New post on Skeptoid Blog – the Prophecy of the Popes

Howdy! I have a new post on Skeptoid Blog, regarding the Propehcy of the Popes and St Malachy. Is it a a real vision of the future, or just another forged shoehorning? Find out!

Some MAD MEN Spinoffs I’d Enjoy Watching

1. Draper ’77: Sally’s Disco Years

2. The Midlife Crisis of Pete Campbell

3. Sterling’s Navy (with special guest appearance by Duck “I Killed 17 Men on Okinawa” Phillips)

4. They Shoot Angels, Don’t They: Paul Kinsey’s Los Angeles Adventures

5. Don Draper, PI

6. The Bert Cooper Diaries

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Untitled Michael Bay 9/11 Project

bay

Explosions, you say?

Remember that part in “Star Trek VI” where the Federation Ambassador (or whoever) says, in the aftermath of the Klingon factory moon exploding, “the Klingon Empire has roughly fifty years left to live?”

Of course you do. Well, today a realization hit me like a chunk of that factory moon hitting a Klingon right between the eyes.

The human race has roughly five to seven years left until Michael Bay makes a 9/11 movie. Continue reading

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The American Baseball Cup!

1871 was a pivotal year in both American Baseball and English Football. Before then, both sports were only in the embryonic stages of the international juggernauts we know them to be now. Continue reading

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An alternate history of the NFL

Will you, working class English gentleman?

Professional sports and alternate history don’t mesh well, simply because the stakes aren’t high enough for us to really care that history was changed. Dwight Clark not making “The Catch” or “The Shot Heard Round the World” dying at the warning track don’t have the same weight and import that, say, the Nazis winning World War II might have.

Continue reading

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America, the European Way

Same names...different thing

I played soccer as a kid, but really wasn’t into it, to the point that my mother tells stories about me sitting on the field and picking grass while the game was going on. Oh, what a sensitive young lad I was. Continue reading

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Handicapping the 2012 GOP Primary

Crime...boy...I don't know.

…and no, I don’t mean taking a crowbar to someone’s knee. Wink wink.

I like politics. I like gambling. I don’t care for many Republicans. So boldly going where…I’m sure someone…has gone before, here’s my quick odds on the GOP field heading into New Hamshah.

MITT ROMNEY
MONEYLINE: -900
THOUGHTS: He’s going to win this, and make all of the blather from the last year meaningless. The GOP is so lacking in leadership that the guy who couldn’t win last time around will get it this time around. Romney has taken a lot of positions on a lot of things throughout the years, and he’ll hit ‘em all from now until November. The fact that the other candidates are still hammering each other while Mittens is hammering President Obama says that he knows he’s got it in the bag. Of course, many times when you think you’ve got something in the bag, it jumps out of the bag at the last moment and claws yer eyes out. But until he says something stupid, or we find a dead hooker in his closet (-600 on that, BTW) Mitt’s the man. Bet you $10,000?

RICK SANTORUM
MONEYLINE: +400
THOUGHTS: I don’t like Rick Santorum. I don’t like him a lot. He believes things that I find sickening, and he believes them to the core. He believes contraception should be illegal, gay rights should be rolled back to the Crusades and that abortion should be punishable by jail time (except in the case of his family, of course.) If I had a child, I wouldn’t let Rick Santorum within 50 nautical miles of that child. That said, there are people who listen to him speak and nod “uh huh, I like what he’s sayin’.” Until these people die off or are put in FEMA camps, we’re going to have to deal with the possibility of a Santorum presidency. The people who agree with him are looking for someone just as insane as they are, and they’ve got their guy. So stock up on condoms and get a gay marriage just in case. Because he’s lurking.

RON PAUL
MONEYLINE: +900
THOUGHTS: Ron Paul is the Rick Santorum of economists, college kids and people who’ve seen every episode of “Firefly” 12 times. They love him a lot. He wants smaller government, less intervention in the world (to the point of rolling back the calendar to the 1850′s) AND YOU TO KEEP MORE OF YOUR MONEY!!! But beyond his gold standard fetishism and ill-fitting suits, Paul has a dark, weird, quasi-racist side. The newsletters, the speeches at the John Birch Society, the thumbs up from Stormfront, his weird opposition to the Civil Rights Act…none of it sits well with anyone who isn’t a white, old crazy person or a junior at Wisconsin. Paul will hang around for a while, then drop out and go back to his cave to hoard gold coins, like the political Smeagol he is.

