October 12, 2008
John McCain Gets Rickrolled
Perhaps you are familiar with the concept of Rickrolling: it's when you create a Web link that pretends to go to a legitimate site, but instead links to the ridiculous video of Rick Astley singing his 1987 hit song "Never Gonna Give You Up." For example, check out this New York Times article on McCain's hair plugs.
Rickrolling was very popular; the video has been watched more than 20 million times on YouTube. On April Fools day 2008, Google got in the game and Rickrolled many YouTube users by linking all the featured videos on the YouTube home page to Astley's video.
Anyway, John McCain, who doesn't use email and is just now learning about the Internet, must not be familiar with the concept of Rickrolling since he recently fell for one in front of a huge crowd:
McCain looks pissed!
April 01, 2008
Paris-based "Hyper Delegate" Supporting Clinton
Obama won the first round of the Democrats Abroad primary, 4.5 delegates to 2.5 for Clinton. But now, the second round of voting is taking place in what is known as the "International Waltz" of overseas voters. And the International Herald Tribune reports today that the decision by a "hyper delegate" from Democrats Abroad France to support Clinton could have a major impact on the results.
This hyper-delegate has the 1/7th the weight of all pledged international delegates, and the seat has historically been controlled by a Frenchman in recognition of the special role that France played in the American Revolution. The bottom line is that this shift means a 3.5 to 3.5 tie in the overall Dems Abroad results.
The delegate in question, Henri R. R. Ennui, is a long-standing Clinton supporter, having met the then-First Lady when she was visiting France with Bill Clinton following the 1995 Paris Metro bombings. Hillary has claimed on several occasions that she stayed on in Paris and played an instrumental role in ending the Algerian Civil War. Ennui today confirmed her account, which has been disputed by Nicolas Sarkozy, who insists that he brokered the settlement when he was Interior Minister.
In a wide-ranging interview with Ennui today on television station TF1 [audio clip], he said,
Somewhere, she played a very very important role in the fixation of -- this situation terrible. I am very proud to say to all Americans, in France and elsewhere, thank you for this chance to support Senator Clinton. Vive L'Amérique!
For more details, and a transcription of the full interview, see here.
May 19, 2007
"Fous ta Cagoule" by Fatal Bazooka--English Translation
In November 2006, the French comedian Michael Youn put out a satirical music video by the group "Fatal Bazooka," which he had created for the TV show Morning Live. The song become widely popular in France, and the YouTube video (below) has received nearly 2.5 million views.
"Fous Ta Cagoule" satirizes rap from Marseilles, the accent and slang of people from that region, the "poetry slam" style of groups like Grand Corps Malade [clip, requires Real Player], and mostly French moms who insist their children wear a "cagoule," or balaclava-type ski mask to school.
I did the research to translate "Fous Ta Cagoule" because even though I was cracking up each time I watched it, I was missing a bunch of the jokes. Mad props to I Can't Believe It's Not Butter for her help as always, and of course to O.G. who introduced us to FATAL BAZOOKA. West west, y'all.
The original French lyrics are from dailymotion.com.
Ouais gros, c’est Fatal Bazooka
Quand c’est l’hiver quand ça fait froid
Qu’une chose a faire gars, écoute ça :
Yeah fat boy (yeah fat boy), its Fatal Bazooka (Fatal Bazooka!)!
When it's winter, when it's cold outside (cold, cold!)
There's only one thing to do lads--listen up:
Représente le hardcore des montagnes en direct de la Savoie
Savoie ou bien ??? Non ca va pas.
Mec c’est le pôle nord, on s'gèle les grelots.
Bordel, il fait plus froid que dans ton frigo.
Un pied dehors direct c’est la pharyngite
La morve au nez, le microbe qui s’agite
Alors écoute avant qu’il sera trop tard
Avant que tu seras tout dur comme un surgelé Picard
On n’est pas venu pour jouer les papas poules
Mais un conseil mon gars, fous ta cagoule
Representing mountain hardcore straight out of Savoie
"Savoie ou bien?" [pun on 'ca va bien?'] No, it's going badly.
