4.21.2014

Killing History

Producing a book of historical scholarship can be difficult, especially when one is writing for a popular audience. Take a gander at the New York Times Best Sellers if you want to grasp the nature of the problem. Just last week, your Editor spotted in the Top 5 Hardcover Nonfiction and Print/E-book Nonfiction a book with the word "Nazi" in the title, a book by a late night teevee comedian, a book by a conservative "comedian," and a book about a four year old's journey to heaven where he got to hang out with God and Jesus and the gang. America knows what it wants!

So perhaps we cannot totally blame teevee guy Bill O'Reilly for titling his history of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln "Killing Lincoln." It's simple, catchy, and more of a factual statement than Heaven is for Real. But if the American public has been an enthusiastic consumer of this book (and its made-for-TV special!), the U.S. Park Service has refused to sell Killing Lincoln where Lincoln was killed due to its numerous factual errors.

This didn't stop ol' Bill though. Using this template, he went on to co-author two more books on other subjects that have already been written about endlessly, Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus. Given that O'Reilly's B.A. in History from Marist College (currently ranked 375th best in the U.S. by Forbes!) might not seem the strongest basis for being an author of various history books, Your Editor foolishly assumed that the co-author (always appearing as MARTIN DUGARD below BILL O'REILLY) must then be a trained historian with a Ph.D. in History. Au contraire! Mr. Dugard does not claim any degree and splits his time between writing and coaching high school track, making him that rare person honored as a New York Times bestselling author *and* "Girls Varsity Cross-Country Coach of the Year" in Orange County, CA.

Considering how successful the duo of O'Reilly and Dugard has been, why leave history writing to the historians? In fact, why even leave history writing to history? The Volidity Report has thus decided to write a history of the future, predicting what books might be next for Bill O'Reilly and other potential co-authors (assuming that Martin Dugard will be busy with track-and-field season). Let's review!

1.03.2014

Venetian Doge

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog. This is despite the fact that dogs have gained rather great prominence on the internet, enough to even challenge the hegemony of the feline. One popular internet figure of late is a Shiba Inu dog named Kabosu, whose thoughts and experiences have been catalogued under the pseudonym "doge."

Americans may know their memes, but they sure don't know much about history. Now, as textbooks have been made obsolete by iPads, we must recognize the need for new teaching methods. By choosing the name "doge," the denizens of the internet have offered us an opportunity to teach the Youth about another set of doges. Hailing from Venice, the *Most Serene* of Republics (and thus the chillest), these doges were in fact humans elected to run the city-state and its maritime trading empire from the middle ages until 1797.

Thus, the Volidity Report presents the Venetian doges in a vernacular understandable to the internet:

12.26.2013

Top Ten "Top 10" of 2013

2013--it was quite a year, containing many memorable months. Though we at the Volidity Report are often busy this time of year fleeing from Druid Rage and volunteering for the War on Christmas on the side of Black Santa, there is a tradition we need to uphold. As we internet consumers review the best photos of 2013 and look ahead to the inspiring images of 2014, there must also be someone to review the reviewers. Thus, following on our award-winning coverage of 2011 and 2012, the Volidity Report is proud to present the Top Ten "Top 10" of 2013:

10) Top 10 Overused LinkedIn Profile Buzzwords of 2013: Make 2014 your year by being as irresponsible as possible!

9) Top 10 Arizona Gun Stories of 2013: While some foolish liberals argue that the unrestricted ownership of firearms could be dangerous, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne thinks that it is "inexcusable for teachers, students and school staff" at Arizona schools not to be armed. Let's see how that works out in 2014!

8) The 10 Most Gifted Rappers in Nigeria: Igbo is a Nigerian language that made its way into Carribbean patois, which may explain why the accent sounds kind of familiar. It works for guys like Phyno, who raps in his native language.

7) Top Risks 2013: Emerging markets--still risky! But forget the indebted PIIGS or the rising BRIC, watch out for the JIBs as big structural losers next year.

6) Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013: Pearl Jam apparently had such a busy year that Number 10 starts at 12! Familiarize yourself with all the essential moments of 2013, including the genesis of the Pearl Jam podcast, the week they spent with Jimmy Fallon, and how they changed rock forever with their bold merchandising strategy!

5) Top Ten 'most hated' celebrities in France: Why can't Nabilla get any respect?

4) Top 10 New Species 2013: Featuring the world's smallest vertebrate and the only reptile whose name could be a protest or 1970s English punk song, the "No to the mine! snake"

3) The Top Ten Pony Videos of August 2013: What have the Bronies been up to this year? Who knows? Watch this video compilation and get more confused!

