June 17, 2010

Friday Fun (v. 1.5)—Mad Lib Sausages

We begin this edition of Friday Fun with sad news—the death of the legendary Sausage King, Jimmy Dean.  As a kid, I knew Dean as the singer of the country-rap classic, "Big Bad John".  Only later did I associate Dean with his sausage empire.  But all sausage lovers out there owe a debt of gratitude to Dean and his high-quality processed meat conglomerations.

In other sausage related news, the Apple iPhone 4G is set for release.  How is that sausage related?  Well, those enterprising South Koreans have determined that in winter, when gloves prevent iPhone touchscreen use, a warm sausage can double as a stylus.  Scoff all you want, but just keep in mind Otto von Bismarck's famous observation:  "Laws are like sausages—it is best not to see them being made."

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Raise your hand if you remember Mad Libs—the game where you provide different words to fit categories (e.g., name, proper noun, transitive verb), then use the words to fill in a story template.  Well, today I read a news story that seemed to come straight out of Mad Libs (word categories added in brackets so you can play along at home):

A German [nationality] student [name of a vocation] created a major traffic jam [name of a crisis] in Bavaria [name of a place] after making a rude gesture at a group of Hell's Angels motorcycle gang [name of a group] members, hurling [-ing verb] a puppy [noun] at them and then escaping [-ing verb] on a stolen [adjectivebulldozer [noun].

Of course, the money quote from the police was priceless:  "What motivated him to throw a puppy at the Hell's Angels is currently unclear."   You don't say ...

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This week saw the conclusion of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the California gay marriage case.  Conservative Republican Ted Olson gave the closing argument in favor of finding same-sex marriage a Constitutionally protected right.  Olson was solicitor general for the George W. Bush administration; essentially, the post is the lead appellate lawyer for the United States, a position also held by legal luminaries like former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, and current Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.  For those who want to see a master legal advocate at his finest, Olson's closing argument is tough to beat.  One of his best lines was:

Marriage, the Supreme Court has said again and again, is a component of liberty, privacy, association, spirituality, and autonomy.  It is a right possessed by persons of different races, by persons in prison, and by individuals who are delinquent in paying child support.

It is the right of individuals, not an indulgence dispensed by the State of California, or any state, to favored classes of citizens which could be easily withdrawn if the state were to change its mind about procreation.  In other words, it is a right belonging to Californians, to persons.  It is not a right belonging to the State of California.  (Trans., p. 2971).

Of course, Olson might well have just let rapper Eminem make his closing argument:

I think if two people love each other, then what the hell?  I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want.

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By what names are the following fictional characters better known?
  • Roy Hinkley
  • Norville Rogers
  • Bernie Liederkrantz
  • Edgar Mallory
  • Barbara Millicent Roberts
Answers can be found at Mental Floss.

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Thanks to Neatorama.com, I've become addicted to the offbeat humor of McSweeneys.net.  Good reads include Signs You Made a Poor Choice In Picking Up a Hitchhiker ("Conversation turns heated when topic shifts to Presidential legacy of Martin Van Buren"; "He compliments your clothes, then asks your measurements"), and a monologue by a typeface, I'm Comic Sans, Asshole ("I'm not just a font. I am a force of motherfucking nature and I will not rest until every uptight armchair typographer cock-hat like you is surrounded by my lovable, comic-book inspired, sans-serif badassery.").

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Finally, our animal video of the week is this Kung Fu Bear:


  1. Excellent Mad libs find, and put me in the camp of those that wish to enjoy the misery, err benefits of marriage absolutely should have the right too. Someday soon I hope that issue can be put to rest and abolish the discrimination that stands now in most jurisdictions.

  2. Jimmy Dean sausage ain't bad but way overpriced. I stick to our local brand, just as good and 25% cheaper.

    As fror Olson sounds sincere and I can understand how this stand can jibe with certain conservative values, religous right not equal to conservative. At least he's not like the former DA now county comissioner we have here who prosecuted a couple of brothers accused of bookmaking a couple years ago and now says it was all a mistake as he defends them. Don't think the money has anything to do with that now do we?

  3. @ Wolfshead: I agree, Jimmy Dean can't hold a candle to the local Graziano sausage, nor to the homemade sausage of my youth made by my Grandpa and Dad (good German farm heritage there!).

    I think Olson is a principled conservative, in the Burkean/Goldwater tradition, not the religious right tradition; he might be one of the last "Rockefeller Republicans". From Olson's perspective, marriage is the epitome of a conservative social institution, and thus it seems natural that he would want all individuals to participate in that institution. Olson is a very smart man with a LOT of credibility in conservative legal circles, and I'm glad he's on board this case.