Man it's the north pole; we're freezing our balls off.
Shit, it's colder than your fridge!
Set a foot outside, get strep throat
Mucas in the nose, germs stirring...
So listen up before it's too late
Before you're as hard as a Stouffers dinner (boom boom!)
We didn't come here to act like overprotective dads
But one piece of advice my boy: put on your ski mask!
Fous ta cagoule, fous ta cagoule
Ou t’auras froid, t’auras les glandes t’auras les boules
Fous ta cagoule ouais, fous ta cagoule
La chair de poule, le nez qui coule, fous ta cagoule
Fous ta cagoule, fous ta cagoule
Du nord au sud de l’est à l’ouest même a Vesoul
Fous ta cagoule ouais, fous ta cagoule sauf à Kaboul sauf à Kaboul
Put on your ski mask, put on your ski mask
Or you'll be cold, you'll be worried, you'll be scared (you'll be scared!)
Put on your ski mask, yeah, put on your ski mask
The goose bumps, the runny nose--put on your ski mask
Put on your ski mask, put on your ski mask
From the north to the south from the east to the west even in Vesoul (even in Vesoul)
Put on your ski mask yeah, put on your ski mask--except in Kabul (except in Kabul) except in Kabul (except in Kabul)
Ouais dit leur toi aussi profanation fonky
En direct des quartiers de Marseille
> Dans ma ville, on craint dégun
Fracasse les estrasses sur instru yo le rat frère en même temps toujours froid aux mains
Contrebande, façon 90 dans la légende
Manges du cagnard !
Ici on joue au foot et pas au hand
J’serre les dents
Comme Yves Montand
Qui r’pousse le pousse-mousse du mistral dans le vent
Planète mars, représente la cagoule, sans un franc,
cinq francs trente et deux qui nous font cent…
Yeah, you tell 'em too, Profanation Fonky
Straight out of the 'hoods of Marseille
[Some of the expressions in the following are Marseille slang, much is nonsense:]
In my city we fear no one
Smash the old pieces of kleenex on instru-yo the brother rat at the same time always cold hands
Contraband - 90 style in the legend
Eat the scorching sun!
Here we play football [soccer], not handball
I grit my teeth
Like Yves Montand
Who pushes the liquid hand soap of the mistral in the wind again
Planet mars - represent the ski mask, without a dime
Five francs 30 and two makes 100.... [shows 10 fingers]
Hey mais hey oh mais, t’es au courant qu’on comprend rien à s’que tu dis
Qu’est s'quia qu’est s'quia toi tu m’engraines ?
Nan mais c’est pas ça, mais on a un message précis tu vois c’est:
Hey, but hey-ho there--do you realize that no one understands a word you're saying?
> whazzat wazzat you bust my balls?
nah, it's not that, but you see we have a very precise message it's:
Je voudrait jeter un slam pour cette maladie qui l’hiver l’anus m'irrite
Un virus venu du froid qu’on appelle gastro-entérite
La prochaine fois j’mettrais ma cagoule...
I'd like to throw out a slam to that disease which irritates my anus in the winter
A virus that comes from the cold called gastroenteritis
Next time, I'll wear my ski mask...
J’mettrai ma cagoule sur l’BIP
Pour pas me géler les BIIIIP
Espece de fils de BIP
Mais qu’est-ce qui faut que j’foute
Ça fait quinze fois qu’j’te l’dis, pauv’ BIP
Fous ta cagoule !
Mais qu’est-ce que tu BIIP,
T’es en train de BIP dans ma cagoule !
Elle me gratte commme un frotis dans la BIP à ta mère
Elle me donne de l’érythème, j’ai les BIP qui saignent
J’aurais pu dire “fous ton bonnet, fous ton bonnet” mais c’est moins cool
Que c’putain d’slogan, fous ta cagoule !
