This Is Soooo Throng

I don’t usually read Dear Abbey, but it’s on the same page of the paper as my daily Dilbert fix, and the headline just caught my eye.


Now being a man of the red-blooded American variety, my initial thought was that this was a discussion about whether or not men liked thongs on their women. To which the general answer is, “Yes, of course!” However, as you broaden the question to consider whether or not you want to think about your teenage daughter or your mom wearing a thong, you can begin to see why the poll would have resulted in some men saying they were not in favor of the next-to-nothing delicates.

But imagine my horror (or click through the link and be horrified yourself) at discovering that the topic was actually whether or not men should wear thongs. This was not a question I had even considered debatable. I have always been confident and comfortable that the answer was “no.” (Can I get an “Amen” ladies?) With the possible exception of those few men who moonlight as Chippendale’s dancers and maybe anyone wearing ass-less chaps in the gay pride parade, this is not considered a suitable male undergarment. Not in the bedroom, and certainly not under your Armani suit or your blue jeans. Go commando if you feel the need, but thongs? I don’t think so. The question is, “Boxers or briefs?” To which the answer may be one, the other, or neither. There is no write-in category. Period.

Can’t Afford to Send Your Kids to College?

College is expensive, and with the state of the stock market, those college funds are looking inadequate. What’s a parent to do? In lieu of tuition, perhaps you should consider a one-way bus ticket to Edmonton, Canada. Apparently panhandlers there can make $400/day. That’s a six figure salary, even with weekends and holidays off and a 2-week summer vacation.

I suppose no one wants to say, “my son, the panhandler.” But in some ways, it’s a more honest living than investment banker. At least when you give your money to a panhandler there’s no expectation that you’re going to get it back.

What’s Wrong with Congress

I believe that the greatest reason for the failure of the modern incarnation of the elective body of Congress is precisely because it is elected. It has come to believe that its purpose is to be elected again, therefore much of its energy is devoted to that goal alone. And I’m not just talking about lobbyists and pork barrel projects here.

As evidence, I submit the new bill introduced by Rep. Pete King of NY’s 3rd district. The proposed law, referred to as the “Camera Phone Predator Alert Act,” would require any mobile phone containing a digital camera to sound a tone whenever a photograph is taken with the camera’s phone, and prohibits such a phone from being equipped with a means of disabling or silencing the tone.

The premise behind this ill-conceived legislation is to protect children from people taking their picture for harmful purposes without them being aware. Let’s be clear here. There are ample laws on the books now which makes the taking of such pictures illegal. The laws are so broadly inclusive at present that they are being used to prosecute teenagers as sex offenders who take lewd photos of themselves and send them to their boyfriends. (While this behavior is criminally stupid, it is hardly criminal.) So any argument that this law is needed for prosecution purposes falls pretty flat.

Further, the nature of “predator” is premeditated. Anyone determined to take such a photo would have ample opportunity to acquire a small camera or video cam, neither of which are covered by the law. There are so many ways around this law that it is laughably unenforceable. Presumably a camera-phone that shouted “Free Candy!” every time it snapped a picture would meet the law’s requirements. The bill’s very existence makes its author look like he understands absolutely nothing about digital photography. Not to mention that while people Mr. King’s age have a mental preconception that cameras should make a nice mechanical click, children, most of whom have never heard of film, have no such expectation.

So would this bill’s passage make our children safer? No. The bill might as well require that anyone intending to do harm to children must wear a neon pink cone shaped hat at least 12″ tall, with optional tassel on top. But then its purpose isn’t really to protect the children, it’s to protect Mr. King’s chances of reelection. Whether the bill passes or not, he can claim during his next campaign that he’s an advocate for the children. And voters, most of whom won’t look any deeper than the bullets on the glossy brochure, will buy it. In the meantime, effort in Congress is wasted on self-aggrandizing political stunts like this.

And we wonder why nothing happens there… the reality would seem to be that lots and lots happens there. It’s just that most of it is not done to benefit us. It’s done to benefit the next campaign.

It’s Good to Be ‘da King

I’m not sure how to feel about this. Apparently, you can now buy an Obama Chia Pet. Lest you think this is frivolous, note that this model explicitly says “Determined Pose”. Although I cannot find any other poses for sale, you have to admit, for a terra cotta statue with green grassy hair, he looks pretty darned determined.

Part of me wonders if this might be a bit racist, but they also sell a Homer Simpson Chia, so the organic hair is not exclusively for Afros. Heck, there’s even a Chia Hippo, which seems a little counter intuitive given the smooth skinned nature of those beasts.

But one thing remains clear. Bush didn’t have a Chia. (And now that I think of it, if you were going to do a Presidential Chia, who better than a guy named “Bush?”) Surely, this is change we can believe in.