Monday, April 30, 2007

His Greenliness Criticizes Canada, Enters Treatment

Eco-Pope Al Gore entered an undisclosed treatment facility today following a spat with Canadian officials over the weekend. Gore had criticized them for making a new strategy to deal with carbon emissions in the face of global warming, calling the plan “fraudulent” and accusing the government of “misleading the Canadian people.”

From atop his high horse Gore chided the Canadians and warned of impending eco-doom. “Far from honoring their Kyoto obligations, the Canadians have flouted their responsibilities and are now positioned to have CO2 emissions over 40% higher than those they agreed to in 1990. Now their snake-oil salesmen in government arrive to promise a 20% reduction from this disastrous overreach, which leaves them only 15% over their Kyoto targets. For shame, Canada!”

The Canadian Environmental Minister, John Baird, responded in similarly harsh words to Al Gore. “I wasn’t aware that Al Gore was running for president of Canada, but apparently he is. Maybe while he’s jet-setting around the world on private planes picking up film awards somebody can explain to him that since he didn’t do anything to cut CO2 emissions while in power, we decided that his fulminating as a non-candidate was just a bunch of hot air.”

However, His Greenliness extended an olive branch Sunday night to the Canadian government and its people. “Look, I know how hard it is to be environmentally responsible,” he said. “My Tennessee house alone emits more CO2 than most Canadian towns. And I don’t even want to get started about heavy metals run-off from my zinc mines. That’s why I am prepared to offer CO2 Indulgences to my dear friends in the great white north.”

Explaining the plan, he said that by buying CO2 Indulgences the Canadians could meet their targets and send him money at the same time. “My company, Generation Investment Management, is incorporated in England for the purpose of matching CO2 emitters with CO2 reducers. We have such innovative programs as ‘Hold Your Breath’ and ‘Shaggy Lawn = Happy Penguins.’ By these and other innovative and wholly unverifiable programs, we’ve managed to make millions of dollars for the main stockholders and founders of the company without contributing anything of substance to the scientific or moral discussion of environmental responsibility.”

Asked for comment, several Quebecois responded in French, which none present understood. But they did use the phrase “Al Gore est un conard.” quite a bit, which appears to sum up their admiration of the former US Vice President.

Reached for comment, a Gore spokesperson said that His Greenliness was simply suffering from “exhaustion” and seeking a place for quiet contemplation, and was not being treated for irony deficiency as had been feared.

ESPN Requests MLB Rules Change

Alarmed by the late April collapse of the New York Yankees, ESPN has petitioned MLB to make rules changes for the remainder of the season to keep the flagship of Major League Baseball afloat.

“They’re in last place in the AL East and battling for their lives against the likes of Oakland and Toronto,” said an ESPN executive. “We didn’t invest a lot of time, energy, and talent into pumping up Yankees-Red Sox rivalries and hyping a possible Subway Series for the postseason just to see it fall apart because the Yankees suck.”

“The combination of old pitching, poor chemistry, and no clutch performance really caught us off guard,” said one baseball analyst. “It typically works well, so I don’t know what went wrong this year.”

The ESPN rules changes would require teams to supply the Yankees with two pitchers at the beginning of every series, one of the team’s choice and one of the Yankees’ choice. These pitchers would be “honorary Yankees” and play for New York for the duration of the series. The Yankees would pay the salary of the honorary members during the series to avoid any conflicts of interest, at typical Yankee escalation of 1.5 times real value.

In addition to this the DH rule will be suspended for all AL teams playing the Yankees, except Oakland, where it doesn’t seem to matter who hits. The Yankees will continue to use the DH and have been in talks with the Giants about acquiring Barry Bonds, who fits the Yankees prototype of overpaid, surly, and aging slugger.

A final change is that, if the bases are loaded and the Yankees are behind by four runs or less, Alex Rodriguez will be pitched to by a pitching machine and not an actual player. When Alex Rodriguez inevitably makes the final out in this situation, he will be allowed a “do over” where his part will be played by Derek Jeter. “We’re almost out of April, so Rodriguez should cool any day now,” said one Yankees insider.

