Throughout history, many of mankind's greatest leaders in political and military strategy, rational thought, and respectableness have worn beards. There's Abe Lincoln, General Custer, Col. Sanders, Ulysses S. Grant, and many, many more. The list simply boggles the mind.
It was with this idea in mind that I've decided to take an unconventional look at the candidates for 2008's US Presidential election as they stand now. I've taken the most-viable two (as the radio host and callers I listened to the other day decided) candidates from both the Republican-Americans and the Democrat party and examined them for beard-worthyness. In theory, the one with the best beard will win.
Mitt has his work cut out for him if he wants to overcome the negative stigma that most Americans give to being a Mormon. From the looks of his beard, however, Mitt is in very good standing. Nice coloration gives him a statesmanly appearance, with only the slightest hint of crazy. (In these uncertain times, I believe that we could really use a bit of crazy in a leader.)
I think he's ahead of Barack at this point, despite his Latter-Day Saint background.
Being a woman would typically count a contender out of both a beard contest and a Presidential election, but Ms. Clinton has made some incredible inroads this election cycle. Americans are slowly coming around to accepting her vision of the future, and are rather impressed with the amount of growth she can achieve -- both in her poll numbers and her facial hair. Sure, her beard isn't quite up on par with that of a man's, but I think that in light of her not being one, the beard is the least of her troubles.
She's done better than I would have expected, but she's currently trailing behind both Obama and Romney at this point.
As you can very clearly see, despite his reliance on headwear, Senator McClane comes out head and shoulders above the rest of his competition. His beard is incredibly distinguished, very becoming, and has more than enough crazy in there to get the job done.
I'm currently calling the 2008 Presidential election in favor of Senator John McClane. Sure, he's a Republican, but if a member of the Democrat party comes forward with a better beard, I'll gladly throw my vote their way. Nearly every day someone new suggests that they might be throwing in their hat (and/or towel), so we'll have to see how it goes.
1: I was as surprised as you to hear he was a Senator, but in all the talk on the radio I heard the other day, everyone kept referring to him as "Senator John McClane." Who am I to argue with people who clearly know more than me?
I try to avoid politics as much as humanly possible, but today heard some speculation about possible Republican candidates. One in particular jumped right out at me as a particularly great choice, and I immediately decided to back him.
Unable to find any campaign materials online, I decided to make my own.
A while back, some random person on flickr created an account just so's he could contact me. He said he enjoyed looking at my pictures, and wondered if I had a large copy of the usericon I use to identify myself there. (Those reading via livejournal are very familiar with said icon, but for those who aren't I've included it over there on the right.)
His name is Curtis, and he told me that he really liked that particular picture and asked if it would be OK if he drew it. He said he was just getting into drawing and would like to hone his chops on me.
Boy would it! How could I pass up the opportunity to have a random internet person draw a picture of me?!
I immediately began scrounging around for the large version of that particular picture, but it seems that I lost it somewhere in the many harddrive failures over the years. I did the next best thing, though, by sending him some recent pictures and a few pictures from around that point in time. Oh, and some naked ones, just so he can get a feel for "me." (Curtis, call me!)
Some time passed and I got email from him, saying that he had started working on the picture. Over the next few weeks, Curtis would spend a little time here and there working on it, sending me snapshots of it so that I could see the progress. When it was finished, I asked if it would be OK to post his drawing here on my site where other random internet people can appreciate it. He said no, so I just pretended that GMail lost that particular message.
Here it is:
I think it came out really great. It is immediately obvious to me that it's supposed to be me. It's like looking into a mirror.
Curtis doesn't yet have a website or anything, but I've been trying to badger him into setting one up because I would love to follow his progress. In addition to being very good at drawing -- despite having only a handful of portraits under his belt -- he's also a talented photographer, has awesome facial hair (we exchanged many mails regarding handlebar moustaches and moustache wax recipes), looks like a soccer hooligan with his new chrome-dome 'do, and smokes a bad-ass pipe.
If you feel like helping my efforts to badger him into creating some sort of online presence, he might be checking in on the comments at some point.
Since I've already proven the "shadows" portion to Sean's approval, I'll now prove the "left breast lift" portion as well. This solution is incredibly simple, requires no magic garment, and fits completely within what we know about the event.
I've simply extended the photograph below the bottom, using my imagination to fill in the details:
Now I'm no painter, and I have considerable trouble with anatomy, but I feel that despite the flaws in my rendering, this is a representation of a completely plausible situation. Sure, we don't know that this is what actually happened, but I feel that anyone would have to admit that a table could certainly account for Harry's "weight bearing" arm, the lifted breast, and the mystery "floating lemon wedge" -- which, inexplicably, was never initially questioned.
Q E D.
UPDATE: Crap! Foiled again. On to the next round, I guess...
Here's my little tribute to pop radio, composed from the "best bits" of Ashlee Simpson and Gwen Stefani's recent releases. I hope it makes your ears bleed as much as it does mine. (And I mean that in a good way; I don't actually wish harm to fall upon your ears.)
I just saw defective yeti's post about the "ashtray mouth" campaign our tax dollars are supporting and was immediately struck by how awesome the picture he linked to is. I decided that I'd go ahead and quickly clean all the branding and text off the image so that creative individuals might put it to better use.
I don't think Family Guy is funny. Hopefully by the time we're through here, you won't either.
Sure, there's a really clever joke from time to time, but overall the entire show consists of out-of-context silly things that seem funny, due to the way they're juxtaposed with the actual plot-driven stuff. The kicker, though, is that those things are not funny by themselves -- they require the context-twist in order to seem funny. Really, it's just a terrible trick being played on you, the viewer.
See, the storylines actually aren't very funny most of the time and generally require "padding" to reach the full 22-minute running time. How better to spice up your unfunny, too-short storyline than with seemingly funny moments that can be inserted willy-nilly without any actual scripting? This juxtaposition of completely unrelated -- and probably manatee-generated -- out-of-context scenes is just a crutch the writers use to fill their otherwise unfunny timeslot.
Once you become aware of this technique, it is impossible to not be angered by the constant use of it -- at least if you're me.
In case you don't understand what I mean, or simply refuse to believe it, I've prepared a couple audiovisual aids.
I've taken the first half of a random episode off my PVR and edited all of the out-of-context things into a separate file, leaving us with a Family Guy storyline (unencumbered by random crap) and a bunch of random Family Guy crap (unencumbered by unfunny Family Guy storyline.) Everything that was in the first segment of the episode is in the two files; nothing has been lost except the opening credits.
If you've watched both of these files, you'll have seen that the contents of the episode simply aren't funny (or as funny anyway) without the context-shift, meaning that it isn't the show or writers that are funny -- it's simple juxtaposition that's making you laugh. One could take any out-of-context clip and place it within an episode of Family Guy and achieve exactly the same results -- which, many have argued, is exactly what the Family Guy creators do from week to week.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with liking Family Guy or enjoying the gimmick they use, I just think it's important that people understand the distinction. I would like to stop hearing about how hilarious the people that make the show are, though, at least until they stop relying on this lame-ass gimmick and start actually being hilarious.
Would anyone like to have this one-of-a-kind handcrafted (by me) stained glass window? The subject no longer lies within my interests or decor schemes, so I don't want it any longer. If'n you want it, drop me a line either in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll figure out how to get it to you. Bonus points if you're in the greater PDX area.