I'll put my ski mask on the [beep]
So I won't freeze my [beep]s
Son of a [beep]
What am I going to do with you?
I've told you 15 times already, poor [beep]
Put on your ski mask!
But what do you [beep]
You're [beep]ing in my ski mask!
It itches like a pap test in your mother's [beep]
It gives me diaper rash--my [beep] are bleeding
I could have said "put on your wool hat, put on your wool hat" but that's less cool
Than this fucking slogan: put on your ski mask!
Ouais gars, c’est l’bazooka, B.A.Z…heu
En tout cas respect à Porte Blindée, Mensurations douloureuses
Pandi Panda ainsi que Pitbull de flipper
Coups de couteau dans la glotte et bien sur Canon à Neige, Bang Bang !
Yeah boy, it's the Bazooka: B, A, Z, ... uhhh...
In any case, respect to Reinforced Doorway, Painful Chest Measurements [he mispronounces the word for menstration]
Pandi-Panda as well as Pitbull of Flipper
Knife Cuts in the Glottal Stop and of course Snow Machine - bang bang!
It's the remix
Fous ta cagoule (*8)
It's the remix!
Listen to this
Put on your ski mask (x8)
P.S. Suggestions for improving the lyrics translation are welcome!
November 08, 2006
On April 1st of this year I wrote a post called Rumsfeld Resigns. At the time my limited audience of Latte readers (many of them close friends) rejoiced that a change in our Iraq policy was coming—until they realized it was just a cruel April Fools Day joke.
Despite enough revelations of deadly incompetence in the Pentagon to fill a bookshelf, it took until last night's transformative election for Bush to finally realize that staying the course wasn't working and to ask Rumsfeld to resign.
But now, some people may still think it's an April Fool joke. That's because the first Google search result for "Rumsfeld Resigns" is a link to the satirical post on this blog! So let me welcome the 5,000+ people who have visited Latte today, and let me reassure you that this time, it's for real. Hallelujah.
April 03, 2006
Pimpin' my Prius with SP1
There’s an old chain email that asks, “what if Microsoft made cars?” It grew out of an apparently fictional press release issued by GM in response to a taunt from Bill Gates, who had unfavorably compared advances in the automotive industry with advances in the computer industry. This “GM response” says in part that if Microsoft made cars,
- You would press the 'start' button to shut off the engine.
- Oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single 'general car default' warning light.
- Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left-turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, and you would have to reinstall the engine.
Now before I continue, I have to stress that we love our new Toyota Prius, and in general it works well, accelerates better than expected, gets gas mileage of 40-45 miles per gallon, is surprisingly roomy, includes a very cool smart-key system, etc. So I ask you, though I know it’s futile, to keep in mind as you read the following that even with the problems we have had we would buy one again.
Being a cutting edge vehicle, the Prius relies on a lot of software to make it work properly. Software controls the “power” button that you use to turn on or off the engine, the multi-purpose display monitor that displays car information and warning messages, and the hybrid engine itself. And like all software, the Prius system has “bugs”— defects which the programmers inadvertently introduced during development.
This became abundantly clear recently when my wife was executing a left-hand turn and the multifunction screen suddenly showed a giant red triangle with an exclamation point in the middle. The owner’s manual says that when this occurs, you are to stop driving the vehicle, pull it over, and have the vehicle towed to a dealer. However, you don’t need to read the manual to know something is seriously amiss, because the vehicle goes into “safe mode” at the same time.
Safe mode means that many of the fancy systems are shut off, and the vehicle drives much less responsively and gets poor fuel economy, but it is relatively immune from software problems. Some readers may be reminded at this point of the safe mode in Microsoft Windows, in which the operating system runs with minimal functionality in order to help diagnose problems.
So we had the vehicle towed to a dealer. The next day, they called to tell us that they had turned off the giant red warning light and deactivated safe mode (activated “unsafe mode?”), and that we could continue to drive the vehicle. However, the problem, which apparently relates to the conversion of power between AC and DC, was not fixed.
