The perils of the bootstrap, or, Naked women drinking absinthe on Battlestar Galactica while playing bocce. Pope outraged. Dobson speechless. Obama has heart attack.

The Republican and Conservative crowd, along with their dark shadow, the Libertarians, want everybody to do everything for themselves. Government shouldn’t help anyone (except of course for big corporations who feed the right-wing money – those guys get all the taxpayer money they want and don’t have to account for any of it).

That crowd is big on ‘bootstrapping’. You know, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, those little pull tabs on top of your boots. Not that you can afford boots anymore.

The usual knock on pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is that you’ll fall on your ass as you jerk your feet out from under you. The corollary is that you’ll be lying on the ground helpless.

But there’s another reason to avoid following this clever little piece of rhetorical fallacy. Picture it. You bend over to grab your bootstraps. And there you are, helpless again, your butt exposed to the Republicans. Not a pretty picture. And of course we know the result – we have only to look at the current economic crisis, the creation of Republican/Conservative/Libertarian philosophies and practices of deregulation.

Which is to say the Republicans will screw you every chance they get. For them it’s all about money, not morals.

And they’ll be very happy to sell you an interest in the boot they shove up your ass.


40 Responses

  1. Boobies, catholic school girls, Hitler, Paris Hilton, lose weight without exercise.

    Just trying to add to your attempt at oodles of search hits.


  2. Damn, how could I forget Catholic school girls and Paris Hilton? Gotta stop drinking (((Billy’s))) scotch…


  3. the boot they shove up your ass.

    Us self-reliant ones pull it out – by the bootstraps. It’s a vicious cycle.


  4. Yeah, but in which direction?


  5. Is bootstrapping anything like saddlebacking? I mean, it is the same orifice, right?

    Your could add something about Obama’s birth certificate to bring in the mouth breathing right wing asshats. Just what you want right?

    And your inclusion of Bocce may be costing you a hundred hits a day.


  6. Don’t underestimate the poor spelling of the masses. They could type “bocce” when meaning bukake for instance, or biatch, or maybe even Beyonce. There’s a few hundred inadvertent hits right there


  7. Yet another reason Bocce is superior to Petanque! Thanks, Philly!


  8. () –

    Apparently nothing in that title draws hits. The little WordPress stats widget says it got twelve yesterday. Hardly a stellar number.

    As for Bocce versus Petanque, I would simply point out that Bocce balls are plastic or wood, while Petanque has balls of steel.


  9. philly –

    Try not to encourage (((Billy)))’s delusions.


  10. Apparently nothing in that title draws hits.

    You’ll see… months from now, when other current posts are getting zero hits, this one will still be scoring.


  11. Steel rusts. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life oiling your balls?

    Philly: I need encouragement.


  12. () –

    I thought that’s why girls were invented…

    philly –

    Don’t listen to him. You’ll just be an enabler of his prejudice against Petanque.


  13. evo –

    I have two posts on Sears Repair Center that consistently average three or four hits a day.


  14. Try adding “Hemline Universty”. That scores me a dozen or so every damn day.


  15. Ric: Are you saying girls are greasy?

    Philly: Don’t listen to Ric. He’s just a peeved pussy.


  16. () –

    There’s nothing like an oily girl.

    philly –

    Don’t listen to (((Billy))). He’s just a ((())).


  17. I’ll be damned if, immediately following the end of the damn Arrow of Hermes plot-coupon crapola, Battlestar Galactica didn’t suddenly get dramatically more enjoyable for me. I’m really liking it now! The characters that didn’t change or exhibit any nuance through that whole endless first season and a half have started deepening and complexifying, and the drearily predictable yet unconvincing plotlines started becoming both more surprising and plausible.

    I also realized that there was a two-part miniseries *before* Season 1, which clears up some puzzlements I had. I’ve only watched part 1 of 2 so far, but it was good stuff too, far better than the dreck of Season 1. It even included a brief justification for the 1970s-style telephones that irked me. Not the guns or business garb, but without the general background of irritation I can overlook a few little implausibilities for the sake of good drama.

    It really is good drama, too, and I’m glad I didn’t give up on it after all. I feel confident I’ve got a lot of quality entertainment to look forward to.


