Jewish date: 3 Marḥeshwan 5770 (Parashath Noaḥ).
Worthy cause of the day: “MoveOn.org Civic Action: Stay off FOX” and “Save the Internet: Take Action!: FCC: Stand Firm for Net Neutrality”.
Today’s news and commentary:
- “How Plagiarism Software Found a New Shakespeare Play”: Submitted by Barry and Nancy.
HUMANS ARE NUTS
Hi, I’m Ravage. You’ve heard of me, that I’m a special agent for the Cybertonian Police. (Well, of course you have.) I know, I know, like, why are you talking to us? That’s like so Soundwave’s job, he is the communicator. You know, Soundwave, THE MAN!!! I know, but he’s busy these days, so is his staff, so, what are you going to do? You call the best field agent you got!
Yeah, I know, Rumble thinks he could do it. Rumble thinks he could do anything. Boo-hoo for him, he’s got stuff to do. Really, I am too busy myself. And my shell, I got it all buffed and waxed today. You have no idea how hard it is to look this good!
Someone has to do it, I guess. I mean, you should really know better. Really, what is wrong with all you little squishy wet hydrocarbon blobs anyway? It’s like listening to Octane any time he comes wandering around, your news, yap yap yap yap yap, hardly any of it true. And that NewsCorp Fox News, or should I say Faux News, they’re so mean to us! Any time they show a picture of the fabu Ambassador Megatron, they always make him look hideous! What they using, the ugly filter? CNN and al-Jazeera aren’t much better.
Let’s talk some sense into your little fatty processors. I know, you can’t help being difficult, it’s not like you were designed to be sane like we were, but do try to keep up. We’ll start with how some of your choice loonies started a war with us and end with how bad movies support terrorism. Shall we?
AUTOBOTS AND COBRA ATTACK THE CYBERTONIAN EMBASSY: ILLEGAL, EVIL, AND STUPID
So, we try to be nice to you little guys, try to be all, you know, diplomatic and stuff, because we’re the good guys. That’s right. Maybe not Skywarp, he’s such a sludgebag, but the rest of us are pretty swell. Just want to come to your planet, pick up all these criminal Autobots, and then take them away, that’s all, no big deal. That’s what cops do. Only the second we show up, it’s like they come out of hiding and badmouth us and you believe them! Come on, salty squish bags! Since when did you ever believe any of these?:
This will not hurt at all.
I will not raise taxes.
Our company puts your best interests first.
That wasn’t me with your best friend in a compromising position.
You might be crazy but you shouldn’t be this stupid! Yeah, we try to stay above the negativity, but then some of your choice dingbats manage to get a missile through the landing bay door of the embassy ship while it’s open, and boom! Blown up people everywhere! And then a bunch of Autobots come in and attack everyone with flame-throwers. Not cool, guys! And then they free a bunch of criminals, kill a bunch of others (WTF!), and they’re off.
Yeah, we’ll just forget that little thing. Lick my mudflaps too while you’re at it.
That missile? That was launched from a human submarine. Hmmm, special kind not used by most militaries, Cobra logo on the side of the thing, a certain buddy-buddy friend of Cobra Commander is best-friend-forever of the Autobots... gee, who do you think could have done this...? I go find Megatron in the infirmary (he got fried pretty badly), and I’m like, Megs, you say the word, I will have Cobra Commander’s head here for you, and I’ll leave the rest of him behind. And Skywarp says, you know, humans can’t live without their heads, and I tell him to shut up. Dumb trunk.
But like, no, Megs won’t let us. We can’t drag ourselves down to that level. So Megs calls for Laserbeak and Buzzsaw and dictates a few letters. Dear UN, help us bring these criminals to justice. Hugs and kisses, Megs. Her Royal Highness Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, please extradite James “Pimp Daddy Destro” McCullen because attacking an embassy is rude. It’s like blah blah blah blah blah. And we keep trying this. For months. What a freaking waste. You humans go nah-ah! You shouldn’t be on our planet! And then you’re like defending Cobra of all things! Cobra’s allowed to defend itself and you’re not, so why don’t you go back to Cybertron? Or better yet, just stand there while they shoot you.