Rather, the dealer downloaded all of the diagnostic information from our car, and sent this information to Toyota engineers working in an undisclosed location. These engineers were to fix the software bug, call our dealership, and then call us so that we could bring in the car and they could apply the patch. All at no charge, of course.
After waiting a couple weeks in vain for the call, I telephoned the dealership. The technician told me that Toyota has decided to include this fix in a general software update (“SP1?”), which will be ready at some undisclosed date in the future. We are to keep driving our vehicle, which admittedly has had no problems in the meantime, while waiting for the new software release.
All of which inspired me with an excellent idea that I plan
to share with
Or they could just install Windows Vista—at some undisclosed date in the future.
April 01, 2006
It’s about time. Finally admitting that
Here are telling excerpts from the press conference, and Mr.
Rumsfeld’s responses, in inimitable style:
Rumsfeld: "Now, settle down, settle down. Hell, I'm an old man, it's early in the morning and I'm gathering my thoughts here."
Q: Why did this happen?
“Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.”
Q. Do you have any advice for your successor?
"Don't do or say things you would not like to see on the front page of The Washington Post."
Q. Where the revelations in the book Cobra II instrumental in your decision to resign?
“I don’t do book reviews.”
Q: How would you sum up your tenure as Secretary?
"If I know the answer I'll tell you the answer, and if I don't, I'll just respond, cleverly."
The rest can be seen here.
Update: Well how 'bout that.
September 13, 2005
The Return of Bad Idea Jeans
Some of my favorite “Saturday Night Live” sketches were the fake commercials for “Bad Idea Jeans.” Here are a few classics (thanks to SNLtranscripts.jt.org):
Normally I wear protection, but then I thought, “When am I gonna make it back to Haiti?”
After each of these “testimonies,” on the screen you would see “BAD IDEA” in big letters.
Well, he's an ex free-base addict, and he's trying to turn around, and he needs a place to stay for a couple of months.
After a few of these, you’d see the logo below appear, and the announcer would say, in a classic advertising voice: “Bad Idea Jeans.” These segments crack me up just thinking about them.
It’s time to bring back these commercials, and I’ve already got a couple of ideas, taken from real news stories:
We at GM may have had some problems recently, but we’re betting our recovery on large pickups and SUVs.
I was losing sleep over whom to appoint to FEMA, but then I thought, what’s the worst that could happen?
Let's just tell people that we're not sure if global warming exists.
More to come…
August 04, 2005
Bush REALLY Renames War on Terror for Second Time in a Week
The previous Latte post, "Bush Administration Renames 'War on Terror' for Second Time in a Week," was meant to be satirical. But straight from Grapevine, Texas, we have the following in yesterday's New York Times:
GRAPEVINE, Tex., Aug. 3—President Bush publicly overruled some of his top advisers on Wednesday in a debate about what to call the conflict with Islamic extremists, saying, "Make no mistake about it, we are at war."
In a speech here, Mr. Bush used the phrase "war on terror" no less than five times. Not once did he refer to the "global struggle against violent extremism," the wording consciously adopted by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other officials in recent weeks after internal deliberations about the best way to communicate how the United States views the challenge it is facing.
Making the best of things, Rumsfeld's spokesman made this statement: "The secretary doesn't feel this is push back. He feels it's an important clarification."
And then there’s this:
SWEETPEA, Tex., Aug. 4—The controversy over what to call the conflict with Islamic extremists extended into its second week today, as a former administration official offered an unsolicited alternative to President Bush’s re-renaming of the “war on terror.”
John Poindexter, the indicated felon who invented the terrorism futures market while working for the Department of Defense, appeared on Meet the Press to say that he believed the name “war on the improvisation of explosives” would be more accurate. To emphasize his point, he used the phrase ten times in the course of a two minute conversation with Tim Russert, the host. “We are waging war on the improvisation of explosives, war on the improvisation of explosives, war on the improvisation of explosives,” he declared at one point.
