Archive for August, 2010

What’s Really Weird with Rand?

Posted in All things political, Comedy on August 11, 2010 by klogtheblog

Cable news is buzzing with the news that Kentucky’s Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate Rand Paul kidnapped a young woman and tried to make her do bong hits and worship a pagan aquatic god. I say if you didn’t do this in college you must have majored in Business Administration or been one of those religious students who gets kidnapped and forced to do bong hits. So I don’t give a flying crap about this story. I bet rank and file Republicans do care, and higher up Republicans pretend to care, because it seems these days that that party is based on rich cronies of big business working the rank and file into a fervor over bullshit and lies.

To stir the bullshit fervor pot, let’s consider the other quirky aspects of Rand Paul. Despite being the son of the popular (with pretentious simpletons) Ron Paul, and despite having gotten himself into hot water dithering over whether he would have supported the Civil Rights bill in 1964, Rand Paul remains a relatively unknown quantity. This latest bong hits and “Aqua Buddha” episode may actually be eclipsing some of the stranger aspects of this Senatorial Candidate with a conventional tale of college “high”-jinx. What’s really weird with Rand?

His name is Rand

No, Randal Paul is NOT named after Ayn Rand, which would have explained a lot. His dad’s a libertarian, it would make sense for him to be saddled with a bum moniker like Rand or Ayno or Galt due to his father’s love of freedom and blue-green rail. Instead, he CHOSE to go with the name Rand. Also, he says that even though he’s not named after her, Rand is a big fan of Ayn Rand, who is a terrible writer with a wrong-headed doctrine for how the world would work if it wasn’t, you know, the actual world.

He’s a Libertarian

Libertarian’s believe in freedom. They don’t like the man’s rules. Free markets are the way to progress. That’s all great if you want to legalize pot, but if you’ve got problems with things like racism or child labor, you might actually want the man to keep a few rules. That’s why Rand (a name he chooses to go by) had such trouble on the Rachel Maddow show explaining his ambivalence towards the Civil Rights bill. The problem with Libertarianism is that people are assholes, and there have to be rules or the assholes will win 100% of the time instead of 90%. Some of us are shooting for 85%, but the free market’s been running our government for some time now (If only there were some way to place rules on the government!) so assholes rule. Still, there has been some progress in this country, progress Rand Paul doesn’t like.

His Name is Rand

His name is Rand and he’s a Libertarian. Don’t vote for him.

Other Stuff

There’s probably lots of other stuff. He looks funny. Handsome but for the squinty eyes and the villainous fro. Not all fros are villainous, just villainous fros and this dude’s got one. He wears doctor scrubs a lot. Yes, he is a doctor, but I still think it’s creepy. Personally, I think the whole Rand thing and the Libertarianism is enough. Dig around if you need more.

In closing, I’d just like to say Rand.

–Dan Kilian

Little Known Facts about Lincoln

A Letter to the Catholic Laity


The Screamin’ Demons

Posted in All things political, Comedy on August 10, 2010 by klogtheblog

Police have arrested a pastor in Georgia for protesting outside a high school against its demon mascot.

Funny that they didn’t publish the school principal’s statement:

“The staff and students of Warner Robins High School wish to extend our thoughts to Pastor Crosby, and further to reassure all the parishioners of Kingdom Builders [Church of Jesus Christ] that there are no plans to harness the sweet-flowing blood of seven virgins for use in a diabolical ritual to be performed at Friday’s Summer Nights dance, nor will the protocols of Ibn Al Rahzne’er be invoked at that event, harvesting the souls of all attendees not protected by the Sygil of Nalgeriad and/or a cold-forged iron circlet.

“Additionally we would like to invite all community members to our thirteenth annual Make Reading Come Alive! Book Fair on August 30th — eleven weeks past the solstice, as prophesied — the highlight of which will be a live recitation from the nocimonorceN by none other than That Which Resides Between, Lord of Passages, Master of Byways, Traveler Beyond:  Vaalgarth, Keeper of the Anti-text.  It should be a fun and educational event, particularly for those not driven mad.

“Go Demons!”

–Steve Kilian

From Space to Destroy

The Critic Masturbates

The Seventh Sword

Posted in Fiction on August 9, 2010 by klogtheblog

The second wound in the sixth match would have killed me had my opponent been better trained.  As it was he missed my femoral artery by a quarter of an inch – not much more than a scratch — and I finished him in two strokes:  reverse cimmarando followed by a short pommel thrust with a wholly unnecessary Grieslan flourish.  Disarmed and humiliated, my adversary conceded the bout.  The audience gave up only a smattering of applause.  Nobody roots for the overdog, and they hadn’t been given the dramatic sort of head-lopping or chest-cleaving they’d come to expect from the lesser practitioners in the Tournament.  So be it.  Art answers to more than the crowd.

The first wound was an insignificant nick to my left elbow, nowhere near the tendon, and an unplanned strike at that.  Still it was scored, and a good call by the footline judge.  I nodded to him out of respect and must have slipped into a reflective state, not in the moment.  No doubt my reactions had gone sluggish, and earned me the cut to the leg.  Worse than any physical pain was the sting of knowing that my opponent was not truly worthy of landing the blow.  This then must be the meaning of the saying that the master can only be bested by a novice.  It isn’t the skilled enemy one must fear, but rather complacency and failure to apply one’s training.

