Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, December 27, 2003
More Creepy Love Song Lyrics

Over at Signifying Nothing, Chris Lawrence takes Clay Aikens to task for his song "Invisible". Lawrence decries the lack of subjunctive voice in the following:
    If I was invisible
    Then I could just watch you in your room
    If I was invincible
    I’d make you mine tonight
    If hearts were unbreakable
    Then I could just tell you where I stand
    I would be the smartest man
    If I was invisible
    (Wait… I already am)
Dudes, that's the second scariest song in the universe next to "Iris". Let's just break this down:
  • If I was invisible
    Then I could just watch you in your room

    He's a voyeur, peeping Tom, or valued x10 customer.

  • If I was invincible
    I’d make you mine tonight

    Okay, wait a minute. If he were invincible, then he would make you his tonight. You've got no choice, he's invincible, just lie back and enjoy it. Fellows, that's called rape, and that's what the word means. Not patting a reluctant fanny. Getting made his by Mr. Invincible, yes.

  • If hearts were unbreakable
    Then I could just tell you where I stand

    Hearts were unbreakable? You mean if handcuffs were not so confining and the hoods of police cars such unyielding headrests, don't you? If you mentioned where you stand, that would be yet one more restraining order in your collection, wot?

  • I would be the smartest man
    If I was invisible
    (Wait… I already am)

    The final assertion is the scariest. If he were invisible, he would be watching you in your room tonight. And he admits that he is! Draw the blinds, turn on some running water and a couple of radios, and stop down at the sporting goods store tomorrow for a nice shotgun for when he gets it in his head that he's invincible.
And they say that video games make people violent. This song is a veritable roadmap to stalking. All the lyrics need is a reference to Google, and all the pieces would be in place.

Thursday, December 25, 2003
Brian Gets His Christmas Wish

I am the number 1 Google hit for Brian J.

In the coming year, I shall endeavor to warrant the attention and the respect my advertent and sometimes inadvertent branding demands.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Brian's Top Five Christmas Movies

Not that you asked, but since Heather and I just watched my favorite, I thought I would list the top five for you:
  1. Die Hard
  2. Lethal Weapon
  3. Die Hard 2
  4. Gremlins
  5. Invasion USA
Nothing gets me into the spirit as much as a roaring fire, a couple beers, the smell of cordite, and these movies.

Bless them all, every one, and let God sort them out.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Rovers That Pay For Themselves

So I am reading the Samizdata post on the Beagle 2 Martian lander, and I read about how Mars is going to be crawling with landers in the coming months with the arrival of Opportunity and Spirit in January. Beagle 2, for those of you who don't know't, is a European probe, and Spirit and Opportunity are American landers. So I look at the artist rendition and I think of a bunch of robots tooling around on the planet of Mars, and immediately I think:

Wouldn't it be cool if, at the end of their lifecycles, the landers fought it out like Battlebots?

And then I think I am onto something. I mean, think of the possible commercial possibilities that could underwrite part of the cost of the voyage! A pay-per-view spectacular, wherein the robots duke it out in a hostile environment on another world? Dudes, I'd order my first pay-per-view event to see it! Maybe a couple of corporate logos slapped onto the landers, a special camera lander to transmit live video, and bam! You've got enough capital to lift the things at more than seven miles per second, werd.

Picture it. After NASA and the European Space Agency have had their time with the landers, accumulating and transmitting data back to home base, imagine the two rovers rearing up and exposing whirring blades, great spikes and drills, and articulate claws to rend the other into space junk. Because ultimately, that's what they are, junk and refuse and detritus from our exploration. At least we could have some fun with it.

Picture the Beagle 2 and Spirit going at it on the red sands of Mars. Imagine a couple of landers doing battle on the ice of Europa, among the volcanoes of Io, or the hazy surface of Venus. I'd buy the DVDs, dammit.

So get to it, guys. Who needs the X-Prize when you can have the Solar Battlebot Championship Tour? Am I onto something, or just on something here?

