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


Friday, December 05, 2003  

Nothing To See Here, Keep Moving Department: I'm getting all sorts of people coming here searching for the "Abercrombie & Fitch Christmas Field Guide." Yes, I did talk about it, but folks, if you're looking for the guide itself, you've come to the wrong place.

Update: It's getting worse. I've had a surge in page views starting yesterday and it looks to be continuing today, and roughly 80% of them are using some variation of those words. And what's the big deal, anyway? It isn't as if it's that hard to find pr0n online, is it? The field guide probably isn't all that special, when you get right down to it. But then, what of that nature is?

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 1:47 PM
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Thursday, December 04, 2003  

It's In Your Box Of Crayolas Department: As usual, Mr. Chesterton gets it exactly right.

One of the wise and awful truths which this brown paper art reveals, is this, that white is a colour. It is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. When, so to speak, your pencil grows red hot, it draws roses; when it grows white hot, it draws stars. And one of the two or three defiant verities of the best religious morality, of real Christianity, for example, is exactly this same thing; the chief assertion of religious morality is that white is a colour. Virtue is not the absence of vices or the avoidance of moral dangers; virtue is a vivid and separate thing, like pain or a particular smell. Mercy does not mean not being cruel, or sparing people revenge or punishment; it means a plain and positive thing like the sun, which one has either seen or not seen.

Chastity does not mean abstention from sexual wrong; it means something flaming, like Joan of Arc. In a word, God paints in many colours; but he never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. In a sense our age has realised this fact, and expressed it in our sullen costume. For if it were really true that white was a blank and colourless thing, negative and non-committal, then white would be used instead of black and grey for the funereal dress of this pessimistic period. Which is not the case.

And black isn't the opposite of white, either. I never really bought that whole yin/yang thing. Granted, there are things in the universe that have polar opposites, but many things that we think of in those terms, really don't fit that model. Good and Evil, for example. If it were true, the you could speak of a perfect good (which you can, and that is God), and a perfect evil. But every evil that exists is merely the corruption of something good. But no matter the extent of the corruption, something of the good is still to be recognized in the evil, even if it is only the vague outline of the good that once was.

(Link via Orrin Judd.)

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:15 PM
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Monday, December 01, 2003  

Punchline Contest Department: What do you call 9,500 French diplomats going on strike?

A good start!

OK, I'm recycling the punchline from a lawyer joke. Think you can do better? Submit your punchline in the Comments!

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 4:57 PM
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Coming Back To Good News Department: Back in the saddle, well fed and rested, and happy to read that Abercrombie and Fitch, purveyors of clothing and porn, have decided to stop selling the infamous "field guide" in their stores.

Four days before the official start of the Christmas shopping season — Abercrombie, known for overpriced clothes and underdressed models — ordered its 651 stores to stop selling "The Christmas Field Guide," the latest edition of the company's pornographic quarterly magazine. It's evidently the start of a permanent ban on selling the quarterly in stores, and it's evidence that when enough people get mad — and take action — even the most libertine companies will sometimes back down.
Maybe there is a chance of teaching these people the meaning of shame.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:58 AM
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