Friday, March 25, 2011

On the Good, the Bad, and the Friday Not-Even-Random Ten: now with double The Good Stuff

Okay, so this newest triumphant re-re-return of TGTBATF(NE)RT is due almost entirely to the kindness of the doctors (and damned if I can remember which ones) who stole my wisdom teeth from me yesterday morning. I think it was yesterday. Anyhoo, they're the reason I'm sitting on my couch instead of my desk chair at lunchtime on a Friday, and the reason I'm eating blueberry yogurt here instead of proper lunch. But there's a silver lining to even the yickiest of dental clouds.

The Good (for 3/25):

- a day off. It's not everything, but it helps.
- post-anesthetic comedy--in this case, "I see rhinoceroses. And when I close my eyes, there's a couch over there."
- Burn Notice, my TV marathon of choice for my convalescence. Deadpan voiceovers, improvised gadgetry, unconventional advice for living, and Bruce Campbell: a universal good.
- blueberry yogurt
- a loved one willing to pour Muscle Milk milkshakes down your face until you're in a condition to chew

The Bad:

- the pain
- the yick

The Ten:

1. God Lives Underwater, "From Your Mouth"
2. Garbage, "Shut Your Mouth"
3. Johnny Cash, "Hurt"
4. Jimmy Eat World, "Pain"
5. Lauryn Hill, "When It Hurts So Bad"
6. The Police, "King of Pain"
7. Lenny Kravitz, "Let's Get High"
8. U2, "Miracle Drug"
9. Mono, "The High Life"
10. Sade, "Feel No Pain"

Your Ten, your most entertaining anesthesia stories, and your favorite tasty, no-chew snack recipes go in comments.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On laying off the law

Okay, so realizing that the Scopes Monkey Trial and Intro to Intelligent Design 101 are beginning to wane in impact, the Tennessee State Legislature has taken a fresh stab at the top of the Whack Pack with a stab at the scourge of Sharia law.

A proposed Tennessee law would make following the Islamic code known as Shariah law a felony, punishable by 15 years in jail.

State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and state Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, introduced the same bill in the Senate and House last week. It calls Shariah law a danger to homeland security and gives the attorney general authority to investigate complaints and decide who's practicing it.

It exempts peaceful practice of Islam but labels any adherence to Shariah law — which includes religious practices such as feet washing and prayers — as treasonous. It claims Shariah adherents want to replace the Constitution with their religious law.

The people of Tennessee should be proud that their legislature is taking the time and resources to illegalize something that is already illegal. (Read the full text of the bill.)

Let's remember how the law works, shall we? The First Amendment guarantees our right to freely practice our religion of choice (or lack thereof). The Supremacy Clause establishes federal law as the supreme law of the land. This means that Mormons can wear all the awkward undergarments they want, but they can't marry polygamously; fundamentalist Christians can revive in tents for as long as they want and in as many angel languages as they want, but they can't flog their kids for impertinence; and Muslims can avoid pork to their hearts' content but not behead anyone for any reason, ever.

On Japan

Okay, so part of me has been wanting to comment on the situation in Japan (and I use "situation" to represent my complete inability to process and/or summarize events since March 11). I feel it's worthy of note, not just because of the tragedy but also because of the reactions inside and outside of Japan. But at the same time, I don't know if I'm up to making that note, because I live in Alabama and drive a blog full of snark and the mere fact that I'm observing this right now seems kind of bigger than and beyond me.

I think I can handle good news, though, so I'll try to deal in some of that.

- As of one week ago, 91 countries and nine international organizations have offered support in the form of money, emergency materials, and hands-on assistance for rescue and relief.

- Two days after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, a 60-year-old man was rescued from his rooftop 10 miles off the coastline. The next day, a four-month-old baby thought lost was found. The day after that, a 70-year-old woman was rescued from her home. Small miracles, yes, but they mean the world.

- In Arahama, a dog stayed by its injured companion until both were rescued. (And they were both rescued and treated, and now they are recovering and being cared for.)

- And if nothing else, we can take comfort in the fact that efforts are being made to keep the Fukishima reactor from pooping.

Donate, specifically to relief efforts in Japan or to general relief funds to be distributed as needed:

American Red Cross
Save the Children
Doctors Without Borders
Global Giving

(Screen any charity to which you're considering a donation with the Better Business Bureau.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

On Mashup Monday: Four chords edition

Okay, so I'm an unapologetic fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (show and movie).
Oz: Well, other bands know more than three chords. Your professional bands can play up to six, sometimes seven completely different chords.

Devon: That's just, like, fruity jazz bands.

Oh, Dingoes Ate My Baby. Your problem is that you don't know four chords.

Axis of Awesome/Journey/James Blunt/Alphaville/Jazon Mraz/come on, people

I, V, vi, IV. There's your career; don't forget to thank me in your liner notes. (You too, Johann Pachelbel).