Asked about the Mets, ESPN was hopeful that such drastic changes would not be necessary in the NL. “We’ve sent a polite but firm letter to Atlanta reminding them that everyone in the world prefers the Mets, so they need to be sure to let up and allow the Mets to surge into first place, which is rightfully theirs.”

Peter King’s Latte’s Go to his Head

In today’s MMQB sportswriter Peter King gives us this nugget of opinion regarding the Randy Moss trade to the Patriots:
I'm about to get preachy/sappy. Even when the Patriots took a chance on guys like Corey Dillon, they were using roster spots on guys who were never accused of not hustling. To me, and to Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli, cheating the game is the worst crime a player can commit. Moss has done it regularly, going back to the infamous dogging it that Merril Hoge proved on ESPN years ago.

I seem to remember, and correct me if I’m wrong, that the knock on Dillon was that he was a bad actor that didn’t try his hardest on the Bengals. Didn’t he draw some heat for saying it was hard to give his all because the team was so bad, or some such like that? At the least he had the infamous “bad attitude” tag that can tank a player’s value so much.

Also, projection is a risky business. How can King be sure that “cheating the game” is the worst crime a player can commit? Seems to me that to the Patriots, asking for more money is a far worse crime than dogging it. I mean, that’s why they routinely ax veterans from the roster, isn’t it?

Next he throws out a really hilarious statement, albeit unintentionally:
People around the Raiders had a major beef with Moss -- he regularly dogged it. I'm not going to kill the Patriots for this, because Moss might well turn into Pete Rose, and if he does, good for him.
Newsflash: PETER KING ENDORSES IN-GAME GAMBLING BY PLAYERS!!

Okay, not really. But couldn’t King have found a different player to use in this instance, maybe even a football player? I know that Rose was nicknamed “Charlie Hustle”, but with all the backstory of gambling and being exiled from baseball, maybe a different player might be a better choice. Peyton Manning, for example, is also legendary for his preparation. Or perhaps Troy Brown or Tom Brady, to keep it “inter-Patriots” for his example.

Overall, I’ll say that I agree with King’s general sentiment, that the Patriots might have been better off to let somebody else take the risk on Moss. But, given that they desperately need a receiver and they have a remarkable track record of picking players that fit, they probably deserve the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Welcome, Carnival of Sports Fans!

Hello to everyone who has reached me via the Carnival of Sports, and thank you very much to whichever of my readers submitted me for this. I’m quite pleased to have been included in the carnival, and I hope they all enjoy the rest of the posting.

I’m also pleased to say that if you Google “MLB Team Mottos” my post appears first in the list (at least right now), and if you Yahoo! search for “Conspiracy Theory” you’ll see on the front page my Unified Conspiracy Theory. I am quite proud of both, and pleased that people seem to enjoy them.

Thanks to everyone. Now, back to the posts!!

Dear Readers: You're Creeping Me Out

Okay, I have noticed a trend that is creeping me out, and I'm hoping that one of you can explain it to me. Every day I post at about the same time, and every day I get an avalanche of visits right after that.

Could one of you hit my "Contact Me" button and tell me why that is? I'm a techno-moron, you see, and I can't for the life of me figure out how it is that you know that I've posted something. Are you all blog savants?

Also, if any of you know of any blog functionality I should add, I'd love to hear about that, also.

Thanks!

Fascinating Business Possibility

I just received this e-mail, which I print below in its entirety for full comedic effect:
My Dear,
It is my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I and my Son Collins,intend to establish in your country. Though I have not meet with you before but I believe,one has to risk confidence in other to succeed sometimes in life.