James “Pimp Daddy Destro” McMullen
evil psycho warmonger
This picture is courtesy of the Associated Press.
WTF!!! Hello, Cobra’s a bunch of terrorists, and every year they kill thousands of you little squish blobs and make a whole lot more miserable! So you don’t like us. I get that. Big surprise, we’re cooler than you are. But it’s okay for them to do something criminal because of that? Since when was “I don’t like him” a real defense in court?
Yeah, like even Megs could see that this was going to be a freaking waste of time.
SHOCKWAVE VISITS EARTH: NOW YOU’VE GONE AND DONE IT
And that takes us to last week, when Astrotrain got back from visiting our home planet Cybertron. Yeah, he can do interstellar, so deal, squish bags. (No, Mr. Branson, you cannot have exotic matter so you can do tourism to Alpha Centauri, so stop asking!) Well, lo and behold, Astrotrain comes back and he’s got the president with him. Shockwave, President of the Republic of Cybertron, elected ruler of the free galaxy, and almost as good looking as I am. You have a president visiting another star system in mid-term, you do not have a friendly visit.
They already finished fixing Megs, reformatting him as an F-15 “Seeker” because those are the parts we had already prefabbed (mass production, people; look into it), so he meets the prez in the rebuilt landing bay (with loads more security ’cause we are not doing that missile thing again). And then Shocks struts out, all confident and cool, and it was like the most awesome moment of my life. He actually came over and looked at me! And then Megs’ kid Microtron had to blurt out something about how he can do fun things to her anytime, but Shocks was all cool saying, that’s very considerate of you. And then Shocks turned to us all and made this speech about how dangerous these times are and how we got to stick together and keep going if we want to finish up and go home, and we are like yes! We can do it! And then Shocks and Megs go talk about what happens next.
So, the next day, as you know, Shocks visits the UN building. I know, we should have called, but the last time Megs did that, you all got rude with your little Howitzers. We’re not doing that again. I think you know by now you have a hard time seeing us on radar, so we just showed up, Shocks and Megs, Soundwave (now reformatted as a Black Hawk “Snooper”) to translate, a bunch of Seekers for security, and one Scooper for transport. And, no, you still wouldn’t listen, so Shocks decides to give the speech outside to anyone who would hear.
But, no, you had to just wave you little guns at us. Yeah, something that can crash land and walk away is going to even feel the bullet from a hand gun! Then it turns out Cliffjumper, this annoying Autobot who’s having like a major bromance with the Autobot commander Bumblebee (he can call himself “Goldbug” all he wants, no one else does), he’s in New York, and he comes out and heckles us. And like Sunstorm, one of the Seekers, tries to go over and arrest him, but he’s always hiding behind humans, big cherry-flavored dipstick. And so he transforms into one of those stupid VW Beetle things (it’s a damn Golf, people!), and he’s about to get away when suddenly this Toyota Camry comes out of nowhere and RAMS him passenger-side. And little red Bug goes PING and rolling down the street. And then the Camry transforms into someone I’ve never seen before, and we got a Transformer fight right there. And Shocks orders the humans be protected, and the Seekers are like picking them up and putting them somewhere safe and they’re STILL shooting at us, and Shocks is trying to get over there and stop them. But then Cliff throws the other Transformer into a storefront and gets away.
And then Thundercracker goes over and picks up this Transformer and brings him to Shocks. (I know, it’s hard to wrap your processors around, but things that turn into jets are a lot bigger than things that turn into cars. It’s called “scale.”) Thundercracker is all, who are you, what faction are you, where’s your symbol. And Shockwave is playing it cool. So this Transformer pulls off this battle mask, and says, I am Arcee, Autobrat commander, and I come under a flag of truce to discuss terms of surrender. Shocks is all like, granted, and they were out of there before the National Guard showed up.
