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September 24, 2004

Miskatonic announcements
Posted by Teresa at 07:15 PM *

Shrillblog, written by contributors identified only as Aleecia, Faisal, Christopher, brad, and andrew, is normally devoted to tracking former moderates as, one by one, they crack and start ranting about the iniquities of Bush and his administration.

Recently, however, this “brad” fellow (ho yus we are deceeved i think not) went off his head and committed something fairly perfect:
MORNING ANNOUNCEMENTS: MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY: SEPTEMBER 16, 2004

Professor THIDWICK will not meet his class in “Modern American Politics” this morning, or indeed any morning. In partial explanation we offer this note, written by him in the pre-dawn hours:

I begged the Dean not to make me teach “Modern American Politics” this semester. I knew that in order to teach it properly I would have to delve into the secrets of the Bush administration. I knew that I would learn THINGS THAT HUMANS (as we say in these post-sexist times) ARE NOT MEANT TO KNOW. I feared that this would drive me insane—into shrill unholy madness. And so it has.

But up until now I have still able to teach my course. I am proud of that. Far gone in shrill unholy madness as a result of the incompetence, mendacity, malevolence, and disconnection from reality that I am, I could still communicate with my students in English and. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Krugman R’lyeh wagn’nagl fhtagn! Aiiiiiii!!!

Apologies. The fits come and go. They come more quickly now. By proper effort of will I can sometimes. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh. Stop them. There. But I fear that tonight I have taken another step, and will no longer be able to intelligibly communicate with humanity. I have learned more. So shrill as to be inaudible to human hearing. But the dogs will still hear me, for a while at least.

While preparing tomorrow’s lecture I came across this: a letter from Michael Scheuer, the head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit from 1996-1999:
Michael Scheuer: In the CIA’s core, U.S.-based Bin Laden operations unit today there are fewer Directorate of Operations officers with substantive expertise on al-Qaeda than there were on 11 September 2001. There has been no systematic effort to groom al-Qaeda expertise among Directorate of Operations officers since 11 September. Today, the unit is greatly understaffed because of a “hiring freeze,” and the rotation of large numbers of officers in and out of the unit every 60-to-90 days—a process in which experienced officers do less substantive work and become trainers for officers who leave before they are qualified to support the mission. The excellent management team now running operations against al-Qaeda has made repeated, detailed, and on-paper pleas for more officers to work against the al-Qaeda—and have done so for years, not weeks or months—but have been ignored.
Fewer officers with substantive expertise on al-Qaeda than on September 11. Aaaiii! Nyarlathotep! Aaaiii! No systematic effort to groom al-Qaeda expertise since 11 September. Aaaiii! I can see them approach! Yog-Sothoth! Paul Wolfowitz! Aaaiii! The al-Qaeda unit understaffed because of a “hiring freeze,” Aaaiii! They are here! All of them! Shrub-Crawfordath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young! Donald Rumsfeld! Aaaiii! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Krugman R’lyeh wagn’nagl fhtagn! Aiiiiiii!!! Rotation of large numbers of officers in and out of the unit every 60-to-90 days. The trans-dimensional door! The Opener of the Gate! Richard Cheney! Aaaiii! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Krugman R’lyeh wagn’nagl fhtagn! Aiiiiiii!!! The Keymaster! Gozer! The Lesser Shoggoths! Experienced officers do less substantive work and become trainers for officers who leave before they are qualified to support the mission. The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man! Drowned R’lyeh surfaces! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Krugman R’lyeh wagn’nagl fhtagn! Aiiiiiii!!! Sigourney Weaver! He Who Must Not Be Named! Richard Perle! The Young of Shrub-Crawfordath! Why do they hate America so? Rand Beers tried to warn us! Condi Rice! Eldest of All the Shrill, save us!!
Professor THIDWICK’s disability leave is expected to be of indefinite duration.
Like so many of us, I’m a fan of H. P. Lovecraft’s work; but while I appreciate HPL’s finely calibrated descents into gibbering horror, his usual occasions for this—
foreigners a tiny breach in natural law
the narrator’s relatives
words with too many consonants
seafood
all of the above
—have never struck me with the same kind of reason-oversetting terror they held for H. P. Lovecraft.