2) Top 10 World’s Best Intelligence Agencies 2013: Maybe if the CIA wasn't so worried about being "the most popular" intelligence agency, they could get back to Number 1 where they belong. After all, "the Agency has the credit of being one of most swift in dealing with every aspect of world issues."

1) Top Ten College Women of 2013: Women! In college? 2013 truly was the year everything changed.

№ 1, 4, 7 & 9 suggested by Herrence Meritocracy and № 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 & 10 suggested by LK Shov. All methodologies scientific.

10.08.2013

The Ages of Civilization

What year is it? 2013 (of course!), you might say. Simple question, right? Well, other perspectives abound: it's also year 5774 of the Jewish calendar, 1434 AH of the Islamic calendar, 1392 of the Persian calendar, and CCXXII of the French Republican calendar. Over time however, these calendars were supplanted by the hegemony of the Gregorian calendar, with Papal revisions and later a nice neutral "CE" slapped on over "AD" for objectivity's sake.

Even if that debate has been somewhat settled, we are left with the question--in what age does 2013 AD/CE reside? Are we in the Atomic Age (1945-?), the Space Age (1957-?) or the Information Age (1947-/1958-/1969-/1977-?)??? Though we know at least that humanity will not enter the Jet Age until around 2062, the overlapping ages of today's world present a dilemma. Just what is the defining characteristic of our time? If academics cannot achieve consensus, are there other expert sources we could consult?

5.06.2013

NICE BOD: Volidity Report Short Stories Kind-Of Using the 'Exqusitie Corpse' Method Over Gmail While At Work ~~~ # 1: A CLOSE ENCOUNTER



Exquisite Corpse was a drawing game played by the Surrealists, and every person since.  Each contributor writes a paragraph, and passes it on, adding to the story.  We didn't do it 'blind' which I guess means it's not exactly EC, but who cares.  Contributors to this round were C. Cameron, E. Wright, and LK Shov.   Remember kids - just because you're in the office, doesn't mean you can't be productive!

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One time, I was sitting in a booth at Baja Burrito. It was late, probably after 8, and I had just driven back into town. I could have bought some Wendy's on the drive, but I opted to just hold off and get the good stuff. It was late, but I remember this Baja had a bar. Strange, I remember thinking at the time. At the bar, a couple were sitting, pounding rolling rocks and waiting on their burritos to be made. They were clearly velociraptors, anyone could see that. They had long tails which allowed them to balance on their bar stools, and wore long trenches which hung down to the floor. They were bickering in hushed tones, but if I focused my attention I could make out some of what they were saying. "Diana just doesn't have any idea about social etiquette," said the one on the left. "If she wants to get fresh, she might just get popped. Is she afraid I won't?" "I think she's just getting you confused with Blake," said the other one, eyeing the empty ashtray on the bar. "She just puts up this armor, you can't get through. she is so annoying, and if that's the way shes going to act, I'm just don't know what I'm gonna do." The first raptor said nothing. His burrito had arrived.

Clearly though, it was more than just the burrito that the raptor had on his mind. Yes he had a deep-seated fondness for barbacoa (as do most velociraptors, for obvious reasons), but it was the struggle with Diana that really got to him. He didn't want to admit it to Valerie, his date on this fine evening, but his feelings and frustrations ran deeper than just annoyance over her social behavior. She had the finest, longest tail in town, and all the other single male raptors lusted over it. Including himself. It was just the way she slung it around for everyone to see that maddened him so. But it maddened him in other ways too, ways that couldn't be admitted it anyone else, other than joking or complaining to his date. All that was left at this time was to eat his burrito and continue getting drunk on Rolling Rocks.

"Say," said Valerie. "Don't look now but there's a human giving you a little stink eye at the end of the bar."

"Oh hush," he said. "You're drunk." But oh so casually, he craned his long neck to look at the human watching them and trying to eavesdrop. He didn't like it one bit, but for decorum's sake he tried as best as he could to ignore it.


Valerie was completely out of her comfort zone. First of all, she couldn’t believe that her date, the raptor she has been ogling over for weeks now, took her out to a bar at a BURRITO joint. Didn’t he know she was trying to cut carbs and follow that strict herbivore diet her best friend, Zara, was on? She guessed not. Second of all, he had the audacity to take her to a place where humans were free to roam around; Valerie understood that they didn’t pose any real threats, but ever since she had that run in with the douchebag at Wells Fargo, she tried her hardest to avoid those wimpy excuses for “animals.” However, the thing that was really bugging her about this whole “date” thing was the way Craig reacted with the mention of Diana. She knew she shouldn’t have brought her up, but she had to confirm to herself that the rumors weren’t true. Craig couldn’t have feelings for the oblivious, socially inept, ditsy excuse for a raptor that was Diana. But it was clear to Valerie that as much as she tried to diss Diana, she was always going to be second-rate in Craig’s mind. The way his eyes lit up the moment she said her name was a big enough blow to make Valerie down her beer. “I never should have met him here” she thought, “I fucking hate burritos."