Here’s the text they had Soundwave transmit a little while later:
People of Earth,
The appointed representatives of the Republic of Cybertron have repeatedly sought help from the United Nations of Earth in bringing to justice those who attacked our embassy-at-large. Unfortunately, your leaders have done nothing towards this end. I therefore have no choice but to authorize the following measures:
1. A state of war is declared between the Republic of Cybertron and the Cobra Organization. As Cobra is classified as a terrorist organization under the criteria listed in the Uniform Criminal Organization Act, its continued existence is hereby declared forfeit. The use of military force necessary to accomplish the eradication of Cobra is authorized.
2. Any individuals, robot or human, believed to have participated in, be complicit with, or accessories to the attack are to be placed under arrest and held as prisoners of war pending further investigation, regardless of territorial considerations. Standards for the treatment of prisoners of war as laid down in the Geneva Convention will be observed for all human detainees.
I ask for the cooperation of the Earthlings in the accomplishment of these goals. Cobra has a long history of immoral behavior towards its fellow humans, and its discontinuation will only benefit all. We would rather have all the United Nations of Earth work together with us to bring their terror to an end, but either way, it will end.
Republic of Cybertron
THE DEATH OF PIMP DADDY DESTRO: HIS OWN DAMN FAULT
So right after the prez declared war, they call on me, and soon I’m in the mission briefing room, being given instructions by Constable Starscream, chief of Cybertonian police forces on Earth, for my next extra special outing. And I guess there was also Rumble, Frenzy, Laserbeak, a bunch of Seekers (including, ugh, Skywarp), and the Chinook-formatted “Scooper” Updraft. And Rumble and Frenzy are all being full of themselves. I was like the first of Soundwave’s “cassettes” to be reformatted as a car (Jaguar XK; you’re welcome!), and then Rumble and Frenzy had to follow (with dorky loser cars, big surprise) and even Laserbeak went copycat (yeah, a Cessna business jet and a VULTURE!). Anything I do, everyone copies me.
While I was stretching out and swatting Laserbeak away, and the dumbtrunk twins giggled their heads off, Starscream came in and started explaining the mission. We were going in to arrest James “Pimp Daddy Destro” McMullen and his main squeeze Anastasia “the Baroness” McMullen on their heavily defended estate in Scotland.
Pimp Daddy, as you’d better know, is an arms dealer. Lots of customers up the tailpipe: United States, United Kingdom, China and Russia for certain things, Saudi Arabia, yadda yadda yadda. Oh, yeah, and COBRA!!! Can you believe it, Pimp Daddy and the Baroness all like buddy-buddy with Cobra Commander. Don’t believe me? I have the vacation photos. Anyway, we’re sure they were in on the attack and needed to be brought in. Long odds, scary weapons, probably surprises. The Royal Air Force would be ticked at us. This would rock!
Except it totally blew. The Seekers shot out this gas which is supposed to put you all in like sleep mode, but some of you had gas masks, and you just shot at us anyway. Guns are annoying, antiaircraft missiles are just rude.
And then there were the Autobots. So like a long time ago, there used to be Autobots there, but then Pimp Daddy rented them out to the United States and most of them left. We thought. And it turns out there’s a whole TRUNKLOAD of them still there, and they were not happy. I swear, most of them were from a really annoying clique that called themselves the “Go-Bots.” Yes, that group that got their own competing cartoon, THOSE Go-Bots. Dorks. So instead of driving up to the big castle thing and nabbing the evil squish bags easy, it’s total demolition derby all the way. So while Frenzy and Rumble are slugging it out with Turbo and Crasher, I nearly run over Vanguard off before Pathfinder tries to ride me (seriously). And then Cy-Kill of all robots (little pipsqueak) hits me and scratches my paint. DO NOT WANT!!!