There is this huge amount of Five million U.S dollars($6,000,000.00) which my late Husband kept for us in a Bank in Abidjan before he was assasinated by unknown persons. Now I and my son have decided to invest these money in your country or anywhere safe enough outside Africa for Bank and political reasons.We want you to help us claim and retrieve these fund from the Fiduciary Fund Holders and transfer it into your personal account in your country for investment purposes on these areas:1). Telecommunication2). the transport industry3). Five star hotel

If you can be of an assistance to us we will be pleased to offer to you 20% Of the total fund. I await your soonest response

Respectfully yours,
Mrs. Sonia Kone.

There's just so much wrong there I don't even know where to begin. First of all, you'd think that she could get the numbers consistently correct. Is it five or six million? Second of all, the grammar and syntax is absolutely terrible. At least spam me with some grammar check, for Pete's sake!

Third of all, appended to the bottom of this poor "African" woman's e-mail is this:
Correo Yahoo!
Espacio para todos tus mensajes, antivirus y antispam ¡gratis!
Regístrate ya - http://correo.yahoo.com.mx/

Which country was it in Africa that spoke Spanish again? Cote D'Ivoire, where Abidjan is?

It's not so much that I mind the spam at my anonymous e-mail account that I keep just for this blog. It's that the spam is of such low quality.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Congress Spurs Warming Research with Grant

Dr. Ron Oxhide of the Center for Popular Science today announced that his foundation had received a Congressional Science Grant for 60 million dollars intended to complete testing on their innovative approach to combating climate change, called React-Stop.

“React-Stop is a program intended to prevent the formation of CO2 in basic combustion processes as we know them today, including everything from automobiles to coal-fired power plants. Since CO2 is the driver for climate change and the most significant greenhouse gas in the environment today, we feel that React-Stop represents a significant opportunity to forestall any further negative climate impact by human industrial activity, without compromising quality of life in developed countries.”

Dr. Oxhide presented his invention at the third annual Climate Technology Conference in London, England. Although the technical intricacies of the plan are quite complex, he said that the basic goal of the program is simple. “We asked ourselves: what do you need to make CO2? And the answer is pretty simple: one carbon molecule and two oxygen molecules. Since everybody knows that you need carbon as the energy source for your industries, we decided to work on the oxygen molecules. And that’s what React-Stop does.”

By injecting ionized atoms of iron, Dr. Oxhide says that they will form FeO2 and other oxygenated complexes, scrubbing the oxygen from the atmosphere that leads to the formation of CO2. “Without the oxygen, there’s no CO2, there’s no greenhouse gases, and there’s no problem.” Oxhide said. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody involved.”

Oxhide was confident that the plan would not only work but prove economical as well. “Iron is easily one of the most abundant materials in the Earth’s crust, and man has been ionizing iron for hundreds of years. I think we can commercially deploy this system before 2010 and see an immediate impact.”

Asked about the environment sustainability of his plan, Oxhide said that “once this plan is in effect, I guarantee that nobody will complain about CO2 ever again.”

The Perfect Candidates

Can you imagine a Democratic candidate with…
*Hillary Clinton’s spine
*Barack Obama’s suit
*John Edwards’ hair
And last but not least…
*Al Gore’s powerpoint presentation

And the name?
Baracka Clinton, ex-wife of former president Bill Clinton.

Can you imagine a Republican candidate with…
*Rudy Giuliani’s achievements
*John McCain’s reputation
*Mitt Romney’s PR machine
And last but not least…
*Pat Robertson bound, tied, and gagged out of the public eye

And the name?
Reagan McGiuliani: war hero, maverick legislator, and arch-conservative with a proven track record of results and a name that “Rings a Bell.”

But what could you do with the leftovers? Well, you could make what might possibly be the worst candidates for president ever:

Could you imagine a Democratic candidate who had:
*The appeal of Hillary Clinton
*John Edward’s spine
*Barack Obama’s legislative record
And let us not forget…
*Al Gore’s presentation skills

They already ran this candidate in 2004; his name was John Kerry.