So thank you, brad. Now I finally know how that feels.

Comments on Miskatonic announcements:
#1 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 08:33 PM:

Aaaiii! Ph地glui mglw地afh Nielsen Hayden R値yeh wagn地agl fhtagn! Aiiiiiii!!!

Pardon me. I need to go consult my Krugmanomicon.

And I hear that the ranks of the Order of the Shrill have been greatly enlarged this week as a result of the visit of the Mad Arab Iyad Allawi to Washington...

#2 ::: Bob O ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 08:43 PM:

Thank you.

#3 ::: Kip Manley ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 09:04 PM:

"Krugmanomicon."

Why, Professor DeLong. I do declare, I could just kiss you, right here and now.

(One is tempted to posit a possible schism in the ranks of the Order of the Shrill. The two schools might be termed the Derlethians [who believe there yet obtains some elemental balance—between, on the one hand, the Great Old Neoconservative Ones and the Outer Moonbat Gods, and, on the other, the Elder Grown-up Republican Gods—which may yet save us all] and the Lovecraftians [who know rather that there is no balance and all is instead but cosmic indifference; we are left alone to gibber and shriek, shrilly, into the void]. —Or, at least, one is so tempted, until one realizes that no one in the Order of the Shrill really believes the Elder Grown-up Republican Gods exist. At least, not anymore. Saturn's children have devoured him.)

#4 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 09:08 PM:

Thou art altogether squamous and rugose.

#5 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 09:15 PM:

Kiss Andrew "the Poor Man" Northrup instead. "Krugmanomicon" is his coinage. (As is the original Aaaiii! Ph地glui mglw地afh Krugman R値yeh wagn地agl fhtagn! Aiiiiiii!!!.) It is found at: http://www.thepoorman.net/archives/002870.html...

And I do urge people to go and read the extraordinary interview in which Seymour Hersh, the Grand Heresiarch of the Order of the Shrill, prays for the Second Coming of Henry Kissinger...

#6 ::: Jordin Kare ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 09:23 PM:

I've seen "Bush/Voldemort '04" stickers (even away from cons!) but "Bush/Nyalarthotep '04" has a nice ring to it, too.

Perhaps Cthulu could buy Fox News (or just devour the current owners). He could replace "Fair and Balanced" with a more appropriate slogan. Something like, "Sucking Brains Since Before The Dawn Of Time."

Oh wait, maybe He already has....

#7 ::: Kip Manley ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 09:25 PM:

I'd much rather not get too terribly close to the Poor Man, oh Sagely Shrill One. He has those ghastly sideburns, cut along non-Euclidian angles, clinging in an unhealthy fashion to his sallow face...

(I'm sitting here trying to think of an appropriate zinger for squamous and rugose, and all I've got is Rufus T. Firefly waggling his eyebrows, saying "If I could walk that way, I wouldn't need the talcum powder!" —Yeah. Okay. So put me down for speechless, I guess. But not, thank all the stars, unspeakable.)

#8 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 09:33 PM:

I would finish this tale of dark financial wizardry, but it appears I am being devoured by a huge and indescribable defi--

#9 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 09:34 PM:

Someone stole my 'Anyone But Nader 2004' yardsign.

I'm depressed.

#10 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 09:42 PM:

I wonder one could find in the Krugmanomicon (if of course one could find a copy, and, once finding it, read it withoug going stark raving shrill) some answer for a dark threatening mystery.

