April 2004


“Much has changed in Iraq a year after the US invasion, but one constant survives: the ignorance of US news networks when it comes to the Iraqi people. That lack of understanding was on clear display Monday, when ABC’s “World News Tonight” ran a short piece on the loyalties Iraqi Shia feel to Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani and Moqtada Al Sadr. The very premise of the report was absurd. Sistani is one of the most important figures in Shia Islam… but it’s Sadr who, in Peter Jennings’ imagination, “is wildly popular with the poorest Shiites. He taps into the resentment in the underclass.” Never mind that, when Sadr proclaimed a government last October, no one paid any attention.”

— The New Republic, March 29, 1994, three days before al-Sadr led an Iraqi uprising against the US occupation, thanks largely to the Shi’ite underclass that TNR sneered at.

To be fair, al-Sadr’s popularity took a huge leap when he opportunistically grabbed hold of the Arab public’s fury at Israel by declaring himself a virtual member of Hamas after Yassin’s “liquidation”. After all, it’s not fair to expect the US news media to connect the dots between the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Arab irritation with the West in general. That would require actual analysis. And stuff. Easier to be snarky about your competition.


In the comment thread from the Fallujah atrocity post-it note I slapped up in between server compiles:

If by \’e2\’80\’9cMogadishu Moment\’e2\’80\’9d all that is meant is that both events provided a rather gruesome TV moment that shocked and unsettled a lot of people, then this clearly was that. If instead \’e2\’80\’9cMogadishu Moment\’e2\’80\’9d is meant to suggest a watershed moment when policies are re-examined and the commitment to the campaign is seriously reconsidered, then the analogy largely fails.

Well, the thing is, gruesome TV moments DO shock and unsettle people, and that DOES cause policies to be re-examined. Considering the fact that our military has apparently started Operation Not Taking Any More Goddamned Crap in the past couple of days, a policy was in fact re-examined – the policy of benign neglect. Instead of whistling quietly and hoping no one notices as we disengage from Iraq, people are starting to talk in terms of “America at war” again. Whoops.

Now, some might claim this all to be more electioneering and political posturing, but unless you somehow think Mullah al-Sadr is working for John Kerry or something equally bizarre, it’s more a case of things continuing to fall apart and the center continuing to not hold. Empire building is HARD.


So I finally googled myself, and apparently there’s another Scott Jennings out there. (I know, hard to believe. It’s such an uncommon name and all.) My doppleganger even looks vaguely like me.

(Since I’m the one with the goatee, I must be the Mirror Scott Jennings from the Evil Universe.
On the other hand, we both appear to be very drunk.)

He does improv, and more importantly he updates his blog more often than I do. Yay! Now when I’m feeling lazy, I can just have the site redirect to his. Not only that, according to Google he’s more Scott Jennings than I am. In his words:

According to Google (and are YOU going to try to dispute them?), I am the #1 Scott Jennings on the Internet, finally overtaking that presumed wanker Scott Jennings who does a lot of video game stuff I’d never be interested in. He can keep it. Seriously, I used to be buried on page 24 or something, so this represents a major surge in the Scott Jennings rankings for me.

Alas, since that entry Google has posted the log you’re reading right now, as opposed to that OTHER Jennings guy, at #2, just behind some painter. However, I think he should be disqualified, as not only does he have some new agey MIDI going on, but he isn’t even a real Scott Jennings, prefixing his name with a W. Two out of three Scott Jenningss agree – he’s OUT of the club.

There’s also a usenet group called alt.bonehead.scott-jennings. I’m not sure what that’s about.

Anyway, that’s all your Scott Jennings news for today. Tune in tomorrow when I gaze at my navel some more.


Some random notes, because I’m at work and don’t have time to blog, so instead I leave you with links.

Daily Kos: extremely influential left wing blog. When the Islamo-fasicst savages that burned, exhumed and mutilated American “security contractors” were shown on the news, his immediate reaction was “Screw em”. (Oddly enough, also my immediate reaction, although his was directed towards the people running the war and mine was directed towards the people of Iraq)

A good summary of the event, with links on the right wing blogosphere’s fight back (using the pocketbook) is here.

I’ll probably have some commentary later tonight. Or maybe I’ll just play Sacred instead. Mmm, clearing maps. Your takeway thought though – Fallujah was the Mogadishu Moment. On that right and left can probably agree, although the desired result will wildly diverge.


<IRC denizen> here’s a keeper from my lurking in #wishnews
<IRC denizen> [12:36] <Nebu> Don’t you find it funny that Lum for make a statement about games being unfun while working for the primary culprit of what he despises most?
<IRC denizen> [12:36] <Nebu> wow… that sentence made almost no sense
<IRC denizen> [12:37] <JtheYellow> try running it back and forth through systransoft
<IRC denizen> [12:37] <Nebu> Lum chastises the industry for churning out crap and treadmills while working for one of the greatest treadmill manufacturers
<IRC denizen> [12:37] <Nebu> that’s a little better
<Another IRC denizen> mmog hype madlibs: [game name] will be [adj] and [adj] and will offer [noun] and [noun] and [adj] [noun]


OK – time to mobilize the AWE-INSPIRING POWER that is the Intarweb…

Any idea who these guys are?

How about these guys?

The reason I’m asking is that they charged my bill $9.95 for a web design template. Normally a $9.95 bill on my credit card wouldn’t raise any eyebrows – except that it happened while I was at GDC. I’m fairly certain I didn’t purchase any web design toolkits while I was out of town.

So I raised one eyebrow when seeing this on my monthly statement. The other eyebrow I raised was when I saw this page from a googling of the bill’s listing. Which isn’t listed anywhere else on their site. (So how did Google spider it?) Complete with generic “hmm, let’s get MORE personal information” form.

So – if you were at GDC, and ESPECIALLY if you used your credit card at a nearby restaraunt while at GDC, I heartily recommend checking your statement for small furry mammals. Or else the next bill might have the Russian mafiya billing you for midget clown porn.