly pointing out that many of the bits on show are excessively saggy."
"But I'll take what I can get. If we have to have an incoherent, anti-Western "peace" movement, then women showing off their hooters in support of a culture that would stone them to death for showing off their ankles is about as good as it's gonna get."
Freaking brilliant. Read the whole thing, please.
Before this article, I thought this site was the best indictment of the appeasement crowd. It's not a joke.
ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES A LADY. Another reason to hate Houston: hell hath no fury like a Houston woman with relationship issues behind the wheel of a car. It ain't just Clara Harris any more, sugah. It's happened again and again. This is now a TREND down there, much as hiring "hit men" to bump off spouses and the mother of your daughter's cheerleading rival was a few years ago.
Here in DFW, women get divorced, get plastic surgery, and hang out at Cru (if they're 214), Down Under Pub N' Grub (972), or Billy Bob's (817) trying to act like they're 18 again. Tacky, perhaps, on occasion. But they're getting on with their lives. Downright dignified and empowered in comparison.
Maybe I'm watching a bit too much cable news lately, but if I have to watch that fat banker lose another loan to ditech.com, I am going to freaking SCREAM.