Saturday, December 27, 2008

Carnival of the Elitist Bastards VIII: To Boldly Go

The HMS Elitist Bastard leaves the high seas for deep space over at Submitted to a Candid World. Captain Ames helms the ship as we explore strange new worlds, seek out ignorance, and then blast it into oblivion with phasers set to "vaporize." The only question remaining unanswered: how good is Ames at the Picard Maneuver?

Set a course for wisdom. Warp factor 9. Engage.

Monday, December 15, 2008

12 Days o' Piratemas

Aye, that be Captain Ames summoning ye, and ye've got only twelve days before we sail! Get your elitist bastardry aboard by December 26th. I expect to see filled to the bursting wi' submissions - I know ye've got it in ye.

Ye wouldn't want to miss this sailing, my swarthy crew. It be Piratemas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Carnival of the Elitist Bastards VII: Storming the High Seas

Stormy weather delayed the launch, but the HMS Elitist Bastard has sailed from port at Cafe Philos. Captain Paul returns us to the core of our mission, and has the line that encapsulates it all:

Nothing spells elitist like changing the world for the better.

Go. Read. Get inspired, and change the world.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ahoy, There! The Ship Be Sailin' Tomorrow!

Ye don't want to miss the boat, now, do ye? I know ye be nursin' a turkey hangover, an' ye might be wonderin' where all the rum's gone, but elitist bastards stop for no ill and no holiday. Get yer links in to me, or ye'll be regrettin' it. I'll be watchin' for ye until the clock strikes midnight.

NaNo sufferers - I know ye don't be havin' time for articles. We'll take a snippet o' prose instead. I be thinkin' that'll be elitist bastardly enough.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shore Leave Be Over

We put the dogs o' ignorance to rout and fired their ships, but the mission o' the HMS Elitist Bastard tisn't over! Aye, and the wise Captain Paul from Café Philos be callin' ye to arms. We set sail once again on November 29th. Muster the best o' your elitist bastardry and get yourselves aboard by the 28th. Send all o' yer links to me, and take pride in the name of elitist bastardry!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

COTEB VI: We Be Sailin' the Wine Dark Seas

Carnival of the Elitist Bastards VI be up at Captain John Pieret's. Be ye ready for an epic tale. A poet he is, aye, and a bard Homer himself would admire.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It Be Time

Today be the last day to bring Captain John yer treasure. Send me yer links, ye Elitist Bastards!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Honorary Elitist Bastard

Cujo359 of Slobber and Spittle nominates Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom as an Honorary Elitist Bastard for his post "Average Joe can't fix America's pipes."

Look. There is a reason we call "the average guy" average. Because he's in the middle. Average. When you aim for the White House, to lead the free world, to hold the fate of the Earth in your hands, you shouldn't aspire to average. And this election shouldn't be about average.

Don't get me wrong. Plumbers, when you need them, are more desirable than presidents. I, personally, would be underwater in my home if not for my plumber.

But in politics, we overdo the small picture because we get bored with the big picture. Our eyes glaze over when candidates talk policy. The devil is in the details, but we're not interested in the devil. We'd rather watch, be entertained, be told a story.
This rather goes along with my belief that the person we elect should be extraordinary. I work with a lot of "average Americans." I troubleshoot the phones of many "average Americans." I spent many years of my life processing the orders of many small business owners. And I can tell you: the idea of choosing a president based on his "average guy" qualities scares me shitless.

We need far more than average when we place the fate of this country in someone's hands.

Average has been fetishized to the point of absurdity. The assault on intellect, the demonization of knowledge, and the worship of the lowest common denominator has gotten frightening.

And that's why we're here, my swarthy crew. We know that aspiring to the mundane does nothing for humanity. Wasting away in the doldrums of the average gets us nowhere. Deliberately refusing to fill our sails with genius and sail toward brilliant achievement just because not everyone can get there is pathetically limiting. We should aspire. We should inspire.

Average is the backbone of any society. But it takes more than a backbone to run a civilization: it takes brains.

Huzzah to Mitch Albom for making that case so succinctly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ahoy, Elitist Bastards! Captain John Be Lookin' For Ye

It be time for us to muster up once more:

The Sixth Carnival of Elitist Bastards is due to sail on October 25th from Port Haystack.

I know that there are a lot of bastards out there who'd like to show up the stupidity, ignorance and dishonesty currently masquerading as "small town values," "common sense" and "teaching the controversy."

