Daily Archives: July 10, 2008

I Coin This Word in the Name of Humanity, Part II: Puckerguard

Just checked with Google to see if the word exists out there, and it doesn’t, so today’s new word:

Puckerguard.

Definition: Well, think about what part of your body puckers. Now think about what guards it. There you go.

Update: Some folks feel that the word works better in plural form (“puckerguards”). I think there’s room enough for both varieties, depending on context, don’t you?

First used: See previous column.

You’re welcome. Enjoy in good heath. Eat your fiber daily.

From the “People This Lacking in Self-Awareness Really Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Speak in Public Ever Again” Files

The following heart-stoppingly clueless comment, from this CNN article on Barack Obama:

With Clinton’s debt yet to be paid off, some of her supporters are balking at the idea of donating to Obama — especially if he does not choose her to be his running mate.

“I certainly know there are lots of people who are withholding their money,” said Lynn Forester de Rothschild, one of Clinton’s “Hill-raisers” who raised over $100,000 for the former first lady.

“This is a hard decision for me personally because frankly I don’t like him. I feel like he is an elitist.”

Folks, meet Lynn Forester de Rothschild, otherwise known as Lady de Rothschild:

Lady de Rothschild is Founder and Chief Executive of E L Rothschild LLC, a private company, since June 2002. From 1990 to 2002, Lady de Rothschild was President and Chief Executive Officer of FirstMark Holdings, Inc., which owned and managed various telecommunications companies. She was Executive Vice President for Development at Metromedia Telecommunications, Inc. from 1984 to 1989. She began her career in 1980 as an associate at the law firm of Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett LLP, where she practiced corporate law. Lady de Rothschild is a director of The Economist Newspaper Limited (member of the Audit Committee). She is also a member of the U.N. Advisory Committee on Inclusive Financial Services and a trustee of the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, the Outward Bound Trust (UK), and the Alfred Herrhausen Society for International Dialogue (Deutsche Bank). Lady de Rothschild is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Foreign Policy Association, and she served as a member of the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Committee and as the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board under President Clinton.

This article notes that Lady de Rothschild was worth $100 million in 1998… which was before she married Sir Evelyn Rothschild, of the British branch of the Rothschild financial dynasty, which is worth, well, lots.

So, on one hand, I suppose Lady de Rothschild might know what an elitist looks like. On the other hand, her saying she doesn’t like Obama because she thinks he is elitist is so full of rich and creamy clueless irony that I feel like every person in the country who makes less than a quarter million dollars a year ought to drop trou, face away from Lady de Rothschild, and tell her to kiss our base and common puckerguards. Anyone who lives on a 3,200 acre estate that features an entrance hall “notable for its large paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, George Romney, and Joshua Reynolds” loses the ability to criticize anyone else in the entire goddamn universe for being “elitist,” particularly a dude who while growing up got to experience the joys of a food stamp dinner.

Yes, Barack Obama is part of the elite, and may even be an elitist. Fine. But, you know what, there’s “graduate from good schools and work hard in public service” elite, and then there’s “make millions in corporate America and marry into the family that owned the mortgage on Europe” elite. Those are two entirely different sorts of elite. Guess which one doesn’t get to call the other “elitist” like it’s a smear.

Maybe They’re on a Book Deadline, Too

Iran appears to have Photoshopped a picture of missiles launching. Oops.

I have nothing useful to say about this. It’s just that I Photoshop as a procrastinatory thing, so it makes me wonder if they do too. “Damn it it, I was supposed to have enriched this uranium six days ago! Oh, well. Hey, this rocket photo would really look better with one more rocket.” Click click clickity click.

Vin Diesel and Downloadable Books

Another Thursday, another AMC science fiction movie column. In this one, I explain why The Chronicles of Riddick is a perfect example of how not to make a science fiction sequel. Yes, folks, the nerdgassery in this one will be mighty – but in the end you will have learned something for free that Universal Pictures paid $105 million (plus marketing costs) to find out. So that’s value. For you at least.

And while I’m sending you off to other places to read other things, I’m quoted in an article at Bloggasm, about whether offering Tor offering free e-book downloads (Old Man’s War included) helped sales of the books. I can’t speak for others, and (as I say in the article) I don’t think you can account for every variable, but I do know this: In the 20 weeks since we offered OMW as an e-book, weekly sales of the mass markert paperback have been lower than the week before we offered the book only three times, and then by only a relatively trivial amount. It certainly hasn’t hurt my sales, is what I am saying.

In both the Riddick and e-books articles, if you’ve got some comment you’re dying to offer, offer ‘em there — these other sites need comment love, too.

The Unbearable Ridiculousness of Bacon

It’s now official: Two of the top five days that Whatever has had in its entire near-decade run, unique visitorship-wise, have been because of entries concerning bacon. Seriously, here’s the top attendance figures, and the entries that motivated them:

1. Creation Museum Visit (72k)

2. Bacon Cat (66k)

3. Bacon Patient Zero (56k)

4. Wikipedia Refuses to Admit Fred Saberhagen is Dead (55k)

5. Fox News v. Obama’s Blackness (54k)

No matter how much you like bacon, that’s kind of weird, you know? People online really are fascinated by breakfast meat. What can you do.

Small stat geek note: In almost all cases, the day a truly big entry here at Whatever is at its most popular is not the day it’s published, but one (or even two) days later, after it’s leaked out beyond the usual crowd. In the case of Bacon Patient Zero, its biggest draw day was two days after I wrote it, thanks to a Fark link (although the day before that it was a pretty big draw too, thanks to Instapundit). So even on “Internet Time,” it takes a couple of days to be an overnight success.