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Lyle Zapato

Aluminum Foil Deflector Bucky

Lyle Zapato | 2006-02-19.8320 LMT | Aluminum | Mind Control | Entertainment

'Get Fuzzy' 2006-02-19, copyright Darby Conley

I was perhaps too hasty when I implied Darby Conley was helping the Belgium Conspiracy with reverse psychology (the comic linked to in that post is now missing -- if anyone has a copy of the panel where Satchel reveals the truth that Belgium doesn't exist, please send me a scan.)

With today's comic, I now believe that Darby is in fact a double agent slyly introducing key paranoid concepts in ways that his handlers at the NWO-controlled Syndicate will find unobjectionable. By cleverly disguising an AFDB as a mere prognosticap, the Syndicate will think that Darby is mocking beanie usage, while the actual effect of the mocking is to subtly hint at the true purpose of Bucky's hat.

There are, however, problems with Bucky's design:

Bucky Katt, copyright Darby Conley

While the Quaker-style cylindrical deflection manifold will offer a maximum of lateral diffusion, the top is shown unfoiled, allowing satellites and UFOs unrestricted access to the wearer's brain. Also, the pointy end of the coat hanger could puncture the foil surface as it bobs with the weight of the star, leading to catastrophic beanie failure. Presumably Darby included these design flaws to deflect the Syndicate from his true agenda. Budding paranoids, it's hoped, will copy the spirit of Bucky's hat and not his exact design.

(P.S. No one tell the Syndicate that Darby's working for us.)

UPDATE 2006-06-24: More on Conley's paranoia propagation...

Radical Sasquatch


Radical Sasquatch | 2006-02-19.3166 LMT | Sasquatch Issues

A colony of Malay Hominoids befriended a pack of Humans calling itself the JOHOR WILDLIFE PROTECTION SOCIETY, thinking them harmless! Now the Humans are THREATENING TO EXPOSE THE COLONY'S SECRETS TO THE HUMAN MEDIA!!!

The Humans claim to be in the possession of "scientific evidence" belonging to the colony, which they will make public to Humans soon! I have it on good howl that the colony did not give them this evidence, rather THEY STOLE IT FROM MALAY HOMINOID HAIR SCIENTISTS!!!

Advanced Hominoid technology cannot fall into the puny hands of Humans! If Humans learn how to combine durian with mineral water to create LUSTROUS HAIR GROWTH TONIC, they will be able to disguise themselves as Sasquatch children and infiltrate our society to further their PERVERTED FOOT FETISH VOYEURISM!!!

HUMAN MEDIA, HEAR MY HOWL: If you publish the tonic formula there will be RIOTING IN THE FORESTS!!!

And Human Lyle: Do not cross us like the JOHOR WILDLIFE PROTECTION SOCIETY crossed the Malay Colony! WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!!!

Lyle Zapato

Nixon Memorabilia

Lyle Zapato | 2006-02-13.9350 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | Crass Commercialism | Fashion

The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace website doesn't have any proper GPMs (perhaps they'd like my moribund one?), however it does have a gift shop with a kids section.

Most of the Nixon memorabilia there are cute and harmless, such as the Presidential Yo-Yo (trivia: in 1974 Nixon was the opening yo-yo act at The Grand Ole Opry; that signed yo-yo later sold for a record $16,029), Future Commander In Chief Bib, or the Air Force One Playset ("Tax policy might not excite the kids, but this 30-piece die cast metal Presidential transportation set will.")

Some seem to have been chosen for their dark humor potential:

Ultimate Spy Kit

Turn your room into a spy headquarters, and keep it safe from enemy agents. Inside the spy case you'll find everything you need to detect intruders, listen in on secret spy meetings, and pass on classified information.

Assemble the components to make a range of super-sleuth gadgets, including a movement detector, a pressure pad, and an intruder alarm. The kit also includes a ready-made listening device, an invisible-ink spy pen, and a spy training manual with instructions for carrying out the ultimate in top-secret missions.

(What? No Lil' Plumber Playset?)