Here's your opportunity. Get busy on exposing the so-called "thinking" that deserves to be looked down on and extolling what truly is elite: learning, logic and science.

Send your debunkings and other demolitions to no later than October 24th (though, in kindness to a certain Ancient Mariner, early entries are preferred). And, if you see some internet article or posting particularly fitting to sail on our voyage, please pass a long the link, as our press gang is always on the lookout for hands to ... er ... volunteer.

Don't ye be lettin' Captain John down, or ye'll soon be regretting it. There be an ocean o' ignorance out there, me hearties. It be our duty to rescue the treasure o' wisdom from their dens o' inanity.

Eggheads, UNITE!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Carnival of the Elitist Bastards V: Gone Cruisin'

Aye, my darlings, the crew of the HMS Elitist Bastard is all aboard The Coffee-Stained Writer's Caribbean Elite, and we be savoring the luxury. Captain NP, who worked herself to the bone and delivered a brilliant Carnival of the Elitist Bastards, has the full report of our carousing.

Look on her works, ye landlubbers, and admire!

Our celebrated return:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where Be Ye, My Elitist Bastards?

It's time to go a-cruisin', but I don't spy many o' ye on the docks. What, are ye too elitist to enjoy a good cruise? Do ye think that just because we're sailing in luxury means we're on vacation? Nay, ye elitist dogs! There's still a job o' work to be done!

We may be enjoyin' our own little world aboard ship, full o' feasting and drinking, but we still be sailin' the seas o' ignorance. We be needing a boatload o' wisdom to counter it.

So, my swarthy crew, get your posts in to by this Friday eve. 'Tis all right if ye choose a post from the days o' yore instead o' penning something new. Wisdom be timeless. I know ye've got something ye be proud of, a piece o' writing so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel!

Ye don't want to be left on the docks while the rest o' us drink all the good liquor. All aboard!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Admiral Dana Missing in Action: Captain NP Steps in to the Breach

Caught in a vicious cycle of trainwreck politics, a tremendous bout of homesickness, lovely perimenopausal moodswings, and intimations of the mortality of my cat (though she rallied quickly, no worries), I've been extremely remiss in my duties as Admiral of the HMS Elitist Bastard lately.

For one thing, I haven't yet mentioned that you've got just under two weeks to get on board.

For another, I haven't been posting the news from the EP wires.

Bad Admiral. No grog.

You guys are going to love this next theme:
EP--The Caribbean Elite, a new luxury liner catering exclusively to the elite, is being prepared for its maiden voyage on September 27th. Captain NP, unavailable for comment, is creating the guest list for the first voyage. She has been meeting with various elitists to discuss the cruise, as well as their qualifications for being admitted to the ship. It has been rumored the guest list will need to be finalized by September 26th for the voyage the next day. The elitists who have met with NP declined to comment on the impending maiden voyage of the controversial luxury liner.
Luxury fucking liner, my swarthy crew. We've bloody well earned it, wouldn't you say?

We get to leave the HMS Elitist Bastard in her berth and go cruising. We'll be sprawled in the lap of luxury, eating bon bons and five-course dinners and drinking like alcoholic fish. And, of course, this being an Elitist Bastard cruise, the conversation will be as delicious as the food.

You can get more news from the EP Wire Service here, and an eyeful of particularly sexy Elitist Bastard Piratry here.

Send in your submissions and get ready to set sail in splendid comfort, me hearties.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pressing Issues

Our own amazing John Pieret has an intriguing idea:
It may be high time for the good captains of the good ship Elitist Bastard to institute press gangs to help man the yardarms.
Considering who he wants to press-gang, I think he's on to something... Go. Read. Return.
What say you all? Who would you like to see shanghai'd?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Carnival of the Elitist Bastards IV

The fourth sailing of the HMS Elitist Bastard is now underway with the incomparable Captain Blake Stacey at the helm.

I'm not going to give away what he's done. Just go. Read. Admire!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ye Haven't Got Long, Ye Elitist Bastards!

Captain Blake Stacey be expectin' ye - and ye don't want to disappoint Captain Stacey.

Nay, indeed! The only thing bigger than himself is his brain, and he be looking for Elitist Bastard submissions to feed that monstrous intellect o' his.

He'll be taking the HMS Elitist Bastard to sea on August 30th. You'd best be on deck and reporting for duty by August 29th, then, me brilliant bastards. Send those submissions, or ye'll be wishing ye did!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ahoy the Ship!

The third voyage of the HMS Elitist Bastard has just sailed at Pharyngula.

