Archive for September, 2006

Accident Waiting to Happen

I probably watch a lot less TV than the average American 21 year old male, but I have noticed a startling trend about Volkswagen automobiles lately, and I’m glad that someone has had the piece of mind to bring this to the attention of the consumer: VW cars get in a hell of a lot of accidents.

The above commercial is one of many that shows average people, just like you and I, in normal conversation while driving a car that happens to be a VW.


The car is smashed into by another vehicle at high speed. Notice, you don’t see this happening on other car commercials.

Fords, Toyotas, Hondas, Chevrolets, Jeeps, even Hyundais drive around on sweet terrain, sometimes up a mountain or by a lake with some waterfowl flying by a sunset or something beautiful like that.

Not Volkswagen. Apparently you just drive that on normal, every day roads, and vehicles swerve uncontrollably into them. I’ve never been so happy that I drive a 1991 Honda Civic.

(Special thanks to Josh and Mike for the witty banter that inspired this post.)

Listen: From Autumn to Ashes, “Inapprope”

Quote: “I have talked to a lotta people switching to wipes, apparently it’s pretty nice.” – Tyler


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     As people who are enrolled in University of Maryland: College Park know, crime seems to becoming a more and more ridiculous problem. For those of you who do not attend this fine establishment of higher learning, this is probably all new news. It was today’s edition of our school newspaper, The Diamondback, that inspired me to finally lay a bit of truth out on the internet. This article is a small taste of the disturbing events that have been happening a block off campus in the heart of our rather pitiful bar scene. For those of you too lazy to click on that link and read the article, it basically says that three men were arrested after firing a .357 Magnum bullet through the front window of South Street Steaks (who by the way make a very acceptable Philly Cheesesteak) while the establishment was open for business. What a crappy night to be working the night-shift. The weekend before, many people heard gunshots ringing out in the same vicinity. Both gunshot events were attributed to people who were kicked out of the Cornerstone Grill and Loft. My sophomore year, three of my friends and I were jumped by six or seven guys not attending the University right outside of the same establishment. Since they didn’t really steal anything from us, I assume they were just looking for someone to beat the shit out of. The police, of course, did nothing. They left without even taking our names down even though we asked them if they wanted it in order to contact us later. (On a side note, thank you to the young woman who yelled she was calling 911 during the beating only to have her cell phone and purse stolen. That took balls.)


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Fantasy Football

It has recently come to my attention that ‘Fantasy Football’ is a creation of the NFL marketing department. In a bold move to increase watchership, the NFL commissioned a team of approximately 4,000 former U.S. Presidents, retired Army personnel, and out of work cabbies to create this league and then pass it off to the public as an organically created orgy of jockery. Instead of watching just one team’s game, players of ‘Fantasy Football’ are all but required to follow every player on every team to see how their league is doing. Through my network of reliable resources, I have discovered that the NFL has increased their viewership and merchandising by 6,248.33333333% as of last season. Well done. Rumors have it that Ben Roethlisberger was about to blow this conspiracy out of the water, when the NFL silenced him with a staged motorcycle crash that erased his memory. Very convenient.


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Political Parties to Watch

Election races for seats in the Houses of Congress are starting to gear up, so Ranty McRanterson decided to highlight some parties to watch in the coming elections and perhaps even in the 2008 Presidential election. You may want to jump on the bandwagon now with some of these groups, our political analysts see these being competitive with the major parties in the United States within the next few years.

The Light Party (link)

The Light Party is is a generally liberal party and seems strongly centered around of party founder “Da Vid, M.D., Wholistic Physician, Human Ecologist & Artist” (he was also a write-in candidate for President in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 — and seems to be the only visible leader of the party). This San Francisco-based party’s platform promotes holistic medicine, national health insurance, organic foods, solar energy, nuclear disarmament and a flat tax. Da Vid claims the party has “millions” of supporters — but he counts everyone who supports any position advocated by the party. In terms of votes, the party has nothing to show for all of Da Vid’s White House runs. The party does not seriously seek to elect candidates but advance an agenda. Not that it has anything to do with politics, but the party does sell a nice CD of relaxing New Age music.

The Workers World Party (link)(not to be confused with the popular PC game, Worms: World Party) (link)

The WWP was formed in 1959 by a pro-Chinese communist faction that split from the Socialist Workers Party. Although the WWP theoretically supports worker revolutions, the WWP supported the Soviet actions that crushed worker uprisings in Hungary in the 1950s, Czechoslovakia in the 1960s and Poland in the early 1980s. The militant WWP believes that “capitalist democracy produces nothing but hot air” and that “the power of the workers and the oppressed is in the streets, not in Washington.” FBI Director Louis Freeh attacked the WWP in his May 2001 remarks before a US Senate committee: “Anarchists and extremist socialist groups — many of which, such as the Workers World Party — have an international presence and, at times, also represent a potential threat in the United States” of rioting and street violence. The well-designed site features regularly updated news stories from a pro-Cuba/pro-China communist perspective, so expect lots of dogmatic stories denouncing the US government, sexism, racism, the police and capitalists.