And the Republicans could make a candidate with
*A personal life as clean as Rudy Giuliani’s
*John McCain’s commitment to conservative core values
*Mitt Romney’s religious image problem
And of course…
*Pat Robertson giving helpful advice

The Republicans already ran this candidate, too. His name is George W. Bush.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hormel Sues Norton for Defamation

Hormel Foods today filed a lawsuit in third district court against Norton Antivirus Utilities, claiming that their new software tool “SpamSux” was defamation against one of Hormel’s signature products, potted meat byproduct Spam.

“We’ve been monitoring the development of this term with some concern for a long time,” said Kevin Morhel, chairman of Hormel. “It was kind of funny at first, people calling unwanted e-mails spam. But it’s gotten way out of control now, and for Norton to release a product that directly assails our product is totally unacceptable.”

“It’s not just about products, it’s about language,” said Loady Panka from Thug and Balless law offices, representing Hormel in the suit. “We want this term changed in the so-called Internet Blogosphere to something that does not impugn this fine product, which is enjoyed by starving people and desperate animals around the world. Instead of calling unwanted e-mails Spam, why not call them ‘Hot Pockets’ or ‘Vegetarian Meals’? That would make a lot more sense”

The lawsuit comes after third district court judge Linda Potentate ruled in Hormel’s favor in the case “Hormel v Monty Python” for their stage production of Spamalot. The judge ruled that the play did damage the reputation of the food, “although not as much as the taste of it does” she noted in her ruling.

Legal analysts were split about the upcoming court case, with one noting that “It seems like anybody who has to eat spam probably doesn’t use a computer, so I can’t imagine why Hormel even cares.”

New Corporate Benefit

As a responsible corporate citizen, MegaDynamoCorp recognizes the threat that global climate change poses to our suppliers, our customers, and our employees. In order to help prepare our most valuable asset for the challenges they will face, the board has approved the following benefits packages for all company employees beginning in 2008:

The CEO will receive:



All board members receive:


Regional directors receive:

Local managers receive:



Technical Professionals receive:



Customer Service Personnel receive:


Secretaries and Support Personnel Receive:



Hourly Employees will receive:

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How ESPN.com Views Its Staff

Much like a movie, ESPN has organized its stable of ESPN.com writers alphabetically. Also much like a movie, the exceptions to this rule are very interesting. Walk with me, if you will, down the list of contributors to see the good, the bad and not a few ugly.

Bill Simmons
He’s first, he’s smug, and he’s the undisputed king of ESPN.com. Lord of the roost, cock of the walk, and flavor of the month all rolled into one. But he looks a hair nervous. That’s because he knows his wife is not only a better writer than him but knows more about football, too. If she starts writing about basketball and obsessing over Larry Bird his days on ESPN are over.

Mary Buckheit
Pity poor Mary: she’d be first in line if it weren’t for Simmons demanding top billing. She kinda sorta came out a while back, after the infamous Tim Hardaway comments about gays. And just to show that there’s no stereotyping at ESPN, they made her main beat women’s beach volleyball and interviewing former winners of ESPN’s “Sexiest Female Athlete” award. You can’t make this stuff up.

Jim Caple
Caple used to be funny, but went insane after the 2000 election. Since then he’s become a sweaty, conspiracy-theory-spouting, wild-eyed toad, which is pretty well represented in his picture, actually. His pet project since then has been 24 College Avenue, which explains why it’s drivel.

DJ Gallo
Up next on Sprockets: herr Gallo shows us his latest work to shock the masses, De Virgin unt Rhino Testacle. Seriously, what’s with this picture? But you’ve gotta hand it to Gallo: not only did he sell out to serve the masters at ESPN, he managed to replace the execrable “Daily Quickie” with an even more vapid “AM Jump.” That was some nice work.

Jemele Hill
A newcomer to ESPN.com, and writer of the lamest introductory column I’ve seen on the website yet. ESPN apparently trusts Hill enough to let her write without an editor, which about one time in five turns out not to be a mistake.

Patrick Hruby
You know, I can’t think of anything to say about Hruby, other than I’m not at all sure how to pronounce his name. H-ruby? H-rue-bay? Hurby? H-rubby? A pronunciation guide would be nice.