A note on Transformer fights. Yes, alleged director Michael Bay in his even more alleged movies makes them look cool, but that’s because he has a little something called HOLLYWOOD MAGIC. In reality they’re pretty embarrassing to watch. Making a body which can fold up to look like something else usually requires a few compromises, and that means stuff like limited range of motion, high centers of gravity, all manner of vehicle parts hanging off the outside and getting in the way. You take two Transformers like that going at it and they look like a pair of overdressed top-heavy drunk jelly rolls wrapped in tin foil. And even as formatings have gone from the older “brick” style to the cooler “alternator” style, even someone with the superarticulated and ultraposable “masterpiece” style is still less articulated and posable than a human. Arcee is best known for her athleticism because her range of motion is somewhat closer to what a human can do. Yeah, we do hand-to-hand, but in real combat, it’s usually in vehicle mode. (How do you think Crasher got her name?)
cowardly sludgebag trunkpolisher
This picture is courtesy of Reflector, military data archivist for the Cybertonian embassy-at-large.
On a lighter note, we did solve the mystery of what happened to Jetfire. Autobots love coughing his name up, the one “Decepticon” who defected and joined the greater, nobler, Autobot cause and died honorably in battle. My tailpipe. NEVER HAPPENED. Yeah, there was a Jetfire, but he was a total goober. I don’t know whose incentive tap he was activating, but DAMN he was never cop material. Totally spazzed out the moment we went interstellar. Complete robot-resources failure not catching this guy. Turns out he had an Autobot ancestor, was totally conflicted about the whole mission of arresting Autobots. First chance he gets, he runs away and joins them. We kind of suspected he ended up with the Go-Bot crowd, especially when a certain group always showed up for publicity events. Cy-Kill, you can understand him showing up because he’s so tiny he looks ridiculous, but Scooter and Dive-Dive always came, and even Turbo and Crasher are there not making any secret they’re doing each other. But shouldn’t a certain Go-Bot who turns into an F-15 also be there? Well, there he was, and he nearly stepped on me, and I’m actually glad that that the Mark III Seekers can land vertically like a Harrier, because otherwise WE’D BE SCREWED!!! I don’t know what kind of modifications they’ve been doing to him, but it took Sunstorm and Thundercracker together to stop and arrest his trunk. Traitor’s going down!
And then the funnest surprise of all. The Autobots, when they came to Earth (read: FLED LIKE A BUNCH OF COWARDS!!!), brought a number of plasma-bolt weapons with them. And since none of those dumbtrunks could actually build something which requires, you know, processors, Pimp Daddy’s been banging his head against the walls trying to duplicate them ever since. And somewhere along the way, he mounted a standard police-issue plasma HANDGUN on the roof of his castle thing and was shooting at us. Pew pew! And I was going to knock down the door, use my claws, climb up the side of the castle, and bravely stop him. And then I hear THIS IS THE CYBERTONIAN POLICE!!! STEP AWAY FROM THE WEAPON AND PUT YOUR HANDS UP!!! And there’s that skidmark Skywarp hovering overhead. But, no Pimp Daddy Destro has to be stupid and shoot at him, and so Skywarp has to fire back, and the biggest sludgeguzzler in the Cybertonian police force gets the glory of BLOWING PIMP DADDY’S SORRY TRUNK INTO SMITHEREENS!!! Fool!
Anastasia “the Baroness” McMullen
religious nutcase terrorist
This picture is shamelessly stolen from a pro-Cobra website (or maybe the Associated Press).
The good news is we got the Baroness alive. That little jelly roll is totally nuts, let me tell you. It took Frenzy and Rumble together to move her, and then she beat on the inside of my cab the entire freaking trip back to the embassy and wouldn’t shut up. Very loud for such a tiny critter. SO happy to put the thing in the brig and let the exobiologists look at her. I needed a wash, the stinky little squish blob LEAKED!
And now the really bad part.
