Top Ten "Top 10" of 2011

Your Editors at the Volidity Report are aware of all internet traditions, and because it is the Holiday Season, we would like to share one with you, our dedicated readers. As the Gregorian calendar year comes to a close, bloggers are reminded of their own transitory vocations and mortal lives and thus are compelled to review the previous 365 days through a variety of means. The most prominent and user-friendly of these is the “Top 10” list. Whether it is comprised of films, music albums, books, or hex-based wargames, these lists quickly summarize the media that one should have consumed before the calendar shifts again. But these lists are so versatile that they allow for any type of information to be easily collated and processed. Thus, the Volidity Report presents to you our summation of the best lists out there on the Internets—our “Top Ten ‘Top 10’ of 2011”:


A Serious Commentary - The American Gerontocracy

The Volidity Report presents:



In a contemporary culture characterized by both amnesia and nostalgia, there has arisen a need to declare every new figure or fad to enter the stage “the new ______”. Barack Obama has been no stranger to this phenomenon, alternately being anointed the new FDR, the new JFK, the new Ronald Reagan, the new Herbert Hoover, or the new Jimmy Carter by various segments of the punditry. Of the proclamations of reincarnation that I’ve encountered, I find n+1’s essay on President Obama as Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev to be the most apt; however, I’d like to extend the allusion even further. There are parallels in almost every sector between the Soviet Union in the 1980s and the United States. Most crucially, as in the USSR, an elderly elite—or “gerontocracy”—and their hardline acolytes ferociously resisted structural reform while the economy and society stagnated.


Cooking with Volidity: Haute Pockets

American food culture is much mocked around the world for a host of reasons, which have been partially addressed (and redressed!) by this publication in its examination and reimagining of the Double Down and the McGriddles. But a major divide remains! While Americans nuke frozen TV and AOL dinners in the microwave using the language of war yet with the same passivity of their digital consumption habits, citizens of Old Europe are preparing and eating multi-course meals with varied fresh ingredients of the type served at your average grand-hôtel restaurant.

Luckily, the Volidity Report is on the case. As an idealist publication, the Volidity Report believes that reconciliation between the followers of haute cuisine and the consumers of delicious handheld frozen abominations like Hot Pockets. Wait! Haute cuisine...hot pockets...perhaps the answer can be a combination of the two? Perhaps pairing the intricate preparations and quality ingredients of haute cuisine with the handheld gooey goodness of Hot Pockets? The internet tells me that modern haute cuisine was codified by Georges Auguste Escoffier, and provided for dishes that were served at once, aesthetically pleasing, and prepared by a team of chefs with divided responsibilities. With this in mind, and considering that Escoffier is long dead, we decided to bring in the famed Escoffiette as a consultant.


Be Young and Shut Up - Addendum

In honor of New York City's Lord Mayor for Life, Michael Bloomberg, now the Conquering Hero of Occupy Wall Street, the Volidity Report would like to amend its important updated protest iconography once more.

We wish him well in his next campaign, where he will meet the wicked teachers' unions on the field of battle and hopefully achieve his greatest victory yet! (Four more years! Four more years!)


Be Young and Shut up

I believe it was Karl Marx who said that "all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice...the first time as tragedy, the second time as a television miniseries."

When faced with new occurrences and personages, the mainstream media generally takes one of two approaches. They are very quick to either describe someone or something as the "new" [insert name here]; for example, Barack Obama is either the new FDR, JFK, Ronald Reagan, Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter, or maybe even Adolf Hitler!

But the other reaction is pure befuddlement. The latter has been evident with that whole hubbub happening around Wall Street lately. I mean, "#occupywallst"--what does that even mean? And what ever do they want? Even a man as well-informed as our vice-president cannot figure it out!

So, Your Humble Editor would like to suggest an illustration that could start to bring the media around from the latter category to the former on the subject of #occupywallst.


