May 26, 2009

Boston Globe suggests, approvingly, that Obama's Iran policy inhabits parallel universe [LINK]

Peter Canellos in the Boston Globe, May 26, 2009:

In the climactic action sequence of "Star Trek," the year's most popular movie, the new, younger Captain Kirk does something novel for a big summer action flick: He offers leniency to an enemy.

Turning to a puzzled Mr. Spock, Kirk explains that showing leniency toward the rival Romulans could promote trust and increase the chances of reconciliation, for the betterment of the galaxy.

"It's logical," he declares.

But before the data-driven Spock can process this unique piece of information, the Romulan leader, Captain Nero, seems to remember that he's in an American action movie and is expected to act accordingly. He snarls that he would rather be blown to shreds than accept a nickel of kindness from Kirk, who promptly obliges him.

It's hard to know what the filmmakers intend to convey through this age-of-Obama moment....

Here's the crux. Not to spoil the plot, but it appears moral equivalence is so strongly ingrained that it is habitually extended even to disputes between fictional groups such as the Romulans and the Federation:
In the movie's conception of good and evil, both Nero and Spock are acting appropriately in avenging perceived wrongs, and the proof of Nero's evil and Spock's virtue is mainly in the fact that Spock prevails: God, science, nature, and the special-effects team at Paramount all combine to create a universe in which force and justice go hand in hand.

No wonder Nero rejected Kirk's overtures. Cooperation, in this universe, is indistinguishable from submission. Peace is inherently dishonorable.

May 22, 2009

Two, Two, Two Enthusiasms in One [LINK]

In honor of Earth Day, a series of "Eco-Sex" recommendations from Marie Claire, April 2009:

  • Love Yourself, Love Your Planet. Take landfill-clogging batteries out of the equation with Sola, a small bullet-shaped vibrator powered by the sun. ($69.95;

  • Conflict-Free Rubbers. When you buy your condoms from the French Letter Condom Company, a chunk of the proceeds go towards ensuring that the rubber-plantation workers receive fair wages. (approximately $13,

  • S&M with a Conscience. Earth Erotics’ Standard Recycled Rubber Whip is a handcrafted spanker made from recycled car and truck tire parts. ($40;

  • Give Some, Get Some. Trade in your broken Rabbit and wornout handcuffs for a $10 coupon and free shipping on your next sex toy through the mail-in Sex Toy Recycling Program ( Sorry, curbside pickup not available.

(via the American Spectator)

May 5, 2009

I read it on Andrew Sullivan's blog [LINK]

"You're all wrong. It turns out it was Michael Palin who's the real mother."

—Winston Churchill

May 4, 2009

The Globe's Non Sequitur [LINK]

My own apparent motivation is to have a letter printed in the last issue of the Boston Globe telling them what imbeciles they are:

A Globe editorial discussing delays in the cabinet approval process features a pair of sentences that, taken together, defy reason. "Yet some interest groups - and senators - seem less interested in considering the merits of a nominee than in scoring political points. The lone vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee against Hillary Clinton as secretary of state came from Louisiana's David Vitter, whose reputation as a family-values conservative was damaged in a prostitution scandal."

The Globe appears to be suggesting that any vote against confirming Clinton could not have been due to her merits as a nominee. The Globe also appears to believe that Vitter's status as a hypocrite on "family-values" issues informs his vote against confirmation, but fails to explain how. For the record, Vitter's stated reason for opposing confirmation was potential conflicts of interest stemming from numerous donations to the Clinton Presidential Library from foreign governments.

It's amusing to read one sentence decrying the impulse to score cheap political points followed by another that demonstrates exactly that.