The Tournament had started with the usual fanfare, dazzling pyrotechnics reflecting off the windows of the ducal palace and feasting in the streets.  Small whitecaps played over the surface of the Kingal River, raised by a late-season steppe wind.  This close to the ocean the Kingal was more of an inland sea than a river, shallow and brackish and extending to the horizon.  The docks were full of cargo ships and the yachts of foreign dignitaries coming in for the games.  It was testament to the size and opulence of the city that it could absorb so many visitors and not be reduced to a mudfield.  Even the alleys were paved with cut stone.

I had worked through the first two matches on day one, both ending with respectable forfeiture by my challengers.  I would likely take them on as clients at the training house later in the season.  My third challenger was a braggart and a simpleton.  He repeatedly made angry slashes that — if they’d had any hope of connecting — would have either inflicted career-ending injuries or been killing blows.  It wasn’t the sort of thing one did at this stage of the Tournament.  After a minute or two of this and a few discreet nods from the circle judge I parried high, punched the fool in the mouth, and then laid his cheek open to the bone.  He lost the match and an ear, blubbering about a foul even as the guards hauled him off.  It was a bad end to an otherwise good day, and I slogged through bouts four and five on the next two days.  They were workmanlike matches, both won on points.

At least the sixth match allowed me to inject some technique back into my work.

The sixth day of the Tournament was a rest-day, and all the remaining competitors slept in and took massages.  After checking my leg and dabbing on some ointment the tournament physician released me for the day.  I walked to the Southlander neighborhood and had greenfish baked in clay with hot peppers.  The Southland crowd was all abuzz about the Tournament, some talking about how artless the current favorite was, others saying that finally there was some blood on the sand, and that these were the first fights they’d cared about in decades.  I kept my mouth shut and sopped up sauce with flatbread.  “Fights,” indeed.  They may as well have been talking about dogs, not swordsmen.

I woke the next morning refreshed and relaxed.  The Kingal smelled of salt.  This was the start of the Killing Days — the combatants were now of sufficient skill that matches were rarely called on points — injury or death was the typical outcome for one if not both of the men in the circle.  The crowds would be bigger, and even the losers (if they survived) could expect some fame and recognition.  More than ever skill and command of the craft were appreciated, particularly among the elite spectators in the ringside seats.

I wound my battle turban and went through a series of stretches.  My leg was as limber as ever – I had sparred with much worse.  I rolled my blades in a reed mat, slung them over my shoulder, and made my way to the arena.  Already the crowd was drumming on their benches, chanting the names of favorites.  As I moved to the circle where I would face the seventh match the noise grew even louder.  Evidently I would be defeating a local hero.

He appeared anything but that.  Huge, coarsely muscled, and covered in scars, he looked like more of a northland street brawler than a Kingalese weaponmaster.  His black hair was tied back with a gut chord but still shaggy for all that — plenty of opportunity for it to fall into his eyes.  He wore dull copper bracers on his wrists and a filthy loincloth.  In mockery of a House pennant he had tied six heads to a stick, giving those gruesome ornaments no more dignity than a brace of quail.

This then was the reason for the cheering — he was the sort of murderer who would decapitate a lesser-skilled foe for nothing more than the roar of the crowd.  Such savagery in the early rounds was contemptible.  It was dirty work.  Indeed his weapon — a ridiculous hatchet of a broadsword, a foot too long and twelve pounds too heavy for artful combat — was still clotted with blood and what looked to be a bit of scalp.  I considered selecting a Hunterwyck dueling epee out of sheer disdain.  That would give the crowd a spectacle — the death of a twenty-stone bruiser from a hundred pin-pricks.

Then I recognized one of the heads.  Fiorulci d’Masterpolo had been a savant with a rapier.  That this beast had slain him gave me pause.  I selected a stout longblade, double-edged, with knurled ricasso and cured leather basket.  It would do the job of educating the audience and then serve well in breaking this bastard down like a steer at the market.

He had the gracelessness to laugh as I entered the circle.  I nodded to the line and circle judges, and then to the glitterati in the forward boxes.  To my opponent I offered only a classic glissade advance, drawing in mid-air.  I landed into a perfectly executed pas de Berrecque, closing our distance to a sword-and-a-half.  It was not an overly complex maneuver, but its performance was exquisite.  I could strike overhand from a releve or move low out of a jete sinister and lay into his ribcage.  My sword was extended along the line of my arm, directly at his throat.  This was something for which they could cheer.

And yet they drummed as he hefted his barbarian blade.  “Conan!  Conan!  Conan!” they yelled.  Peasants.

I moved in for the kill.

–Steve Kilian

What is Cthulhu’s favorite type of flavored tea?

C is for Kooky

Sidewalk Cafe

Posted in All things music, Art on August 5, 2010 by klogtheblog

–Dan Kilian

What We’ve Learned From BP

Against the Complete Dissolution of American Culture

Glamour Girl

Posted in Art on August 3, 2010 by klogtheblog

–Dan Kilian

Sarah Palin and The New K Word

Big Sharks Eat Smaller Sharks