My darlings... we have a long way to go before we can match PZ for elitistism or bastardry. But I have a cunning two-fold plan, "a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel."

Firstly, as we celebrate this sailing, we ensure we buy PZ many drinks for his selfless service. Many strong drinks.

Secondly, we take some lessons in bastardry from Blackadder.

Let the lesson begin...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sailing this Saturday? Please Read!

In light of what Bill Donahue's minions have done to PZ's inbox, it might be a very good idea for any Elitist Bastards planning to sail this weekend to send their links over to I've only got ten of you so far: I'm sure there's more. Let's make sure no one gets left on the docks because of Bill's fainting fit.

If you sent your link to both boxes, you're good to go. We'll see you on the ship this Saturday!

For those of you who haven't submitted yet, I'd suggest getting those links in by Thursday. Which means I'd best stop yammering at you and get to bloody work.

See you on board!

The Captain's Calling For Ye!

Captain PZ Myers demands more submissions:
I'm hosting the next Carnival of the Elitist Bastards on 26 July, and the submissions are barging in to my mailbox and demanding my attention…but I need more. I want a legion of arrogant SOBs making noise. So send me more links…don't be shy (hah!).
A legion he wants and a legion he shall have. There's still time! Dig out a past post if you haven't time to write a new one. You're Elitist Bastards: something you've written in the past will pass muster! Pull an all-nighter, whatever you must do: just answer your captain's call by this Friday!

(Tip o' the tricorn to Slybird for the photo suggestion)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Muster Up, Ye Elitist Bastards!

We're about to cast off at Pharyngula, my swarthy crew! Get your submissions in to, and just to be sure, what with all those angry Catholics flooding his inbox, ye'd better get them to, too. Wouldn't do to leave a fine Elitist Bastard standing dockside, now, would it?

See ye on board!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Capitans y Reservas!

The ayes have it: The Carnival of the Elitist Bastards is staying monthly, at least for now. That means I have many captains and not enough ship. As Rowan Atkinson so memorably said, "I'm afraid I'll have to split you into groups."

Captains for the next nine months are as follows:

July 26th - PZ Myers, Pharyngula

August 30th - Blake Stacey, Science After Sunclipse

September 27th - NP, The Coffee-Stained Writer

October 25th - John Pieret, Thoughts in a Haystack

November 29th - Paul Sunstone, Café Philos

December 27th - Ames, Submitted to a Candid World

January 31st - Efrique, Ecstathy

February 28th - Chaos Lee, The Chaos Hangover

March 28th - Atheist Chaplain, So You Think I'm a Barstard

A lot of worthy names didn't make that list for an excellent reason: I'm keeping you in reserve.

Reserve officers are essential in any enterprise. Should we lose a captain, you're there to step up to the helm. Should this thing take off beyond all reasonable expectations and we be forced to set sail every two weeks, I have a ready pool of captains to pull from rather than frantically searching for warm bodies. And if neither of these things happen, you'll still be helming the ship: it just won't be within the next nine months.

With that much organized, I think it's time for a rousing sea chanty:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What Say You All?

It's time for the swarthy crew of the HMS Elitist Bastard to throw hats in the air and shout "HUZZAH!" Your hard work and elite contributions have made both of this great ship's voyages rousing successes.

Thanks to PZ Myers, our intrepid cephalopod capitan for July, COTEB has gotten the recognition it deserves. I can only imagine what's going to happen after he's helmed the ship!

Those two things combined means I've gathered a list of captains that would take us into 2010. And that leads me to a very important question: do you, my dearest Elitist Bastards, think we start sailing every two weeks come this fall?

I'll post the schedule once the ayes and nays have had their say.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Carnival of the Elitist Bastards #2

The HMS Elitist Bastard has arrived home to a hero's welcome from her triumphant first voyage. Wit and wisdom won the day. We celebrate many things: the ascendency of intellect, the beauty of knowledge, and the freedom of inquiry that will leave the world a better place.

On the eve of the Fourth of July, when America is about to celebrate her historic declaration of independence, we prepare ourselves for battle once more. This is no time to rest on laurels: the forces of ignorance have suffered a blow, but are by no means defeated. We must fight on. Otherwise, the glories of science and reason, learning and discovery, could be lost forever.

Here in our home port, we're preparing our ship and crew for another mission.