Scoop Jackson
Somewhere in ESPN headquarters there’s a checklist of things that they’ve tried with Scoop to see if he has any skill at them: “Television? Nope. Commentary? Nope. Athlete interviews? Nope. Play-by-play? Nope. Column writing? Nope.” So for now they’ve decided to just stick him on the website and see what happens.

Bomani Jones
I’ve no strong feeling on Jones one way or the other, but he looks pretty happy to be here. His primary focus appears to be race and sports, which he does okay at, although not as well as Whitlock did (or the late Ralph Wiley before him).

Tim Keown
The human spleen's job is to make out lists of things he doesn't like, prefaced by some supposedly witty prose about things he hates. Even though it's phonetically unlikely, I guess that Keown rhymes with 'sneer.'

Eric Neel
How many substandard forgettable columnists does ESPN.com need to employ, anyway? Three per sport or something?

Kurt Snibbe
Greg Maddux is a gold-glove winning pitcher and…wait, that’s not Maddux? Oh, um, I guess Snibbe’s illustrations are okay. But the combination of Snibbe and Caple should be banned from the pages, since they bring out the worst in each other.

LZ Granderson
I actually think this guy does all right. ESPN doesn’t, though, because he stuck out here past Snibbe in his own subcategory. I don’t know what he did to deserve that. Maybe he agreed with Jason Whitlock or something.

Sam Alipour
You know why he looks like he’s about to cry? Because his last name starts with A but he’s way out here near the end. It’s like getting a 2 on your performance review. You’re not fired, but almost.

Jonah Keri
I don’t know Johan Keri. I don’t read Jonah Keri. I have no animosity towards Jonah Keri whatsoever. But based on this picture, I’d like to punch him in the mouth.

Paul Lukas
Not only does he look like a Muppet, he’s the driving force behind Uni Watch. Those are both good reasons to let him go back to doing his own thing on his own blog.

Jeff Pearlman
Is he really wearing a T-Shirt in a publicity photo? Also, as readers know, I’m not particularly a big fan of his writing.

So there you go: the ESPN rogues’ gallery. This is presumably what the editors of ESPN, if any, think of their writers:

Lord of the Realm: Simmons
Peers: Buckheit, Caple, Gallo, Hill, Hruby, Jackson, Jones, Keown, Neel, Snibbe
The guy they don’t want to put in the next group for unknown reasons: Granderson
Serfs: Alipour, Keri, Lukas, Pearlman

Britney Spears to Release Sex Tape

Britney Spears’ publicist today announced that the troubled star would be releasing a lesbian sex tape in the near future to bolster her sagging career. According to Publicist Meg Bouche, Spears hopes the tape will do for her image what sex tapes have done for stars such as Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson.

“If someone without talent or looks like Paris Hilton can stay in the public eye just because of one sex tape, surely a Britney Spears lesbian sex tape will lead to a career on par with Julia Roberts, or if not, at least on par with Joan Rivers.”

Bouche did acknowledge that casting concerns were causing problems with making the tape. Spears has demanded that the other lead not be more talented than she is, which had made finding a counterpart more difficult.

Spears said “I want the tape to be about me, not a vehicle for somebody like Lindsay Lohan or one of the Olsen twins. I would have done a traditional sex tape with Sanjaya after he’d been kicked off of American Idol, but when I heard him sing I knew that he was too talented also. And Carmen Electra blew me off, which is really strange, because her career’s been in the toilet a lot longer than mine has.”

Referencing another Baywatch star, Spears hinted that she’d wanted to try to convince David Hasslehoff to star, given his reputation for making hits out of seeming disasters, but the producers disagreed. “They didn’t want two bald stars.”

Asked about open auditions, Bouche was hesitant. “There’s this demand that the person not be more talented than Britney, so I just don’t think plucking people at random is going to work.”