Where west of Crawford the hills rise wild, there is a strange area, with all the brush cleared away unnaturally. It seems after a meteor fell on this ranch strange things began to happen, stock prices sickened and businesses died. Many people lost their jobs never to see them again, with some saying that they had disappeared strangely to a land across the ocean. But nobody could identify the uearthly, kool-aid like sheen to the water from the well of the ranch that seemed to be the very source of the ills of that age.

It was the Deficit out of Space.

#11 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 09:45 PM:

Ahem, "unearthly" for "uearthly".

Pardon my rugosity.

#12 ::: Faisal N. Jawdat ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 10:35 PM:

"My friend, I look at this projection of the national debt, and I shudder before its enormity. Take heed, and stay clear. These peaks, and the entitlement spending, there in the distance are the mountains of madness. I beg you, believe my tale, do not come to this place and this time."

Is Grover N* is He Who Must Not Be Named?

#13 ::: Scott Drone-Silvers ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 12:08 AM:

You realize, of course, that this thread has now left me with the indelible mental picture of Karl Rove as Nyarlathotep, face turned to the moon with a look of triumph with John O'Neill and Rumsfeld licking his hands...

Scott (who knows that there is naught but chaos lurking beneath...)

#14 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 12:22 AM:

Nobody clever bes a box.

#15 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 04:03 AM:

Were you aware that Charlie Stross痴 鄭 Colder War is available online? (If you read it you値l know why it痴 on-topic for this thread.)

#16 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 05:30 AM:

This is a good opportunity to say that I loved that post, too--I just dissolved into laughter, not a usual thing for me to do with blog posts.

I do wonder, too, if the Order of the Shrill has symbols and regalia. I imagine a finger being dragged across a blackboard, dripping blood...

#17 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 09:27 AM:

But the blood would lubricate the board, cutting down the shrillness....

Unless, of course, it was ... someone else's finger!!!

It's like realizing while in the Christian Science Library in Boston that if one grants them their premises, Christian Scientists are perfectly logical (and more so than many Evangelicals). And that many of them are in fact very nice people.

#18 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 09:36 AM:

A long time ago, when the Internet was young and quite possibly squamous, a friend of mine helped out on the Cthulhu For President webpage. Lo and behold, nine years later, it's still here, or something remarkably similar is. Cthulhu For President, bringing "Why Vote for the Lesser Evil?" to the electoral process for the last nine years of presidential elections. I suppose it's something.

#19 ::: Elric ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 10:41 AM:

For the reactionary element that may consider telling Brad to put a sock in it, let me just point out that...those socks were made to be worn by no human foot.

#20 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 12:29 PM:

I saw a "Nixon/Cheney '04" bumper sticker here in the Bay Area a few weeks ago. Took me a while to realize it was a joke.

The sad part, of course, is that I'd infinitely rather have Nixon as President than Bush. Nixon was a grownup who understood that actions had consequences, and he knew when he was lying.

#21 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 03:40 PM:

Oh, speaking of bumper stickers. Some of you may recall that I purchased a "Republicans for Voldemort" sticker at Comic-con. Well, yesterday, whilst driving through Chapel Hill, I got the best reaction EVER. I was stopped at a red light, and I could see two women in the car behind me. One of them nudged the other and pointed at my bumper, and then they both clutched each other, clapped, bounced, and screamed with excitement. (All the more funny because I couldn't hear any of this.) As they passed me, they gave me a thumbs up and waved.

#22 ::: Scott Lynch ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 03:55 PM:

So Zell Miller would be what-- an Innsmouth Democrat?

#23 ::: Arthur D. Hlavaty ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 04:56 PM:

Matt: Garrison Keillor said that Nixon was "the last Republican to have a sense of Christian obligation to the poor." We are driven to Nixon nostalgia.

#24 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 05:42 PM:

A bumper sticker someone really needs to produce:

CTHULHU IN '04 -- VOTE FOR THE LESSER EVIL

#25 ::: Catie Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 08:02 PM:

We are driven to Nixon nostalgia.