But as the sun sinks into the sea, and the ocean breezes cool our fevered minds, we let ourselves savor the moment. Lirone from Words that Sing plays the sea chanty, "Elite," that will become our anthem:

Elitist. But why? Intelligence is not
Like money or status - in sharing it we all become
Information millionaires. Yet crushing forces
Teach many to exclude themselves from the

Our mission is to crush those "crushing forces." We're here to make sure no one feels it necessary to impoverish themselves.

But why the crushing forces? That's what we turn to Efrique from Ecstathy, to learn. He tells us of "A misplaced sense of self-importance (I: "elitism"-ism)" that explains quite a lot about the forces trying to make "elite" a dirty word. Efrique reveals the hypocrisy behind those who call others "elitist:"

This is not an occasional happenstance - the "charge" of elitism always seems to come from a member of some elite. It's hypocrisy writ large - writ large because the stakes are usually big.

Indeed they are. The elites ranged against us are power elites, hiding their status in order to denegrate those wise enough to threaten their power. We'll do well to expose them for what they are - but Efrique reminds us not to get too full of ourselves while doing so. It's advice we'll take to heart as we prepare to sail again.

But we must never forget who we are. Splendidelles from Splendid Elles declares, "I'm an Elitist Bastard," and in a splendid exploration of the pleasure and pain of elitist bastardry in a world that's more inclined to accept mediocrity, makes us remember why we set sail on the HMS Elitist Bastard:
Ignorance is not just bliss. It’s all too easy. Learning requires the use of the brain, and the very thought of this particular organ seems to stir terror within the hearts of other kids my age. I justify taking the risk and using this brain power because of my curiosity. I want to know what those funny lights up in the sky at night are. I want to know how the Solar System formed. I want to know how the beautiful and complex forms of life arose on Earth by natural selection. I want to learn vector calculus so that I may someday understand Maxwell’s tantalizing equations.
We're here because we want to know, explore, and show others that ignorance is not the only bliss, nor a particularly good one at that.

And Blake Stacey is here to show us that there's nothing to fear from Maxwell's equations. In "The Necessity of Mathematics," he shows us why understanding mathematics is necessary:

Our thesis will be the following: that if one does not understand or refuses to deal with mathematics, one has fatally impaired one’s ability to follow the physics, because not only are the ideas of the physics expressed in mathematical form, but also the relationships among those ideas are established with mathematical reasoning.

Photo: http://

His premise sounds terrifying, but he leads us on a fascinating journey through the higher maths that leaves us enlightened. Yes! Even we victims of the New Math can get it! We're not only Elitist Bastards, we are Elitist Bastards who now understand a lot more math.

Education is vitally important in the cause of Elitist Bastardry, as Jim from Teacherninja knows. He has many reasons to be among the "Proud Elite" - he is on the front lines, warning teachers and librarians that without their dedication to learning, anti-intellectualism may win:
These are desperate times. Teachers who promote anti-science. Hell, Governors who promote anti-science. It's gotten to the point where debates aren't really even debates anymore. It's hard to have a debate with someone who doesn't even have a commen set of facts or understand the basics of logic and rationality and critical thinking.

And Andrea from Andrea's Buzzing About: "School 'Discipline?'" has quite a lot to say about how we're teaching - most specifically, how discipline in the classroom isn't sending the right message. Speaking from experience, she demonstrates why the two most common methods of classroom discipline fail - and offers a better way:
Corporal punishment as discipline — or the threat of such — does not work well. It can stop bad behavior, but doesn’t teach better behavior. Worse, it teaches the wrong things. Even bribes and gold stars don’t work well, because the focus is shifted from what is being done, to what the reward is.

She also reminds us about "Being Up Front." We all get the picture - and a much-needed laugh.

We ran into many facades on our first voyage - people who find it more important to keep up appearances than to be truthful. Russell Blackford from Metamagician and the Hellfire Club has some "Thoughts on art and nudity" that pound on prudes who believe that any image of a naked human being is necessarily sexual. They keep up the appearance of being decent, moral human beings by mistaking art for pornography. Russell has some advice:

We need to grow up as a society and take a much more informed and worldly view of these things. If we look around us, we'll see that our forebears adopted varied, and sometimes even contradictory, attitudes to sexuality, nudity, and the body, and maybe we can remind ourselves that all of this is our cultural heritage — and legitimate subject matter for artists of all kinds.

Our battles always do come around to those whose rigid morals and beliefs cause them to fight against not only art involving nudes, but science and reason. Epi from Epi Wonk notes that news of "Scientists Behaving Badly" fans the flames. After sketching three cases of scientists who falsified data or otherwise got up to hijinks they shouldn't have, she explores how anti-vaccinationists have used those exceptional cases to make their case against all science:
Are these cases evidence that Modern Science is failing us, “research is unreliable,” and people shouldn’t put their trust in scientific research? I would argue just the opposite.

