Stupid Cockface Patrol

Monday, October 09, 2006

Stupid Cockfaces in History: Christopher Columbus

Today is October 9th, that sorry excuse for a day off that banks take and nobody else gets, known as "Columbus Day," in honor of Christopher Columbus, one of history's stupidest cockfaces.

He's the jag-off typically credited with proving the world was round and introducing the New World to Europe. Except...

- Everyone already knew the world was round. And not just learned folk, either -- pretty much everyone. Furthermore, everyone but Columbus had a fairly accurate estimate of its real circumference. In reality, if Columbus was trying to get to India, he'd have had to travel about four times as far as he did. And furthermore...

- A bunch of people already knew all about America by the time he set out for it. The Vikings, the Chinese, and the Kingdom of Mali, just to name a few. In fact, it's been suggested that Columbus actually got the idea for sailing westward after hearing about African-Carribbean trade routes from a member of the Malinese court. I can just see how that conversation went...

Malinese dude: "Yeah, so, a bunch of our ships wound up off course a while back and we found this totally new place, with people and everything. They're cool, though, we're trading with them and stuff."
Columbus: "Really? Huh, that must have been India."
Malinese dude: "What? India? Are you on goofballs? There's simply no way in fuck that's India that we're going to."
Columbus: "Dude, I bet you it's India. I'm gonna get me a boat and go there."

- It's pretty clear that Chris didn't read a single thing about China or Japan before he left, or ever, since he was pretty convinced that when he got to Cuba, that he was in China, and that when he was in the Bahamas, that it was really Japan. Because, you know, Bahamian and Japanese cultures are so much alike.

- This one baffles me. Apparently, Columbus, after his first voyage, actually abducted some of the natives to show to the Spanish court. Because, yeah, whenever I want to open up trading routes with a foreign power, the first thing I do is kidnap a few of their citizens. Really warms 'em up to me. Maybe it was scurvy-induced madness taking hold or something when he made that call.

To top it off, it's because of his dumb ass that the banks were closed today.

Christopher Columbus... you were one stupid cockface.

Monday, September 11, 2006

John M. Lyons, Jr.: Stupid Cockface

Remember, a little over a year ago, there was this great big hurricane that pretty much destroyed New Orleans?

Well, back during that time, a man named Mark Morice took the initiative to commandeer whatever boats he could find in the neighborhood to carry survivors to dry land. Apparently, he managed to rescue over 200 people this way. Pretty respectable.

Enter John M. Lyons, Jr.

One of the 3 boats that Morice used to save people happened to be his. And, apparently... he didn't like the fact that it was used to do people some good, so he decided to sue. You can read more about it yourself. I'm not going to elaborate, because, frankly, I get a little pissed off thinking about it. But John M. Lyons, Jr -- you're a Stupid Cockface.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mel Gibson: What a Dick

The short summary, with apologies to Glen:

DOOK DOOK DOOK DOOK
VROOM VROOM VROOM VROOM
"JEW JEW JEW JEW!"

You know the story, even if you've been living under a rock for the past month, because you've still got web access under that rock, admit it.

I don't think there's much dispute that ol' Mel is an antisemite (and possibly anti-gay, too, check Braveheart), and he just happened to get caught with his verbal pants down. During a DUI bust. Ouch. Terms like sugartits applied to cops don't really impress, either. But the point is that it's likely that he meant all those things he said - in vino veritas.

Possible mitigating factor? He seems to keep it to himself for the rest of the time. I'm not sure how many points he gets for that, though - the Anti-Defamation League seems pretty critical of his portrayal of Jews in The Passion of the Christ.

I'm not sure if he gets the Scarlet Letter of Stupid Cockface, though. I understand that people are entitled to their opinions and their speech re: those opinions is constitutionally protected. If he'd gone out that night and formed the Violence Against Jews (and Sugartits) Party and then headed after anyone with a baseball bat, he'd be on the list. And in jail. But he just said what he thinks, and the only harm he did was the dangerous-to-everyone DUI. Stupid Cockface? What do you think?

