The Random Yak

Yak of the Week – and all that stuff

Filed under: Yaks of the Week — Random Yak @ 10:46 am on June 30, 2006

As always, another Friday brings another installment of the Yak of the Week Awards, dedicated to honoring the two-legged Yaks among us – the ones whose actions, ways and means demonstrate, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what it means to be equidistant from Truth and Reality. And all that stuff.

This week we proudly bestow the Yak of the Week Award for Truth, Justice and The American Way to Warner Brothers Pictures for its new film, Superman Returns – in which they prove that even Superman’s time-honored credo…isn’t.

It’s a bird…it’s a plane….it’s more below the fold….

In an action which clearly demonstrates what Hollywood film companies seem to think of Truth, Justice and Continuity, Warner Brothers decided that the “new” Superman should abandon his his 74 year-old pursuit of “Truth, Justice and The American Way” in favor of the Egg-Shenesque “Truth, Justice and All That Stuff” (Six Demon Bag Not Included). (Statistically, 46% of you got that. The rest don’t know Burton.)

Their reasoning? “The world is a different place” than it was when Superman first landed from Krypton. He’s no longer an American Hero – he’s an “international hero” (I didn’t know IHOP served sandwiches).

According to the film’s writers, “The American Way” is a “loaded and antiquated” expression. (But a flying man in tights and a cape is modern…[deleted snarky comment about San Francisco]). Concerned about what “the American way” might mean to audiences around the world, as well as the fact that the concept has “changed” since the 1930s when Superman took flight and movie audiences might not understand what Superman meant by the words, the writers decided to scrap the concept altogether – replacing it with the much more specific and identifiable “All that stuff.”

Let’s be realistic here. The movie is about Superman. An American Hero. Of course he fights for “The American Way,” – it’s who he is and what identifies him – at home and abroad.

There’s hardly a man, woman or child alive in the United States who’s not familiar with the concept – and probably relatively few who don’t associate this paragon of superherodom (I know, it’s not a word. Sue me.) with “Truth, Justice and The American Way.” I doubt any foreign viewer would disparage him as a xenophobe – and he can be everyone’s hero without having to surrender his nationality at the ticket booth.

Which is why changing the concept identifies the film so clearly with the concept of the two-legged Yak. The writers (and by extension, the producers and film company that put its name on the final product) became so committed to their version of “Truth” that they were willing to compromise Reality (and The American Way…) to bring it to fruition. They failed to realize that audiences may not be willing to accept a Superman who rejects his roots – for reasons which demonstrate only too clearly that modern movie audiences do still understand the concept Superman was talking about.

Superman’s call for Truth, Justice and The American Way represented the highest virtues of the superhero – the qualities to which regular people once aspired (and many still do). The American Way included truth and justice, but also freedom and the righting of wrongs. It meant the Natural Law concepts of Right prevailing over Wrong, Honesty over Obfuscation and the obligation of the strong to defend the weak. It meant the very Truth and Justice which preceded it.

To replace this powerful, understood Truth with the indeterminate (and I daresay effeminate) “All that stuff” is to emasculate perhaps the strongest symbol of the American Male-as-Hero. To render Superman but another indeterminate message in a stream of white noise and celluloid. It is the Kryptonite which even an American Icon cannot withstand.

And so,

For proving that Truth and Justice get lost in political correctness,

For attempting to de-super an American cultural hero,

For demonstrating that a fictional character can understand Truth better than a Hollywood executive,

and for reminding me why I will always prefer the book to the movie:

Congratulations, Yak of the Week.

Linked to others supporting Truth, Justice and the American Way at Don Surber, Johnny Triangles, Peter Porcupine,LGF, Moonbattery, Outside the Beltway.

Linked to the permanent floating ping festival at The Conservative Cat and to the third installment of Mending Walls: Faith at third world county, as well as the Must Read List at The Right Nation.

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Really Cool Random Fireworks Stuff

Filed under: Just Yaks — Random Yak @ 6:47 am on

Friday means "really cool random stuff on the Internet" day. Today, in honor of the upcoming Independence Day holiday, The Random Yak is proud to present: Random Fireworks Information and Cool Internet Stuff. (I know…the title needs work.)