And then there's the book Richard M. Nixon and his Family Paper Dolls by Tom Tierney:

Richard and Pat Nixon paper dolls, by Tom Tierney
White House Christmas party, 1972

(If kickin' around with Tricky Dick in his skivvies isn't your cup of tea, Tom Tierney also has paper dolls of other presidents and their families, including Reagan (w/Bonzo) and the Bushes. Heads up for you political snark miners on the last one: be sure to Look Inside!™ for a young George and Laura modeling vacation wear.)

The Library shop also has an entire section dedicated to The Day Nixon Met Elvis. Now you can get the famous picture of Nixon and Elvis shaking hands ("the most requested image in the history of the U.S. Government") on a mousepad, note cube, or float pen.

True Nixonalia aficionados will want a bird house in the shape of Nixon's boyhood home. Or if you have always longed to live out your Nixon role playing fantasies, why not get a reproduction of the presidential desk for a mere six grand? (No word if it comes wired for microphones.)

Lastly: Looking for AFDB camouflage? Try this stylish Nixon Beanie with the classic Nixon oval surf logo. No one will suspect your paranoia when infiltrating GOP conventions in that (DNC infiltrators, go here.)

Lyle Zapato

GPM #18: Bobby Or Bobbida?

Lyle Zapato | 2006-02-13.0660 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | Fashion

Hot on the high heels of Crypto Cat comes some more GPM gender bending, this time from, who else, the FBI.

On the FBI kids' page there's a game called Special Agent Undercover. It features young Bobby Bureau, the quintessential FBI Special Agent:


Bobby needs your help to get into disguise for his undercover assignment. He's depending on you to drag the disguise elements onto his head and make him look like different people...

People... all going somewhere. All with their own thoughts, their own ideas. All with their own personalities. One is wrong because he does right... one is right because he does wrong. Pull the strings! Dance to that, which one is created for...

... Anyway, here's one of Bobby's favorite undercover disguises:


Purely work related, of course. All in the line of duty. Bobby wouldn't be caught dead off the job like this, especially without his pink angora sweater.

Also on the site, Darrel the FBI working dog (an uninspiring GPM, so no number) has an Internet Safety Tip for you:

Remember that people online may not be who they say they are. Someone who says that "she" is a "12-year-old girl" could really be an older man.

Or maybe even an FBI Special Agent.

Finally, as long as we're giving out safety tips, here's some wise words from Bela Lugosi:

Beware... Beware! Beware of the big green dragon that sits on your doorstep. He eats little boys... puppy dog tails, and big fat snails. Beware, take care... Beware!
The Philatelist

Stamp Nook: Ultimate Wealth Investment

The Philatelist | 2006-02-11.7700 LMT | Philately | Crass Commercialism
US tulip stamp (Scott #3902)

Exciting news for those intrigued by the rare stamps featured in my previous two posts. Stanley Gibbons, the world's foremost philatelic company, has a new investment opportunity for sophisticated savers looking for diversification in their pension plans: Stanley Gibbons Rare Stamp Investment Fund.

Those unable to afford an OCM or 3SY of their own will be able to buy into ultimate wealth with a starting subscription of a mere £20,000 -- what better way to start investing in the world's most valuable commodity by weight!

According to Gibbons, rare stamps were rated by a Salomon Brothers study among the top four investments of the 20th century, giving an average annual return of 10% between 1907 and 1990. Now you too can share in this heritage of timeless value.

No word yet if investors are allowed to visit the stamps. It would be a bloody shame if you couldn't get your tongs around your Penny Black, even if you only own one three-thousandths of it. High returns on investment are all well and good, but a philatelic timeshare would be smashing! Otherwise you might as well be so crass as to invest in numismatics.

(ZPi Note: The Philatelist is not a qualified financial advisor.)