The White House was swift to take corrective action. Within minutes, Vice President Richard Cheney appeared by videophone with Russert. In a show of robust support for the President, he was able to use the phrase ‘war on terror’ fifteen times before Russert posed his first question.
Russert then asked, “Critics charge that terror is a tactic which, unlike a nation or group, cannot be defeated. How do you respond?” Cheney insisted that the name was accurate. “We are fighting all forms of terror. I would go so far as to say that the war on terror should encompass scary movies, like ‘The Exorcist.’ That’s some terrifying shit.” In the exchange that followed, he used the phrase “war on terror” another five times. He later said he felt better having done so.
July 29, 2005
Bush Administration Renames “War on Terror” for Second Time in a Week
WASHINGTON—In a move that caught Washington pundits off guard, the Bush Administration again renamed the “Global War on Terror,” having just changed the name to the “Struggle against Extremism” earlier in the week. Cabinet officials did not explicitly acknowledge the latest change, but they began using the new phrase, “The Tussle with Uneasiness,” throughout the day.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a diplomatic visit to China, hinted at the new phrase in prepared remarks she delivered before giving a state piano recital to Chinese President Hu Jintao. “It took me years to learn to play the piano at a competitive level,” Rice acknowledged. “At first, I was uneasy in front of crowds. But I had to fight, or tussle, with that uneasiness until it went away. Eventually it did. And it’s the same with Osama Bin Laden. We need to tussle and tussle until we are no longer uneasy. And we will.”
After a speech at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld corrected a reporter who used the phrase “Struggle against Extremism” in a question. “You might know that in Arabic, the word ‘struggle’ translates as jihad,” the Secretary pointed out. “Our enemies have declared jihad on us. I reject the idea that there is some kind of equivalence between us and the enemy. But I tell you this: when I wrestled at Princeton, I was in a lot of tussles. And I won most of them—and there’s absolutely no question that I could beat you.” [In what a spokesman later described as a confidence-building measure for the watching troops, he subsequently locked the hapless reporter in a sophisticated wrestling hold, and insisted that the journalist cry “I’m not uneasy” before he would release her. “As you can see, this is a Tussle that we will win,” announced the Secretary.]
A high-ranking Administration official, who spoke off the record because of the liberty it gave him to invent whatever he felt like, said the newest name “would reassure the American people.” He added, “At a time when almost 2,000 American soldiers have died and we have spent more than 200 billion dollars above and beyond the official federal deficit, it’s nice to know that we no longer have to worry about a ‘Global War on Terror.’ Obviously we’ve made huge progress this week, much more than anyone expected.”
However, Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman criticized the renaming. “The ‘War on Terror’ was always a bad name,” he said. “I mean, how do you win a war against a technique? It’s like the ‘War on Vigorous Tooth Brushing.’ But these new slogans are plain silly.” Yet the Senator admitted that it could have been worse. “If you think ‘Tussle with Uneasiness’ is bad, you should have heard some of the alternatives these bozos were kicking around. I mean, ‘Impromptu Scuffle with Dudes Who Differ?’ Who’s coming up with this stuff, Tom Cruise’s sister?”
May 18, 2005
The Ownership Society
State of the Union Address, 2009
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Rice, members of Congress,
distinguished citizens and fellow citizens: Every year, by law and by custom,
we meet here to consider the state of the union.
We gather in this chamber on a night of historic significance. The American people have demonstrated their faith in me with an exceptional mandate in extraordinary circumstances, by electing me the first president to serve three terms since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (Applause.) President Roosevelt, too, faced unique challenges in his era. In our day a major challenge is securing the future of the system that he created, while respecting the constraints of dramatically lower tax revenues. That’s why we acted decisively, with the support of courageous members of the Congress, to put Social Security back on sound footing. (Applause.) Thanks to our actions, the private accounts now available to the poorest Americans are no longer precariously dependent on the US Treasury. Nor do payments into these Freedom Accounts shackle the business leaders who are leading our economic recovery. (Applause.) And no American continues to suffer the cruel indignity of relying on big government for support in their old age or disability. (Applause.) In my first two terms we laid the groundwork for a true ownership society. And we can safely say the union is strong. (Thunderous applause.)
