THE WEEKLY RIOT
April 20, 2001
If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES OF THE WEEK
(by the infamous Unknown Author unless otherwise noted)
If life gives you lemons, squeeze the juice into a water gun and shoot other people in the eyes.
Money can't buy happiness, but you can be sad in a better neighborhood.
Looking at the proliferation of personal web pages on the net, it looks like very soon everyone on earth will have 15 Megabytes of fame.
An archeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested in her he is.
Scientists have recently discovered that many kinds of bacteria do not operate independently. Instead, they seem to communicate with each other and only go to work causing an infection, for example when they decide that they have reached the critical mass they need to get the job done. This is called a quorum. What a coincidence! That's also the way the U. S. Congress works.
Those cows are saying, "You're eating us, drinking us, wearing us and sneaking up on us and tipping us over. That's why we're mad." Jerry Seinfeld
Andy Warhol may have been dyslexic. That's great news. We all get 51 minutes of fame. Jay Leno
I love a man with a short URL.
Show me a man who comes home in the evening, is greeted by a smile, is encouraged to take off his shoes, has pillows arranged on the floor for him, and is served a delicious meal and I'll show you a man who lives in a Japanese restaurant!
The first time I tried Viagra I sprained my wrist. Rodney Dangerfield
A woman walks into a drugstore and asks the pharmacist if he sells size extra-large condoms. He replies, "Yes we do. Would you like to buy some?" She responds, "No sir, but do you mind if I wait around here until someone does?"
I think of myself as white trailer trash. My parents recently made up their will. Everything is split equally between me and my sister. She's getting the house, but I'm getting the porch and the wheels. Lynda Montgomery
== RUMINATIONS ==
Copyright © 2001, Chris White
I find that the older I get, the more tolerant I am of people's behavior. Except, of course, those people who should just be put to sleep. Lev L. Spiro
IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK:
ENTERTAINMENT: Rumors still persist that former President Clinton has a standing offer from a major Hollywood Studio to come to work for them.
[First project "Crouching Intern, Hidden Cigar"?]
SCIENCE: Oxford University has teamed up with United Devices, as well as Intel, to work on a cure for cancer. The project looks to use the unused power from PCs to process information from a central server. The university quoted studies that showed average office workers using as little as 20% of the available power on their computers. The unused power would
then be used to process information on molecules.
[So they're hoping Windows 2000 will cure cancer? WE'RE DOOMED! I can't even get it to run my Internet browser correctly...]
== BIZARRE NEWS ==
Copyright © 2001, by Pulse Direct, Inc.
STUDENT "SALUTES" SCHOOL WITH SCREENSAVER:
(Romania) Some people have pictures of their loved ones as screensavers while others have cute animal photos. But a boy at a Bucharest school would not settle for such ordinary pictures. In a clever, if not original stunt, the boy scanned his penis and used the picture on all of the school's computers. Officials threatened to set up an identity parade if the culprit does not 'stand up' and confess.
THIS WEEK'S OBLIGATORY BLONDE JOKE
A blonde and a brunette were talking, and the blonde was very stressed. The brunette asked her what was the matter. The blonde proceeded to tell her that she really needed to sell her car, but no one would buy because it has 100,000 miles on it.
The brunette said to her, "I know a way that will help you sell it. I have a friend who can help you, but it's illegal."
The blonde said, " I'll do anything." So the brunette gave the blonde the phone number of a guy who could turn back the odometer on her car. A week later the blonde and the brunette crossed paths, and the brunette asked the blonde if she had sold her car yet.
The blonde said, "Why would I sell a car with only 50,000 miles on it?"
[Thanks to Craig Miyamoto's Diamond Head]
IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK:
THE TOP 13 SIGNS YOU'RE TAKING YOUR BREAKUP TOO HARD
13. The tears flow in the produce section as the sight of two perfect cantaloupes bring memories of her flooding back.
12. You keep calling his old number in the Oval Office, even though you know that new dumb guy always picks up.
11. You don't know what you'd do if you didn't have your dotcom stocks to console y uh-oh.
10. You keep mailing her threatening letters because her restraining orders smell like her.
9. Even your therapist suggests that you "take the manly route
8. You start writing country songs...and the country is Bosnia.
7. You ask your pastor if it's improper to have a funeral for your penis.
6. You're too depressed to get out of bed and stalk her.
5. Keeping a stained dress: Tacky
Using it to clone an army of SuperPresidents: Creepy
4. You haven't returned any of Rupert Murdoch's calls about appearing on "Who Wants to Catch a Multimillionaire on the Rebound?"
3. Inspired by a combination of true love and a court order, you're always just over 50 yards away.
2. "All your albums are belong to me!"
and Topfive.com's Number 1 Sign You're Taking Your Breakup Too Hard...
1. You cry every time you take a leak, because *she* used
to take a leak.