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Star Wars Toys Released

As part of a promotional blitz to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Hollywood icon “Star Wars”, Mattel has an all new line of Star Wars action figures in stores today. Called the “Behind the Scenes: Episode 4” figures, the new line aims to “complete the experience that has defined a generation.” With over sixty figures and three large action playsets, the collection is sure to find a home with both casual fans and collectors alike.

“We’ve aimed to have the most realistic playsets possible, including duplicating 1970s technology in the toy cameras and replicating actual costumes from that time, bell bottoms, wide collars, and all.” Said Mattel VP of Collectibles Sid Thrift. “But I’m most proud of the three-level ‘Fox Studios Action Set.’ It’s got a soundstage on the bottom level, star’s rooms on the middle level, and up top there’s a boardroom for budget meetings. Plus, it comes with the limited edition “George Lucas in Suit” action figure for his big meetings with Fox executives.”

Based on the behind-the-scenes book by J.W. Rinzler, the toy makers sought for the utmost realism. “Mr. Rinzler worked very closely with our artists,” Said Thrift. “We didn’t want to have a whole bunch of Admiral Akbar and third-drunk-on-the-left type figures that nobody knows. When you buy Randy the Cameraman, you’ll be able to find him credited in the film and in the background of the actual photos from the set. That’s what people want.”

Mattel has also released a limited number of “Gold Box” sets that commemorate famous gaffes in the film, like actor Mark Hammel yelling “Carrie!” after the destruction of the Death Star or George Lucas firing a gopher for getting him coffee without sufficient cream. There are 15 gold box collections in all, each one with a limited production of only six hundred thousand copies.

Internet rumors of a “Carrie Fisher Dressing Room Mishap” figure were false, Thrift told reporters.

Asked about future sets for other films, Thrift said they were in negotiation with Lucasfilms for the “Behind the Scenes” figures for other Star Wars episodes, but demands from Lucas were holding up progress. “We just don’t think there’s a market for ‘George Lucas, Greatest Director Ever’ figures and they’ve balked at the ‘Lucas the Lazy Scriptwriter’ figure for Episodes 1 to 3, so I’m not sure we’ll make much progress on the others.”

Friday, April 20, 2007

Congressman Defends Trip

Embattled New York Democrat Gene Elliot, chairman of the House Committee on Morals and Ethics, today defended his recent trip to the red-light district of Amsterdam, where he spent over $10,000 on prostitutes and coffeehouse marijuana. The news furthered the scandal surrounding the longtime representative after records revealed that already in 2007 he had made a “Fact Finding” trip to Hedonism II in Jamaica, a visit to the Mustang Ranch in Nevada, and spent campaign contributions on a riverboat gambling trip in Mississippi.

“I’ve done nothing wrong, and the investigation will prove that,” a defiant Elliot said from the steps of congress. “It’s my duty as the chair of the committee on Morals and Ethics to keep abreast of the cutting edge of depravity, so I make sure to visit every opium den, whorehouse, and gambling establishment I can find, both nationally and internationally. I take my duties to the people very seriously!”

“Congresspeople take fact finding trips, that’s all there is to it.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “Nobody said anything when the Republicans were in charge, but now it’s some kind of scandal when Democrats visit Belgium to discuss financial services, or check on Homeland Security at ritzy hotels in the Virgin Islands? I think it’s a double standard imposed by right-wing media outlets like CNN.”

Not every democrat was agreed with the Speaker. “I’m outraged!” Longtime senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) said in a statement. “All this time Gene has been paying for hookers and drugs with congressional funds, and he never once threw anything my way? I thought we were friends!”

Republicans acted quickly when news of the scandal broke by shooting themselves in the foot and failing to capitalize on it. Spokesman for the party Mick Blabberbutt said “Did you know that we have an acting congressman who thinks he’s the reincarnation of Daniel Boone and wears underwear made of endangered animal pelts? Guess which one and we’ll also throw out the name of the congressional staffer who involved with a translator at the UN and has been leaking sensitive intelligence information to Iran!”