We Like To See Cohen Squeezing the Resin Bag

Richard Cohen, of the Washington Post, continues to toss us juicy pitches. Speaking of Howard Dean's recent musing about an interesting whack job conspiracy theory that Bush knew about the September 11 attacks before they occurred, Cohen posits:
    There is no excusing what Dean said. But providing a context is a different matter entirely. As Dean himself said, the Bush administration has been very stingy about revealing just what it knew about terrorist activities before Sept. 11. Couple that with the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq -- nor a link between Saddam and al Qaeda proved -- and you have the requisite ingredients for a conspiracy theory: Something here doesn't add up.
Let me paraphrase: The theory doesn't make sense, but it only makes sense to have a senseless theory.

(The little angel of paranoia on my right shoulder asks "But why does Richard Cohen want us to think that?")

Reassurances From Your Older Sibling

In a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about how the suburb of St. Peters and its duly appointed constabulary love their new cameras, we get this reassurance:
    The only incident of abuse, according to St. Peters officials, occurred more than a year ago. An employee was caught using the cameras to improperly watch people at the Drury Inn on Mid Rivers Mall Drive, a police dispatcher said.

    Police spokesman David Kuppler wouldn't say exactly when the incident occurred, or whether the person was charged with a crime.
    [Emphasis mine, of course.]
Why's that at the end of the story? That deserves a lead of its own.

Remember, fellow sheep, cameras won't keep the wolves from eating you. It will only make sure that the shepherds can identify which wolf ate you. Also, it's apparently good for seeing what Little Bo Peep's doing in her motel room with Christopher Marlowe when they forget to pull the shades.

Monday, December 22, 2003
In Case You're Wondering

Fark has a Photoshop contest for Playboy covers, and as an inspiration, they link to this story. Fark inadvertently calls the March 1980 the "best ever" Playboy cover.

Au naturel contraire. The very best Playboy covers are:
  1. November 1971
  2. November 1970
  3. May 1973
  4. December 1988
  5. July 1970
Trust me. I have seen a lot of Playboy covers in my day. Ask me sometime, and I will tell you about the Great Playboy Score.

A Fair Trade for Your Municipality

Ravenwood links to a bit of Neilz Nuze about a common eminent domain abuse, this time in Alabaster, Alabama.

Remember, citizen, that your municipality would gladly trade your home, without your consent, for a dozen empty spaces in a Wal-Mart parking lot. It only has not because no developer has offered. Yet.

You Can't Improve on Perfection

Taito's bringing back Space Invaders, Slate reports. Mattel's remaking Electronic Football II. Activision's releasing their greatest hits in a single joystick you can hook up to your television. The commentator acknowledges the creativity inherent in working in the tight technological media. Good work.

In today's games, though, except for Civilization III, the technology has outstripped the game play. I mean, arcade games have dwindled to three genres: Gun games, side-by-side fighters, and driving (or airplane) simulators. Home consoles have first person shooters and role playing games. Where's the creativity in frames per second? Here's a hint; it's not.

Sunday, December 21, 2003
In My Day, a DoR Degree Meant Something

Pardon my disgust, but I just heard a DJ for KSHE 95, "Real Rock Radio", identify Guns N Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" as "the title track" to an album. Johnkin' J!

For you damn kids, "Welcome to the Jungle" was the first track (on side 1, before we had CDs--and we liked it that way) of Appetite for Destruction. But this DJ didn't know that. Back in the idealized-and-probably-inexistent old days, disk jockeys (back when the discs were bigger than dinner plates, dammit!) knew their music. But now, the Doctors of Rockology don't know much.

I don't so much blame public education as I do for the consolidated inifinitization of radio stations, wherein the disk jockeys are all utility infielders, plugged into whatever genre of music the home office determines needs a "resource." This explains why drive time guys from the light hits stations suddenly find himself running the morning shows on country and western stations--no knowledge of Kenny Rogers or Hank Williams required!

Sorry, but it irks me. These guys dispense asides and information about what you hear on the radio, and they don't necessarily know the truth, nor how the particular work or individual talent fits into the tradition of the style of music. And they don't care to learn, because it's not important. Not as important as their careers, which will soon take them out of this mid-sized market, and if they're lucky, will land them in the overnights in a major market, regardless of whether they know or even like the damn music they play. It's just a job, and where their enthusiasm and knowledge of the music leaves off, their knowledge of established sophomoric radio tricks, such as the novel prank phone call, takes up.

Welcome to the jungle, indeed.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."