Fasten, fit closely, bind together.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

WacArnold's is Tearing this Family Apart!!! 


McDonald's sucks.

Not only have they made America the world's leaders in obesity and angioplasties, but now they have found another way to harm our nation's health.

How you ask? Apparently by punching teenage girls squarely in the jaw.

One of my correspondants down at Water St. sent me word that an assault took place this past Saturday at the McDonald's on the corner of Fulton and Gold St.

It was 4am and two respectable young women, NYU students, were coming back from having a cocktail at Ryan's Irish Pub when they decided to stop into McDonald's for a late night snack. They made the innocent mistake of assuming that the establishment was open 24 hours a day. In fact, this McDonald was only open 23 hours a day. This would only be the first of many misunderstandings.

The two girls waited patiently for one of the McDonald's employees to take their order. They asked if there was a reason why they were not being waited on. A employee told them that apparently they could not read because the sign said that they were closed. The girls insulted by the rudeness of this employee asked to speak to the manager.

The woman replied, "I am the manager."

One of the girls replied, "Well, you don't have to be such a bitch about it."

The manager then leaned across the counter and punched the girl in the face. The manager then slapped her just to make sure she had gotten her point across. This McDonald's was closed for business!!!!

Back at Water St. one an NYU guards called the police and arranged for the girl to be taken to the hospital. The girl was treated for contusions to the face.

When the police arrived at the McDonald's they asked the manager if she had punched the girl.

She responded, "You DAMN right I hit her, she was DRUNK!!!"

Well there you have.

The police charged the manager with assualt.

A Public Relations representative from McDonald's contacted the girl, and apologized assuring her that this manager was not representative of McDonald's.

A few years ago a woman was awarded $3 million from McDonald's after she spilled a cup of coffee on her lap that the court deemed to be too hot. She sustained 2nd degree burns. This NYU student was punched in the face by the manager at a McDonalds!!! This is a law suit if I ever heard one. I wouldn't settle for anything under $10 million and a personal apology from Ronald McDonald.


Monday, March 29, 2004

It's nice to see Mr. Gorman posting on the 'Bluff- if these two media moguls can work together who knows what other warring parties can sit together and break bread. Shi'ites and Sunis; Bush and Chirac; Howard Stern and the FCC; Jesus and Judas.

Sadly, though, most readers of this here blog will be leaving the ivy-covered confines of the University and entering some limbo- not quite the real world, not yet out from under the wing of our respective families. Some, like Gorman, have already landed plush jobs along with use of the corporate jet, and some, like myself and Gotim, are following the liberal arts lifestyle to its logical conclusion- expatriation.

But where will the "Rest of your life Semester, 2004" find the other Bluff readers? Will you become Wall St. lackies, running to by dinner for hotshot bosses? Will you return home to anytown, USA, enjoying the cable TV and food distribution units that we lovingly refer to as parents? Or perhaps retail- making just enough to get by as you work on the next great America novel is more your speed?

Whatever your plans, the Bluff is interested. (Or maybe just I am- either way, get with the explaining.) There's no shame in listing not yet decided- I still havn't even figured out how to end this post.

Oh, and for for those of you thinking of getting into the old "ultra conservative, moral majority, Revelations-based apocalyptic fictional book series" game, as so many of us have considered, give a read; looks like that market may already be cornered.

Where in the World is the World Wide Web? 

I was reading this article today, and it got me thinking... what is this internet thing anyway? Sure, I know how to use it reasonably well, I know Al Gore created it, and I know that my daily information intake relies on it. I know its tangible forms; porn, party poker, espn.com, The Billiken's Bluff but I'm still not exactly sure what it is. What does it smell like? Who should I contact when it screws me over? If I cut it, will it bleed? And where the hell is it anyway? There must be some giant supercomputer in Alaska, or Bill Gates' basement where all of my emails and instant messages flow through.

I was curious myself so I asked Jeeves :

What is the internet which helped a little. Jeeves, says, "The Internet is a worldwide system of computer networks - a network of networks in which users at any one computer can, if they have permission, get information from any other computer (and sometimes talk directly to users at other computers)." So in my layman's understanding that translates into each individual computer communicates directly with each other. That sounds very egalitarian, very democratic in nature. But I'm still not sure where Billiken's Bluff goes when I turn off my computer. It's still out there somewhere in cyberspace, which is...where? Jeeves says, "Today, the Internet is a public, cooperative, and self-sustaining facility accessible to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Physically, the Internet uses a portion of the total resources of the currently existing public telecommunication networks." So it exists physically in telephone wires. That hardly sounds like a satisfactory explanation to me. If anyone can explain it to me feel free to email me at BillikenBluff@yahoo.com.