In Defense of Baldwin

Once again the conservative hit machine is grinding against a beloved entertainer who has spoken truth to power, this time Alec Baldwin, who called it like it was last year when he spoke to the Huffington Post about Dick Cheney’s malevolence.

Now the non-story that these wingnuts are peddling is that Baldwin yelled at his daughter when she missed his call. These so-called ‘family values’ types, who were just clapping their Neanderthal hands a few days ago when the Supreme Court dealt women’s rights the biggest blow since the invention of pantyhose, are now up in arms because Baldwin tried to correct his daughter when she disrespected his authority as a parent. So much for family values!

It’s easy to get caught up blaming him, but did anybody even try to examine the facts of the case? No, that’s too difficult for the wingnuts. Instead they just spin it into “evil liberal hates daughter.” Well, if any of them had bothered to investigate what happened, they’d be holding up Baldwin as a model of restraint.

The key to the affair is this phrase:

“Once again, I have made an ass of myself trying to get to a phone,” [Baldwin said,] adding, “you have insulted me for the last time.”
What does Baldwin mean? We tracked down the location the call was placed from, and it becomes very clear what happened:

On the morning of April 11th Baldwin had to find a phone in New York. This is not as easy as it sounds, not with the recent price increases of pay phones. Remember, Baldwin works in television now; his days as Jack Ryan are long gone. So Baldwin searched high and low, until he found a phone in a seedy bar that would take a credit card. But when he swiped his credit card, he discovered that having used it to slather icing on his daily breakfast of ten sweet rolls that morning had ruined its magnetic stripe.

Baldwin had to beg the bartender to use the bar phone and type the credit card numbers in, but the bartender insisted that such a famous actor as Baldwin couldn’t get by without entertaining the clientele of retirees and the unemployable at ten in the morning. So Baldwin climbed up on the pool table and sang for them, but because of his weight the legs on the pool table broke. Angry, the bartender demanded Alec’s suit as payment for the pool table, leaving the actor standing in only his boxers and undershirt. Then one of the patrons, displeased because he made his living hustling on the pool table, dumped a pitcher of warm beer on Baldwin’s head.

So when Baldwin finally got the phone, he was dripping wet from warm beer in a dank bar in only his boxers and undershirt, with patrons hooting at him. To top it all off, his daughter’s not even there, clearly just to spite him because she knew all the trouble he went through. No wonder he was mad! It’s amazing that’s all he said.

And do they mention his fatherly parting to her? Not at all:
Before hanging up, Baldwin warned the child, “You better be ready Friday the 20th to meet with me.”
What fatherly love: he wants to meet with her. How many of us haven’t requested a meeting with our children? This is the Alec Baldwin that the knuckle-draggers don’t want you to see. They don’t care about the true story, just about sensational tabloid headlines.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Edwards Discloses Secret Plan

Democratic Presidential hopeful John Edwards today slapped back at his critics, calling them “misinformed rabble-rousers” for their criticism of his mega-mansion and $400 haircuts while running as a populist. He explained that these expenses did not go to him, but were rather part of his top-secret project to relocate family groups of the critically endangered Homo Erectus Hirsutus, also known as the Pacific Bigfoot.

At a press conference in a private California airport before boarding his personal jet to fly back to North Carolina, Edwards discussed the program. “I’ve been helping these noble animals almost two decades, ever since I saw a documentary on their plight called Harry and the Hendersons. I don’t expect anybody to believe that my haircuts cost $400. I mean, I’ve got a big head, but not that big. That’s also why I have such a large house and grounds. Bigfeet need a lot of space, and I want them to be comfortable. I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far, and we’re going to keep on doing it.”

“It really puts all the pieces together,” said Jay Rumpcheeks, a Washington DC political advisor. “Here’s this guy running as a demagogic populist living in a house sized for 20 families getting $400 haircuts. But if he’s manscaping bigfoots and constructing a game reserve in prime North Carolina real estate, the story makes a lot more sense. It’s kind of like how Al Gore’s huge electrical bill was caused by having his perpetual motion machine wired up backwards.”