The Top 5 List
Copyright © 2001, by Chris White
BUSHONICS SPEAKERS STRIKE BACK
We're mad as hell and we won't
be misunderestimated anymore!
(by Tom McNichol)
The day Lisa Shaw's son Tyler came home from school with tears streaming down his cheeks, the 34-year-old Crawford, Texas, homemaker, knew things had gone too far. "All of Tyler's varying and sundry friends was making fun of the way he talked," Shaw says. "I am not a revengeful person, but I couldn't let this behaviorism slip into acceptability. This is not the way America is about."
Shaw and her son are two of a surprising number of Americans who speak a form of nonstandard English that linguists have dubbed "Bushonics", in honor of the dialect's most famous speaker, President George W. Bush. The most striking features of Bushonics tangled syntax, mispronunciations, run-on sentences, misplaced modifiers and a wanton disregard for subject-verb agreement are generally considered to be "bad" or "ungrammatical" by linguists and society at large.
But that attitude may be changing. Bushonics speakers, emboldened by the Bush presidency, are beginning to make their voices heard. Lisa Shaw has formed a support group for local speakers of the dialect and is demanding that her son's school offer "a full blown up apologism". And a growing number of linguists argue that Bushonics isn't a collection of language "mistakes" but rather a well-formed linguistic system, with its own lexical, phonological and syntactic patterns.
"These people are greatly misunderestimated," says University of Texas linguistics professor James Bundy, himself a Bushonics speaker. "They're not lacking in intelligence facilities by any stretch of the mind. They just have a differing way of speechifying."
It's difficult to say just how many Bushonics speakers there are in America, although professor Bundy claims "their numbers are legionary". Many who speak the dialect are ashamed to utter it in public and will only open up to a group of fellow speakers. One known hotbed of Bushonics is Crawford, the tiny central Texas town near the president's 1,600-acre ranch. Other centers are said to include Austin and Midland, Texas, New Haven, Conn., and Kennebunkport, Maine.
Bushonics is widely spoken in corporate boardrooms, and has long been considered a kind of secret language among members of the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon. Bushonics speakers have ascended to top jobs at places like the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services. By far the greatest concentration of Bushonics speakers is found in the U.S. military. Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig is only the most well known Bushonics speaker to serve with distinction in America's armed forces. Among the military's top brass, the dialect is considered to be the unofficial language of the Pentagon.
Former President George H.W. Bush spoke a somewhat diluted form of the dialect that bears his family's name, which may have influenced his choice for vice president, Dan Quayle, who spoke an Indiana strain of Bushonics.
The impressive list of people who speak the dialect is a frequent topic at Lisa Shaw's weekly gathering of Bushonics speakers. That so many members of their linguistic community have risen to positions of power comes as a comfort to the group, and a source of inspiration.
"We feel a good deal less aloneness, my guess is you would want to call it," Shaw says. "It just goes to show the living proof that expectations rise above that which is expected."
Some linguists still contend, however, that the term "Bushonics" is being used as a crutch to excuse poor grammar and sloppy logic.
"I'm sorry, but these people simply don't know how to talk properly," says Thomas Gayle, a speech professor at Stanford University. Professor Gayle was raised by Bushonic parents, and says he occasionally catches himself lapsing into the dialect.
"When it happens, it can be very misconcerting," Gayle says. "I understand Bushonics. I was one. But under full analyzation, it's really just an excuse to stay stupider."
It's talk like that that angers many Bushonics speakers, who say they're routinely the victims of prejudice.
"The attacks on Bushonics demonstrate a lack of compassion and amount to little more than hate speech," says a prominent Bushonics leader who spoke on the condition that his quote be "cleaned up."
Increasingly, members of the Bushonics community are fighting back. Lisa Shaw's Crawford-based group is pressing the local school board to institute bilingual classes, and to eliminate the study of English grammar altogether. "It's an orientation of being fairness based," Shaw says. A Bushonics group in New England has embarked on an ambitious project to translate key historical documents into the dialect, beginning with the Bill of Rights. (For instance, the Second Amendment rendered into Bushonics reads: "Guns. They're American, for the regulated militia and the people to bear. Can't take them away for infringement purposes. Not never.")
Bushonics activists say they'll keep fighting as long as there are still children who come home from school crying because their classmates can't understand a word they're saying. Lisa Shaw hopes that every American will heed the words of the nation's No. 1 Bushonics speaker, and vow to be a uniter, not a divider.
"We shouldn't be cutting down the pie smaller," Shaw says with quiet dignity. "We ought to make the pie higher."
Microsoft Tests Nuclear Device at Secret Olympia Facility
REDMOND (BNN) World leaders reacted with stunned silence as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) conducted an underground nuclear test at a secret facility in Washington state. The device, exploded at 10:55 am PDT (1:55 PM EDT) today, was timed to coincide with talks between Microsoft and the US Department of Justice over possible antitrust action.