But putting the question of "What is the internet?", I pose another conundrum, "Who controls the internet?" This isn't just another one of my liberal conspiracy theories (Neill!). There is a group that sanctions domain names and inclusion in the world wide web, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN . They maintain close ties with, and are sanctioned by the US government. If a website in China wants to be included in the world wide web they have to go either directly or indirectly through ICANN.

"In 2000, ICANN approved a separate domain name for Palestinian Web sites — ".ps" — giving them independence in cyberspace before they get a country of their own. It has yet to decide the future of Iraq (news - web sites)'s "iq."" ICANN has the power to define what a nation is, at least in cybersapce.

What concerned me when I read this article was the possibility that the US could censor and disrupt foreign websites. "Because ICANN reports to the U.S. Department of Commerce, some countries are nervous that Washington could force the disruption of Internet traffic to entire countries by deleting them from central computers — like ripping out pages of a telephone directory. While that is technically possible, it would be a disaster for the Internet and ICANN."

Micahel Aisenberg, director of government relations for VeriSign Inc., an ICANN contractor that keeps the master list of domain name suffixes like ".com doesn't think this is a legitimate possibility.

He says, "The first time anyone tried to do that, there would be such a hue and cry. You would be such a pariah, you would have your role as a custodian ripped away from you."

But doesn't this sound familar? The US doing something without support from the international community. 5 years ago I wouldn't have thought we'd go against the UN and invade Iraq, unprovoked. I could see this issue falling under the jurisdiction of the Patriot Act. Let's say Homeland Security decides a website in Syria is pontentially dangerous, they could effectively erase it from the world wide web. This is all news to me. I assumed if a website ending in the suffix .cz, that it orginated out of the zech Republic, not out of California.

But not to worry the Billiken will be keeping a close watch on the Internet, ICANN, the UN, and Homeland security, BEWARE



Thursday, March 25, 2004

Rick James Beeeeeeeeatch 

The Chappelle Show has been getting a lot of media attention lately, both good (it's often hilarious) and bad (he uses the word bitch as a noun, verb, adverb, and adjective). I watch the show regularly, the only show other than Sportscenter which I can say that about. There are always a handful of funny moments each episode. He also gets big name guests, from hip hop and comedy, on his show. It seems like the hip hop artists actually seek him out to be the show. They not only perform their songs, but appear in his skits.

But last night's episode was just surreal. I am a believer, Dave. The first skit as a spoof of MTV's horrific show "Making Da Band." Dave played Puff Daddy. He threatened to shut down the studio if Da Band members didn't do such things as go to Jersey to get him a set of left-handed golf clubs, take a pciture with a dwarf, and go uptown to get some breast milk from a Cambodian woman (cause P. Diddy will only drink the finest breast milk). Even funnier was the way P. Diddy exited the set. Spoofing Puff Daddy's penchant for man servants and umbrella bearers, Dave was carried off the stage by his servants on a couch, asleep in their arms, and on one occasion riding on one of their backs, holding his dreads, giddy up horsey.

But the skit that really came out of nowhere was the STD skit featuring Q-Tip and Snoop Dogg (as Mr. Dangle). After seeing the show last night I expected to look at the news today and see that the FCC had decided to go after Dave much in the same way they are trying to take down Howard Stern. Let's review the facts. There were a group of children in the skit they were exposed to the following:

A heroin syringe
A junky puppet foaming at the mouth
A puppet's penis (dripping veneral disease)
An Oscar the grouch puppet looking puppet who sings to the kids "I beat my dick like it owes me money"
A child asking Mr. Dangle (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg) how he got the STD, and he responds "From fucking"
And some dancing pubic crabs.

This is fucking genius. I can't believe Dave can get away with this on television. The FCC hasn't shut him down yet, but the show is rapidly gaining in popularity so once John McCain and company catch wind of it, I'm sure they will shut him down.


Monday, March 22, 2004

Sping Break 2004 

I took a long and occasionally epic road trip to Reynoso, Mexico. I learned quite a few things during my week in Mexico and the 32 hours going and the 32 hours coming back.

First, the US South is a strange place. I always assumed this, but never having been further South than Washington DC (Florida excluded), I could not confirm this suspicion. I was in for a lot of shocking and aweing.

-My first encounter with the South came in a West Virginia gas Station around 2 AM.
GAS STATION ATTENDANT #1: "How ya'll Fellars doing?"
ME: "Splendid."

People do speak with Southern accents. It was refreshing, warm, earnest, and drawling.

