Silly stuff roundup, with bloggy links
● First of all, a couple of items about the infamous Zidane headbutt. Here is the headbutt as viewed from a bunch of national and other perspectives. (Thanks, Christian)
Also, have hours of fun with this Zidane game, though if my (formally nonexistent) Italian is to be trusted, it’s temporarily offline because it exceeded its bandwidth, but should be back by the first of the month. For now, bookmark it. (Thanks, Dan)
UPDATE: Here’s the link to another Zidane headbutt game (Thanks, George)
● In its efforts to keep the neighborhood peaceful from overexcited car racers, an Australian town crossed the line, entered into evil and seized The One Ring. They played Barry Manilow at a volume designed to chase the drivers away. I’m sorry, but if blasting “Weekend in New England” isn’t evil, then nothing is. Whether it’s Palestinian hanging or “The Old Songs” turned up to 11, good ends do not justify evil means, even when Michael Ledeen says they do and even when he pretends that he’s a serious moralist as he preaches it. Learn it. Love it. Live it.
● In the shameless self-promotion department, I’ve started a new blog called “Coalition for Fog” (long story, don’t ask). It’s about foreign policy, diplomacy and the War on Isl … er … Terrorism. I’ve invited some fellow Catholic Neocon Chickenhawks (plus a Papist Marine with HTML skills greater than mine) to make it a group blog. In this post here, I make a point of potential interest to film geeks, comparing Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric to the mise-en-scene in Sergei Eisenstein’s talking pictures. Really. (And I shamelessly steal a moniker.)
● In the comment field there, someone notes self-deprecatingly about how much more cultured I supposedly am than he, that I watch Eisenstein while he watches Napoleon Dynamite. I’m not the world’s greatest fan of Hess’s first film, but I can’t deny that it’s become a bit of a cult classic (all the “Pedro” references and some of John Heder’s easy-to-ape verbal tics are pop-culture lore). And the town of Preston, Idaho, is gonna cash in, dammit. While it can. The longevity of “Napoleon Dynamite” cult is in question. From the article: “About 400 people attended [the “Napoleon Dynamite” festival] this year, down from 6,000 last year, the Idaho Statesman newspaper reported.”
● For the Jihad-enablers who made the Marines quake in their boots on “Hadji Girl,” maybe they’d like this song better. After all, it’s in the Koran.
● This may seem like a ridiculous redundancy like proving the sun rises in the East. But some of us have spent time arguing with Marxists, Distributists, Thomists and others religiously attached to the false notion that things have intrinsic worth that is determinable by (some conception of) reason and to the related notion that a thing’s “worth” is anything other than its price (whether that “worth” be calculated according to labor, raw material or something else). For an exercise in an important philosopher completely trapped in his own presuppositions and so chasing his own tail, take a look at Thomas Aquinas asking himself whether it is lawful to sell a thing for more than its worth. (A question to which there is no answer because the question is nonsense.)
Anyhoo, here is the link to a news story — of a man who turned a paper clip into a house through acts of repeated barter and exchange. The broader point I wish to make being that “value” in a commodity sense does not exist in nature, but is something created, with trade being the most efficient way to create value. Every purchase is a trade of one good or service that the buyer wants more than what he is giving up in trade, which is another good or service that the seller wants more than what he is giving up in trade. So each comes away with more “value” after the trade. McDonald proved that, in principle, there is no natural limit upon the value — paper-clip to house — which trade can create. Obviously, this is extraordinary because in some cases, particularly after the stunt gained public momentum, the “good” that McDonald’s barter partners were purchasing was clearly not strictly economic. (Particularly Corbin Bernsen at the end … that was publicity-seeking.) Nevertheless, this is how value is created, apparently ex nihilo, to those who insist on looking for a natural basis.
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