The Pansexual Peace Party (link)

The PPP is a generally left-wing party that has yet to field any candidates — they don’t take themselves too seriously — and, oh yeah, and the PPP is founded on Wiccan (i.e., witchcraft) roots. Check out the PPP platform plank on sexual issues, which carries the title: “Sex is Good! Sex is Great! Yea, Sex!” The PPP site also contains a short but harsh anti-libertarian essay. To date, the PPP’s political activities seem confined to printing some PPP t-shirts and bumper stickers. Jimi Freidenker is the founder and “Chairentity” of the PPP.

The Pot Party (link)

The Pot Party is exactly what you’d expect — a bunch of marijuana legalization advocates (“mandate pot growing”) ranging in age — seemingly — from late teens to middle aged. In fact, their current tag line seems to be: “A movement to pretty much legalize marijuana.” One profile of a Pot Party leader boasts that he won High Times magazine’s “Bong-of-the-Month” Award. Unlike the denials of a certain recent national politician, these people quite obviously, proudly and regularly inhale. They also seem to be actively involved in an online fantasy government entitled the USA Parliament (official description: “A coalition of US voters based on votes cast, where 1/100th of the votes cast elects one of the one hundred members of parliament”). The party currently has state chapters formed in California, Illinois and Virginia.

Party descriptions for the above were taken from the Politics1 Guide to American Political Parties.

The Ranty McRanterson Party (link)

This party was founded in July 2006 by Clint and Matt primarily to attract women and fight crime in small towns. The party has ties with McGruff, a representative for the National Crime Prevention Council, The Enduring Vision, and also support lowering the drinking age to 18 for registered voters. They also enjoy long walks on the beach and dinner by candlelight.

Listen: Rage Against the Machine, “Mic Check”

Quote: “So I said to the guy, ‘Look, I’ve been doing drugs since 7th grade. I think I know what it’s like to trip.” – a part of a conversation I overheard from some random goth kid walking by me on the way to class this morning

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We’re starting a new series here at Ranty McRanterson, entitled Video Games Based on Classic Novels. The first installment of this series is about the Xbox Live Arcade game, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. It is a little known fact that this game is actually a futuristic portrayal of John Steinbeck’s classic, The Grapes of Wrath.

You begin the game as Tom Joad, and your goal is to destroy as many migrant farm workers ( your competition as you make your way across the country to California) as you can with a machine gun. These migrant farm workers, and in the later levels, government officials, are represented by geometric shapes, such as the blue diamond farm workers in the screenshot below. The more migrant workers and government representatives you kill, the more points you accumulate.

Eventually, your machine gun gets upgraded to a wider blaster ray gun, in order to increase the carnage, which is representative of Tom Joad’s character development throughout the Grapes of Wrath.

Your multiplier goes up as the spirit builds within your futuristic little Tom Joad, as you fight injustice you can almost hear your character speaking the famous soliloquoy, “Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’—I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry n’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.”

As you near a million points and countless government officials beaten down, the pride and resolve of Tom Joad is visible in his ability warp the space-time grid in the background as well as his ability to navigate through the chaotic maze of geometric shapes that now inhabit the United States.

The high definition graphics and realism of the game make you feel like you’re reading the book. You really begin to feel inspired by Tom Joad’s tenacity. This is one of the best book to video game transitions I have ever seen.

Listen: Bloc Party, “Like Eating Glass”

Quote: “What’s it called, Anal Blazer? Because that’s what you like to play over and over don’t you? You know how you play it? I’ll tell you. Level 1 is at a truck stop filled with loooonely truckers, level 2 is at a public restroom along the highway.” – Master Shake

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I was listening to the radio this morning at work and I heard a story about a woman whose wallet was stolen while she left her purse in her shopping cart for three to four minutes as she gawked at a funeral procession.

Here’s a link to the full story.

First of all, you know you live in the middle of nowhere where this makes the front page of the local newspaper and the news reel on the morning radio shows. But that isn’t even the most intriguing part of the story.

The woman whose wallet was stolen called police yesterday and let them know that the criminal dropped off her wallet in her mailbox, minus the cash that was in it.

Are you kidding me? What kind of petty thief is civil enough to drop off the wallet. I mean honestly, why wouldn’t you just throw it out if you don’t want it, or just keep it. Nah, I think I’d probably return it; I mean it’s just common courtesy.

Local religious groups rally in support of the concept of a new, morally justified thief

Since the secondary reason that Clint and I started this blog is for the purposes of fighting small town crime and tomfoolery, if you have any information that may lead to the arrest of this extremely courteous thief, call the Shamokin Dam Police at 570-743-2671.

Listen: Blues Traveler, “Hook”

Quote: “I’ve made a huge mistake.” – GOB Bluth

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     Well, today it rained in University Park. That means only one thing for the DC-Metro area: God help you if you have to drive anywhere. I will preface this by saying that driving in this hole of Hell is pretty bad anyway. You have to contend with bad traffic on almost ever major road, and this area holds some of the worst drivers of all time. This includes: ‘Asshole Who Drives in Left Lane At 4mph’, ‘Skank Who Cuts across Four Lanes of Traffic without Signaling and Nearly Kills Me’, and many more. I could give a comprehensive list, but that is the subject for another post.


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