February 6th, 2008

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Punch 32

[Click to be fashionable!]

Since it's Fashion Week in NYC, here's an appropriate cartoon. Nothing easier to make fun of than fashion excess. Note the sumptuous pillowiness of the collar, the downy richness of the dress on the right. Add in a surly Peke, and you've got winning humor.

And it doesn't hurt that an Englishman is making fun of his own nation, ceding the fashion laurels to arch-rival France.

More by E. H. Shepard here:


Posted by Paul DiFi.
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The New Weird anthology extra!

If you happen to purchase the NEW WEIRD anthology from Tachyon which I posted about sometime ago, you'll find a brand-new story mixed in with the reprints, a round-robin that I launched with the first chapter. The story concludes, of course, in the book. But I wrote an alternate ending to the piece, and that's available for free online.

For details on the book and a link to the freebie, visit the Tachyon blog here:


Posted by Paul DiFi.

Is anybody surprised?

1.  The White House admits to having waterboarded three detainees.

2.  The White House claims the technique is not torture and is perfectly legal.

3.  The White House states it will not hesitate to use waterboarding again.

Does anybody really believe that only three detainees were waterboarded?  Is it sheer coincidence that the destroyed video records of CIA interrogations include two of these particular detainees?  Why, I wonder, if a technique is legal and not torture, would one erase the video records that would presumably substantiate this rather novel claim (novel, that is, for non-Nazis)?

How long before waterboarding becomes a normal technique used against US citizens suspected of terrorist sympathies or just political opponents or just common criminals or just immigrants or anyone with a strange name or non-white skin?

Which candidates on the Republican side are most likely to roll back this and other poisonous precedents?

Which on the Democratic side?

There are worse yardsticks to use in choosing a candidate in this election. 


I once dated a woman named Katie who escaped from a cult. She was very damaged when she went into the cult and very damaged when she left it. I played a part in liberating her, but I was too fucked up at the time to deal with her. This was in Staten Island, which as everyone know is not New York, and the cult was Sidda Yoga Dam--I called it Muktanunda Robo Jam. Once in a while she had to go back to see a friend or pick something up and I'd go with her to save her from the leader of the local chapter, this Jewish guy from the Bronx who was now Guruji or -ja, something of the sort. His real name was Kruckerman, so I called him Swami Kruckerman. He pissed me off. He was always telling Katie that she looked "wanton" and making her feel bad. A real butt. I'll say this for religious fanatics--they make great interior decorators. Fresh flowers in every room, lots of cool Indian stuff, incense, antiques. The place could have been in Better Homes and Gardens. Anyway, Katie and I broke up, and she went somewhere I don't know and I did more drugs than was good for me. I wrote half a book about that time, THE 'VELT, which is what we called Westervelt Ave., but it was too depressing to finish. Ever since then I've been fascinated by cults and always stop and read when I come across an article on them. I read this article last night about Sun Myung Moon turning 86. He's still huge, especially in Asia. Moon’s message was that all of humanity was tainted because Eve-–contrary to what we've been told-–copulated with the Serpent rather than Adam, so all of our species has been Satan-ized, which is why we have problems like wars, bad breath, and like that. He no longer tells the Serpent story, but we're still all tainted until we accept the Holy Parent's (Moon and his wife) teachings.
Here’s more of the Rev's spiel, taken from a speech in Phnom Penh last November:

– “6,800 languages? Think about it! Did God like it? God did not like it.”
– “As the true parent of human kind, I have a legacy.”
– “So the time is coming… thousands and thousands, millions and millions, and billions will come to me with offers. I may be able to bring some money to your country.”
– “The CIA and KGB, all these notorious agencies, but then they found out what I was doing was right for the world.”
– “I know the timetable of God’s providence. So by 2013 everything has to be completed, so you wait and see.”
– “You don’t know who your parents are. They are all Satans. You have been tricked. I know what I am talking about.”
– “Now the American government is protecting me. Even when I left on this speaking tour, the American government was quietly offering to protect me.”
– “I know the truth inside out. Now the time is here. God’s plan is revealed.”
– “There is no need for ‘churches.’ They are nothing more than Devil’s tricks used to rule over man for thousands of years.”
– “Once you receive the True Parents blessing, you can have pure off-spring.”

Same old, same old. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the Bush Admin is sponsoring Moon. Evil fucks flock together and all that. Of course it likely isn't true. Now I think about it, Swami Kruckerman had a better rap...