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November 20, 2002

The Carnival of the Vanities

Number Nine, Number Nine

We all have our skills, something that we can do better than anyone else, if only because we do things that no one else has ever even thought of attempting. For instance, let's take my skill, the one that I am better at than anyone else in the world.

You'll need to be standing, with a clear space of perhaps three feet in front of you. You'll also need to be wearing nothing but gym shorts. Now, in one smooth motion, shuck the shorts down to your ankles. Step out of the cloth puddle with your left foot, then flip the shorts up in the air with your right. Get some air under them. A height of about 8 feet is good. Now quickly, before they fall, run underneath the rotating shorts and catch them on your head so that they then resemble a Rastafarian hat, or perhaps a nun's wimple. Use of the hands is not allowed. Cross your arms and say "Jah, mon!" or "Yes, Mother Superior." as the spirit moves you. If at all possible, do this in front of your wife and two year old daughter.

That's my skill, the Naked Apostate Rotating Pant Head Catch, and I've performed it most every morning for 20 years. The secret is in getting the gym shorts to rotate so that the waist opens up on the descent, thus providing ample space for the all important cranial insertion, the angle of which determines the final position of the shorts on the contestant's head. Actually landing a full wimple or rastafari is an incredibly rare event. I've only managed it three or four times that I can recall. But when it happens, it's a thing of beauty, and a joy forever. It's the attempt that matters, and the attempt is truly a unforgettable sight to behold, or so I've been informed.

"Burned into my brain like a branding iron on a pig's ass." I was told.

Certainly my daughter's face lights up when she arises early enough to catch the show, though the wife seems to have lost something of her appreciation for a skilled landing of the night's sleepwear over the years. I've heard tell that Ted Williams made baseball look boring because he was so good at it, so maybe it's something like that. I'll switch to to a goofy foot flip, add a little more excitement to her morning.

Or I could retire at the top of my game. I had a pretty good landing today, kind of a leaning half rastafari after a triple rotation, with less than a foot of horizontal movement after the flip. It's a good one to retire on. I'm thinking it might be time, because as I was sitting on her bed this morning, Ngnat kicked off her pull-ups. Her height was bad, and there was a lot of horizontal movement, but she got a full rotation out of them, and she's not even three!

That's pure natural talent, that is. You should have seen the wife's face when I told her.

Yep, it's time to move on, make way for a new generation.

It's time to take up coaching.

Welcome to the Carnival, where the skills on display are at least as good as mine, even without 20 years practice. Welcome especially to our newcomers, nikita demosthenes, Helloooo chapter two!, Everything Must Go, The Claremont Institute and Cut on the Bias.

Deep Thoughts

The Road to Surfdom - The Blog Of Laughter And Forgetting - Thus the left is variously of accused of being unpatriotic, humourless, against family values, anti-children, anti-American, anti-western, anti-progress, unAmerican, unAustralian (substitute country at will) unwashed, unkempt, unemployed, unintelligent, just plain butt unly. The beauty of the technique is that the more the target objects to it, the more likely they are to look guilty, and this is especially true of the charge of being humourless.

Cut on the Bias - Matters of Life and Death - An unborn child has done nothing wrong, has made no choices (not even to exist), and is totally acted upon when aborted. A person who has received the death penalty has chosen a line of behavior that caused great harm to one or more people, and did so in a state of mind that allowed for a different choice. They could have avoided the behavior and didn't.


nikita demosthenes - Re: New Zealand and Canada - To wit: the governments of New Zealand and Canada are clearly comprised of a bunch of ungrateful pussies.

Clubbeaux - The most obscure country in the world. - As I can attest, first from teaching international students learning English in Washington and Boston for years then working in Istanbul for four years, few people in the world really know the United States – but every single person on the planet thinks they do.

Heartstrings and Hand Grenades

a small victory - celebration - But now she had to tell me because Tim said on the phone to be ready to be a mother in two days. Two days. After years of waiting and hoping and being disappointed, she had two days to get ready for a baby.