1. TNT fireworks has video clips of products "in action" (aka "Virtual Fireworks") so you can see what the fireworks do before you buy them. (Highly recommended. I spent too much time here for someone who just intends to buy the biggest box they have anyway.)

2. Flash games at the TNT site.

3. A short history of fireworks (Yes, they originated in China. Here’s more.)

4. The best independence day link site ever. (OK, it’s not fireworks, but it’s patriotic…)

5. Cyberfireworks (create your own online fireworks show)

6. A better online virtual fireworks program at Black Cat Fireworks.

7. Fireworks Heritage Museum website (UK). Excellent. Lots of pictures and good online content. This one’s a keeper, for sure.

Well, now that I’ve chewed up your work day, better get back to mine.

Stay tuned for more fireworks-and Independence-Day-themed fun throughout the holiday weekend.

Linked to the Fireworks Show Weekend OTP at Adam’s Blog

Random Links of Atonement

Filed under: Random Carnivals — Random Yak @ 9:24 am on June 29, 2006

Earlier today I posted an entry titled "The best way to learn about temptation" which proved to be essentially a very naughty attempt to poke fun at a variety of subjects and individuals.

Subjects I promised not to mention on the blog, and individuals who shall (for the moment) remain nameless (but if you’re looking, they’re the ones in the ships which took both a shot over the bow and one at the proverbial waterline…).

It was very, very naughty of me to do it. (And probably more naughty of me to enjoy it as much as I did).

And, in order to atone for a Random Act of Naughtiness (I can only imagine the Google searches THAT’s gonna bring out of the woodwork) I hereby present my Thursday Random Links (of Atonement).

For Good Deeds: Pet of Pet’s Garden Blog has a story about a man who did the right thing, without counting the cost, and has discovered that the cost may be more than he can bear alone. She has a link and a bleg for assistance. (In fairness, she also links to me, so this one only gets half-atonement credit.)

Job Opening: Marketing

Filed under: Just Yaks — Random Yak @ 8:40 am on

Driving home from work last night, I saw the following sign outside a local bicycle shop:



I just hope they’re not featuring tires.

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Filed under: Just Yaks — Random Yak @ 5:21 am on

I previously mentioned that Adam of Adam’s Blog (a long-time blogging friend and Yak-Ally) not only appointed me to his blogging cabinet but granted me the coveted Secretary of Education position. (Which means that When Bloggers Rule the World, the Great Yak Revolution is going to take over the public schools. Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

Well, Adam has finished his appointments (and stated his reasons) and the Cabinet stands complete. He’s picked a strong lineup (along with the aforementioned greatly flattered Yak). I’d link them all, but then you wouldn’t have to go to Adam’s place to see who he’s placed on his cabinet. (And that wouldn’t be very sporting, now, would it?). Head over to Adam’s and take a look at the best Conservative Blogger Cabinet going.

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Filed under: Frivol — Maniyak @ 12:33 pm on June 28, 2006

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Bisy Backson Wednesday Roundup

Filed under: Random Carnivals — Random Yak @ 11:11 am on

One of my favorite childhood stories involved Winnie-the-Pooh and Bisy Backson. The friends from the Hundred Acre Wood spent a lovely afternoon trying to track down the elusive Mr. Backson, only to discover that “Wol” didn’t spell (or read) quite as well as they previously imagined.

In the spirit of Christopher Robin’s “Bisy Backson” note, here’s the Wednesday Roundup of Things You Should See:

On Blogging: Adam has finished the blogger cabinet appointments at Adam’s Blog.

Daily Video: David at Third World County takes the “video of the day” prize again. That’s one big … chicken. (Pet’s Military Tribute comes in a close second, but what can I say….I’m getting over the flu)

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Filed under: U.S-E.R's — Random Yak @ 10:54 am on

When I found out that Random Yak shows up #1 on a Google search for “HVAC Slogans” I thought I might actually put together a post containing some of the best HVAC offerings.

Turns out, they all suck.

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I didn’t know there was a competition…

Filed under: U.S-E.R's — Random Yak @ 10:44 am on

…but apparently someone’s booking for the title "All-Time Strangest U.S-E.R." – and doing a pretty good job, at that.

