Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pop Quiz: Who's Your Daddy?

Leo Dicaprio was hurt today. Unlike in previous years when he was snubbed for "much deserved" Oscar notice, this incident appears to be physical in nature. Or so they are saying. While the official version from his publicist is that he was injured while running, anonymous reports are surfacing that he has begun having Red Carpet flashbacks and, during these siezures, lashing out at any critic who failed to mention him as a darkhorse for "The Island". Roger Ebert is rumored to have immediately hired a phalanx of bodyguards in the event that Dicaprio's new movie does anything more than make young girls moist. No word yet on whether Dicaprio's new movie "Blood Diamond" is about illegal gem dealing in Africa or an autobiography on his attempts to rectally turn a lump of coal into a diamond.

Kirk Cameron, that former hottie teen movie and tv star, has astounding proof that Darwinism is a crock of gorilla poo poo. Using a banana, no less, to prove his point about its perfect shape for entering the mouth, he debunks every scientist ever born. You gotta watch it. It'll change your life. I know it changed mine. But make sure to fast forward the clip to about the 3:30 mark. Otherwise, you'll be sending someone money as fast as you can write the check. (hat tip to Crooks and Liars for this one).
P.S. I am waiting with bated breath for his next installment using a very friendly python and a traffic cone to prove just exactly how Eve brought about the downfall of the Garden of Eden.

My Name Is Rachel Corrie is being read publicly at an undisclosed location in Canada. This is the play that was censored in New York as being insensitive to Jews in a time of turmoil. it's a simple premise. Young woman goes to Palestine, tries to stand in the way of an Israeli bulldozer intent on destroying a palestinian family's home and is crushed to death by the 'dozer driver. The fact that this reading has to be kept a secret says a lot. Does it matter that the driver claims he couldn't see her? Does it matter that she was wearing a bright safety vest and there were dozens of other protesters present? Does it matter that the Israeli police tried to censor all news interviews with the driver? Or does it just matter that protection of one side outweighs protection of another? Or does it simply not matter at all? By most accounts the play as written is not so interesting. It relies mainly on diaries and notes written by this young lady who, were she not so damn photogenic, might not have even made historical footnote status. But the fact that this reading is being kept so secret and attendance is invite only says something about the extreme polarity which continues to exist between those who support Israel no matter the cost or level of justification and those who support the Palestinians with the same caveats.

So, someone remind me again why our Glorious Leader isn't threatening to invade and fix Nepal? Pro-Democracy protesters, a monarchy, violent crackdowns on demonstrations and marches...oh wait a minute. Isn't Nepal like 40 miles away from China? And its sovereignty is like disputed by China? And that Chinese guy Hu (who?) is actually here in the good ol' US of A on a goodwill tour? And we're like really scared of China's burgeoning influence globally? And the fact that it seems to own more of our country than we do? And it can single-handedly change the global currency from the dollar to the euro? In fact, aren't we so scared that we had a Chinese journalist jailed for speaking out at a Rose Garden press conference just the other day at the same time that Bush was promoting free speech in China? And we had a CNN reporter removed from a photo-op for asking one question?

Coca-Cola is being targeted in India for "hoarding water". More specifically, it is being accused of depleting needed water supplies as it churns out its tasty beverage. Communities living near its bottling factories are increasingly uncomfortable with the fact that water supply levels have been dropping drastically since Coke's factories moved into their neighborhoods. And the drought season is about to hit. Now, we all know that sodas do not slake thirst. After all, their main ingredient is sugar. And sugar dehydrates. As does caffeine. So, Coke's new mantra "Let Them Drink Coke And Shut The Fuck Up" seems to be less than ingenuous. What I do love about this company is that long after cocaine's classification as a Level 1 controlled substance, the company still touts it as part of its masthead. Ah, good times. Like Robitussin when it contained morphine. And actually worked to relieve symptoms of pain. Bring back Laudanum, I say. One question, though. Is Pepsi so much more oriented to the needs of the world than Coke? I hear nothing about Pepsi-Co's involvement in anything nefarious. Is it really just Coke or is Coke simply the most obvious jugular?

