Idiot of the Day: American Family Association confuses people’s names and sexual orientations

The auto-replace function can save you a lot of hassle when writing or editing a paper. You want to change all ampersands to the word “and”? No problem. You realize you’ve left a letter out of someone’s last name? Easy as pie. You think people with descriptive last names actually embody those names? Umm, yeah…

The American Family Association, according to their website, is for people “who are tired of cursing the darkness and who are ready to light a bonfire.” Does that mean there will be s’mores? If so, I’m all in. Oh wait, they’re also attempting to take us back to the “better days” when people appreciated “traditional family values” — you know, like sending your “crazy” daughter to a mental institution because she thought for herself, or imploring your local pastor to “heal” your gay son. It’s that kind of organization. Nevermind about the s’mores then, you’d probably poison them to get rid of “radicals” like me.

Anyway, for whatever reason (their attempt to be PC I guess?), the AFA website has an auto-replace set up to replace all instances of the word “gay” with the word “homosexual.” Nice attempt guys, EXCEPT that Gay in not an uncommon last name (as for Gaylord, would that become Homosexual Lord? because that would be awesome). So when Tyson Gay won the 100 meter Olympic Trials this past weekend, the AFA website ran the headline “Homosexual Eases Into 100 Final at Olympic Trials.” Whoopsies.

I mean, I know they’re anti-gay, but do they really want to be anti-Gay? What did Marcia Gay Harden ever do to them? Furthermore, what if this goes further? Will Lewis Black now be referred to as “Lewis African American”? Will Mr. Green from the board game Clue now be referred to as “Mr. Dirty Hippie Tree-Hugging Environmentalist”? Stop the insanity AFA!

[Thanks Boing Boing!]

MySpace user urges others to drink the Kool-Aid … and boy does it taste bad!

Today (Wednesday) is International Delete Your MySpace Account Day. Incidentally, it is also the same day “Crazy” King George (George III) died, most likely from syphilis; the day Kansas officially became a state in the great U-S-of-A; the day the 49ers became the first football team to win five NFL championships (Steve Young + Jerry Rice = totally unstoppable); and the birthdays of Oprah and Heather Graham. So MySpace haters can take faith that they share their special day with STDs, tornadoes, gold, the rich, and the whorish.

ANYWAY, I think I might have a point here (then again, maybe I don’t). So all the shenanigans began about 10 days ago when a blogger decided he hated MySpace enough to deactivate his account. Rather than just click the button when prompted, “Are you sure you want to deactivate this account and lose touch with your 200 million friends who don’t want to lose you to the evils of the real world?” said blogger decides he wants to go out Jonestown-style and get as many followers as possible to follow his lead.

I apologize…wait, no, I don’t apologize. Why do people need a Day (capital D) to deactivate their account on a social networking site? Has the power of the individual to think and act on his own disappeared as we all become inextricably linked to everyone everywhere around the world? (Thanks to the internet, we might only need four degrees of separation by this point.) I just think this delete you MySpace account day is so silly. Two thousand people deactivating their accounts on the same day is small change when you have 100,000,000+ users (in case you care, that would be a user loss of a .oooo2%, or something like that). So, honestly people, whether it’s 2000 or 10,000 (which I highly doubt), I don’t think your little fly will be noticed on the MySpace beast.

A word of advice. You don’t like your MySpace account? You don’t use it anymore, don’t like privacy breaches, don’t want random people knowing your favorite movie is Gigli? THEN JUST DELETE IT. There’s no need to make a spectacle of the event.

Man, people are just getting way too involved with their SNS profiles. This is not a romantic relationship everyone. It’s just a webpage.

What’s all that thumping, you ask? It must be Michael Moore doing the “I told you so” dance

In not-so-breaking (or oh-so-shocking) news, the U.S. ranks last in healthcare among industrialized nations. Now, while I do enjoy Michael Moore’s passion for bringing light to important issues, I tend to agree with those who say he often goes too far. That said, this report is quite a slap in the face to all the naysayers who said Sicko was just a bunch of baloney. (Having not seen Sicko myself, I can’t really comment on it.) One thing I can comment on, however, is my own problems with the healthcare system, which have been almost entirely with the business of healthcare and not with the actual medical treatment I have received. To those of you who have always been on your parents’ plan or employed full time with benefits, you have no idea the nightmare involved with getting your own insurance. And god forbid you have a pre-existing condition. You might as well just say you have a rare form of leprosy that can be spread through the telephone. It took me months of forms and innumerable phone calls to get a plan in place (with one of the leading healthcare providers, mind you) and nearly cost me my sanity. Which, of course, would have been quite the problem if I had gone crazy before I had healthcare.