In what may well prove the strangest Google search to date, coupled with the most unique, self-educating referrer entry in memory, I have learned that The Random Yak comes in #1 on a search for "C.S. Lewis ‘softsoap’"

The other results don’t offer much help when it comes to figuring out what this U.S-E.R. actually hoped to find, though (as always) I have some ideas:

1. Did C.S. Lewis use softsoap? (Your guess is as good as grime.)

2. Did C.S. Lewis write about softsoap? (Not to my recollection, though Screwtape might have a few creative uses in his bag of tricks.)

3. Why did C.S. Lewis use softsoap? (Because his hands were dirty…)

4. Is there a C.S. Lewis brand softsoap? (No, fortunately the Narnia marketing juggernaut didn’t go quite that far. But it came startlingly close.)

Random Yak. Your one-stop Internet home for information about C.S. Lewis softsoap.

Lessons Learned from the Home Fireworks Display

Filed under: Just Yaks — Random Yak @ 8:03 am on

As June draws to a close, signs of the summer season have begun popping up around this side of the mountain. Signs … and the little plywood huts which accompany them.

Because the end of June means the beginning of July. And the beginning of July means … fireworks.

Yes, fireworks. And not the glorious, safely-elevated, professionally-monitored spectaculars common to city parks and common areas. I’m talking about the good old-fashioned, take-home, do-it-yourself, forget-the-punk-gimme-the-matches, don’t-you-dare-throw-that-in-the-hedge, chase-your-brother-with-a-Roman-Candle-when-no-one’s-watching fireworks.

The kind most of us remember from childhood, and which most nanny-state legislators have subsequently banned as "too dangerous" for children and adults alike.

But not my legislators. Which means that Yak the Younger has the opportunity (as I did) to grow up enjoying not only the big city fireworks display we can see from the front lawn but also the big family display we put on in the cul-de-sac. The display which, for the past two years, has drawn neighbors from their houses and gone on for almost two continuous hours.

I’d like to call it a patriotic salute, but I accept the fact that it probably has more to do with the fact that I like to set things on fire.

As do my guests.

What began as a simple family celebration has now become an annual event. Many of The Random Family Friends live in cities and counties which no longer permit fireworks – meaning that residents must find another location in which to enjoy the privilege of attempting to blow themselves to smithereens. I’m glad to supply that location.

The Random Family hosts an annual Fourth of July party which has rapidly become something of a tradition in Yak social circles. The guest list expands on its own, as friends and friends-of-friends discover that someone has a pool, a functioning barbecue and enough firepower to keep half a dozen firebugs happy for hours on end. For my part, I’m always glad to throw another half dozen hot dogs on the grill, and the rest of The Random Family takes the increases in stride, considering that the event has remained relatively calm (if you don’t count that one incident with the flying flower and the garden hedge).

The highlight of the evening is always the big box of fireworks (And I do mean the BIG box. You know. The one you always wanted your parents to buy, but they never did. The one you always promised yourself you’d buy when you got old enough. And yeah, it’s every bit as good as it looked back then.).

Everyone participates (with the exception of the infants, primarily because they just don’t throw very well) – including those unfortunate enough to have grown up in counties that didn’t allow fireworks. I do find it helps to keep an eye on these participants, however, as they occasionally need a little guidance from the pros (No, it’s probably not a good idea to tie four fuses together and light them all at once.)

No matter where you live, you’re probably going to see plenty of fireworks warnings in days to come. Fireworks are dangerous, don’t light yourself on fire, good neighbors don’t blow one another up, etc, etc, etc. I’m all in favor of good judgment, particularly where explosives are concerned, so I thought I’d offer a few

Lessons Learned During Last Year’s Home Fireworks Display:

1. Setting off fourteen flash bombs simultaneously probably isn’t the smartest pyrotechnic choice.

2. Spinning flowers, when thrown into the air, will automatically undertake a seek-and-destroy mission to the driest part of the yard.

