life makes fiction look silly (again)

I’ve been reading (or re-reading if I loosely remember my education) Mark Twain.  Tom Sawyer gets himself stuck in a cave for days with his young love and the whole town gives them up for dead.  It’s a neat little tale.

But when the planet announces that a dozen Thai kids and their coach are lost in a cave and they’ve had to drag out the divers to find them, in my mind I’m like, they’re dead, there’s no way.

Hah, fuck my idiocy.  Turns out they’re alive.  Nine days in there and they’re still in it.  Smile humanity, this is insane, and awesome.  Let’s breathe in some good news for a bit.


And get a load of these UK cave divers who flew in to help.  These guys are heroes, so it’s great that they also look like they own your local gas station.


A happy Mom and Dad.



so every company wants to dance with sriracha

I guess you know a food ingredient has become all powerful when McDonalds starts to hock the stuff as part of their latest harebrained scheme to forestall irrelevance. They got Ronald McDonald to descend into the Thai jungle to pick up some ideas.

Given the danger he brought a large number of his posse. McDonald got the map and compass. Grimace essentially functioned as a pack mule. The Hamburglar got the grease gun. Birdie carried the radio, and Officer Big Mac, wait, wait, who the hell are all these other mascots?

Anyways, but seeing as only Ronald McDonald emerged from the jungle alive and without product, they just came up with this thing called Sriracha Mac Sauce. Which they trademarked. Seriously.

Sriracha is everywhere. Almost any restaurant chain or potato chip maker is all over this. I guess it’s trendy? Everybody loves spice and Asian so folks think they can mint money on this. But what really is sriracha? It depends.

In Thailand it’s basically just a random chili sauce with vinegar and spices. But in America what folks know as sriracha is just the Huy Fong Foods bottle. It’s just one kind of sriracha. But to most people I suppose it’s the sriracha.

Huy Fong’s story is actually pretty awesome. David Tran fled recently conquered South Vietnam in 1978 and was eventually granted asylum in America. He named the company after his refugee ship Huey Fong.

To me, the look of the bottle is pure genius. The contrast between the green and red, the unique rooster logo, the various languages and styling, it’s just great. It’s what made them successful, that and the unique taste.

But because Tran either cannot or will not trademark the word sriracha, basically everybody else can do what they want. So folks might think that McDonalds is partnering with Huy Fong to make their sauce, but they’re not. McDonald just made it on their own. Hence McDonald’s own trademark on their version of the sauce.

Hey I want to expand the planet’s variety of food choices too, but not at the expense of silly fads driven by faceless corporate goons in suits. Sriracha is basically just Thai ketchup. It’s not the emperor of all Asian hot sauces. I wonder how many folks have ever heard of Korean gochujang paste? It’s mind bogglingly awesome in its own right.

Want sriracha in America? Go ahead and buy the Huy Fong bottle. Or, go get a unique version from an Asian grocery. Don’t give Ronald McDonald more cash to file his next cutthroat trademark.


Based designed sauce bottle in human history.

Trust the gun wielding goon with your freedom, what could go wrong?

I have this idea of a bunch of drunk cavemen leaders discussing whether or not to establish an army to liquidate the residents of a neighboring cave. They vote to do it. Then the next morning the leaders all wake up to find the general they elected to command their new cave army has launched a coup. He beheads them all and then doesn’t attack the neighboring cave after all.

Who needs an army anyways? Well, I guess Ukraine, probably Vietnam, and all those Baltic states who will soon become Russian provinces while NATO discusses what minor tool of Putin to sanction. But mostly, I think the planet’s countries don’t need armies. Throughout history, most armies only battle their own people. I’m certain we’ve got more coups than wars on the books.

Why has Thailand needed an army since 1932? They’ve had twelve coups. But the only times it was really needed against say Imperial Japan or to hedge Communist Vietnam, they never really fought. So by my count the only battle the Thai army has ever truly engaged in was against its own people. Maybe the Thai should only have cops instead. It’d be safer that way.

But it was rather comical to see the fools at the US State Department twist their words in a manner befitting a hack of Putin. As they walked around whether or not the army’s actions earlier this week amounted to a coup. I guess thousands of guys on the city streets with machine-guns is a training exercise?

Whatever. Don’t be too hard on them. They’re interested in preserving US influence in Thailand, regardless of who’s in charge. We don’t possess a US State Department interested in supporting US values. That’s weak ass stuff. Imposing your values across the world by any means is for jerks like Putin who actually care about things.

But fortunately those seeking clarity of the situation when clarity already existed were nicely assisted by history’s latest caveman asshole: General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Self-Appointed Dictator & Overlord of the Thai People. When in doubt, as always, trust the guy who’s serious enough to put guns on the street.

But it’s okay, the US is on the case. Secretary Kerry has warned of “negative implications for the U.S.-Thai relationship”. Ah, I see. I once again refer Secretary Kerry to his outstanding performance with the Ukraine crisis and remind him that people generally look at what you’ve done to determine whether you’re a serious man. If I was the good general, would take any threat Kerry offers seriously?

One Shirt, Two Shirt, Red Shirt, Yellow Shirt, whatever. Both sides are at fault in why Thai governance has been a basket case for a decade. These guys make Africa’s best kleptocrats look like freaking masters of the human race. Hey, at least Mugabe can keep things somewhat moving, even if he’s still having folks beat in back alleys. I’m pretty sure Mugabe’s got less automatic weapons on the streets of Harare today than Bangkok does.

But you know who’s not going to improve Thailand’s situation? The army. So whatever their motives, they’ve now further sent their country into the drink. The good general says he’s there to “return peace and order to the country as soon as possible”. They all say that. Some of them might even mean it. Maybe the general actually means it? But even if he does, he clearly doesn’t know anything about history. If you know history, you can already call how well this one’s going to work out. Bet money on it.

normal street corner

Well, at least the guy on the right isn’t laying a pool of blood; I guess that’s something; I guess