Gerald Ford's still alive?!? What the fu--? And he's defending Rumsfeld? And he claims we're "at a time of war"? Cool. The Stumbler's back. Ford did more for pratfalls and Vaudeville comedy than any other president in history. Jack Tripper would never have been given the mighty laughter he got were it not for Ford. Neither would Andy Dick's character in NewsRadio. A president prone to slips, slops, mishaps, missteps and imaginary escalators is a president to be cherished.
Seriously, what the fu--?!? Some people just need to know when to "go gently into that good night". All Ford will do by piping up is bolster the legitimate claims that the Rethuglican party is trotting out every fossil it can find in order to maintain some semblance of smokescreen behind which it can hide while it attempts to reassemble its strike team before the November elections. Starting with Karl Rove gatting back to what he does best: dirty smear campaigns. Looking forward to it, myself.

You, too, can sign a petition to stop the government from okaying research into deploying "killer fungi" as a weapon. Or not.

Katherine Harris, who I happen to have a trading card of, seems to not have the best filtering process when it comes to who she sleeps with. Not that my history shows the best judgement, either. Man, I remember the time I was whacked out on Coke (the other one) and had sex with some barfly in the cab of my truck in between games of pool. It was a tournament, $5 entry and the winner walked away with $200. 5 rounds and I was out in the fourth. My backscratch and spin were were on fire that night, but so was the powder. She was, um, not Sandra Bullock. She was not even Lynn Cheney. And defumigatedly not Ann Coulter. She was, however, drunk and loose. And 20 years older. So, anyway, here we have Katherine Harris accepting insider trader head for something she may or may have not done. I ask you, what's the difference? These K Street traders pay for anything you could ever ask for. Do you think for one moment that the politician is going to take it all and then say no? I call Bovine Bowel Movement on that.

60 Minutes tomorrow night. Check it out. Another former CIA high ranker has his say. And this time it gets nasty.
"They were given the intel that no weapons of mass destruction existed. And they said, we don't care anymore. It's about regime change".
'Nuff for now. I'm on Skype until I fall over. It's 1:34 PM.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spankin' 101. Sweet. Smack.

Cool. The Minutemen have come up with a "do-it-yourself" defense perimeter. Unfortunately, they want to place the fences in a somewhat straight line instead of a circle or square. Because it's my opinion that the most dangerous people out there along the Rio border are the ones who think Mexicans should be stopped from coming over. Perhaps, they should study the Davidian blueprints instead. You know: enclose, encapsulate, incinerate. Xenophobia is such a nasty and diabolical disease that all who suffer from it should be quarantined for at least, oh, the rest of their lives. Not that I suffer from xenophobic xenophobia or anything, but--eww!--them people are kinda icky and I bet they smell funny and talk with an accent and wear weird headgear and worship a vengeful God and I don't think I would want my daughter to date one.

By "disciplined" do they mean "spanked"? Couldn't this qualify as faculty-sponsored, pre-doctoral group study session sports-related activity? Probably not, huh? Oh well. So much for enlightened edumacation. This is exactly why I did my studying at the Bucket (RIP) and nowhere near a supposedly sanctioned spot like the library or classroom. Demagogic repression of free expression with no session for sane suggestion.

Ha. Whoo hoo. Effin' A. Woof. Who's your daddy? Ooh, smack. Rove is being "redesignated" for assignment. In baseball, that means "thanks for all your hard work. Enjoy Triple A. Carry your own bags, bitch". So, Rove is now going to condescendtrate on helping Repubelicans keep their seats or maybe even win one they don't already own. Is it that bad in the Oval Office that Bush has to jettison the guy who got him where he is today? Is it that bad for the party that Rove has to go on the campaign trail for a bunch of sycophants who would actually rather not have to need him? Sort of like Cheney doing the dance for his party and no one seems that thrilled about it. Dick just came to Washington and almost no protestors showed up, because it was like, you know, yawn. Of course, Dick has a ways to go yet before he is indicted by Fitzgerald for crimes against the State. One rung at a time. One sanctioned torture at a time. Do you think Cheney's just not a baby toucher? As a matter of fact, when's the last time you ever saw a politician hold a baby like the old stereotype demands they should do?

Wasn't there a muppet or something named Grover? Did he have friends who did something like this:
Of course, Norquist took his own cut—“I need to give Grover something for helping, so the first transfer will be a bit lighter,” Abramoff wrote in an email to Reed. Displaying a characteristic shamelessness, Norquist recently filed a trademark application on the phrase “K Street Project.” Just curious. I mean, an email like that that doesn't make the mainstream news for us to digest with our bagel and special K Street Koffee must not be that important to anyone but a muppethead. Again, just curious.