3. A garden hose with a pressure nozzle beats a rogue spinning flower, but just barely.

4. Neighbors love to watch your firework display at 8 pm.

5. Neighbors are not so fond of your firework display when it’s still going at 11:30.

6. Otherwise responsible adults instantly revert to age ten when handed a lighter and a Roman candle.

7. Five Piccolo Petes in a row will send every cat in the neighborhood running for shelter. (Along with most humans.)

8. Wetting down the lawn and hedge with a hose before the party starts turns out not to be overly cautious.

Fun and games aside, here’s to hoping everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Linked to the Fair Tax Blogburst and OTP at third world county .

It’s Monday, and although I’m home sick…

Filed under: Frivol — Random Yak @ 9:54 am on June 26, 2006

I’m still glad I don’t have to fight off a flock of aggressive (and none too bright) peacocks in my driveway.

But some people do.

Four male peacocks and one female inhabit a residential neighborhood in Arlington, Texas. (The story didn’t say who owned the peacocks, so I’m uncertain whether this is an example of spontaneous peacock generation – which would present an entirely different issue).

The territorial males, seeking to impress the lone female and drive away competition, occasionally mistake their reflections (as seen in the shiny finish on the sides of cars) for another male peacock. Understandably enraged by the presence of an unwanted interloper, the birds attack.

Area residents have rejected the idea of removing the birds, opting instead to install mirrors in their yards to "distract" the birds from automobiles. (Because obviously the proper response to "reflections upset them" is to install…more reflective objects.)

Anyone else think the plan sounds just a little…birdbrained?

(Maybe it’s just me. I’m going back to bed.)

Yak of the Week: Theology

Filed under: Yaks of the Week — Random Yak @ 7:05 am on June 23, 2006

This week we proudly present the Yak of the Week Award for Theology to the 217th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Earlier this week, PCUSA formally received (for review and study) a position paper entitled “The Trinity, God’s Word Overflowing” which permits the use of “alternative” and “expansive” language in place of (and, in fairness, in “addition to”) so-called “traditional” language for the Trinity.

After all, why confine yourself to the stodgy old “Father, Son and “Holy Spirit” when you can have “Mother, Child, Womb”?

On June 19 the Assembly voted to receive the paper and commend it to the churches for study (and, one may safely assume, implementation).

So, what impact will the paper have? Here’s a quote (taken from the paper itself): “With the exception of the baptismal formula itself, we are also free to supplement this language with additional Trinitarian images to reflect the expansive grace, love, and communion of the one God.”

“The body also approved starting the eight-year process toward producing a new Presbyterian hymnal and a new Internet-based hymn resource.”

Oh, and they sang the new Doxology. The one without any male pronouns.

Let’s see what we can learn from their logic:

1. Referring to God as male is exclusionary. And that’s bad. Very, very bad. (Even if the Bible says otherwise.)

2. It doesn’t matter if the Bible says God is male. That’s not enlightened thinking. (After all, many, many copies were made during the Dark Ages…)

3. Enlightened Christians don’t need the Bible to tell them about God. We know him better than a bunch of old dead guys. Or His son. Or what he might have said about himself.

4. Pay no attention to the Biblical Truth behind the curtain.

5. The New Doxology:

“Praise the ungendered being from whom all blessings flow (except the ones we decide to change and disregard)

“Praise the ungendered being all creatures here below (except the intolerant and ugly ones – and the spiders)

“Praise the ungendered being above, ye heavenly host (of all genders loving one another without judgment and gay people and everything)

“Praise the ungendered being, indeterminate offspring and that third one that could be anything at all.”

Yeah. Right.

For leading the flock even farther afield than many of us previously thought possible,

For assuming that the pot can influence the shape of the potter,

For threatening to replace the Holy Trinity with the Wholly Unmentionable,

And For a “new take” on the triune nature of God which is equidistant from reality and good theology (but startlingly close to Blasphemy)

Congratulations, Yak of the Week.

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Dogging It At Work

Filed under: Frivol,Just Yaks — Maniyak @ 6:30 am on

Today is "Dogging it at Work" day, as illustrated and explicated by the Random Yak (aka, "My job is going to the dogs" day).

As we understand it, "Dogging it at Work" is the one day of respite from the daily grind of "Being Catty at Work." Monkeying around, horsing around, weaseling and, yes, even Yak-ing have their moments, but as they say, "Every dog must have its day." [Paws for effect. Exit stage left.]

Filed under: U.S-E.R's — Random Yak @ 6:11 am on

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