It hasn’t been easy. America has endured some of the most challenging hours of her proud history. No one could have known that our ports were vulnerable to attack; that a cowardly terrorist would exploit this weakness to devastate a major American city. And no one could have predicted the killers would time their strike with the dollar’s collapse in order to inflict maximal pain on the world’s leading economies.
It was under these conditions that a farsighted Congress agreed, and three-quarters of the states approved the first two Freedom Amendments. In an age that has witnessed death and devastation, nothing is more important than reinforcing the culture of life. That is why the 28th Amendment — the Living Family Amendment — wisely outlawed the killing of unborn babies and the cold-hearted termination of our sons and daughters living in a vegetative state, while upholding the sanctity of marriage. (Applause.)
We also recognized that continuity of leadership is what repels the terrorist threat — which is why it was necessary to pass the 29th Amendment, the Continuing Leadership Amendment, which repealed the term limits that were devised for another era (Applause.)
[A cry of “dictator!” is heard in the chamber.]
[A scuffle ensues and the capital police escort the Senate Minority
I assure our friends in the press that we have made an appropriate forum available for those who come with the intent to be disruptive — and there’s still some cells available if y’all want one! (Laughter.)
But we have serious business to do, and tonight I turn back to the TelePrompTer in order to talk to you about the most important Freedom amendment of all: the Freedom of Ownership Amendment.
September 11th, 2001, changed everything, and the bloody “Anniversary Attacks” of September 11th, 2007 changed even more. Our enemies thought they could make us react in fear and panic; but instead we act with measured determination and strength.
My fellow Americans, the amendment I’m proposing gives us the opportunity to eradicate the plague of homelessness, the stigma of bankruptcy, and the dehumanizing effect of welfare dependency. Simply put, Americans will be able to own a new class of investments: each other. Tonight I call on Congress to extend the ownership society we have built to include ownership of society. Purchased Americans will enjoy the ultimate freedom — the freedom from responsibility. (Hearty applause.)
With the Freedom of Ownership Amendment, we have the chance to finally eradicate the racial divisions that have damaged our country since its earliest days. I am proud to announce that once this amendment passes, Americans of every race will have the right to participate fully in all aspects of ownership. Indeed all the members of my diverse cabinet have already pledged to purchase a significant number of Americans in the Washington DC area and in the regions of their private vacation retreats. Whether you are a wealthy African American, Hispanic American, Irish American, or any other kind of wealthy American, you will have the ability to participate in ownership. (Robust applause.)
Everyone should have the honor to serve their country, and to know personally the feeling of profound self-respect that serving brings. That’s why if you are currently a poor, elderly, or disabled holder of a Freedom account, the associated Freedom Account Number will be used to put you in touch with a wealthy fellow American who will take responsibility for you and your family members. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to lay the bricks that are America’s foundation. It is now our generation’s turn — and no one has ever been readier to answer the call of duty.
Unfortunately, some in the liberal media have been critical of this new initiative. Some people automatically despise progress, just as terrorists hate freedom. But I remind the obstructionists and naysayers that my opponents in Congress haven’t even offered a plan of their own. They insist that I drop my insistence on personal ownership of Americans before they will even meet with me. My response to them is simple and clear: challenging times require for real leadership, not belligerent obstruction. (Resounding applause.)
Those who would seek to wage class warfare have a pessimistic view of America. But Americans are a strong people, who know that our nation is a touchstone of freedom in a troubled world — and we also know that with freedom comes sacrifice. Thankfully, sacrifice is a foundation of our sacred tradition. And our enduring faith in a better world sustains us through difficulty and toil — for we know that the grace of salvation awaits the people of God.
May the Lord guide us again in the coming year. And may He continue to bless the owners in the United States of America. (Rapturous applause.)
END 9:46 P.M. EST