Read the AFP article here. I must say, the toughest decision for me would be choosing whether or not I was willing to deal with the French people in order to experience their top-ranked healthcare.

Does anyone have any Qualudes? I think this LOTR fan needs a few dozen or so

New Line Films, the makers of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Peter Jackson, the hobbit-looking director of those films, have finally settled their financial bickerings, a mere four years after the third film was released. So now we can finally all breathe a sigh of relief as plans to turn the prequel to LOTR, The Hobbit, into another big-screen success, right?

Well, kind of. New Line, who must apparently think Jackson is the devil to start such a ridiculous fight with him (I mean, the trilogy grossed more than $3 BILLION at the box office. Come on people!), does not want Jackson directing The Hobbit films. And yes, I said films (the plural of film) because apparently they’re making two films, not one, to cover the breadth and depth of The Hobbit (or, more likely, they’re just seeing twice the profits from two films). Actually, the second of the two movies is envisioned to cover the 80-year gap between when The Hobbit occurs (during Bilbo Baggins’ youth) and when the LOTR began (when, if I remember correctly, Bilbo is celebrating his 111th birthday). Don’t worry your pretty little heads though, as Jackson (and his wife, who was also involved in LOTR) will serve as executive producers, aka the iron grip, for the films.

Anyway, the funniest thing I pulled out of this article I was reading about this story was comments regarding LOTR fans who had demanded Jackson be involved, and were excited when the announcement was made about him directing. I can just imagine masses of 20-something guys foaming at the mouth as they angrily posted on message boards late into the night.

Here’s what one such fan said:

“Fist in the Air! YEEEEESSSSS!!! … “TRUST PETER!!! THE MASTER, THE COMMANDER, THE WIZARD!”

I love that he actually says “fist in the air” to give me a visual cue as to just how excited he is. And if that wasn’t enough, I have four extra “e”s and four extra “s”s to convince me of his sincerity. Then I get a little confused with the Master and Commander reference, as I thought that was Russell Crow, followed by a comment calling him a wizard, which in my mind means Harry Potter or Ian McKellen. But even with that confusion, I still think this kid wet himself just a bit while typing this.

pjclock.jpg

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to see these movies made and I’m happy Jackson will be involved, but these kids should probably get out to see sunlight more often than the handful of times each decade that he makes a movie. I’m also happy that seeing Peter Jackson’s head on a clock will always make me smile, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy one anytime soon!

Picture of the day: 99 stuffed octopi hanging on a Christmas tree/99 big stuffed octopi/you take one down and fry it up for lunch/98 stuffed octopi hanging on a Christmas tree

octopi-tree.jpg Here’s an image of a Christmas tree with 99 stuffed octopi (the plural of octopus dummy) gracing its many branches. Why octopi, you ask? Well, it appears that a crazy grandma out there liked the pattern so much that she wanted to duplicate it en masse. Why 99, you ask? Well, apparently this crazy grandma has 99 GRANDCHILDREN!!

WTF, I ask? I mean, 99 grandchildren? Either your family is 1) possessed of the most super sperm ever, 2) Catholics who have taken the Bible’s reading of sex too seriously (procreate! procreate! yaaay, procreate!), or 3) you are suffering from a significant delusional disorder where you multiply everything by 9 (or 11…or 3 I guess. Damn multiples.).

I can’t even begin to imagine what family gatherings are like. And what about when these 99 grandchildren get married and their guest list automatically goes up by 500 people because of their RIDICULOUSLY LARGE, GARGANTUAN SIZED FAMILY. Poor things.

At least the octopi are cute.

[Thanks, Boing Boing!]

Stop the kitty insanity!

Most people find it very strange, but I have never really liked pets. As my childhood friends would often tell me, I must have lived under a rock, because I had never been to the zoo, or the circus, or had a pet. I’m convinced that it is for this very reason that I have never warmed to animals (that and being chased by ridiculously large dogs twice during my youth).

Regardless of this fact, I can understand the happiness pets bring people. What I don’t understand is people who become obsessed with their pets. For example, dressing up your pets in silly costumes for your entertainment. Your pets are not there solely to make you laugh! If you consider your pet a part of the family, treat them with the same respect you would treat family members (of course, parents also tend to do this to their children, so I guess people just have no shame in general). Look at these poor animals. Did they ask for this to be done to them?

As if this debacle isn’t enough, there’s now a podcast (yes, I said podcast) devoted solely to the soft, soothing sounds of cats purring. Had a bad day? Why don’t you sit back, put your feet up, close your eyes and enjoy “Fatty” purring in your ears for half an hour. This is just people weirdness gone too far. TOO FAR I SAY! TOO FAR!