NEWT!!!
MONEYLINE: +1200
THOUGHTS: Smug, superior and smarmy until the day is long, Newt reminds me of the history professor at the local college who’s never had a real job, but lords over his students like a mini-Mussolini. Yeah, he’s a really smart guy with some interesting ideas. He’s also kind of a scumbag. More importantly, Newt’s not anywhere near conservative enough for the “kill teh gheys” crowd. But I don’t see him quitting until he’s completely, totally, 100% out of it. Then he’ll write a few more books and hit the speakers circuit.

RICK PERRY
MONEYLINE: +1900
THOUGHTS: Just…just quit already, Rick. You know you’re not going to win, but you’re too stubborn to actually ingest that information. Every time you open your mouth, something incredibly stupid comes out. So stop. Go back to Texas, get your back problems taken care of, and write a book about “Restoring America’s Promise” or something.

HERMAN CAIN
MONEYLINE: +2500
THOUGHTS: You know he’s getting back in this thing at some point. For about a week. 9-9-9 will never die.

JON HUNTSMAN
MONEYLINE: +5000
THOUGHTS: I sort of don’t hate Huntsman. He seems to have a real grasp on America’s place in the world, and he hasn’t said anything Jumpin’ Jack Flash crazy. BUT, he’s got very little name recognition and he was named Ambassador to China by President Satan, so he’s got no chance. Wouldn’t mind seeing him get some position in the second Obama admin, though.

SARAH PALIN
MONEYLINE: +10000
THOUGHTS: Can’t count her out. She’s been waaaaaaaay too quiet lately.

FIELD
MONEYLINE: +25000
THOUGHTS: This includes Huckabee, Rush, Bachmann, Turner, Overdrive and Zombie Reagan. Bet at your own risk!

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12 Predictions for 2012

When the Earth explodes, it will look like the cover of a Yes album

Note 1: I posted this on Facebook a few days ago. None of the predictions have changed.
Note 2: I have included odds on these. Were gambling legal, I would not advise you to actually do it.

1. A top player in one of the major US sports will come out.
Odds: 3-1
Thoughts: We’re due for this to happen, and I think it will be a big story for about a day, then fade out. It will have even greater impact if the player is a major star. Are there really any, let’s just say, New Orleans Saints fans who would suddenly be burning their Drew Brees jerseys if he came out of the closet? People would go, “oh, really? Huh.” And then they’d get on with their lives.

2. The Beach Boys reunion will fall apart without a single show being played.
Odds: Even
Thoughts: With Brian Wilson’s psyche and Mike Love’s ego locked in almost constant battle since the Kennedy Administration, I’d be shocked if they stood on a stage and played together. What does anyone involved with the Beach Boys have to gain from a reunion other than money? Well, money, I guess.

3. There will be a major revelation in the search for alien life.
Odds: 8-1
Thoughts: By “revelation” I mean anything that can be proven to be true related to alien life. Could be microbes in an asteroid, could be an Earth-like planet with an atmosphere similiar to ours, could be the hint of a signal from a distant star. We know it’s going to happen at some point, and if it happens in 2012, it will make the “end of the world” nuts heads explode.

4. A major, common food product will be virtually wiped out by an unexpected frost.
Odds: 6-1
Thoughts: Weird weather + skyrocketing food prices = kiss the papaya goodbye.

5. President Obama will win the 2012 election but lose the popular vote (stole that from Chuck Klosterman).
Odds: 8-1
Thoughts: The shine is off President Obama, but not so much that he won’t win. It seems right that he’d have even less of a mandate in 2012. He’ll take the big states, but not by big margins. Lots of protest voting. Chaos. Wolf Blitzer will lose his shit on camera.

6. Pudding will become the new macarons (macarons having become the new cupcake).
Odds: 5-1
Thoughts: Who can keep up with what the hip kids in Brooklyn are paying too much for? Red velvet pudding, here we come.

7. Either U2 or Metallica will break up.
Odds: 10-1
Thoughts: It’s a hedge to pick two bands, sure. But both seem like their best work is long behind them, and it’s diminishing returns from here on out. Cf. Lulu. Plus, we all know Lars Ulrich has a horrible solo album lurking inside him.

