Yes, but what's the point?......
March 23, 2003 8:48 PM   Subscribe

GW Bush's exploding frogs, a 50" plasma TV, and a "Bend Me Over Baby" DVD - Shoving firecrackers into the mouths of frogs, then tossing them into the air to watch them explode and, later, mocking Death-Row inmates. ...OK, little boys and frogs; nothing unusual here. I used to burn ants with a magnifying glass. And I've tossed off some off color jokes. But then there's this this: according to, shoppers who liked the "Panasonic TH-50PHW3B 50" Plasma Display" also purchased "The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Common Sense Lessons from the Commander-in-chief" ", Bend Me Over Baby" ( DVD ), and "Spread Them Wide" (DVD). What does it mean? [via]
posted by troutfishing (15 comments total)
You can -- and have -- done better than this, trout.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:06 PM on March 23, 2003

You inadvertently used meehawl's amazon referral number in your post, troutfishing. Think of the millions he's going to make as we all rush to place orders for Spread Them Wide and Bend Me Over Baby. Get extras for Christmas gifts!
posted by iconomy at 9:39 PM on March 23, 2003

Hey now, triple-f, don't be so harsh. I enjoy alternating WarFilter posts with deep and meaningful links as much as the next MeFi denizen, but I think we can all take a breather once in a while and enjoy seeing what happens when intelligent agents go rogue.

To me, it seems that the question here is whether it's possible to write an AI routine to predict human behavior (similar products, website preferences, etc.) that can't be Google Bombed or otherwise subverted by a group. seems to me that as long as people know that their digital footsteps are being tracked, they'll find sneaky ways of throwing the AI off of their trail. The trick would be to monitor and report the data without people knowing exactly when and where the observation system was operating.

And please pardon my crass reference to "bombing" in what ought to have been a warfare-free thread.
posted by Fourmyle at 9:47 PM on March 23, 2003

I'm confused; where does the frog massacre figure into this - the Amazon link has the TV, the GW Bush leadership book, and the porn DVD... what am I missing?
posted by jonson at 9:57 PM on March 23, 2003

My beef isn't with the post being frivolous. We need some frivolous, fun posts. My beef is that it's another political post: George Bush, toys for the rich, the porn videos -- it's a political statement by the people who hacked the system.

Something non-political would be nice for a change.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 PM on March 23, 2003

What does it mean?

Someone's gotta say it: Sounds like a party at Quonsar's. ;)
posted by planetkyoto at 12:47 AM on March 24, 2003

*lifts head off desk*
huh? wuzza?
*head clonks back down*
posted by quonsar at 4:28 AM on March 24, 2003

Someone's gotta say it: Sounds like a party at Quonsar's. ;)

Quonsor - what's your address again?
posted by backOfYourMind at 5:27 AM on March 24, 2003

Sure you know me, I spelt your name right....right?
posted by backOfYourMind at 5:29 AM on March 24, 2003

a political statement by the people who hacked the system

Or a sign that only one or two people have bought 50" plasma TVs through Amazon, and the system is drawing ridiculously broad conclusions from their idiosyncratic tastes.

Would you entrust a 50" plasma TV to surface mail?
posted by rory at 5:35 AM on March 24, 2003

cue you oh en ess eh are, no upper case.
posted by quonsar at 5:42 AM on March 24, 2003

FFF - I should have worded the post differently, I guess. It was political - but it seemed pretty funny at the time... after all, he did blow up frogs!, even some of our fellow Mefi citizens have waged war on frogs
(or toads, as it were): "Ah the cane toad. As a young lad in north Queensland, many a boring night was enlivened by hitting them with hockey sticks or cricket bats. They come right apart if you do it right. Never smoked their skin, but I know a few people who used to douse them in flammable liquid and set them alight."
So I guess GW is not all that sadistic (right?) and I suppose that licking them to get high is worse (although one Mefi member admits to this too: "I licked a slug once. Immediately upon contact, an odd, slimy substance took over the surface of my tongue and numbed it almost completely").

I don't know how all of this started last night: I retraced my browser history, but there were wierd gaps in continuity. I think it began with a Buzzflash story about the BBC video of GW Bush being groomed prior announcing the US invasion of Iraq.

What Buzzflash noticed, though, is that the announcement of war which aired on US TV stations was edited a bit. There is a Dutch version which showed Bush distinctly smirking

After that, I went to a site I'd sworn off of, "", and ran into this: "George Bush Gets High On Killing". An obvious charactor assasination piece, sure, but he did blow up frogs and he did mock that woman on Death Row in Texas, after she was executed: - "He cracked himself up in an interview with Talk magazine by mocking a woman on death row whose cries for mercy he scorned, screwing up his face and saying, "Please don't kill me!" in an impersonation of the deceased."

Now the frog story made me laugh. Don't get me wrong - I really felt for the frogs. It just seemed grotesquely funny and apt that GW Bush used to do things like that as a kid, especially given that he wound up, decades later, as a politician who mocks people awaiting execution.

But there is a weird gap in my browser history. I can't figure out how I arrived at Meehawl's otherwise serious Blog (mostly IraqWar related) which has some good material ( "US Bombs Non-Saddam-Aligned Iraqi Islamist Resistance" ) but right there, at the top of the Meehawl blog, was that ridiculous "Amazon" piece. It just seemed to fit - in a bizzare and funny way - with my nights' previous little finds....right in there with the themes of sadism and the (unmentioned but lurking in the background) repressed homoeroticism from the "Skull and bones" story. I just couldn't resist.
posted by troutfishing at 5:44 AM on March 24, 2003

Or to sum it up: beneath the exterior facade, a seething cauldron of wealth, sadism, and twisted sexuality!

Think of the Skakel murder case:

"Michael Skakel, a nephew of the late Senator Robert Kennedy, is accused of bludgeoning the teenage girl to death with a golf club when he was a teenager himself. "

......Or Dylan's "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" (based on another neo-aristocrat sadist murder case, I believe).
posted by troutfishing at 5:56 AM on March 24, 2003

The story — recounted with fondness by a Bush childhood friend in a long, flattering New York Times profile of Bush during the 2000 presidential election campaign — never became an issue on the campaign trail.

Despite psychiatric evidence that children who are cruel to animals often go on to be abusive adults, the U.S. media apparently decided that the torture of frogs was nothing more than a charming little anecdote from Dubya's early years. (Imagine what the media would make of a charming little childhood anecdote like that, if it were in Saddam Hussein's background.)

Where the hell is the "issue"? Lots of kids do fucked up stuff like this; it’s nothing more than youthful silliness and stupidity. This conduct as why we are at war? Common Dreams is really making a real stretch, I guess this why Clinton bombed Iraq, Reagan invaded Panama, etc. Common dreams? Please, Might as well have been the Heritage Foundation on the trustworthy meter.
posted by Bag Man at 5:26 PM on March 25, 2003

Well, if he'd only made more model airplanes, he might now merely be another chickenhawk warblogger, maybe even an important one...
posted by y2karl at 10:23 PM on March 25, 2003

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