Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How do you make love to a porcupine?

Carefully. Very carefully.

This simple wisdom was lost on a couple of Russians, as well as the really sad experience of their countryman with a raccoon.

Incredible. Fucking incredible (pun intended). If one can imagine a person of a certain kind of sexual inclination wanting to make love to a raccoon, which at least looks cute and fluffy until it starts giving you a blow job, one would think that the very sight of a porcupine makes one realize why fucking one is a very bad idea indeed.

The lawmakers of the state of Florida thought otherwise, and made having sex with a porcupine a crime. This did not deter two Russian tourists, who wanted to know why it was a crime.

Well, they found out. Porcupine needles in the genital area were not fun.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Juden verboten

Haus Sonnenhof, a hotel in Serfaus, Tyrol, Austria, decided to provide its customers with some of that old-days Austrian retro when they told a customer that due to bad experiences in the past they are not willing to take Jewish guests.

I should probably skip all the tempting little jabs about Jews' and Austrians' bad experiences in the past. Everyone else is doing them, anyway. I do remember an Austrian war museum, which, unlike any war remembrance I'd seen in Germany, considered the local (Salzburg) regiment great heroes. Their most heroic deed, incidentally, was to burn down Rovaniemi and to steal a Finnish soldier's boot. But I digress...

And before anyone asks: no, the owners of the hotel are not Muslim, or atleast they have perfectly German names.

What's really interesting is the stuff that is not mentioned:

1. How did they know that the guy was Jewish? Asking ethnicity or religion is not a standard operating procedure in Austrian hotels (not since they lost the war, anyway), and Austrian Jewish last names are not all that different from other Austrian last names. And the guy was an Austrian (and his wife a Belgian). Or did the guy ask for some particular Jewish accomodations?

2. Assuming the hotel just wanted to avoid Jewish guests, what made them stand up and say it? They must have known it would cause a scandal, and it is a lot easier just to say "sorry, we are full". Considering that there are a lot of hotels renting to Jews in the area, nobody is likely to notice or suspect anything.

If the man actually asked for some Jewish accommodations, getting rid of him is even easier. "Sorry, we are unable to provide..."

So, what is to be gained from an antisemitic grand stand? Do the owners actually want a scandal? What for? Did the owners even really write the email - my first thought was that some disgruntled employee did?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Breaking news: pigs evolved from Jews

A new fatwa published in Egypt determines that the source of all pigs is Jews, and therefore it is permissible to slaughter all the pigs, and eating them is forbidden.

Does this mean that eating Jews is forbidden too? Nice to know.

Sheikh Ali Osman from the Egyptian Waqf ministry, who has issued this fatwa, says that he is still waiting for response from the Al-Azhar fatwa committee. The Al-Azhar fatwa committee is apparently still looking for a Jewish psychiatrist to introduce to Sheikh Ali Osman.


It's always been a mystery to me why people accuse each other of vanity, or lack thereof.

I don't mean, obviously, the hardcore extremes like somebody making sure the makeup is quite right before leaving a burning building. I don't mean expression of dislike for some particular article of clothing, either. I mean the animosity that some people show to others for adorning themselves, or failing to do so.

Market value theorists will probably point out that it does make sense, as far as the market value theory goes, to encourage self-adornment in the opposite sex and discourage it in one's own (for heteros, anyway. I am not even going into gays.). They will undoubtedly be right, too. It doesn't however explain why people do it just as cheerfully the other way around. For every Finnish woman saying that Russian women dress up too much and use too much makeup, there is a Russian woman saying that Finnish women dress up too little and use too little makeup.

(This phenomenon is fairly common both ways, among all nations whose languages I understand, and among both sexes, but the worst offenders tend to be men disapproving of other men trying to stand out of the crowd. Men doing so are of course a small minority, but a rather vocal and occasionally violent one. I am not sure whether they know how pathetic they sound.)

The accusations of vanity and lack thereof usually involve a lot of amateur psychology, usually accusing the other party (whoever they are and whatever they do) of lack of self-esteem, and, in case of dressed-down women and dressed-up men, guesses at their sexual orientation.

The reason the whole thing came to my mind was the truly weird dimensions the conversation takes when talking about facial transplants. (The first facial transplant in the US, and its owner, were revealed a few days ago.) Now, like during the time the first facial transplant was planned, there were discussions about whether this is worth doing "just for the sake of vanity" and how everything is the fault of our evil, evil society that judges people based on their looks.

What the hell is wrong with those people? Can't they for once leave the poor buggers who need a transplant in peace, and the society as well?

One can discuss endlessly in which ways the society pays too much attention to appearances, but I certainly don't think that the reason one is not comfortable living without a face is the fault of any particular society. I think people have evolved to recoil and stiffle a scream at the sight of a person who does not have most of his or her face, and I don't think any amount of societal change is likely to do anything about it.

An adult person should obviously do their best to suppress the visible reaction, but one really cannot. One can and should try to be polite, but there is really no way to act naturally around those people, and it is quite obvious to them. And yes, young children do get scared. And no, people without a face should not have to apologize for being so vain as to want one.

That said, the woman in question said that she used to get nasty comments from (I assume technically adult) people. What the fuck is wrong with those people? Are they sociopaths or just plain stupid?

While we are on the subject of really stupid sociopaths: the dumbest thing I have ever heard on the subject of vanity was "beauty isn't on the outside, it's on the inside", said by a woman whose son was on trial for throwing acid into two people's faces. In court, at the sentencing hearing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Art demands sacrifices

Actor Sasha Baron Cohen decided to bleach his hair for an upcoming movie. Yes, all of it.

Dear children, when it says on the package not to get that stuff on your mucous membranes, they do mean your anus, among other things. The anal bleaching practiced by porn stars does not involve hair or hair bleach.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Crazy rabbis are waking up, must be the spring

We Jews don't have very many crazy clerics, but the ones we do have are really trying very hard to get in the news.

(OTOH, how do I know that there are only few? The vast majority of Jews make do with very few rabbis; for all I know the most religious 10% might all be rabbis. Whatever.)

Anyway, Rabbi Nahum Gortald from a rabbinical court south of Tel Aviv urged the authorities to limit the number of female foreign workers, lest the men run away with them. They are stealing our men and jobs! (Well, probably not the rabbis' men and jobs.) This request comes after a woman lodged a complaint at the court after her husband had an affair with a Filipina employee. The government will summarily ignore the request, just like it usually does.

Mind you, if I were married to somebody who goes to Rabbi Gortald to complain about me, I would probably have an affair with a Filipina employee too.

While Rabbi Nahum Gortald is concerned about the Israeli women not having enough men, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef has the opposite problem. He wants to banish hopeless old bachelors (the ultra-orthodox men over 20) from Jerusalem. This will encourage them to find a wife by 19, because, as the rabbi says, "any man who reaches the age of 20 must hurry without tarrying," or else he won't find himself a wife. You heard, men? Hurry up, for tomorrow you might turn twenty and then it will be too late! No woman will ever want you again!

Hold on, I thought they had a massive problem with leftover women whose husbands were stolen by Filipina employees?

The rabbi might have a point, though. If I were to take a husband who'd just read Talmud all day instead of performing marital duties, he better be very young and very pretty. And then we'll talk about those marital duties. Maybe by the age of 20 they are too old to be persuaded to have sex.

On the other hand, what is the rabbi thinking? If some morons listen to him and actually leave Jerusalem, there will be even fewer religious women for them elsewhere. Then they might be lured into bed by secular women. Or, god forbid, Filipina employees.