Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Dead Parrot Sketch, Conclusion

Parts i and ii are here and here. Catch up; they’re short.

(The Dead Parrot sketch on YouTube – h/t Roy Vasey)

The point of the dead parrot sketch is simple: a man sold another man a parrot. The parrot turned out to be dead, and nailed to the perch.

The problem cannot be resolved, because the pet shop owner refuses to accept that the parrot is, in fact, dead, and then refuses to admit that it’s even his shop or his town.

The comedy veers off in the direction of the absurd, as we realize just how ridiculous the denial of the shop owner is.

Which mirrors the real world inasmuch as we cannot resolve our problem until we admit that it exists. Continue reading


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The Dead Parrot Sketch, Part ii

Yesterday, we talked about WHAT capital is.


It’s applied human skill — whether whittling intricate ceremonial fetishes or calculating quantum permutations at the Event Horizon of a Black Hole, everything else in the Universe is free. Applied human skill is the only capital. And, that capital creates our “economies,” or “economy” depending how macro you want to go with it.

I don’t know whether you’ve ever had truck with a possum — say a possum who sneaks in through the cat door to chow down on the free dried catfood in your kitchen — but possums have a famous survival skill they use (after making a nasty little display with their weird, prehistoric teeth) which is simply playing dead. Continue reading


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The Dead Parrot Sketch

i. introduction.

An old Monty Python sketch illuminates the Dismal Science:

Pet Shop Owner: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue [parrot]… What’s, uh … what’s wrong with it?

Mr. Praline: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. ‘E’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!

Owner: No, no, ‘e’s uh,…he’s resting.

Praline: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.

Owner: No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

Praline: The plumage don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead!

The “dismal science” is economics; Monty Python were a British TV comedy troupe.

And the analogy is exact. Continue reading


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Not Merely Crazy, but PREDICTABLY Crazy

Sometimes this stuff just writes itself.

WHILE the hurricane murdered and damaged, global warming deniers were ALREADY dishing out their excuses and denials faster than a minah bird on crank.

Sometimes, I’ve already written the refutation before the madness in question even hits print. Today, we have two cases in point. First you might recall my chronicling, yesterday, of the attempt by Politico‘s lazy writer to boil down an hour-long interview (by someone else, on TV) to seven flaccid paragraphs. The Daily Caller, financed by Foster Friess, helmed by juvenile Tucker Carlson continues the sensationalization and smear predicted yesterday. The C(r)a(w)ller [emphasis added] uh, “reports”:

FreedomWorks protests  mocks Al Gore in Portland

Gore: Global warming skeptics are this generation’s racists

Published: 11:18 AM 08/28/2011
Updated: 4:04 PM 08/28/2011

By Caroline May – The Daily Caller

One day climate change skeptics will be seen in the same negative light as racists, or so says former Vice President Al Gore.

In an interview with former advertising executive and Climate Reality Project collaborator Alex Bogusky broadcasted on UStream on Friday, Gore explained that in order for climate change alarmists to succeed, they must “win the conversation” against those who deny there is a crisis…

As pathetic as it is predictable. I wrote about the coordinated campaign to smear Gore (via Koch) back on the 18th of  November, 2009: “,” and I wrote about the probable “source” of the Caller’s crappy “journalism” yesterday. Continue reading


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The Week Ahead in GOP Thuggery

It’s gotta suck to be a Republiklan. All that tortuous mental yoga to delegitimize a legitimate president — after eight years of trying to legitimize an illegitimate president and an illegal war conducted on lawless terms.

It’s gotta suck that, with a hurricane crawling up the East Coast, and the hottest summer on record, with three Phoenix haboobs, these boobs are still hyping phony anti-global warming hoaxes, like the “climategate” incident, that ended up proving no such thing, and was seemingly deep-sixed the moment it was discredited.  Continue reading


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A Little Earthquake Compassion, If You Please

To a couple million on the East Coast, welcome to the club. I have been in a number of earthquakes, and have noted their effects on property and people, and it really bothers me to see so much snark coming from the West Coast … you know: I lived through the Loma Prieta Quake of  ‘Ninety Four, whippersnapper!

The lesser angels of our nature

That’ s just plain wrong. One’s first big quake is ofttimes a terrifying experience. There are two distinct sorts of people bracketing the ends of the bell curve.

There are a very small number who instantly assess, choose the safest spot, and look for people who need help and assistance. Trust me, in my experience, these are few and far between. And there is a second sort, who are even fewer after the earthquake than before it. And, like sexual attraction, it has nothing to do with what kind of person you think you are or how you are the day before or the day after.

Continue reading


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Earthquake: So, Whose Fault Is It?

Now that there’s been an earthquake on the East Coast, they’re finally news. Earthquakes, I mean.  And, since most of the media are scrambling to find “experts” a hilarious laff riot of absurd, ridiculous and wrongheaded “advice” and “information” is sure to follow.

Since most media, government and population are still clustered on the Atlantic seaboard, it stands to reason.

Click for the animation of the prior week, leading to the DC quake

All right: there are no “I told you so’s” here, because I pointedly didn’t make any quake predictions*. (“Earthquake Weather in California” 11 AUG and “More Earthquake Weather” 14 AUG) : Continue reading


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It’s August and We’re Into Reruns

Two, in fact. Thursday’s last Daily Show before a two-week hiatus featured a familiar graph:

Recognize it?

Yup, you saw it here first, on April 16, 2010

Continue reading

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Picture This!

I am in the throes of one of those dreaded “special projects,” so, I don’t have much typing to spare. Words, I got, but ‘Too many keypad characters; too little time.’ So, here’s some pictures from July to tide you over.

The King of the Beasts

Or, conversely,

Continue reading

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I Knew a Guy Who Named His Dog ‘Cujo’

As we wait for the results from the last round of Wisconsin recall elections, something needs to be said about the fundamentally nutty state of our Narrative. Example the first: How did so many “Christians” end up marching under the sign of the Serpent?

And how come nobody’s noticed? Continue reading

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The Festival of Mendacity

The broad outlines of the GOP presidential stakes are coming into focus, and it ain’t a pretty picture.

Ms. Palin’s campaign handlers have clearly and repeatedly tried for an upstaging strategy. She pulled it on Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, and now she’s pulled it for the Ames Straw Poll, showing up with her bus at the Iowa State Fair over the weekend.

And, Rick Perry played “upstage” by announcing his neo-Confederate/Dominionist candidacy in South Carolina as the selfsame “Straw Poll” was taking place. Continue reading

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More Earthquake Weather

There was just a 4.0 magnitude earthquake off the California coast, at 12:27 PM. Things have been hopping this week.

Here’s the animation of the last week of earthquakes that are San Andreas’ fault (among others). It ends with the offshore quake. Continue reading


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Allow Me A Bit of Gaucherie

Nothing sinister here. Oh, wait.

Today is International Lefthanders Day, which I urge you happiness with.

Vive la Gauche!

It bespeaks the fundamental cussedness of lefties (and leftists and southpaws) that it was immediately spelt two different ways: ‘Lefthanders’ and ‘Left-Handers.’

This is innate in the leftie soul, since all of life is, to a lefthander (of which, you might have deduced, I hold lifelong membership in, save for baseball, where I use a right-handed mitt, because the left-handed ones were too expensive for my parents’ blood) all of life is an endless series of improvisations and adjustments to the Dominant Right-Handed Regime of Humankind. Continue reading


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Earthquake Weather in California

Today’s earthquake activity in California is disquieting, to say the least:

I’m not trying to play Chicken Little here. But you can see from them blue box thingies that there were earthquakes along the entire San Andreas fault today. Continue reading


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