  18. HAL-LE-LU-JAH !!


  19. And I thought your beef with the phones was that they looked exactly like a phone you had. Yeah, it’s kind of important to know why they use a lot of old analog equipment.

    But also, it isn’t Earth, so even if the technological evolution would have been similar, it wouldn’t have been identical. So, yeah, there are some things in their equipment that would be more advanced (or seem better honed to the lifestyle) and other things might seem outdated by our standards.

    I always advise people to start with the pilot before they get into Season 1. I think it would be terribly confusing for a while otherwise. How could you make any sense of the whole relationship between Caprica 6 and Guyus Baltar without seeing how it started?


  20. When I talk to my daughter, I understand the individual words, but the combinations used confuse the living hell out of me. I think I just reached that level.

    Ric: I’ll go with soft and smooth. Even wet. But oily?


  21. (((Billy)))

    Think baby oil.


  22. Yeah, one of the phones certainly looked to be the exact model I had, which is actually kind of funny. The exact correspondences with 20th century Earth (and a specific culture on Earth at that) is still a flaw, but it’s forgivable in the face of good writing. I’ve rarely seen a science fiction movie or series that didn’t have howling implausibilities of that nature in the sets; it’s very difficult to reinvent enough of the details of everyday life to convincingly portray a really alien culture, and probably not even worthwhile beyond a certain point. We’re telling and watching stories, after all.

    Which is what really bugged me about Seasons 1-2.5; I kept hearing how great the BSG writing was, and the writing was lame as hell. I didn’t mind the backstory I was missing; it’s not that hard to figure out Baltar’s situation, for example. The killers were bad dialog, static characterization, and bad plotlines, especially the plot coupons (collect the W of X and bring it to Y of Z) and some episodes that were outrageously implausible in the worldline’s own terms (e.g. Starbuck hacking the Cylon ship – come on, now!).


  23. Evo: Good stuff for keeping the diaper area from chapping, and keeping the babies skin from drying out. I fail to see just how. . . . Oh. Never mind. Point taken.


  24. () –

    Ask (((Wife))).


  25. On BSG, here’s an unresolved anomaly that’s always bothered me. In either the mini-series or the opening episode, I don’t know which, but it’s repeated in the titles each week, Caprica 6 and Gaius Baltar are shown in his house as it gets completely destroyed by a nuclear blast. The full force of the blast goes right into them. No way did he survive that. And yet there he was, unscarred, uninjured, weaseling his way on to Boomer’s Raptor during the post-holocaust evacuation.

    So is Baltar a Cylon? Or is he something else? Or am I the only person in the universe bothered by this?


  26. I don’t know if that actually happened or if it was one of his many dream sequences. Cylon or not, he wouldn’t have survived the blast. If Cylon, he would have awoken on a Base ship in a pool of goo.

    That also presents an interesting point (WARNING: SPOLIER ALERT)….

    Those who we now know are Cylons who didn’t know themselves originally, what if any one of them died that fateful day? That would have ruined the plans Cavil had for them. Incidentally, am I alone in seeing him as a Satan figure, especially in that exchange with Ellen?


  27. I feel pretty confident that happened in real time. Logically, if he did indeed die then, he would have been begooed and reinserted on Caprica, but the issue has never been addressed. I’ve always wondered if he were a Cylon, but he’s always been such an odd duck that I can’t pin him down. It’s definitely not fair that he gets all the chicks.

    Cavil as Satan? Hmmm. Might imply Baltar as god. Galactica as sacrificial altar? (Obviously someone slipped something into my coffee this morning.)

    Big question: Can I stay awake for the whole finale tonight?


  28. Ellen was god in that situation, but merely just one. I do enjoy seeing the effect of polytheism on the show, even in the mundane like “gods help me” utterances.

    So surely an old guy like you has a vcr, right? You can record it that way, assuming you don’t have a dvr.


  29. Yeah, I can tape it, which I usually do, but given that it’s the finale I’d like to see it in real time.

    How about the way the show gets away with euphos like ‘gods damn it’ and ‘frak’, the latter which would be bleeped outright were it ‘fuck’, which we know it means, and the former which always gets bleeped to ‘…dammit’ on other shows, turning ‘god’ into a curse word. (Or is it the ‘name in vain’ foolishness?)


