Friday links! Max Headroom edition

Combat! blog was down much of this morning for reasons I still don’t understand, forcing me to assume that we were pirated by 1980s cola advertisement/conceptual art project/daylight hallucination Max Headroom. Remember that guy or possibly thing? It took a particular society and moment to produce such a baffling quantum of culture, and I remember he felt Very Important at the time.* Particularly in his weirdly dystopian television show, Max Headroom seemed a harbinger of things to come. Watching him now, one is struck by A) how oddly slow-paced he seems and B) how apt a prediction he was. Our discursive world is weird. An outside perspective might call it surreal. Don’t click on “More…” unless you want to explode your brain.


For the first time in my life, I agree with YouTube commenter: this is the weirdest shit ever. It is critically important that you not use this video to masturbate. I don’t know what it would to do your mind, exactly, but it would be bad.

Speaking of masturbating to Sarah Palin and doing stuff to our minds, Glenn Beck has gone ahead and given us a ballpark estimate on the percentage of Muslims who are terrorists. It’s ten. The exact phrasing he used in his survey is yet unknown, as is the statistical methodology behind—oh, wait, he made it up. The number isn’t the point, people. The point is that a certain fraction of adherents to a major world religions are plotting to murder us and destroy society. Now that Beck had done the heavy lifting, all we have to do is find them.

I have recently been banned from the Tea Party Nation website—possibly for coming home drunk and pointing out factual inaccuracies in the comments section, or maybe someone realized “Combat Blog” was not a real first and last name—so I am not able to link to Judson Phillip’s latest assault on grammar and decency. I can tell you, though, that he has responded to the recent outpouring of concern for Gabrielle Giffords and the state of our national discourse by suggesting that a group of people should beat Fred Phelps until he nears death:

Fifty years ago, had Phelps tried something like this, he would be met by not only the police, but also the men of the community he was going to.  The police would make sure things did not get out of hand and then politely look the other way while the men of the community educated Phelps on his bad manners. When Phelps got out of the hospital, he would not do it again. We need to remember, Fred Phelps is nothing but a bully and someone needs to figure out the way to deliver the figurative bloody nose to him.

Don’t worry—he said “figurative” at the end, so it’s not a literal incitement to violence. Well timed, Mr. Phillips. I would like to point out that, in addition to publishing fantasy narratives about traveling back in time to participate in the ritual beating of an elderly man, this man operates a political party.

And what a fun party it is! We haven’t talked much about Michele Bachmann lately, probably because now that her school of Tea Partiers have disgorged their vote sacs on the nation’s fertile ballot boxes, she has returned to being a small fish in a big pond. Don’t worry, though: Michele Bachmann is a survivor, if survivors survived not on food and water but on concentrated beams of attention, and there’s no better way to get attention than by running for President. “I’m going to Iowa; there’s your answer,” Bachmann said snappily to ABC’s Jonathan Carl, presumably before relapsing into her signature satisfied gape. Michele Bachmann operates at exactly the same level of wit as the fat lady in your office who describes herself as “sarcastic.”

But oh, that silky Minnesota voice. She’s a real r-dropping pin/pen merger, as I know from this detailed map of North American English dialects, which is fascinating to a sanity-threatening degree. Be sure to click on the cities with green dots to hear audio samples of the local speech. Or unwind to the dulcet tones of the queen of nasal rumormongering herself:


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