Well, I'll sign off for now. It's Half Nekkid Thursday after all. And naughty pictures must be perused. You can go to Lecram's site to find out what HNT is all about. As for me, I've got Skype turned on and the third season of NewsRadio waiting for me. What a phenomenol (hey, that sounds like a great name for a date drug) cast. Plus, the hydrocodone is kicking in finally. After 5 beers. Jaw joint pain. Minor loss of hearing. Ringing in the ear. Either bad allergies, hypertension, TMJ or the Big C. As in Curmudgeon. Doesn't get better, I'm going in for Amoxycillin and good pain killers ("oh, doc. It hurts to chew. And it hurts to swallow. And it hurts to work. I mean, walk. What's that? Oh yeah, and it hurts to hear. And my bursitis, ohmigodthefreakinpain").
Ciao, you dirty little commies.

T Minus 27

So sorry, folks. Had to reinstall the word verification for a while. There's a certain spammer out there in the woodpile. No, not you Zonthar.
Well, it looks as if the tension at work is not going to lessen anytime soon. At yesterday's staff meeting the boss repeated something I had said to him about two or three weeks ago in a closed-door meeting and then promptly named me as the source. What I had told him when asked what I thought about the wrokplace was that I felt that the entire atmosphere around the office was very angry and hostile (not to me personally, but in general). When he asked what I thought might be the cause of it I told him that I thought he had a lot to do with it, because of his tendency to fly off the handle and chew people out before getting the facts straight. So, he dutifully trotted it out yesterday (of course, leaving out the part where I mentioned his involvement) and outed me. It was almost funny, because he rattled this off, but conveniently couldn't remember how I had phrased it and actually paused without looking at me and waited for me to fill it in. After 10 seconds of silence I spoke up and refreshed his memory. At that point, though, I made sure everyone in the room heard that I feel it goes from the top to the bottom. Starts with the boss. This morning I was already hearing the little barbs from my co-workers ("so, ratting us out to the boss"). Personally, I think the boss did it partly to see if he could drive a wedge between me and the rest of the staff. Didn't seem to work, though. I think they all knew exactly what was up when the boss spoke out of turn like that. He's never done something like that to anyone at a staff meeting for as long as I've been here. His top project manager actually came in early today (I was at work at 5:30 this morning) to ask me about it and suggest that I confer with corporate folks when I transfer back about the boss's leadership problems. Turns out he has already been publicly reprimanded once for creating a hostile work environment. My lab tech has actually filed a harassment complaint against him in the past for inappropriate comments.
But I'm keeping my head down, doing my thing, counting down the days left, doing my relaxation thing, fending off stress as best I can. How's by you?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

SportsNight (at your own risk of whatthehell)

So, let's move on to something that I rarely comment on here, but dearly love: sports. I admit here and now that I am a sports junkie. PGA, LPGA, baseball, NCAA basketball tournament, NBA playoffs, NHL Stanley Cup, NFL...nah never mind, Soccer (played it for 15 years) any-fucking-thing (World Cup in less than three months and counting), major tennis tournies...I love it. I can watch it, I can listen to it while I'm reading a book or gardening or tanning in the back yard or driving long distance. Love. It. However...and here we come to my sport of passion...