"Microsoft is going to defend its right to market its products by any and all necessary means," said Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. "Not that I'm antigovernment" he continued, "but there would be few tears shed in the computer industry if Washington were engulfed in a bath of nuclear fire."
Scientists pegged the explosion at around 100 kilotons. "I nearly dropped my latte when I saw the seismometer" explained University of Washington geophysicist Dr. Whoops Blammover, "At first I thought it was Mt. Rainier, and I was thinking, damn, there goes the mountain bike vacation."
In Washington, President Bush announced the U.S. Government would boycott all Microsoft products indefinitely. Minutes later, the President reversed his decision. "We've tried sanctions since lunchtime, and they don't work," said the President. Instead, the administration will initiate a policy of "constructive engagement" with Microsoft.
Microsoft's Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myrhvold said the test justified Microsoft's recent acquisition of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation from the US Government. Not only did Microsoft acquire "kilograms of weapons grade plutonium" in the deal, said Myrhvold, "but we've finally found a place to dump those millions of unsold copies of Microsoft Bob."
Myrhvold warned users not to replace Microsoft NT products with rival operating systems. "I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator inside of every Pentium III microprocessor," said Myrhvold, "but anyone who installs an OS written by a bunch of long-hairs on the Internet is going to get what they deserve."
The existence of an RTG in each Pentium III microprocessor would explain why the microprocessors, made by the Intel Corporation, run so hot. The Intel chips "put out more heat than they draw in electrical power" said Prof. E. E. Thymes of MIT. "This should finally dispel those stories about cold fusion."
Rumors suggest a second weapons development project is underway in California, headed by Microsoft rival Sun Microsystems. "They're doing all of the development work in Java," said one source close to the project. The development of a delivery system is said to be holding up progress. "Write once, bomb anywhere is still a dream at the moment."
Meanwhile, in Cupertino, California, Apple interim-CEO Steve Jobs was rumored to be in discussion with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison about deploying Apple's Newton technology against Microsoft. "Newton was the biggest bomb the Valley has developed in years," said one hardware engineer. "I'd hate to be around when they drop that product a second time."
NEW E-BOOKS FOUND ON CNET NETWORKS, INC.
A TALE OF TWO GEOCITIES: "It was the best of sites, it was the worst of sites."
E-CLAUDIUS: Wretched geek grows up to become king of a Roman er, Redmond Empire.
THE BILL JOY LUCK CLUB: Former technophiles get together to wish away nanotechnology.
THE LORD OF THE FILES: Drunk on power, an IS director descends into barbarism, starts randomly deleting files from network drives.
YES, ICON: Sammy Davis, Jr. relates the heartwarming story of his mastery of AOL.
MOBY CLICK: Tale of a monomaniacal dot-com CEO chasing venture capital to the ends of the earth. Ultimately, he straps himself to his backers and brings them down with the ship.
THE WIZARD OF OS: Dorothy and friends search the Internet trying to get back home, or at least back to their home page.
LADY CHAT ROOM'S LOVER: Steamy transcripts from alt.gamekeeper.dhlawrence.
THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GNU: How the arrival of open source software developers changed the lives of this small, migrant African-American town in southern Florida.
GONE WITH THE WINDOWS: "Frankly, Mac, I don't give a dang!"
[Thanks again to Craig]
I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN!
I'm the life of the party...even when it lasts till 8 p.m.
I'm very good at opening childproof caps with a hammer.
I'm usually interested in going home before I get to where I'm going.
I'm good on a trip for at least an hour without my aspirin, antacid...
I'm the first one to find the bathroom wherever I go.
I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to getup.
I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a word you're saying.
I'm very good at telling stories...over and over and over and over.
I'm aware that other people's grandchildren are not as bright as mine.
I'm so very cared for...long-term care, eye care, private care, dental care.
I'm not grouchy, I just don't like traffic, waiting, children, politicians...
I'm positive I did housework correctly before the Internet.
I'm sure everything I can't find is in a secure place.
I'm wrinkled, saggy and lumpy, and that's just my left leg.
I'm having trouble remembering simple words like...uh...
I'm now spending more time with my pillows than with my mate.
I'm realizing that aging is not for sissies.
I'm walking more... (to the bathroom) and enjoying it less.
I'm sure they are making adults much younger these days.
I'm in the "initial" state of my golden years: SS, CD's, IRA's, AARP.
I'm wondering; if you're only as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150?
I'm anti-everything now: anti-fat, anti-smoke, anti-noise, anti-inflammatory.
I'm supporting all movements now...by eating bran, prunes and raisins.
I'm a walking storeroom of facts...I've just lost the key to the storeroom.
I'm a senior citizen and I think I am having the time of my life...aren't I?
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