Regardless of that verdict, though, this case illustrates exactly why we need a Stupid Cockface law. Now the police report's been filed, the mugshot's been taken, and the headlines have subsided. Now Mel's publicists and agents and handlers get to spin and cajole and wheedle him into our good graces. This is a big job, but if they do it right, then we'll all think that he really had it rough, almost losing his family and life and career to alcohol that one night he drank too much and got into such a media tizzy. But a Stupid Cockface wouldn't be able to claw their way back into society's good graces. That's part of what being a Stupid Cockface means.

So what do you think? Does he get the Stupid Cockface designation? Should he be allowed redemption? If so, under what circumstances?

Also, I'm way disappointed here. He seems like a good guy - charismatic and down to earth. Plus, he was Riggs! Word, Rog! I wish I didn't think he's a dick now.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

George W. Bush: Stupid Cockface

Sorry to restate the obvious here, but he's gone too far this week. For the first time in his illustrious run as our Commander and Chief, this Stupid Cockface has final used his power to veto. Until now he has let Congress pass whatever they wanted, and in turn they have let him get away with so much shit that Nixon would cry. But now, good 'ol George has finally decided to use our otherwise brilliant system of checks and balances.

The President has vetoed a bill that would expand stem cell research. Why? Because he is pro-life. Carl Rove and Jesus (not that I feel he can distinguish between the two) have told him that it is wrong to cells for research that could have been a life if they weren't being discarded anyway. And it is wrong for potential parents to agree to allow these stem cells to be used for science. He would rather they be thrown away so he can feel morally superior to us mortal men and women. So to gain this superior feeling, he has vetoed a bill put into play by a Republican Congressman.

One of the things that frightens me the most about this, every time you hear a politician get a sound-bite about this issue they talk about "principles." Not once have I heard anybody talk about evidence. I know the current Bush administration has redefined the word "evidence" but that is no reason for us to give up on it.

There is much more I could debate on this issue, but none of it is new. Surprising little of it has changed from back when I worked in the field. Same arguments, same politics, same brick wall. I will now hang my head low to hide my tears, as I admit I live in a democratic country that elected a Stupid Cockface to run it. Twice...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Phillip E. Johnson: Stupid Cockface

"Who is Phillip E. Johnson?" you might ask. He's the troublesome legal scholar and pseudoscientist often credited with starting the whole 'Intelligent Design' fiasco. You see, Phil got it into his head one day that the whole process of making observations, forumlating of hypotheses consistent with existing evidence, conducting experiments, and drawing logical conclusions, somehow interfered with his religious beleifs. And, I'm sorry but... it seems to me that anyone who feels their faith is threatened by hard science doesn't really have much faith at all.

Normally, this attitude could be written off as generally harmless ignorance. But, no, Phil here had to take it to the next level. He came up with his own 'theory,' which is little more than aimless ramblings about as sound as the mathematical joke 'proof' that one equals two. The arguments contained within could just as easily be applied to the theory that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe.

Then he had to go about writing books, and giving lectures, and inspiring like-minded sheep to hassle well-meaning people about what they're teaching children. It's because of Phillip E. and his followers that folk like the Dover Area School District are being dragged into court these days for committing no crime beyond teaching science in a science class and leaving applied mythology for other venues.

Let me make one thing clear here: I don't mean to defend the Theory of Evolution as a sacred cow. If someone wants to make a legitimate, scientific criticism of this or any other theory, in whole or in part, with the intent of refining our knowledge about the world around us, and is willing to let things play out on the scientific arena and not the political arena, then I have no problem with them.

But... good ol' Phillip co-authored something called the Wedge Document that made it clear that this was not what he was trying to do. Here are their stated goals:

- To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
- To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.

To the jury, I ask you this: are these the words of a man who is interested the least bit in advancing humanity's understanding of the world around us? Or are they the words of a Stupid Cockface?

The prosecution rests.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (and others): Stupid Cockface

Please take a minute to read this article --
http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Movies/07/03/christian.movie.rating.ap/index.html

So, in the middle of what seems to be the biggest lack of faith of our government ever, prominent members of the House are concentrating on if the MPAA rating system is biased against Christian themes. Take this line: "This incident raises the disquieting possibility that the MPAA considers exposure to Christian themes more dangerous for children than exposure to gratuitous sex and violence." Please remember that this started because the MPAA gave a rating of PG instead of G to one particular movie. I want to know what PG movies Rep. Roy Blunt is watching that include gratuitous sex and violence. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (also a Stupid Cockface) is pushing for congressional hearings on the subject.