The Philatelist

Stamp Nook Addendum: One Cent Magenta

The Philatelist | 2006-02-09.7380 LMT | Philately | NWO

Controversy is brewing over the Treskilling Yellow's claim to be the most valuable thing in the world. Mike writes in to defend the One Cent Magenta's claim to the heritage of ultimate wealth:

One Cent Magenta

A quibble about the Treskilling Yellow

On the treskilling yellow being the most valuable thing per weight in the universe, as a partisan of the One Cent Magenta I beg to differ. There's been no recent sales data for the One Cent Magenta due to the fact that its multimillionare owner, John Du Pont, was the victim of an NWO murder frameup and is now serving 30 years. Mr. Du Pont bought the One Cent Magenta for $935,000 in 1980, which given the dollar's higher value, was substantially more than the 977,500 Swiss francs laid out for the Treskilling Yellow in 1984.

Jolly good point, and a pity that Du Pont didn't invoke the sacred right of philatelic anonymity which would have kept him from being a target of an international conspiracy of Wrestlers.

Unfortunately, until the One Cent Magenta is put on the market again or the Du Pont family launches an OCM brand, its true value will remain a mystery. For now, those who want a brand that embodies the rare and singular desire of the most valuable thing in the world will have to stick with 3SY.

The Philatelist

Stamp Nook: A Brand Worth Its Weight In Antimatter

The Philatelist | 2006-02-09.5600 LMT | Philately | Crass Commercialism
the Treskilling Yellow (3SY)

Hello, and welcome again to Stamp Nook.

In this edition we look at the most valuable individual thing in the world: the Treskilling Yellow, an 1855 Swedish stamp misprinted in yellow instead of green, estimated to be worth upwards of £40 billion per kilogram (or £2 million per unit, which is the only way it can be purchased since only one is known to exist).

This is a celebrity among stamps! Much has already been written about it and the controversy and mystery surrounding its ownership. I won't repeat all that here. There is, however, exciting news in the world of the Treskilling Yellow.

As with any celebrity, it's important to turn fame into successful name marketisation. So it comes as little surprise that the brand management consultants at FutureBrand (creators of the Aflac duck), in conjunction with Stamp Collection AG, have developed 3SY (Three Skilling Yellow) into a brand.


Lyle Zapato

GPM Update: Crypto Cat

Lyle Zapato | 2006-02-06.5556 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots

The very first Government Propaganda Mascot reported here was the NSA's Crypto Cat. Well, their site underwent a major revision at some point and Crypto Cat was reassigned... sexually.

Crypto Cat

Once a manly cat sporting regulation NSA trench coat and fedora, Crypto Cat is now a perky female in a tight, midriff-baring sweater. Also, her fur has gone from blue to white -- probably a side-effect of hormone treatments.

When she was a he, Crypto Cat would handle all aspects of NSA operations on his own. Now a she, her only responsibility is code creation, the various remaining intelligence sectors having been delegated to six other characters, collectively known as the CryptoKids:

  • Decipher Dog: cryptanalyst quarterback, with man-bag.
  • Joules: squirrel engineer, with pet chihuahua named Socket.
  • Slate: rabbit mathematician. (Do you see what they did there?)
  • T. Top: totally KEWL computer science turtle, with soul patch.
  • Rosetta "Rosie" Stone: homeschooled language analyst vixen.
  • Y. R. Tap: domestic spying fly, with Congressional approval.

(You can't see the last one on the site, but he can see you.)

There's also a military bald eagle called CSS Sam. Sam's bio is classified, but presumably he's in charge of defending DVDs from terrorists. He also heads up Operation Dit Dah (a Morse code game).

As with the site's pre-op incarnation, Crypto Cat encourages kids to use totally insecure forms of cryptography such as simple substitution and shift ciphers. No free 256-bit public key crypto downloads for CryptoKids. As far as the NSA is concerned, if you want the good stuff you'll have to enlist: "How can I work for NSA?" Don't worry kid, you probably already do.

So, why the sex change? Most likely they just wanted to make their site more appealing to a broad range of kids, which would explain the new cast of characters with their calculatedly balanced sex ratio and excessively detailed cover stories (seriously, do we really need to know that one year Joules won second place in a sand castle building contest? I can see telling us about first place, but second?) Then again, maybe it's a subtle dig at their FBI rivals.