Lhude sing cuccu! - A Song by Saddam - Well, it started out as a song by Paul Simon; if nothing else, I've proved that my scansion can be as idiosyncratic as his.
An autumn day,
It's the middle of November.
I say, "Go home,
Take your damned inspectors, nothing here to see!"
'Cause the only thing that matters here is me:
I am Iraq, I am defiant.

Madkane - Say Goodbye To Privacy - (To be sung to "Say Goodbye To Hollywood" by Billy Joel)
Bush is drivin' through a bill that strips rights,
Turns your life to an open, guided tour.
It sends your info to a Fed'ral machine.
It's a scene straight from Nineteen-Eight-Four.
Say goodbye to privacy.
Say goodbye to freedom.
Say goodbye to privacy.
Say goodbye to freedom.

Marlboro Country

Jimspot - Smoking Policies - As far as restaurants and bars, let them bear the weight of the market. If enough non-smokers are offended and put off by there being a smoking section in a restaurant, they'll stop going and the place will change its policy.

Media Bash

Helloooo chapter two! - Reviewer Bias - So, at the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular," you were shocked to find them retelling the story of Christmas from the Bible? Did you expect them to lift the story from "The Santa Clause 2" instead, or are you surprised when the morning news shows tell you about what happened the day before?

Sine Qua Non Pundit - The Scourge of Richard Cohen, Boobies to Florida! - There used to be a saying that every senator saw a future President in the mirror each morning when he was shaving. I suppose that's just as true for the female senators, whether they are shaving or not.


The Eleven Day Empire - Daschle Speaks - Do you think the "authorities" - of which, as the Minority Leader of the Senate, you are a part, moron - are sitting on their asses, playing Freecell on their computers instead of trying to track down the source of the purported Bin Laden message?

Heretical Ideas - The Choice Is Obvious, Politically Speaking - But, of course, the big plus for New Orleans is that it can help the GOP shore up their "South Park" base. Aside from Vegas, what city expresses the confluence of capitalism and hedonism better than New Orleans? The sales from "GOP Girls Gone Wild" alone will help the Republicans make tons of cash for what little soft money contributions can be made these days.

Readin', Ritin' an 'Rithmetic

Philosoblog - A College Education - Philosophy professors tend to be slightly but catastrophically dogmatic. Each clings to his favorite premise and spends his career bending over backwards to fill in a story that brings the evidence into alignment with this premise. There are exceptions, but in general, philosophy professors don't spend much time investigating commonsense solutions to philosophical puzzles.

a small victory - For the Children, Episode Three - Generation Wuss - If all Johnny's problems are solved for him through mediation and intervention and peer group facilitating, Johnny will never learn how to solve problems on his own. He will never learn how to take matters into his own hands and he will spend his life thinking that there will always be someone to come to his rescue, always someone to do the talking for him.

Zod: She should call it "Why Johnny Votes Democratic"
Quiet, you. - How Many Strikes Before You're Out? - The teachers strike continues here in Billings.
Everytime I think about it, my blood pressure starts rising, so I try not to think about it. But, you can't hardly turn around without it smacking you in the face.
On the opinion page of today's Guess-At-It, there is a letter from a 31-year teacher who only makes $45,000, which he snidely refers to as a "princely salary."

See You on The Funny Pages

IMAO - In My World: "Rumsfeld: Iraqi 'Bastards' Will Be Nuked" - When asked by a reporter if that he meant they would use a nuclear strike against Iraq if WMD's were used on U.S. troops, Rumsfeld replied, "We'll probably claim that's what happened when we nuke them just to calm the nancy boys in Europe, but I'm pretty set on nuking them no matter what. As soon as some Iraqi passes gas near one of our troops, we'll cry 'Biological warfare!' and then nuke the bastards."