She convinces us: there's no reason to distrust science. And if we're convinced, why is it that we can't seem to convince the creationists? John Pieret from Thoughts in a Haystack has found a theory that's "A Perfect Fit" - and it came from a creationist:

Sometimes people get it so right that you have to take your hat off ... even when what they're so right about is why they're wrong.

Brilliant! With that information, we feel properly armed.

But for some of us, that raises questions about religion. Z from "It's the Thought that Counts has some "Thoughts on religious tolerance" that explore the role of religious tolerance in free societies and probe its outer bounds:

If someone you were casually chatting with in a coffee shop happened to confess to you her belief in a host of invisible fairies who sprinkled fairy dust on her while she slept to make sure she remembered to pay her utility bills on time, you would presumably think less of her for this exact reason. She can’t possibly have her wits about her, you might think to yourself. Anyone who was the least bit rational would realize that idea was absurd. Change the line to one about bread and wine changing into a man’s (or a god’s) flesh and blood, though, and all of a sudden you have a religious belief that must be respected.

Respect and tolerance are worthy goals, but so is critical thought. After all, a free society can't function without it. And many of us are turning toward thoughts of how anti-intellectualism, irrationality, and the refusal to reason harm democracy.

Brian from Truth is Freedom gives us a crash-course in the "Constitution of the United States of America" and explains why the Antifederalists among America's Founding Fathers would have been horrified by how we view it today:

But the U.S. Constitution was in no way construed to be the ultimate be all and end all as we think of it today with the notion that all state Constitutions must not conflict with the minimum rights in the U.S. Constitution. Our legal system is based on English Common Law that preceded the United States by many centuries and that is often at odds with many, if not all, of the amendments.

Ames from Submitted to a Candid World next turns the discussion to "Democracy in America: the Fairness Doctrine and the Expensive Marketplace of Ideas." He makes an excellent case that our Fourth Estate is no longer adequate to the needs of a democracy, and comes to some conclusions about the First Amendment that surprises some of us:

Knowledge and access to knowledge are the predicate requirements for any democracy to survive. The very natures of democracy and popular sovereignty demand that the people be informed of the facts, so that the people may govern. Despite a modern anti-intellectual and anti-elitist trend, democracy assumes and requires that the people are all elite, all intellectual, and all informed, typically by a responsible media, the Fourth Estate of any republic. The first amendment is typically the vanguard of this requirement - by providing easy access to vigorous debate - but there’s good reason to believe the first amendment has failed us.

Cujo359 from Slobber and Spittle follows this with observations on "The Price Of Freedom." We need to wise up and become better-informed voters, he tells us, because

What freedom means is that your fate is in your hands. It's your country, but only if you make it your responsibility to stay informed about what's happening in your world. If you leave it to your bigmouthed friends, the cool guys on radio, or even the earnest blogger, you leave your fate in their hands. Which means you really leave your fate in the hands of whoever controls or manipulates them,
people who should never be trusted, because they don't give a damn what happens to you.

His impassioned piece leaves us somber. Truth is always hard to hear, and the task before us is enormous: not only must we ourselves ensure that we are careful of our voting choices, we must somehow convince others of what he's said. This, as Dana Hunter from En Tequila Es Verdad tells us, isn't going to be easy. We're dealing with "The American Electorate: 'I'm Voting for Stupid.'" She analyzes three recent columns by John Dean on the American propensity for voting against intelligent candidates and concludes:

America has to wise up. Somehow, we have to convince our fellow citizens to stop treating elections as popularity contests and start treating them as job interviews. The presidency is the most important job in America: it's vital it doesn't go to the dumbest candidate. We need a super-intelligent person in the White House, someone capable of running a complicated, dangerous, and threatened country. We need someone in charge who can think his way out of a brown paper bag.

It's not going to be an easy task. But nothing is on the HMS Elitist Bastard, and we're more than ready for the challenge.

One thing that's been at the forefront of the American election is oil. We turn to Bitter Hinterlands from Going Down Bitter in the Hinterlands for an opinion. Bitter begins with a question: "Is 85 million barrels a day peak oil?" and then gives us the crash-course in oil reality:

The term peak oil does not mean that over 50% of all crude has been pumped out of the earth, but that production has peaked. In all the bluster and posturing by both the public and politicians, there are several inescapable facts that have nothing at all to due with Saudi Arabian production.