I've been watching the Barry Bonds saga for as long as anyone and I have to admit I'm stumped. He has passed every piss test given him. Every one. Not a drop, dribble, wiggle or waggle has failed the "if it's steroids it turns pink" test. Doesn't mean he hasn't done them. Doesn't mean he wasn't jacked up on them for a while. Lord, we all know Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Albert Pujols, Rafael Palmeiro, Brady Anderson and others were drinking the fucking shit by the gallon. One got caught and no one else. So, why the big witch hunt when it comes to Bonds? I won't go the way of the race card. That's cheap and too easy (justifiable or not).
No. I'm going the way of the "you don't represent baseball in its best light" card. Bonds has never had a good relationship with the press. Aloof, sullen, picky, moody, quick to perceive slights, sort of an either/or asshole. Not an easy guy to interview. And when the MLBS needs its superheroes to step up and put their best foot forward in order to distract the media and public from the needle hitting going on, Bonds flipped the no-no finger at all of them. No-no to talks about steroids. No-no to talks about grand jury testimony. No-no to any of it. And baseball can't handle that. He is supposed to be the role model. He is supposed to break hank aaron's homerun record (and, now, they're afraid of that). He is a superstar's superstar. Major leaguers look to him as an untouchable once-in-a-generation player. But he won't play with humility. He won't speak with humility. He won't vaguely speak to past digressions and ask for forgiveness. He has told the world we can fuck off and feel better for it. It's kind of like me and my boss. I want to have a smooth ride out of here? Then shut the fuck and play ball. Or get ready for the Hammer. And Bonds is getting the Hammer. I don't know if he did anything bad. But I do know that we pay these athletes obscene amounts of money for entertainment. And they feel they deserve it based on the even more obscene amounts of money that the owners make (while they claim corporate welfare when looking to build a new stadium on the taxpayer's dime). I think that if the athletes were paid a decent wage for playing a game and the tickets to see them do so were around $5 and the hot dogs cost fucking 50 cents we wouldn't be in this predicament of players feeling the need to do whatever they have to do in order to get even the slightest edge on the competition. What it boils down to for me is the owners and their greed, the investors and their greed, and the so-called fans and OUR greed. We are the ones who force this kind of mental dementia to happen. So long as we will pay whatever it takes to see a game, so long as we pay $10 for a hot dog, so long as we buy the hats and jerseys, so long as we let the teams dictate our cities' identities based on whether they're there or not, so long as we believe that tourist money is the ultimate profit, so long as we buy into the myth that sports IS culture, so long as we buy whatever they ask us to, we are doomed to witnessing pro and college athletes do whatever it takes to get a leg up on the competition. And we will have to accept equal blame for it.
Boo Bonds all we want. Boo all of them. Most players try to make it on natural talent, but they practice omerta when it comes to those who juice it up. So, boo that as well. But remember to boo the owners, investors, sports columnists, politicians who throw that first ball, your neighbor who puts that "raider nation" sticker on his car (actually, throw eggs at that guy), and yourself every time you turn on the tv and watch a sporting event. We buy into it. We enable it. So, if you want to think of yourself as nobler and better, then turn off the fucking television. Because it's all entertainment. It's Seinfeld with extra pratfalls. It's Friends with all the sugary, smarmy, gosh-aren't-they-cute bullshit. It's Desperate housewives without the friggin' wives. And it Jeapordy with every question something we can almost answer.
Stop fucking complaining if you're going to turn on the tv next Saturday to see who's playing. It is okay to decry drug use. It is okay to decry cheating. But it's not okay to subsidize a multi-billion dollar industry and still sit on your highhorse.

I for one don't care. I want to see homeruns. But, then again, I know that steroids don't add that much power. And they don't accelerate hand/eye coordination or the ability to read a pitcher. There's an anecdote about Barry Bonds. A catcher (can't remember who now...not Santiago) was signed to the Giants and went through his physical. When he got to the vision part, the doc had him read off the chart lines on the wall. The catcher got to a point and said "shit, I can't read that. Nobody could read that'. The doc looked at him and said "one guy can'. The catcher asked who and doc replied "Barry Bonds". True story. And that's the main reason Bonds can hit anyone's pitch. Not because of steroids, but because he learned how to read. And react. And, of course, late in his career learn how to hit a lot of homeruns, have an amazing batting average, break all records for walks, have hit:homerun, homerun:at bats, and walk:at bats, rbi ratios that defy physics and almost all break records as well.

By the way, I want to see well turned double plays. I want to see the perfect strike. I want to see the double steal. I want to see the pick off and the balk and ejections. The throw out at home and the barreling in of the runner on the catcher. I want to see the double no hitter, which is anathema to tv sports. I want to see a runner picked off first base, base running blunders, a man completely slip rounding second on a sure triple, a shoestring catch in the outfield, the perfect cutoff and relay to nail the runner at home, a foul ball taken back from the crowd, manufactured runs, relief pitchers trying to staunch the bleeding...