8. There will be an attempt on the life of a major US politician.
Odds: 3-1
Thoughts: I hope this doesn’t happen. But with the anti-incumbent movement, the continued teetering of the economy and so much raged focused on our public servants…I think it’s just a matter of time.

9. Two countries in the Eurozone will fight a short, violent war over debt.
Odds: 50-1
Thoughts: Total longshot. But isn’t it at least possible that, I don’t know, Greece and Portugal might take a few shots at each other over interest rates? Wars have been fought for a lot less.

10. One of the ten biggest corporations in the world will mysteriously collapse with no warning.
Odds: 4-1
Thoughts: Just a hunch.

11. There will be a rash of suicides near Dec 21, 2012, including one major celebrity.
Odds: 3-1
Thoughts: People are really putting a lot of stock in this Mayan thing, despite the fact that it has no basis in reality. If the world continues to be a chaotic and dark place (and it will) people will feel that the prophecies of doom are coming true and will want to get out in front of it. And celebrities do stupid crap all the time, for no reason.

12. Brett Favre will attempt a comeback.
Odds: Off
Thoughts: So many bad quarterbacks in the NFL. BrettFavre’s had a year off. SOMEONE will come calling, and BrettFavre will answer. And it will be a glorius failure.

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Imagine John Lennon’s ghost is kicking your ass

So on New Year’s Eve, I was staying with friends who don’t have broadcast TV. This means I was saved from the ritual of torturing myself by watching NYE programming. So no Ryan Seacrest being unforgivably smug, Katy Perry shooting crap out of her bra, Jackson Browne lighting a guitar on fire and swinging it at a police horse, etc.

I also missed Cee Lo Green (you know, the “F___ You” guy, one half of Gnarls Barkley, etc) covering John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Who cares, right? Well, Cee Lo had the bright idea of changing the lyric “And no religion, too” to “and all religion’s true.” There are articles about it all over the place, and I can’t link to them for some reason, so just Google it.

Needless to say, the internet went a little crazy and 2012′s faux outrage virginity was taken.

For the record, I think Cee Lo is a fine singer, and his opinions on religion mean exactly zero to me.

But what troubles me is:

1. You don’t change people’s lyrics. To quote Flea on “The Simpsons”, “Our lyrics are like our children, man.” They aren’t yours to do anything with except sing. No matter if they’re John Lennon, John Legend or Schizoid Johnny. Don’t do it.

2. It’s incredibly simplistic. People have been fighting about this for, you know, always. Countless throngs have died at the hands of someone who thought THEIR religion was the true one. If they’re ALL true, then God/Gods/No God has some ‘splainin’ to do. Cee Lo Green certainly has no insight on the matter.

3. The phrase “All religions true” can’t be. By their very nature, many faiths contradict each other in key ways. Christians believe Jesus is the son of God. Jews believe he was not. Jesus can not be both the son of God and not the son of God. The Hindu Vishnu, Muslim Allah, Rasta Jah and Scientology Xenu are wildly different. And if they did all exist, what does THAT mean? Do they all know each other? Do they hang out? Who brings the dessert to their crock pot parties?

4. Anyone who thinks this was some kind of desecration of Lennon’s ideals is barking up the wrong tree. Sure, he savaged religion in his writing and interviews, and would probably get Peter Grant to throw Cee Lo out a window for messing with his work. But reversing something he said into something that means the exact opposite doesn’t really have any impact. To say “all religions true” is making just as much of a mockery of organized belief as saying “God is a concept by which we measure our pain,” it just mocks it in a different way. Lennon believed that a world without religion would be a better place. Cee Lo thinks a world where every religion has the same standing would be the better place. Doesn’t that mean the same thing, just said a lot more lamely (lamer)?

(Also, John Lennon was, by all accounts, an asshole with a taste for women, drugs and tacky coats. The man wrote beautiful, timeless songs, but he was no guru. He’d tell you the same thing.)

Get outraged about people killing in the name of religion, not someone singing about it. What Cee Lo Green thinks about religion doesn’t matter and doesn’t deserve anyone’s anger. So FORGET YOU OOH-OOH-OOH!

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