News & Links: Monday, October 30, 2023

#376  [archive]

    Halloween is tomorrow, and I can't frickin' wait for it to be over.
    Every year it starts earlier and earlier, like Xmas — decorations in people's yards, frickin' pumpkin spice, and way too many personal blogs well-worth reading 11 months out of the year go suddenly gaga for ghosts, with a dozen memes daily of Frankenstein and Dracula, Samantha Stevens and Treehouse of Horror, Eddy Allan Poe and Cthulu and things that go bump in the night. By the second day of October I am over it.

West Virginia school district promises, after lawsuit, to train teachers and administrators that public schools aren't churches
    Excerpt: A West Virginia school district has passed a policy mandating annual religious freedom training as part of a lawsuit settlement after an evangelical preacher held a revival assembly during the school day in 2022 that some students were required to attend. …
    Me again: It's not possible to be an adult and a teacher in America without understanding the separation of church and state. These alleged Christians knew what they were doing was illegal. They simply don't care. Their Jezus is more important than our mere earthly laws. 

Baltimore Archdiocese files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy ahead of anticipated lawsuits over child sexual abuse
    It's a scam that never stops.
    For at least decades, but probably centuries, the Church has known about and protected pedophile priests, moved them to new parishes, locked away or destroyed records, and the church-sanctioned kiddy-diddling goes on until the Rapture, and then the priests will start diddling the angels.
    Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is incalculably wealthy, literally. The Church is worth at least many multiples of Elon Musk and Bill Gates, and the idea of the Catholic Church running low on money is, tragically, impossible.
    But they'll declare bankruptcy, archdiocese by archdiocese and parish by parish, to avoid financial atonement for their crimes.
    And all of this has been public knowledge for a long, long time. If you're a Christian, that's a choice, but if you're Catholic, you're aiding and abetting child rape, and can't plausibly claim you don't know it.

This flag is one of the most weird American things I can think of
    Housing for homeless vets would be nice, but costs more than a black flag. Skipping the next nonsense war would be nice, but there’s money to be made so that can’t happen.
    The POW/MIA flag is simply a symbol of stupidity, as phony as Trump’s “True the Vote” or the movie Sound of Freedom

Retail chains — Target, RiteAid, Walgreens, etc — are using shoplifting claims to mask other issues, report says

Oil paintings By Cinta Vidal 

In 1992, the Miami Zoo put dozens of flamingos in the bathroom to protect them from Hurricane Andrew 

Flash Gordon is back 

Amusing, Interesting, Outrageous, or Profound
    AIOP is my Lemmy page, for anything that's (in my opinion) amusing, interesting, outrageous, or profound. It's mostly a rough draft of this page, but you're invited to stop by.

♫♬  MUSIC  ♫

Access Me — Phish 

Cool Places — Sparks with Jane Wiedlin 

Goodbye Blue Sky — Luther Wright and the Wrongs 

Kometenmelodie — Kraftwerk 

Zonked — Red Prysock 








Axali Doëseb 

Steve Erwin 

Joe Hill 

Hiroshi Inuzuka 

Adam Johnson


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited. 

Tip 'o the hat to the AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Kottke,org, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, MetaFilter, Miss Miriam's Mirror, RanPrieur.com, @soberscientistlife, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo emeritus, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. My memory is failing fast, but I can't remember how fast. So I'll ask: Have we discussed Slings & Arrows, the Canadian television series set at a Canadian Shakespearian Festival? Three seasons of six shows each; marvelous writing and acting, pretty good story. There is so little that arrives originally via television that is genuinely original and stimulating. This is one of those few.


    1. I do not remember discussing or even hearing of this TV show. Gonna guess it was CBC, their govt-funded channel, not CTV, the American-style shit network.

    2. I don't think so. It is Canadian, but I don't think it was financed by the CBC. I think the production team scrambled for funding each year, and was aided by actors and writers willing to work and not bill for all their hours. Everything about the production is first rate, including a supporting role from Rachel McAdams in season 1. Canadian couple Paul Gross and Martha Burns have substantial roles and I suspect they forgot to submit invoices for much of their time.

      These 18 episodes are well-written, well-directed and well-acted. For many Americans like me, this series is the embodiment of what television can be.

      I know it's available on DVD, and it's streaming on Acorn, whatever that is. Slings and Arrows centers each of its three seasons on a new Shakespeare play (Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear, in that order) and has been unavailable for nearly 20 years. Now it is back and is as fresh as ever. This is a very specific recommendation. You should get ahold of all three seasons (total 18 episodes) and watch it. It is low-key with fine acting and no car chases or gunplay. There is one swordfight, but it's largely played for laughs. Not much sex, no real violence, how can it be my favorite series? Of course it's the writing and the acting.

      Check it out. It's probably at least at the library.


    3. Sounds like a solid recommendation for those who'd be interested, but in my happy fading dotage, it's not me. Having tried and failed many times, I'd now prefer never to see Shakespeare's plays again, not even snippets in rehearsal and backstage drama about the drama. A bunch of actors staging Shakespeare was almost enough to sink the otherwise not-bad Station Eleven.

      Gotta pass on that, sorry.

  2. Hi,

    I hope you’re well. We are working with a client interested in placing an editorial piece on your site itsdougholland.com. Is this a service you offer, please? If so, do you have a rate card available for editorial placements?

    I am excited to hear from you.

    Kind regards,
    Nathan Holt
    EMEA Outreach Team

    1. What Can Be Done About Our Teens Defecating on Glass End Tables While We're Away For The Weekend? A Concerned Mother Writes

    2. I'll take this one until Doug returns from the rest room. Why do you insist on continuing to "go away" on weekends when you know very well that teenagers are incapable of actually seeing fecal material on any surface, much less a transparent one. What is it that is missing in your home life that compels you to repeatedly leave for two days a week, knowing that you're going to return to a kinghell shitstorm to remedy? (There is no way to answer the wrong question so I am suggesting the right ones.)

      Live and be well,


    3. Only because these replies amuse me, the spam can stay.

  3. Thank you for the halloween rant. They've taken what was once a fun dress-up night for kids and adventurous adults and made it a freak show that never ends.

    Same with Gaza.

    1. I think I get the joke, but Gaza doesn't look like a fun dress-up game.

  4. Very simplistic view on genocide. Ignorant. Israel is at war, must defend itself, and the Jewish people know what genocide is unlike you.

    1. Wrong. Probably but so's your old man. Wrong, wrong, and amazingly wrong.

    2. Genocide? You mean Doug's bedroom poop bucket? I understand it's a sensitive subject, but c'mon

    3. I'm sure it's a violation of city, county, state, and federal regulations, but life is short anyway.

  5. What the fuck Israel? What the fuck? What the fuck?

    1. What the fuck forever and ever until the end of time.


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