...And now Bonds's body has finally begun to shut down. Why? Because of the use of steroids over the last years? Because whithout it he would have had to retire long before now? Because too many surgeries seem to have an adverse affect on professional athletes? Who knows? But I'll tell you this: without Bonds over the past 5 years, this game would have been barren. Except for novelties, it still is.
However, even after steroids were banned--what two years ago?--a number of payers are still using them.At first, the penalties weren't that harsh. Now, however, the MLBA is beginning to make a point. 100 game suspension for a minor leaguer. Likely, perhaps, we will not see major leaguers suffering this large a penalty. One or two maybe. As a warning. Sort of like the NBA's penalty on Ron Artest for going into the stand and starting a brawl. Not that Ron doesn't need serious social skills/anger management therapy, but the fans don't need to sign out restraining orders so long as they don't plan on throwing something at him.
Shit. Here comes the cat. I gotta go. Either I pet her now or I get no lovin' an hour before my alarm clock goes off. i know the logical answer is ignore her, but it doesn't work. Nothing does. When Her highness asks me to stroke her belly I don't stop to inquire about the Prince.

New Contest For The Neighbor Girl

So, here's the deal: my high school neighbor is trying to come up with an idea for a children's book. Her story is Cinderella, but she must place it in a different culture. No requirement as to what kind. Except Nigerian. Race is not a factor, but it will be a 16 page children's book. Any ideas for a general theme or placement or type of community or...well, you get the drift.

After one full day of absolutely no battle with the rental caved without a whimper. "You're right. Your lease does end at the end of May". Didn't even have to bring out the big guns. Now, I just have to get the air conditioner back in place and arrange for a professional carpet cleaner to do the duty of shampooing my oh so dirty carpets. i have diiiirty carpets. Of course, I could just let the rental agency take care of it. I'd probably be hiring the same guys they do anyway. Plus, I need to mow the yard and do a bit of weeding. Other than that, I need to figure out a way to get the house keys back to the agency on the day i move out (I'll be driving a 16 foot truck with my car as its butt plug). And how to get two heavy futon couches into the truck the day before I move. The couches I can take care of with a beer bribe. The keys...well, that'll be tricky, because I don't want to start for home headed the wrong way on the highway. Can't leave them in the mailbox. They must be presented at the agency's office.

As for the J-O-B, well let's just say I know what it feels like to be a lame duck. Nothing happening in my lab is going through me. Everyone who is involved in its expansion is ignoring me and talking around me. Today, my boss stopped me at 4:59 in order to "fill me in" on what "they" are going to do. When we got to the sieve shaker, he said "I think we're going to move it over there, but I know you don't give a shit". I didn't reply. Should have. Should have said "How the hell do you know what I give or don't give since you haven't included me in one fucking decision over the past two weeks?". Instead, I said nothing. Just put it away in my mind's storage locker for future reference. As soon as he said that, I walked him over to a newly installed counter and told him that I wanted to move the specific gravity tank over to it and cut a new hole in the top for the cage to hang from thereby protecting the tank's water from dust when it wasn't in use. So, maybe in a sense I did tell him what I thought. I just did it in a positive manner. What a dick this guy is. No one should ever presume to know what I'm thinking, especially not him.

May have just made a deal with the high school neighbor to have her boyfriend come over and mow the lawn (it's rather intricate) tomorrow. Not holding my breath, but if I get home and it's all done he will have earned $75.
What's that you say? Where's the politics? I dunno. Did it run away or something while I wasn't looking? You mean Peace On Earth didn't descend while I was napping? Okay, I'll go look....

...Well, I was about to call it quits and tell you nothing happened today, but then I found this gem. Conservative commentators calling the Pulitzer winners for news reporting treasonous. Nice. Good to know that journalistic integrity runs through the veins of all of the pundits and talking heads. Good to know that not one of them is in the pay of the current Badministration or believes that the Fourth Estate should bow to Bush Omerta. I'm sure we'll hear more in the near future from the right wing attack dogs about this. I mean, really. Why should someone be rewarded for outing the illegal surveillance program or the rendition flights and secret torture prisons? That's just terrorist-lover talk. That's the kind of irresponsible reporting that will have double-humped camels stalking our streets within months. Have they no shame? Have they no patriotism? Don't they know they can get paid much better for just accepting Scott McClallan's morning news copy and publishing it as is? The Wall Street Journal knows this. So does the Washington Post most of the time. Why do the wannabes...oops, two of these winners ARE from the Washington Post. Should we expect to see their resignations on the boss's desk tomorrow morning? Perhaps this will wake up the editors at that, ahem, fine rag and make them want to do more stories like that one.
update: even though the temps at night this week have been in the mid to upper 30's, the mosquitoes have arrived. biguns, too. and i haven't seen my cat in a while. you don't think...nah, them skeeters ain't THAT big. is they?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Short Post For Now Cuz I Gotta Turn It Up And Dance!