There are no easy answers to oil prices, despite what politicians want us to think, but George from Decrepit Old Fool makes it easier to choose our "Elite Transportation." He knows that a true Elitist Bastard would never ride a cheap bike, and arms us with the knowledge we need to make a wise choice. His summation afterward is masterful:

Elite transportation is muscle - your muscle. To me, philosophically, it’s the purist, most elemental way to get around, whether you use a bike, rollerblades, a skateboard, a scooter, or just plain old shoe leather. For too long we’ve let our cars dictate where we live, what we wear, where we shop, how we handle traffic, even what income we need to have.

And where are we going with our transportation muscle? To the bookstore, of course! But even there, we're not free of battles, as NP from The Coffee-Stained Writer knows. Our first question upon perusing the shelves is likely to be "How the Hell Did This Get Published?"

Where have the standards gone? Is our culture so far gone that someone will publish anything? (And if that's the case, why haven't I gotten published?) I suppose it speaks to our readers more than our writers and publishers that this is the case. After all, if there wasn't a market for schlock, it wouldn't be published, right?

She's absolutely right, of course. All of us love a light read from time-to-time, but we want substance available! We end this discussion determined to push the pendulum the other way. It's yet another mission for this swarthy crew.

Paul from Cafe Philos ends our impromptu training exercises on the beach by reminding us "How an Elite Person is a Good Person." It's sometimes too easy to become overwhelmed by the minutae and forget the purpose to all we do:

One often repressed human right is the right to be true to oneself.

One very general human obligation is the obligation to in some way give back to one’s community something good in return for the benefits one has received from it.

And that's exactly what we shall do.

The HMS Elitist Bastard strains at her anchor chains. Her sails snap and her ropes creak: she's eager to be launched on another mission. And we are more prepared than ever to sail with her.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Calling All Captains!

We're down to the final week, and all captains appear to be having a rather fraught month. Meaning: to avoid imposing the Duty on a frantically busy Elitist Bastard, I've had to get creative.

So here's what we're gonna do.

We'll sail from the Carnival's blog this month. Or, more precisely, we won't sail: we'll do a Naval Academy/Maneuvers theme, wherein we're back at base to train. This gives everybody some breathing room, and most importantly, allows everyone to ride the wake of PZ's fame once he's taken the helm in July.

Everyone who's volunteered to captain the ship has a simple assignment: send me a one-paragraph bio by Friday. Introduce yourself to the crew. Tell us what kind of Elitist Bastard you are. Touch on your special area of expertise, say something rousing that'll get the crew all fired up and ready to fight, tell us why you decided to volunteer to take the helm; be creative, or snarky, but above all be you.

It doesn't have to be long. It doesn't have to be profound. And if you absolutely can't think of anything or don't have enough time to do so, just give me a few bits about yourself that you'd like me to whip up into a nice introduction. You'd be amazed at what I can do with a list like, "Hi, name's Bob, software engineer, hobby's cat shaving."

Send it on to, and I'll thread your bio into the narrative.

I'll have the schedule of captains up by the end of the week. Muchos gracias to all who volunteered!

And no, for all of you who wanted to muster for this outing, it's not too late to get your submissions in. Send them on to The deadline's not until end of day Friday. We've got many incredible submissions, but that doesn't mean I'm not a greedy bastard: I want more!

Right? Right. Let's do this Elitist Bastard thing!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Muster Up, Ye Elitist Bastards!

We're coming down to the wire. The HMS Elitist Bastard is straining at its anchor-chain. Time to load the ammunition, muster the crew, and find a bloody captain.

I've asked Cameron Lee (aka Chaos) to take the helm for June, but haven't heard back from him yet, so if any of you other volunteers wants to edge him out, there's still time! Notify me via dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com if you want the command this sailing.

We've got submissions, but we need more. Get them in to! Deadline is end of day, June 27th - only nine days! And if you'd be so kind, put out the call on your own blogs. The more crew we have, the merrier this voyage will be.

I'll have the schedule for future sailings posted here soon. Muchos Gracias to all those who volunteered! We have a fine compliment of captains, and I can't wait to see what you all at the wheel.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The HMS Elitist Bastard Needs Captains!

"And I have crumpled our paper captain
Now who will lead this swarthy crew?"
-Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, "Lemons"

Aye, mateys! It's time for someone else to take the helm of the HMS Elitist Bastard for her next voyage and many voyages to come. And don't ye be worrying now that you don't have experience being a Carnival host - ol' Captain Hunter's here for ye should ye need pointers.