UPDATE: Read the cartoonic adventures of Y. R. Tap...

Lyle Zapato

GPM #17: Homeland Security Cougars

Lyle Zapato | 2006-02-06.2980 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots

Are you Ready Kids?

The US Department of Homeland Security wants you to secure the homeland with the help of a family of mountain lions who teach preparedness for the unexpected.


You are about to meet a family of mountain lions that are prepared for any situation. Rex the dad is an explorer who loves taking his family on adventures. Purrcilla is the energetic and wise mom. And Rory is the strong-willed daughter who loves helping her parents plan for the family's many adventures.

There's also Hector, Rex's speedy, begoggled hummingbird buddy. Hector delivers important security communiques between the forest and the office of DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, who, if he were an anthropomorphic mountain lion, would look something like this:

Mountain Chertoff

When not attending CougarCon and creeping out the normals, Rex and family like to engage in preparedness activities such as: Making a kit, making a plan, knowing facts ("In 1280, 'earthquakes' were called 'eorthequakynge'."), and crouching with flashlights while gazing romantically into the distance. After learning these crucial aspects of preparedness, children are invited to take a quiz. If successfully completed, they receive a diploma from Readiness U -- equivalent to a BS in Homeland Security.

Sure, all this preparedness is useful for securing the homeland, but why mountain lions? Simple: if there's one animal you can trust with homeland security, it's the mountain lion. Well, except that one mountain lion that threatened Jack Bauer's daughter on that one episode of 24. But that was probably a Manchurian cougar sent by Serbians. Kim wasn't prepared for the unexpected, e.g. brainwashed mountain lions, and it nearly cost her her life. Are you prepared?

Come to think of it, mountain lions seem to have a lot of aliases: cougar, puma, American lion, Mexican lion, Florida panther, painter, silver lion, brown tiger, deer tiger, ghost cat, sneak cat, king cat, catamount, mountain screamer, Indian devil, purple feather, Felis concolor... awfully suspicious behavior for a cat. Instead of trusting them to instruct children in preparedness preparation, shouldn't they be on some sort of watch list?

The Monorailist

Ray Bradbury: Monorailist

The Monorailist | 2006-02-05.1550 LMT | Monorail Danger | Technology

In a Los Angeles Times editorial, Ray Bradbury -- author, futurist -- calls for an end to the City of Angel's disastrous love affair with freeways, subways, and other misbegotten ways. His solution to all of L.A.'s traffic woes: The Monorail!

Ever since he was thrown out of a 1963 L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting for daring to voice the dream of Elevationment aloud in the presence of benighted automotorists and boring subwaymen, Bradbury has championed the singular vision of a singular rail that will lift Angelenos above the smog of decadence that has sooted their souls for so long.

At that 1963 meeting, M wasn't for Monorail, but Missed Opportunity. Alweg Monorail Company offered to build a monorail system at no charge. A free monorail! And yet the Board rejected the offer, choosing instead to side with the special interests of car peddlers and third-rail salesmen. Oh, what could have been! Oh, what could still be! While the Monorail was cravenly spurned in the past, Bradbury predicts that something monorailular this way comes:

The freeway is the past, the monorail is our future, above and beyond.

Above and beyond indeed! Society must rise above future-disrupting traffic and replace its thunderous din with a sound of woosh. In a previous interview, Bradbury sings a city elevated, composed of not one, but ten monorail systems that will engirth L.A. in machineries of joy, bringing about the downfall of automotive tyranny: "We're talking about eliminating cars here." But will Los Angeles join in Bradbury's vision? When the Monorail Chronicles are written, will the current generation of Angelenos be counted among those who dared embraced Humanity's Monorailular Progress?

EXTRA! More exciting monorail news from India:

The Chennai Monorail Project will cover 300 km in 18 corridors, making it by far the largest monorail system on Earth. The Motherland of the Monorail will have the Mother of all Monorails!