Here's bittersweet news. Usually, it's easy to vilify those who think they are above the law and use their power and influence to fleece the public in order to line their pockets. Former Gov. Ryan doesn't quite fit the stereotype. Did he cheat the public? Did he fail his constituents? Did forget the oaths he took? Yes, yes and yes. Is he as easy to define as Tom DeLay or Scooter Libby or Katherine Harris or any of a large number of Republican politicians who have fallen into legal disarray because of their cheating ways? Not so much. Ryan won some admiration from me when he abolished the death penalty in Illinois, because he was troubled by the number of inmates being freed by new DNA tests and declared that he could not allow another execution to happen if the state could not say without a doubt that the inmate was guilty. He took a moral and lrgal stance that was and is at odds with his political party. He suffered recriminations, slings and arrows from that core group who voted him in. And he stood fast. I applauded that. I still do. Unfortunately, his sense of personal ethics stopped at the door of greed. Like muddy boots, he cast his humanity aside to enter into the den of iniquity and smoke from the communal pipe of greed. We can only hope that someone placed coins on his palm to pay the ferryman to take him to the other side. For he is now without clothes or coin. Oh, wait a minute. There are those millions of dollars that the Republican party put up for his defense. Wonder if there's some left over. He could ride the Styx in style.

So, today I took the first step toward severing my lease. Insofar as I understand it I am on solid ground legally and would win in Small Claims Court. Do I want to come back in order to attend SCC? No. So, I am trying to win this one in a "friendly". The agent actually admitted on the phone today that sometimes typos happen on contracts. She asked me to email my concerns to her and she would contact her broker. On this I'm confused. A rental agent for a house she doesn't own has a broker to cover the legalities of a lease? This agent signed the lease and signed the owners of the house on it by proxy. Oh well. She did restate that the lease began on January 1 as has always been the case in her career. Funny. All of the local rental agencies I called had never heard of not starting a lease on the day of move-in. Anyhoo:
"Thanks for calling back today. I'll try to be succinct with my concerns regarding my lease for 1735 N. Cambrian Avenue, Bremerton, Washington 98312. First, you've stated twice now in recent weeks that the lease did not begin until January 1, 2006. However, the lease clearly reads as starting on December 1, 2005. It, also, reads that it is an approximate lease and ends June 30, 2006. I understand that I initialed this. But my concern is about how to actually regard this. In all of our phone conversations leading up to my committing to the lease there was never an inference to "approximate" or that it was in actuality a seven month lease. I've spoken with several rental agencies locally and none of them have ever heard of a lease not starting on the day of move-in. I do notice that in the lease the first month is pro-rated, but it is done so at the full monthly value. So, that cannot be considered a partial month's rent.
Second, the lease states that the entire amount due for the term of the lease is $4,950. Dividing that by $825 (which is my monthly rent) equals 6. So, when I come in to pay my rent for May I will have met my financial obligation for the term of the lease. In effect, this would make June a free month's living at this address for me.
I will be moving out on May 17th, 2006. This gives you ample time to put the house back on the market and try to rent it again by June 1, 2006. You will have a good portion of May in which to show it unoccupied.
I, also, ask that you not withhold the refunding of my security deposit ($1,050) through June so long as I leave it as I found it minus normal wear and tear. While a few certain issues were not addressed during my tenure here (i.e. annual servicing of the gas fireplace, circuit breaker, broken doorbell) I am confident we will have no disagreement concerning the condition I will leave it in.
Finally, I look forward to meeting with you and discussing these issues. I believe that we can find common ground concerning these legal issues and reach a conclusion beneficial to both of us. Please call me to make such an appointment at your earliest convenience. As well, you may consider this my notice of intent to vacate by midnight on May 17th, 2006. I will hand-deliver written notification of this as well."
So, whaddya think? Well done? Or self-immolation?