Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.

Friday, April 11, 2003  

Men Without Chests Department: Somebody please explain to me why I should ever believe that CNN provides "objective journalism" after their chief news executive's revelation that they have for years supressed stories that showed the Hussein regime's brutality?

Journalist Bill Hobbs offers this opinion:

Some will whine and prattle on about the need for journalistic neutrality, but journalists are not exempt from the responsibility to make moral choices, and neutrality in the face of evil isn't neutrality at all. At best, it is cowardice. At worst, it is aid and comfort to the evil. I can't watch CNN anymore.

C.S. Lewis was amazingly accurate in his essay, Men Without Chests:
And all the time?such is the tragi-comedy of our situation?we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more 'drive', or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or 'creativity'. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 1:19 PM

Words That Bug Me Department: "Impactful."

Just read it in a corporate e-mail. Ick. Besides which, Merriam-Websters Online doesn't know about it. What does it mean? Full of impact? Really impact-y? Badly impacted? I can hear a surfer-dude-turned-dentist delivering the bad news: "Whoa! Those wisdom teeth are like, totally impactful, dude!"

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:39 AM

Wednesday, April 09, 2003  

Nothing More To Say Department: From Lileks today:

Allied troops liberated a children’s jail today.

I wish that sentence made no sense.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:24 AM

Tuesday, April 08, 2003  

Oblivious To Irony Department: Isn't spam that hawks anti-spam software a violation of some fundamental principle?

Not in the alternate reality that spammers inhabit, I guess.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 11:34 AM

Danger Will Robinson Department: Gore Vidal thinks Christians are dangerous. Well, I think Gore Vidal is an over-rated hack with an unhealthy affinity for the word "crypto."

But like a stopped clock, Vidal is right for once, even if for the wrong reasons. Christians are, or at least we should be, dangerous. Christ himself was the most dangerous man in history. He posed a clear and present danger to the world order of his time. He spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven that was at hand--that is, it is here in front of you right now. So the representatives of the world order nailed him to a cross to stop him.

If Christians are not dangerous in the same way Christ was, and is, then may God have mercy on us.

As Gandalf said to Gimli about Fangorn being dangerous: 'Dangerous!' cried Gandalf. 'And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord. And Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. You are beset with Dangers, Gimli son of Gloin; for you are dangerous yourself, in your own fashion....'

(Link via Junkyard Blog.)

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:18 AM

God's Lightshow Department: Astonomy Picture of the Day asks and answers the question "What do auroras look like from space?" I'm telling you, you've got to add APOD to your bookmarks.

Also worth bookmarking is the Space Station Science Picture of the Day.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:57 AM

Monday, April 07, 2003  

Too Tall To Be A Hobbit Department: Like I've said, who am I to argue with these online quizzes? I am a

To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 2:26 PM

New From Acme Department: What do you do when your enemy has positioned a tank or artillery piece in the middle of a residential neighborhood? You can't bomb the snot out of it --even with precision bombs -- without causing civilian casualties.

Instead, you drop blocks of concrete on it. In this case, half-ton, laser guided concrete blocks. I'm thinking Wile E. Coyote is hoping they come up with some laser guided anvils next. Or how about safes and pianos?

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:16 AM
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