I'll be putting together a schedule of captains here in a bit. If ye want a chance to command the ship, email me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com with yer name, yer blog's URL, and any shameless flattery ye care to include. If there's a month when ye can't captain, be sure to name it.

Here's the dates we're due to sail (updated: some dates are no longer in play):

June 28th

July 26th - Celebrity death match between John Pieret and PZ Myers

August 30th

September 27th - NP of The Coffee-Stained Writer

October 25th

November 29th

December 27th

For those of ye who've replied without a specified date, I'll be scheduling ye as soon as we have a full compliment o' commanders.

O' course, if demand grows, we may yet set sail every two weeks, so don't think this schedule be the end o' matters!

And if ye don't want to captain the ship, ye can still sail with the crew. Get your submissions in to by Friday, June 28th, for a chance to man the greatest ship o' the line since the HMS Victory!

Ames Bestowed Art!

Ames at Submitted to a Candid World is not only a beautiful Elitist Bastard of a writer, he's got a fine talent for the badges, as well!

If this keeps up, I'm going to have to wallpaper the Cantina with all these beautiful badges. Help yourselves to however many suit your fancy!

Friday, June 6, 2008


The Onion's editorial cartoon for this week:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Oh, Noes! I Left A Crew Member On the Docks!

Attention Elitist Bastards and readers: this is your captain speaking. Your captain has just discovered that not only is it important to do rollcall before getting underway, but to make sure the list one is doing rollcall from includes all the crew members.

I got so excited over all the links working and the narrative coming together so well, I didn't see that Blake Stacey of Science After Sunclipse, on of the earliest contributors and staunchest supporters, had been left running along the dock shouting "Wait! You forgot me!"


If it's any consolation to Blake, the realization of this did wake me from a dead sleep three hours after I'd drifted off today. I lept from my bed, screamed a few cursewords, grabbed caffeine and nicotine, and immediately set about revising history.

In our alternate universe, Blake never missed the boat. It seemed a lot more just than tacking him on lamely at the end with a "Heh heh my bad" note. No, he richly deserves to be part of our original narrative, and so now he is - you can find his delightful An Alloy of Pleasures tucked neatly in between the fight at the docks and NP's dictionary battle. I think it's only fitting that Blake be the one to see us through the storm.

Please do go back, read his part in the story, and click through to his beautiful piece on the pleasures of being a very Elitist Bastard indeed.

Blake, flowery apologies aren't enough, so I won't offer them. What I will offer is drinks on me when you and I find each other in the same city one day. It's the least your captain can do for bloody leaving you in a dockside tavern going, "Hey? Where'd everybody go?"

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Carnival of the Elitist Bastards #1 Up Now!

The maiden voyage of the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards has sailed at En Tequila Es Verdad. At last! The entries are incredible.

To my contributors: I'm so proud of you all. We've got something very special started here.

Make sure you all get announcements up at your blogs. Your readers need to know you're a proud Elitist Bastard today!

To carnival goers: What the hell are you doing hanging about here? Go have fun! And think about submitting for the next Carnival of the Elitist Bastards yourselves!

Now if you'll excuse me, your carnival barker is going to go crawl into bed and sleep for about ten years...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Kaden Adds to Our Decor - Bigtime

Paul's finally got some help with the graphics! Kaden just dropped a ton o' good stuff in my inbox for ye to choose from:

Black badge

Monogram badge

Nametag badge

I'll load them into the sidebar as soon as I've got a bit more time. In the meantime, feel free to filch them from this post. And don't forget that Paul has your Elitist Bastards right in the sidebar! We're spoiled for choice now, and there's only going to be more where all this comes from.
If you've created Carnival art, drop me a note or post it up!


Just a few hours left! If you're planning to sail with us, time to jump on board.

Gmail's acting strangely. To be safe, cc me on your submissions: dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.

Here's the list of contributors so far:

John Pieret
George W.

If you don't see your name on the list, and it should be there, please do resubmit your link to me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.

Paul's got some new badges up in the sidebar - WE HAZ ELITUST BASTARDETTES!! Grab a badge, show your Elitist Bastard pride, and have your grog ready for the maiden voyage on Saturday!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Deadline Fast Approacheth

Get those Elitist Bastard submissions in to by end of day Friday, May 30th. Our maiden voyage launches on Saturday, May 31st, at En Tequila Es Verdad. Don't miss the boat!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ideas, Anyone?