  30. It was shot months ago. Even the post work has been finished for months, no doubt, and the entire process of creation was a long, orchestrated process. There is no “real time”.


  31. My time is real time. Or realtime. Me me me.To hell with the relativity thing. Einstein, spin, baby, spin. Expand your horizons, Philly. Focus.

    (Gotta be the coffee. Somebody slipped some kind of relativistic drug into it. Maybe it was that good-looking brunette in Staples. Maybe she wants to do something relativistic with me. Wonder if she’s a BSG fan?)

    Pay no attention, PC, pay no attention. I’m wandering between reservations.


  32. Ric, I don’t know that the blast was all that unsurvivable at Baltar’s location; the windows blew in, sure, but that’s about all you see before the scene changes so maybe that’s the extent of it. If so, with a good sturdy Cylon to protect you from being flayed by the flying glass you could make it.


  33. Finale was a turd.


  34. Wow. The man who said, “drearily predictable yet unconvincing plotlines started becoming both more surprising and plausible” is now DEFENDING Baltar surviving the nuking of Caprica!


  35. Well now we know how he survived, don’t we?


  36. Since I have met survivors* of actual atomic blasts before who have seen the flash and felt the tremor, it doesn’t seem that much of a stretch to me. It is possible to see the dragon and not be consumed.

    We Cold War kids need to watch our emotional responses to words like atomic and nuclear. The reason we were terrified of nuclear war against the USSR is because there were so very many missiles on MAD hairtriggers, not because the use of nukes automatically means no survivors.

    *Admittedly I can only use the plural if I count test bombs, but I have met a gentleman who survived the wartime atomic bombing of Nagasaki.


  37. bt –

    They were blasted at the very least by a wall of glass shards and came through unscarred and uninjured. And we learned later that skinjob Cylons were just as vulnerable as humans to injury and death. We couldn’t just blow off the plot questions raised by the vision of that blast. Be that as it may, the finale was not satisfying in any deep way. The final part on Earth was way too much of a cliche, and the Baltar/Caprica duo came off at the very end as something of a Q character from Star Trek: TNG.

    Too much into the supernatural to be satisfying, given the grittiness of most of the episodes.

    On the positive side, I did manage to stay awake for the whole thing and did enjoy it.


  38. Ric, what do you mean “they”? Baltar came through largely unscathed, but that physical copy of his girlfriend didn’t appear to be corporeally with him after that. He seemed particularly surprised even through his shell-shock to see her ghost at the ship that takes him off-planet.

    She tells him to “Get down” just before the windows blast in, which he does but she doesn’t. I took that to mean she deliberately bore the blast of glass shards (after all, just like Jesus she knows it’s only a temporary death). The frame of the window isn’t disintegrating, so it’s only the glass that has to be explained (and the radiation, assuming it’s an actual nuke and not a kinetic mass).

    It’s definitely implausible that he’d come off so lightly, but it’s not completely out to lunch. There are way more implausible things that happen; breeding humans and Cylons together comes to mind, for example.

    Maybe that’s explained later on; bear in mind I’m only approaching the end of Season 2. Sorry to hear the finale was disappointing, but at least I’m braced for it whenever I get there.


  39. bt –

    You’ve better eyes than I. Looked to me like it all went in the explosion, but we do only get a quick view.

    As for humans and Cylons breeding, you must have heard the old saying, once you’ve done Cylon, you’ll never do nylon. (I don’t know, I just made it up…)

    Don’t get me wrong on the finale. It was good, and it was consistent with what went before, but the last part of it seemed too much of a copout for my taste. I wanted darker. Sorry if I gave anything away earlier. I forgot you hadn’t seen everything yet. But you should know there are no parades at the end, no singing and dancing, and Obama does not do an interview. 🙂


  40. It’s definitely implausible that he’d come off so lightly, but it’s not completely out to lunch. There are way more implausible things that happen; breeding humans and Cylons together comes to mind, for example.

    Meanwhile (apparently) Cylons can NOT breed with Cylons?


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