What incredibly bad straits we're in. Oi.

-Catie

#26 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 08:41 PM:

Have you guys seen these t-shirts for kids yet?

http://www.lowercasetee.com/

#27 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2004, 04:58 AM:

see, this proves that Bin Laden isn't a Bush agent and they don't have a doppelganger for October release, or they would have hired lots of agents to go after him.

#28 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2004, 01:50 PM:

Bryan, what it proves is that they aren't worried about him. If they'd killed him, they'd have announced it with great fanfare. I'll draw my own conclusions, and encourage you to do the same.

#29 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2004, 04:25 PM:
A bumper sticker someone really needs to produce:

CTHULHU IN '04 -- VOTE FOR THE LESSER EVIL


Like this one?

Chaosium has other Cthulhu for President products, including an Elder Party pin, an RPG, and a campaign pack. I believe I still have a campaign pack from 1992, and I definitely still have a T-shirt.

#30 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2004, 05:25 PM:

What's really horrible is that the current administration can only be understood in Lovecraftian terms. Ph地glui mglw地afh Krugman R値yeh wagn地agl fhtagn! makes as much sense as any White House press release about how we're winning in Iraq.

If Bush shows up at the debates with two flute playing servitor beasts I won't bat an eye.

#31 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2004, 11:38 PM:

I couldn't help make up more books of the NeoCon Mythos:

Cthaat Limbaughdingen
De Ch'n'y Fragments
Aei Azif
Ledeen Manuscripts
Unaussprechlichen NeoCon
Cultes des Crawford
The Revelations of Coulter
Book of Boykin
D'layeh Text

And if course, the primal chant of those who serve the Great Old NeoCons, "Ph地glui mglw地afh Bush Crawford naglwagl pretz'l!" (In his great house at Crawford, Bush eats pretzels.)

#32 ::: Darius Bacon ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2004, 09:57 AM:

What's really horrible is that the current administration can only be understood in Lovecraftian terms.

I used to think there were other terms that could work: Ash nazg dubyatuluk, ashcroft gimbatul...

#33 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2004, 11:15 AM:

I nominate this thread for the best Monday morning read, ever. (Also the most dangerous, if one happens to be drinking hot coffee.)

Although, to be safe, I will renew the offerings to the household ghosts, to keep the family invisible from *that* which stalks the land, specially the battleground states, lately.

#34 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2004, 02:39 PM:

Dan: you missed my point -- Cthulhu is the lesser evil, when compared to the current incumbent!

#35 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2004, 07:39 PM:

Am I allowed to shed bitter, shrill tears at the absence of response to this?:



Shrillblog: In Which We Answer Your Questions: We are broadcasting from our studio high in the tall steel-and-glass building that is the Hermetic Arts Tower here at Miskatonic University in picturesque Arkham, Massachusetts. Down the hall we have one laboratory where graduate students are trying to make Hands of Glory out of pigeons feet. If we look down into the courtyard we can see the unholy creations that have escaped from the Mechatronic Lab shamble off into the hills. And we? We are here in the small suite of offices that make up the world headquarters of the Ancient and Hermetic Order of the Shrill, here to answer your questions about the Order...

Nobody even noticed the hommage to Stross's Atrocity Archive in the Hands of Glory made out of pigeon feet...*

*And there is a Mechatronic Lab in the basement of Berkeley's Etcheverry Hall. I have never dared enter it.

#36 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2004, 08:34 PM:

O the inhumanity! There's no sorrow quite like the sort one feels for an underappreciated good joke.

#37 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2004, 12:30 AM:

It's even worse cough*brad*cough when I write "Ledeen Manuscript," and someone following in my footsteps writes "Ledeen Text."

Use the titles and don't worry about it. That's why I put them up on the Internet.

Alex

#38 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2004, 09:59 AM:

Am I allowed to shed bitter, shrill tears at the absence of response to this?:

I was too overwhelmed with awe to do more than gape. It was a joyous gaping, but not one that permitted coherent response.