South Knox Bubba - Making the Tough Decisions - Dick Cheney: Hello?
WHO: Mr. Vice President, I have Mr. Rove and Mr. Tenet on the line and they would like to conference you in, sir.
DC: OK, put me on.
WHO: Yes sir, thank you Mr. Vice President. I'll connect them now. (click) Go ahead Mr. Vice President. (click)
DC: Hey fellas, what's up?
KR: Hey, Dick. Did we wake you? Hahaha. Say, I've got George on the line here and he says his boys have finished analyzing that Al-Jazeera tape.
DC: Excellent.
KR: I couldn't remember what it was we said we wanted the result to be. Do you remember what we decided? - Hulk Edward: Animals crossing - Hulk: Hulk getting image of doggie. [points to small, twentyish man, nerdy, wears glasses] You have doggie that dead?
Man: Uh, no. No, I don't.
Hulk: Then you have cat?
Man: Uh, no, sorry.
Hulk [moving closer, speaking louder]: Then you have bird?
Man: [softly, leaning as far back as he can in his seat, sweating]: I had a ferret. A ferret

The Raving Atheist - Wiccan Troop Offers Welcome Alternative to Atheist Boy Scout - Darrell Lambert, who was ordered to declare a belief in God or leave the Eagle Scouts, enthusiastically welcomed the Wiccan's offer. "The Wiccans have astutely perceived that the cold-blooded rationalism which compels me to reject every form of deity will gladly accommodate both the God and Goddess of their pretentiously silly Earth religion," he said. "I look forward to memorizing the Wiccan Rede, and the Law of Three, mixing powerless potions and casting ineffective spells."

Solonor's Ink Well - Minion Mission #1 - Can I ax a question? How in the world do you think you're going to save someone's soul or turn them onto the paths of righteousness (or into a paying customer) by berating them in public? Hello? McFly?

Shootin' Ahrns

Ravenwood's Universe - I Am Woman, Hear Me Shoot - Most women today fear firearms. They are taught by society that guns are for men. They are told that guns are complicated devices, that they are not intelligent enough to operate. Women are led to believe that firearms are powerful tools that they don't have the strength to handle

Six Degrees of the Blogosphere

skippy the bush kangaroo - the tip jar - william quick stopped blogging because he couldn't afford it? great. that's the free market system at work, kids. and besides, nobody asked him to start blogging in the first freakin' place. nobody asked any of us.

Everything Must Go - Blog Monitors - The view that white people are the scourge of civilization and just "uncool" is so pervasive, that until I started listening to some of my "self- talk" a few years ago, I really wasn't aware of how anti-white I'd become.

Space Opera

Ipse Dixit - One Cut Too Many - These two casting decisions have led me to wonder if Lucas is perhaps employing a meta-plot device to cause us all to gradually come to despise Anakin by never allowing a competent actor to play the role.

The Two-Backed Monster

The Kitchen Cabinet - Deconstructing Sex and The City - And some of the women I know who watch the series and claim to love it because "it's just like my life!" are actually so incredibly fragile that I can't imagine them surviving the serial-dating lifestyle I gather is portrayed on the show. They'd be curled in balls on their sofas in a week, popping antidepressants and speed-dialing each other.


Where Worlds Collide - Imaginary Worlds - A great many model railway builders have also come up with elaborate fictional histories of the imaginary prototypes for their layouts in much the same way, whether it's a fictional county, or a fictional railway serving a real place that had no railway in our own history.

Unto These Hills
Fragments ~ From Floyd - Where I'm From - I am coming to appreciate my place as a minority blogger. No, I'm definitely a W.A.S.P. But I write from the Appalachian Mountains. There don't appear to be many bloggers who live here in this bioregion. Not many at all.

When Norwegian Bachelor Farmers Go Bad
The Claremont Institute - Sing Goddess of the Wrath of Garrison - I'm not saying Keillor is Achilles, but in politics, when control slips and things get nasty, anger is often the passion advancing the action. Angered at Agamemnon and the Greeks, Achilles left his fellows and sulked in his tent; then Patroclus, his friend-in-arms, died, and Achilles burst from his tent furious and murderous.

Eleven Day Empire - Go Back to Lake Woebegon - Well, Mr. Keillor, what, precisely, is the Democratic ideology? Opposition to war, sort of, except not really? Opposition to tax cuts, sort of, but not really opposed enough to actually repeal them? Support of international treaties, except not enough to actually ratify them? Support for welfare reform, kind of, sometimes, except not exactly?

The Carnival of the Vanities is published every Wednesday at Silflay Hraka and Blog Critics. Information on how to join the Carnival is available here.

Posted by Bigwig at November 20, 2002 12:16 AM | TrackBack
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