The Many Names of 황정리

He is not amused
In honor of the maybe/probable/possible immanent collapse of the Gaddafi/Khaddafy/Qadhafi regime in Libya, I would like to draw attention to another prominent figure whose name can be spelled in quite many ways in our Latin orthography. 황정리--transliterated from Korean through the Revised Romanization and McCune–Reischauer systems as Hwang Jeong-ri and Hwang Chǒng-ri respectively--is an actor and badass martial artist. He is perhaps best known as "Silver Fox" or "The Guy Who Made Jackie Chan Cry," but also served as the chief martial arts instructor for the South Korean army in Vietnam, where he killed a man with a single roundhouse kick in a bar fight. But his illustrious career is muddied by the many names he goes by in the Latin script. To set the record straight, I shall list them all here now (adjusted for name order):
  • Hwang Jang Lee
  • Wong Cheng Lee
  • Wong Cheng Li
  • Huang Jing Lee
  • Wong Ching-Li
  • Huang Jang Lee
  • Wan-Chung Lee
  • Hwang Jeong-li
  • Hwang Jeong-ri
  • Huong Cheng-Li
  • Wang Cheng Li
  • Wang Jang Lee
  • Wong Chung Li
  • Wong Zheng Lieh
  • Wang Jia Le
What's in 15 names? Why, but a single man, of course!


Morgantown Secedes: Brooklyn in Crisis

Breaking news from the Volidity Report's own in-house wire service, Volidity Report Press (VRP, pronounced "verp"): over the past weekend, an area of Brooklyn seceded and formed its own independent neighborhood as "Morgantown." Long a disputed territory, it was once considered to be part of Bushwick but has been claimed more recently--by the bureaucrats and moneyed interests in a move much resented by locals--to be "East Williamsburg." Confused and oppressed, the neighborhood's identity is muddled further by outsiders and in-migrants using monickers like "Bushburg" or even "Robertasville" (named for the estate of a local pizza magnate). Beyond said pizzeria (which has indeed found acceptance), the locals feel besieged by the encroachment of carpetbaggers, with their strange and out-of-place businesses. Finally, with all around them in crisis, the locals have elected a new "Governor", who has declared Morgantown an independent neighborhood, separate from both Williamsburg and Bushwick. Below is an excerpt of his fiery oratory:

Thus, it seems, in Brooklyn as in Florida, North is South (and vice-versa). Numerous interviews suggest that if even if this rebellion is unsuccessful, The Town of Morgan shall rise again! At the very least, fueled by local, organic foods and Four Loko, the Morgantowners remain a force to be reckoned with. Look to the Volidity Report Press for future developments...


Cooking with Volidity: The VolidiGriddle

What's more American than apple pie? I would suggest the following: pancakes, sausage patties, scrambled eggs, and (the aptly named) American cheese. Thankfully, upstanding corporate-citizen McDonald's is here to help. When not single-handedly rescuing the economy with jobs, McDonald's is hard at work trying to combine these ingredients and bring them to the people, for patriotism. Hence the McGriddles1--in full, the Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles®2--launched in 2003. Similar to the KFC (and Volidity Report) Double Down, the McGriddles maximizes efficiency by placing all its components into a convenient, hand-held model.

Exceeding even the Double Down in ambition, the McGriddles takes the standard breakfast entrée (even the word is French!) of pancakes with a side of eggs and sausage and makes it into an all-American sandwich. But what of gluten-free Americans, who have long suffered as an out-group (we all know the epithets: "nobreadniks", "gluten freaks", etc.), deserve their due as well. Thus did Read-a-Book and Your Humble Editor embark on a quest to make a meal that was a true national dish for the reasons above, but also local, organic and gluten-free.


Fictionary Addendum №3

cupcake: IPA: ˈkʌpkeɪk *
1. To intensely display affection while in public.
"To the disgust of the elderly, public park benches are often used for cupcaking by young couples."

garb some grabbage: IPA: ɡɑː(ɹ)b sʌm ɡɹæbɪdʒ
1. (slang) To have intercourse.
2. (slang) To break off a piece of "that".
"Yo man, you just need to get out to the club and garb some grabbage and you’ll forget all about your ex."

towtaled: IPA: ˈtoʊ.təlɪd
1. When the fees paid out for a car towing exceed the value of the car itself.
“When I went to the impound lot, I was expecting to pay a significant fee, but not that the car would be towtaled!”