#39 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2004, 05:07 PM:

Sorry. I thought you had written "Ledeen Text." Now I realize it is the "Aei Text".

My brain needs a washing, or something...

#40 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2004, 05:08 PM:

Nope. It's "Aei Azif"...

#41 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2004, 05:46 PM:
Dan: you missed my point -- Cthulhu is the lesser evil, when compared to the current incumbent!

So I did. Never mind, then.

#42 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 12:02 AM:

All is forgiven Brad, the Great Old NeoCons doubtless clouded your mind.

By the way, have you seen this lovely collection of quotes from the Necronomicon?

My favorite is, "By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man's truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them."

And wasn't Sarnath located in Iraq?

#43 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 08:40 PM:

Speaking of the Krugmanomicon, I've noticed that the sample chapters of the new Krugman/Wells basic economics text (called, imaginatively, Economics) contain all the simple explanations of complex issues; they cover oligopoly and monopoly, international trade, managing risks (which includes floods and gambling), ecological externalities, management of public goods, taxation, and file sharing.

Do not be tempted to read more or you will be driven into shrill unholy madness!

#44 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 11:53 PM:

. . . and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man's truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them.

"You remind me of a Them."
"What Them?"
"The Them without Thubthtance."
"Thubthstance?"
"Which ith Cthulhu."
"Cthulhu?"
"You do."
"Do what?"
"Remind me of a Them . . ."

#45 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 12:14 AM:

And while we are speaking of Dark Things, does the phrase "appointment in Samarra" strike a familiar note?

#46 ::: Mark Shawhan ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 03:31 AM:

So does that mean that David Bowie is now shrill?

#47 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 04:52 PM:

"You remind me of a Them."
"What Them?"
"The Them without Thubthtance."
"Thubthstance?"
"Which ith Cthulhu."
"Cthulhu?"
"You do."
"Do what?"
"Remind me of a Them . . ."


I saw Cthulhu
Crying hard as he could cry!
What could I do?
It seems George Bush had gone,
And made Cthulhu blue.
What kind of eldritch slime to use?
So Cthulhu wins and the Shrub shall lose?
Thunder and lightning!
Bush is frightening!

Alex

#48 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 08:19 AM:

Alex: your mind is in violation of the leash laws. (And it's a good thing I don't drink at the keyboard, unlike a number of careless posters recently....)

#49 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2004, 12:57 AM:

Thanks Ch'p. I'm a fun guy from Yuggoth.

Alex

#50 ::: Mark Kowalski ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 02:16 PM:

RE: Post #20 by Matt Austern ::: September 25, 2004, 12:29 PM:"The sad part, of course, is that I'd infinitely rather have Nixon as President than Bush. Nixon was a grownup who understood that actions had consequences, and he knew when he was lying."

Matt, Matt, Matt....your characterization of Nixon is slightly naive, or you are very young....

Have your forgotten his rather public, "mental break-down" after losing to JFK? ....and the subsequent famous "checkers" speech?

Grownup????? Understood that his actions had consequences?

Well, if this county's ADD gets any worse and history is continually re-written via blogs like this one...then I guess it will be true....there are "no" consequences for the evil-doers....and by that, I mean Republicans.

The man was insidiously anti-democratic, anti-constitution, psychotic and a worm. Getting credit for "opening China" is another re-write...China came to us...he grabbed the opportunity to divert attention from his "spying on Americans" campaign...sound too familiar?

Nixon, Regan, Bush 1 + 2 (the Kings of suppy-side economics) have kept the same greedy corpses running this country into the ground in power to this day!

Virtually every dollar of debt we owe is due to military spending on their "buddy's" military contracting companies....a "stagnant" investment (Econ 101) that does not give any return.

Nixon was a horrible economist, president, statesman and person. He has more in common with Hitler, than any other leader since....think about it......

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