The patrons were getting belligerent, but who has never seen that before. That's the thing about these sauropods. They're all talk. You try and get to know them, but you can never get past the drama. And the racism. My chalupa arrived, and my thoughts drifted out the window. Gloria was like that. The year was 1967, and I had been seeing this pretty little allosaur down in Montgomery. We met by happenstance. I - fresh out of the Ozarks, with my 2 year Certificate of Paleontology fresh from the printer, flapping in the breeze, and she- a curvaceous, 12 foot tall creature from the Cretaceous Period, found each other chatting at a house party downtown over mint juleps. If I am honest with myself, I knew from the get go that we could never be. It was that sense of urgency that probably drew us together. When Gloria told me she was leaving town the following week - there had been a 'mishap' at the museum of natural history- she asked if I would come with her, but I said no.

I snapped back to the present, the air was thick with the summer rain and the smoky aroma of cooked meat. Violence hung in the air like a freshly caught snapper ready to flop up and rake your skin with its scales in its last throes of life. The basketball game on ESPN was drawing the attention of most patrons, though a clear growling could be distinctly heard from the sauropod corner. I guess it goes to show how many people just don't see or hear what they don't want to or cant understand. But something about the growling of a velociraptor will put fear into the hearts of even the most hardened man. I hoped it had nothing to do with me, after the male one and I gave each other stink eye for a good five minutes earlier. So, instead of waiting around for him to try and eat me or some bullshit, I downed the last of my beer, paid my tab and walked out the door. I felt pretty good about having avoided an altercation with those 2 sauropods, and thought I might actually whistle a tune.

As I turned the corner of the building, headed towards my car, I noticed three young men in hooded sweatshirts lurking in the shadows. Surreptitiously glancing behind me and seeing no one else around, the fear I thought I had conquered earlier had swiftly returned. I really need a hobby, I thought.






Tales from the Spambots - Italian Spambots Indicating


Many, from About.com to the favorite web magazine of cranky racists to Habsburg Emperor Charles V, regard the Italian language as the most beautiful in the world. Twitterbots, in their eternal quest to become more human, have tried to learn about our emotions through our hobbies and online activities. Now a new generation has become more philosophical and linguistic, quoting great philosophers and timeless sayings from a variety of cultures.

Take for example the musings of Ruben Kenneth Galbraith--lesser known brother of noted economist J.K. Galbraith--forgotten by history but remembered by spambots:

Or let's hear from Julianne Smiley, goateed resident of "ukraine, usa," who quotes some classic American wisdom:
But like human users of the Interwebs, our Twitterbot friends have also grown fond of the Italian language, and its various indications:

3.11.2013

Fiat Time


Thanks to the informative newsletters of Ron "Rob" Paul, millions of Americans have learned about the evils of fiat currency. Rather than representative money, which can be exchanged for items with intrinsic value like gold, brass rods, cowrie shells, and chocolate, the United States has been since 1971 issuing money whose value is simply dictated by the State. Gold, of course, is the most natural basis for currency as a precious metal. Since ancient times, gold has been used to pay debts, demonstrate wealth, and be exchanged for anything from slaves to cats. But big government bureaucrats like Franklin Delano LOSERvelt and Tricky Dick Nixon decided to mess with the natural order of things, leaving us with worthless pieces of paper that just *happen* to be exchangeable for goods and services and constitute the world's primary reserve currency. Madness!

Now, your Editor awoke Sunday morning and immediately felt that something was amiss. He was shocked and horrified to learn that in the middle of the night, when no one was watching, the government had taken away an hour of sleep from him and every single American. Selling it to the sheeple with a promise of a later sunset and a sunny euphemism--"Daylight Savings Time"--these dastardly government takers have the gall to believe that they control time and take it from you at will. "Fiat time," essentially. After some research, your Editor discovered that DST was created in America in 1918, just a few years after the imposition of other such evils as the Federal Reserve System and federal income tax. And all of these were created under a President any American should hate, Woodrow Wilson, whose administration we need to repeal, for Freedom!

It's time for America to wake up! (figuratively speaking, naturally, because it also deserves another hour of sleep) The Volidity Report will work tirelessly, despite our lack of rest, to add the abolishment of fiat time to the Ron Paul ReLOVEution! For America!

END THE FED, STAY IN BED - RON PAUL 2016