Xenaphobe: IPA: ˈzɛnəˌfəʊb
1. One who is hostile to Xena: Warrior Princess.
"Look, I just think the main reason why he avoids the SyFy channel so strictly is because he’s an unreconstructed Xenaphobe."

* Thanks to Caroline
Thanks to Reid


Tales from the Spambots: Lambert Academic Publishing

Good news, dear readers! We all already use the Wastebook for a multitude of purposes: for uploading photos of our friends under the influence (of alcohol, robitussin, ibogaine, etc.), poking our friends with a disembodied hand, and advertizing against President Barry "Beaux" Bama. But did you know it is also a legitimate venue to contact people regarding the publication of academic texts? Take it away, Lisa Thompson of Lambert Academic Publishing aka Verlag Dr. Müller:

Lisa Thompson May 6 at 1:46am

Dear [Herrence Meritocracy],

I came to know about your academic paper entitled "Left behind : the difficulty in establishing a viable left-wing alternative in contemporary Latvian national politics (1993-2006)", submitted in 2008, while I was performing research at the Eckerd College's repository.
We are currently planning publications in this subject field and therefore we would be glad to know whether you would be interested in publishing the above mentioned work with us.
LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing is a member of an international group having nearly 10 years of experience in the publication of high-quality research works from well-known institutions worldwide.
In addition to producing printed scientific books, we also market them worldwide through more than 80,000 booksellers.

Kindly let know if you would be interested in receiving more detailed information in this regard.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Lisa Thompson
Acquisition Editor

LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG

Dudweiler Landstraße 99,
66123 Saarbrücken, Germany

Fon +49 681 3720-310
Fax +49 681 3720-3109

l . t h o m p s o n ( a t ) l a p p u b l i s h i n g . c o m / w w w . l a p p u b l i s h i n g . c o m

Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRA 10752
General Unlimited Partner

VDM Verwaltung Aktiengesellschaft
Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRB 16777

Board of Directors: Dr. Wolfgang Müller (CEO), Christoph Schulligen, Esther von Krosigk
Ah yes! I had almost forgotten that there has recently been an upsurge of interest in Latvian politics during the 1990s and early 2000s. And of course, "the Eckerd College's repository" has also served for over six (6) years as a place of knowledge, wisdom, and comfortable couches. It's truly a wonder how this undergraduate thesis on an obscure topic in America's 137th best college has remained unpublished outside of that repository's shelves since "2008"!*

Hmm, but wait a metric second--this all sounds a bit familiar. Though she is lacking a photo in her Wastebook profile (unlike the dashing fellow I'm about to describe), a similar proposal was floated to Your Editor by Mr. Emekagbor Richard of the International Journal of English and Literature. Despite the lack of any "$500 handling fee" in Lisa's proposal, this odd offshore publishing house--headquartered in Saarbrücken, capital of Germany's tiny and hilarious state of Saarland, but apparently also with offices in Moldova[!] and Mauritius[!!]--seems as sketchy a venture as Emekagbor's Nigerian/Kenyan operation.

Fundamentally, this "academic author mill" succeeds by stroking the egos of young and unpublished scholars. But, I, being of course Your Humble Editor-in-Chief, cannot be swayed by this, as I already operate the great publishing house that is the Volid Verlag GmbH. So unfortunately, I'm afraid your efforts are wasted, Lisa--perhaps I could connect you with Emekagbor instead?

