birth, schmirth

on rare occasions I consider becoming a twitard.

The Onion is a major reason why

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The Space Merchants – NaBloPoMo 2010

governments are so weak as to be irrelevant.  megacorporations rule the world. consumption is a virtue and advertising is a higher calling.  major shortages of water, clean air, natural resources.

2010?

or 2310?

 

The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth

 

The Space Merchants satirizes the beginnings of consumer culture; written in 1952, the authors would be amazed to see so many of their “300-years-from-now” concepts be commonplace by the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21th centuries.

the main character is Mitch, a “Copysmith Star Class” who has been given an almost-impossible assignment:  make volunteering to be a colonist to Venus (nasty, brutish, unbearable, short lifespan) an appealing option to the teeming masses of the overpopulated Earth.

The Forever War – NaBloPoMo 2010

Joe Haldeman based The Forever War on his experiences as a soldier in the Vietnam war and as a veteran trying to fit back in society. The Forever War has been compared to Heinlein‘s Starship Troopers, but it has much more in common with Catch-22 than with Heinlein‘s paean to war.

The main character of The Forever War is William Mandella, a bright student and reluctant soldier who is drafted to go battle the Taurans in an intergalactic war, that as Mandella eventually finds out, has no cause, meaning, or end.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

One minor detail, though – since the Taurans are many light years away, the Earth soldiers go through ‘time dilation’, where one year in the battlefield is approximately thirty Earth years.  after his first tour of duty Mandella returns to an Earth he can’t recognize or fit in, so reluctantly he reenlists over and over…

this is a wickedly funny book – very relevant to its contemporary time in the 1970s, and again to our current times.

I . fucking. love. The. Onion.

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If I Did It – The Musical

as I am sure we all know by now, the O.J. Simpson "what if" book and accompanying TV interviews have been scraped by NewsCorp.  you can read about it in detail  here, here, and here.

but some of us may have a (slight) regret that we'll never get to know how the trainwreck would have gone. but fear not:  Ben Greenman has imagined O.J.'s "If I Did It" as a musical.  here's an excerpt:

O.J.

I am mad.
I am mad.
Holy God am I mad.
What I think
I may do
Is horrifically bad.

In my hand,
In my hand
Is a dangerous knife.
I am paying
A visit
To my wanton ex-wife.

                                                                                             


read the entire piece at McSweeney's Internet Tendency

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Jeeves and W. (not Wooster)

omfg, this is so funny.  from the current issue of The New Yorker:

I was lying in bed after a rather depressing night, listening to the birds twitter in the trees, when Jeeves shimmered into the room.

“What ho, Jeeves.”

“Good morning, sir.”

“What’s all this I hear about your heading up some Iraq Study Group? Have you been talking to my father again?”

“Might I suggest the blue suit today? Something about this November suggests blue.”

Sometimes Jeeves can be evasive, which is when I apply the old iron hand that we W.s are known for.

“Now, see here, Jeeves, I can handle this Iraq business myself.”

“Yes, sir. But, if I may, there does seem to be something of a clamor for an exit strategy.”


go to the online edition of The New Yorker to read the entire piece by the incomparable Christopher Buckley.

[sigh] if only there had been someone like Jeeves at the White House these last six years…

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