-Our next stop was in Chatanooga, Tennessee at the ungodly hour of 5 AM. For some reason I decided to buy the local newspaper, to see what was good in the hood. (The newspaper has a seperate sections for both NASCAR and Religion. That is what's good.)
GAS STATION ATTENDANT #2: "I see you got yesterday's news there."
ME: "Oh no it's today's paper. See Saturday."
GAS STATION ATTENDANT #2: "Correct...which has yesterday's news in it."
ME: "Hmph."

Apparently sarcasm isn't dead. I was caught with my defenses down. Don't let the accents fool you, sarcasm is alive and well in the South.

-At 8 AM we stopped in Montgomery, Alabama at the Waffle House. There was a bit of a language barrier problem when ordering. I ordered hash browns and scrambled eggs, and received grits and a fried egg. Anyway, one of the other patrons, wearing an American flag bandana, struck up a conversation.
PATRON: "Ya'll in a band?"
ME: "Nope."
PATRON: "Well ya'll look like you been staying up all night watching a band."
ME: "Long trip, lot's of driving."
PATRON: "Yea i write the songs that you live your life to."
ME: "Is that so?"
PATRON: "Ya'll know Steve Miller Band? I wrote 'These Days'" (Breaks into song)

He then proceeded to pay for his meal at the registering, informing the waitress that this was the worst Waffle House that he ever ate in, and asked for the restaurant's number so he could file a complaint. And yet, despite his drunken belligerence, he managed to keep things civil by saying to the waitress.
PATRON: "Thank you kindly."

You simply don't see those type of manners in the North.

I found out it's a whole other country down there, and that's before I even got into Mexico. One thing that made the long hours on the highways enjoyable were the billboards. They completely show up any fancy hi-tech NYC Times Sqaure Billboards. Once I get my camera developed I'll post some pics, but here are a few of my favorites.

1. "Need Directions?"
2. "Think it's hot here?" (As we were driving through Corpus Christi)
3. "Vaginal Rejuvenation" (Your guess is as good as mine. But it sounds like the gift that keeps on giving.)

4. "24 Hour Nude Bar BYOB"

5. "A Law firm that specializes in personal injuries from dogs." (en espanol)

They are just so clever, and if you know me, the one thing I respect is clever.

Some other gems of knowledge that I was blessed with on my Odyssey.

-Trucker hats are worn just as prevalently in the South as they are in NYC, however they are not worn ironically, in fact that are worn quite seriously.

-If you ever find yourself in Reynoso, Mexico and you want to go to the club called Bar Rio, make sure you leave a healthy pause between the two words, so as not to be misinterpreted as barrio. Mexicans really do not take kindly to Americans asking directions to the barrio.

-If you think baby blue tinted eye glasses and butterfly knives are mutually exclusive, you simply do not understand Latin Macho Culture.

All of this will be illuminated once I post the pictures.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

The Birth of A Nation 

Call me Ishmael.

Actually don't, but that is a great opening line from THE great America novel, Moby Dick. (Sorry I'm an English major, but I promise it won't happen again.)

Where to begin? So much to say, so much to say.... I want this blog to be a record of all the things that go unnoticed, unscrutinized, unsatirized. Things that piss me off, that make me laugh, and things that make me want to run home and rub my Billiken for good luck. Billike? What the hell is a Billiken. I should give a little background.

The most frequently quoted of the many theories of interesting versions was that the Billiken originated in Egypt. It has been said that the Egyptian considered the Billiken to be a symbol of good luck, and the God of Laughter, Happiness, Merry making and Good Health. He was a patron of beauty and guardian angel of children. They believed that the presence of the little figure with his pointed head, pot belly, bat-like ears and whimsical smile, when kept in their homes, would protect and insure a happy, harmonious atmosphere. When worn, it would dispel clouds of trouble and bring joy into life !

The University of St. Louis Billiken whimsical but slightly mischevious (However, looks like he didn't bring them enough luck to get them in to the NCAA tournament this year. Come on St. Louis looks like you weren't treating the little fella right!)

Then there is the more traditional, pious Billiken-

How about a some salt and pepper

Let's see, what else? I'm going by a single monicker Gotim. Like Ronaldo, or Nene, or my hero...Andre 3000.

Also this blog is not without its roots. Much like the US was born from Britian, The Billiken's Bluff has a forefather as well. The Cardiff Giant. The name sounds gigantic, so was its intent. We posted strong through the summer months, posting regualrly from our respective cubicles. Sadly we sputtered out in September. But like Dave Chappelle so eloquently put it, "We're back BITCHES!" Couldn't have said it better myself.


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