*Thesis actually published in 2007


8 Leaders, 4 Languages

Soviet Heads of Government, 1917 - 1991, in four languages, presented without commentary:

  1. Vladimir Lenin
  2. Joseph Stalin
  3. Georgy Malenkov
  4. Nikita Khrushchev
  5. Leonid Brezhnev
  6. Yuri Andropov
  7. Konstantin Chernenko
  8. Mikhail Gorbachev

  1. Vladimir Lénine
  2. Joseph Staline
  3. Gueorgui Malenkov
  4. Nikita Khrouchtchev
  5. Leonid Brejnev
  6. Youri Andropov
  7. Konstantin Tchernenko
  8. Mikhaïl Gorbatchev

  1. Wladimir Lenin
  2. Josef Stalin
  3. Georgi Malenkow
  4. Nikita Chruschtschow
  5. Leonid Breschnew
  6. Juri Andropow
  7. Konstantin Tschernenko
  8. Michail Gorbatschow

  1. Vladimirs Ļeņins
  2. Josifs Staļins
  3. Grigorijs Maļenkovs
  4. Ņikita Hruščovs
  5. Leonīds Brežņevs
  6. Jurijs Andropovs
  7. Konstantīns Čerņenko
  8. Mihails Gorbačovs


Cooking with Volidity: The Organic, Local Double Down

Living in the major urban center and global city that is New York City, one encounters two seemingly diametrically opposed food cultures: one is of the foodies and locavores, who cherish organic small-scale farming and elect to eat bucketfull after bucketfull of baked kale; the other is centered on industrial food production and the frying of corn, chicken, and the like, then eating them for low prices at odd hours of the night, from a KFC (both Kennedy and Kentucky Fried Chicken, of course). Your Editor-in-Chief here at the Volidity Report has decided he would do his darndest to unite these factions, despite his steadfast position as a Chick-Fil-A conservative. Naturally, I wanted to get to the heat of the meat, as I believe the young folks say. My investigation led me to the food item depicted in the video below:

Yes, the Double Down; because of man's insatiable desire for chicken and his tendency toward efficiency, the superfluous bun has been eliminated in favor of fully actualized poultry potential. And it's not even the unhealthiest fast food sandwich ever, maybe! But how to appeal to the locavore organic crowd—who scoffed at this "sandwich" when it first emerged—and solve this "omnivore's dilemma"? Thus I took the advice of the advertisement above and proceeded to "unthink" the Double Down—and reconceive it as a foodie dish created from local, organic ingredients!


Man of the Year 2010

As the Gregorian Calendar has signalled the changing of another year, media institutions such as the Volidity Report are required to make lists pertaining to the previous calendar year and arbitrarily award superlatives. Since arbitrariness is our bread and butter here at the Volidity Report, Your Editor-in-Chief has decided to give out the first annual Man of the Year Award to a colossal and inspiring figure for us all, Shaquille O'Neal.

Even though his biological father didn't bother, Shaquille—or as he is known to his friends: "Shaq", "The Diesel", "Shaq Fu", "The Big Aristotle", "The Big Daddy", "Superman", "The Big Shaqtus", "The Big Galactus", "The Big Baryshnikov", "The Real Deal", "Shaqovic", and (of course) "The Forty Ounce Guzzler"—has risen from humble beginnings to become the quintessential Renaissance man of the new millenium.

Shaq is a star athlete (for 18 seasons[!!]), as we all know, but his skills are far broader than even the length of his Size 22 sneakers! He is a talented actor, musician, an enforcer of the law, symphonic conductor, life coach to the overweight, and the first human to enter The Second World. He is friend to presidents but champion of the common man. As an honorary U.S. Marshall and badge-holding police officer in three states, Shaq is a one-man posse comitatus, with the catch phrase "Tanya says hello", as he arrests various criminal elements. Shaq meets all comers, and has even faced the famed Rachel Ray in the art of cuisine. "Dr. Shaq" has earned an MBA and is well on his way to achieving a Ph.D. He doesn't do drugs and he doesn't drink (though he'll have a Pepsi, to help him think). Shaq even rescued the boy Nezu from the Second World!

Truly a towering figure, Shaquille O'Neal is simply outstanding, and thus the Volidity Report's Man of the Year for 2010. Though it is bold to say, we may even have an early front-runner for the Man of the Millenium as well...

(Shaq is the man [of the year] and that's evident!)