Kaden's creating our title bar graphic. I'm thinking black background, gold script, with Adlai Stevenson's quote and perhaps Paul's badges worked in. Any other ideas? Please?

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I have a fairly easy javascript random quotes script template that could go in our sidebar, so if people have elitist quotes, I would be happy to put together a random quotes section....

The Consolation of Elitism

There's a peculiar double standard about intellectualism in America. A college education is valued, but only so long as you don't carry your "college educated snobbery" into your everyday interactions. If a presidential candidate graduated from Yale, that's a point in his favor, but only so long as he still comes across as a guy you'd like to have a beer with. It's good to know SAT vocabulary words, so long as you don't actually use them in conversation. And if you do try to step outside the comfortable boundaries of prosaic discourse, you're labeled an elitist.

It's hard being an elitist in today's society. The word itself has, much like "pretentious," become a catch-all insult to describe anyone whose intellectual interests delve into things that your "average Joe" wouldn't understand. The word could signal the end of a politician's career.

But at least the elitist can console himself with the fact that he's not living a lie.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We Need Some Elitist Bastardettes

As I gaze upon the badges that Paul has so lovingly created, uttering sounds of delight at each one, I notice one niggling detail: they're all boys.

And I can't think of some decent Elitist Bastardettes to make into badges. I may be a woman, but I'm apparently a misogynist.

Etha suggested Simone de Beauvoir, and that's a wonderful start, but we need more. Nominate Elitist Bastardettes in the comments, if you please.

I'm An Idiot of an Elitist

Heh heh heh, silly me! I just discovered that on Blogger, you can grant Admin privileges to the authors on the blog. For those of you who've asked for the keys to the kingdom, once you've accepted your authorhood, I'll be clicking the magic button so you can have your way with the place without having to sign in as me.

I still have plenty of keys for them as wants 'em. Let me know at

Blog Links

I've put up some links to blogs I know are participating in the Carnival. If you're participating in the Carnival and don't see your blog linked to in the sidebar, please contact me at sunstone [dot] paul [at] gmail [dot] com. Or, alternatively, leave your link in the comments on this post. Thanks!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Signature Poem

“The 21st Century”

In the 21st Century.
People can no longer hear,
because they have surrendered
their ears.
And instead they survive
every second by shooting
a drug called apathy
directly into their veins.

In the 21st Century.
People can no longer see,
because they have gouged
their eyes.
And instead they cope
worm like by following
the noise of culture
blaring from every corner.

In the 21st Century.
People can no longer taste,
because they have severed
their tongues.
And instead they seek
sensations by observing
the suffering and
disasters of others.

In the 21st Century.
People can no longer feel,
because they have flayed
their skin.
And instead they crave
nourishment by rooting
in putrid refuse
heaped in the gutter.

In the 21st Century.
people can no longer care,
because they have siphoned
their brains.
And instead they grope
hopelessly for understanding
by desperate fondling
of the drug called apathy.

Brian A. Fowler

I submit this poem to be adopted by the Elitist Bastards as the standard to be carried to the barricades. Well maybe not the barricades, maybe a fair distance back. Oh who are we kidding, let's just hang out in a cafe drinking and smoking and bemoaning the lack of culture. If that was good enough for the icons in the Golden Age of Reason, it's good enough for us.

Submissions Wanted for the First Ever Carnival of the Elitist Bastards!

The time has come. Elitist Bastards, Unite!

The maiden voyage of the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards will be launching from En Tequila Es Verdad on May 31st, 2008.

Get your Elitist Bastard submission in to by the end of day Friday, May 30th, to join us on this historic launch.

And no, it's not a three-hour tour.

No, we're not the Titanic!

Think more like H.M.S. Victory, the spectacular ship of the line that Lord Nelson commanded when he triumphed over Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar.

And, just as Nelson defeated Napoleon, we shall defeat the agents of ignorance. Or at least give them a ringing smack.

Look, I know Lord Nelson died in that battle. That's not the bloody point! Stop taking your metaphors so seriously and get to writing your Elitist Bastard goodness.

Housewarming Party!

Welcomes! Come right in, pour yourself a drink, throw something energetic on the stereo, and let's get cracking on sprucing the place up.

I figure we can use the comments thread here for opinions, input, suggestions, and requests. Please use it before you mess about with something that one of your fellow decorators has worked hard on - i.e., if you have the most brilliant idea evah for the header but someone's already beautified it, ask here before you get to the modifying. But if there's blank real estate, it's yours to have your way with.