COBRA ISLAND: DONE
Even President Shockwave, hard to believe, has people who don’t like him. Yeah, I know, he’s a cool prez, and he looks damn hot, but no one’s happy the police action’s gone on this long. A lot of bad things have been said about him, and the Center for Factual Accuracy in Politics has been kept very busy. One thing no one can say about him, however, is that he’s ever unprepared.
When Deputy Astrotrain returned from Cybertron, he didn’t just have the president with him. The prez knew talking with the protein shakes would probably fail, so he brought what was needed for the next step: the 33rd Battalion of the Cybertonian Army, under the command of General Cyclonus, all freshly reformatted.
First stop, Cobra Island. This isn’t much more than a bunch of jelly-blob skeletons on top of a dead volcano which was built up artificially. Home to several thousand more advanced jelly blobs, it’s been home base for the Cobra Organization, also known as FREAKING TRUNK TERRORIST SLUDGEWADS. This is where the Cobra Commander usually lives, as well as the Great Cobra Temple, which holds the stinking dead body of the “prophet” Serpentor. The Golobulans or whatever they call themselves think that some day Serpentor will be alive again and make all the world love their god Golobulus and kill everyone who doesn’t. Personally, if a piece of dead rotten protein squish told me it knew the ultimate divine truth, I’d be looking for the animating mechanism because that would be one awesome puppet.
I don’t know what the heck is wrong with you jelly blobs, but on Cybertron, terrorism is a really serious crime. We don’t try to make them seem so bad by calling them “militants” or “freedom fighters” or (ugh!) “patriots.” We don’t talk to them, and we don’t try to reason with them, and no one’s crazy enough to give them anything they want. When the Maximal fundamentalists went from being a bunch of pains in the tailpipe to actually killing people, the government came down hard on them. No arguments. There is no more Maximal problem. End of story.
Frankly, the conquest of Cobra Island was the easiest one like ever. A few Seekers fly over, spray everything with anesthetic gas, all the little goopies go into sleep mode, and then all the Humvee-formatted ground troops march in, collect the weapons, and organize everyone. The only fatalities were from traffic accidents caused by out-of-control vehicles, and that wasn’t very many. And then everyone is given the choice of living in peace or going to jail. Most chose the former. THAT’S how you do an invasion. Humans are so easy to knock out. Why you bother with bombs and bullets is beyond me. Some of you, of course, are a bunch of liars and go on throwing Molotov cocktails anyway. You go to jail, no arguments, no options.
Obviously we don’t want to stay. Earth is a freaking long way from Cybertron, and we don’t want to keep up an occupation forever. For the moment Peace Island (we renamed it; Cobra doesn’t get any glory) is administered by us under the direction of Galvatron, an experienced desk jockey, while we work on making the little squish balls learn how take care of themselves. The prez has declared his goal that in a year he wants Peace Island to have a new democratic government, not the religious dictatorship it had before. Suitable new government officials are already being screened as we speak. Good luck, Shocks!
BIG disappointment is that the high priest, grand poobah of the whole thing, Cobra Commander himself got away. Which means he RUNS LIKE AN AUTOBOT COWARD!!! Wuss. Guy lived like a king while he was here and couldn’t stand up and defend himself. Jerk. We’ll get him. He’s now most wanted jelly roll on the whole freaking planet.
And as you little squishies really like stuff, were making you THE ULTIMATE OFFER!!! Among all the AWESOME stuff that was brought back from Cybertron are lots and lots of ingots of various precious elements. These ingots are a special 10 cm by 10 cm by 10 cm size for convenient handling by you little mammal people. A single gold ingot of this size is worth approximately 590,000 United States dollars, and if any one of you little wet splats gives us the information we need to get Cobra Commander, you can have ten of them. We get him alive, we’ll throw in another ten. Who wouldn’t want to backstab one of the most evil jigglies around? TURN THE LITTLE SLUDGESUCKER IN AND GET FILTHY RICH NOW!!!!
Enough of that. We’ll chat more later. Peace out.