This whole issue begs an important question. Are there members of Congress so mind-numbingly out of touch that they believe issues as this are important to the nation, or are these same members so horrified by the issues that face our country today that they no longer have the capacity to even think about them (let alone act on them)? Either way, the answer is disquieting at minimum.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Chad Alvarez: Stupid Cockface

In college, I used to tape clippings up on my wall. I had two walls of note, The Wall of Fame and the Wall of Things Humanity Should Be Ashamed Of.

I can remember many of the entries on the Wall of Fame, but only one from the Wall of Things Humanity etc.

That one article detailed an incident in May of 1999 in which Chad Alvarez, fraternity member on the University of Wisconsin campus and son of UW Badger football coach Barry Alvarez, willingly performed an action that catapulted him directly to Stupid Cockface status.

This fucker, as revenge for a petty little email, took his frat brother's parrot and microwaved it to death.

I'll pause now, so you can be horrified for a while.

Alvarez (Chad, not Barry) faced two criminal charges, one for kidnapping the bird and the other for killing it. His potential penalty was twelve years in jail and $20,000. Pretty stiff! He walked away, though, with a relatively light sentence: ten days in jail, nine years of probation, 250 hours of community service, counseling, and a $1,000 donation to the Dane County Humane Society.

Mitigating factors: he seems sorry!
Further damning factors: also pleaded no contest to drunk driving
Verdict: what an asshole

The parrot, Iago, was unable to comment at posting time, as he had been murdered by some Stupid Cockface.

Introducing the Stupid Cockface Patrol

Until the Stupid Cockface Act of 2006 (or whenever) becomes law, fair and decent folk across the land need an opportunity to publicly excoriate the Stupid Cockfaces who mar our experience.

Enter our team of editors, who have Czar-like power to condemn public figures by labeling them Stupid Cockfaces.

There are some rules about who can be nailed with a charge of Stupid Cockfacism (I like this term better than 'cockfaceism'), so let them be listed here:

*Editors should be fair to the condemned. This is a serious label we're considering here.
*Editors should be forthright and honest about how these people and/or actions make them feel.

Okay, then. Here's how we take back the world from those until-now unrepetant philistines.

The Don't Be A Stupid Cockface Act

(reprinted from The Continuing Adventures of MattJohn)

We have a real problem with stupid cockfaces in our society, not least in government:
* "We've found the weapons of mass destruction."
* "That depends on what your definition of 'is' is.

Okay, we all hate it, but they keep doing it. Why? They can get away with it. All they have to endure is a few scathing editorials in the Washington Post and then the public will move on to something else, leaving the offending stupid cockface unscathed.

In other words, in our society there's no real punishment for being a stupid cockface.

I hereby propose a remedy: let's make it a crime to be a stupid cockface. Maybe not a felony, but a punishable, permanent-record crime. Let's have the punishment be a total loss of public respect, a fine that stings pretty hard, and the Stupid Cockface label, a sort of unsheddable scarlet letter of idiocy.

Great, but how do we choose who gets nailed with Stupid Cockface status? Easy, we outsource the job to Walter Cronkite. Or rather, we create a Stupid Cockface Czar, appointed by and answerable only to the American people. This person must be perceived as a wise and neutral person who will not abuse power. The Cockface Czar only needs to designate a Stupid Cockface, then the local magistrate or whoever assesses a fine and applies the Scarlet Letter of Shame.

One Stupid Cockface rooted out and punished, and a whole class of people a little more nervous about crossing that line into doublespeak or preempting the World Cup because it's raining two counties over or changing laws to make sure that child labor is legal in U.S. possessions or whatnot.

What if the Czar goes off the reservation, though, and designates Willie Mays (for example) a stupid cockface? Clearly this isn't right, and the people are going to know it. This is where the national referendum comes in. The only way to overturn a Stupid Cockface designation is by a two-thirds majority in a national vote. If this vote succeeds in overturning the S.C. status, then the Czar loses his or her post and is automatically branded a Stupid Cockface. The people then choose another Czar, and we all resume business as usual.

Won't it be nice to have this in place for the next time Rick Santorum holds a press conference to announce that we've found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq two years after we stopped looking? Or for when Paris Hilton publishes her first book of poetry?

I think we needed this act decades ago. Who can we get to sponsor this in Congress?