Polling firm Farce and Fracas expected Edwards to experience a significant polling bump by disclosing the project, according to Vice President of Polling Morton Hooperman. “Last month he won over the anti-war and speech suppression wing of the fringe Democrats with his craven retreat from Fox News. Now he’s got the granola coalition and the neo-Luddites. I think that John Edwards has secured his place as a second-tier candidate.”

Chet Bellweather, president of the Pacific Bigfoot Resource Center, was just relieved that his earlier prediction of extinction turned out to be incorrect. “I had read a study that claimed Bigfoots were migrating, but I never did believe it. You get a lot of crazies when you discuss Bigfoot, you know. But if John Edwards says it, it must be true. I hope he wins the election so that we can seriously discuss funding stem-cell research to reintroduce unicorns.”

Oscar's Future Bedfellow?

(HOLLYWOOD : TIC News spent a day with noted Hollywood scribe Wesley Strick. In addition to his work covering the Phil Spector murder trial for the LA Times, he is also an accomplished screenwriter. TIC News special correspondent Follom Rounde spent the day with Strick for an exclusive inside look at his world.)

I waited for Wesley Strick outside of a five-story building full of efficiency studio apartments, and when he finally appeared I was not at all disappointed. He had the two-day beard that is so popular among Hollywood leading men and disheveled winos, and sported an impressive lime green jacket and yellow plaid pants. Sporting shoes that looked like they belonged on a golf course and a red tie with some sort of brown stain on it, I smelled Strick a few moments before we shook hands. He was dressed up, he said, because he had a high-powered meeting with legendary producer Drew Sedaris.

He asked to take my car, to which I agreed. “My Ferrari’s in the shop.” He explained. “My nephew took it out without my permission, then while he had it up on blocks to roll back the odometer it flew out the window and got smashed to pieces. Real mess. He’s a good kid, but he lets his friend talk him into doing stupid stuff all the time, like when they snuck into a Florida strip club to lose their virginities only to get thrown out, and hilarity ensued.”

I asked Strick what inspired him to start writing. “I had a professor in high school that started a Dead Poet’s Society that gave me a love of literature that exists to this day, like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet or Bill Kowalchuk's Ben Hur. He retired from teaching to become a doctor and used the power of laughter to cure. It’s a sad story, though, because he ended up becoming a serial killer after he was reduced to running a photo developing booth. I think it’s because he took so many drugs when he was younger he thought he was an alien.”

When we got to Sidaris Studios, there was a problem getting in when the guard didn’t find Strick on the list. After a few phone calls the guard still wouldn’t let us in, and threatened to call the police when Strick tried to bribe him with $5. Undeterred, Strick left my cell phone number (he said the battery was dead in his) and proposed we go to lunch on Rodeo Drive.

Strick dismissed the confusion. “Happens all the time. Some secretary probably screwed up the meeting arrangements. I’ll bet that a group of them bushwhacked Drew and he’s tied up in a back room while they’re running the company to get revenge for his sexism.” He told me to avoid going down Hollywood Boulevard. “There’s a leprechaun on the loose down there that tore some guy’s finger off trying to get his gold ring after he pulled a bum’s gold tooth out. I don’t know if it’s the same one that killed those astronauts or not. But it’s better to stay off of the Boulevard altogether. It could be worse, though, like when those killer clowns used a policeman’s corpse as a puppet. That was pretty bad.”

When we got to Rodeo Drive he advised me to park in a dark alley. “You won’t get any tickets here, and it’s closer to the dumpster. I can’t afford to actually pay for food in these restaurants, because my budget only covers rent, crayons, and paper. But I’ve learned lots of tricks. For instance, you have to go to the taller dumpsters, because that’s where the chefs throw half-eaten food. Otherwise the alligators will get into the dumpsters.”

Because of raccoons in the taller dumpsters, though, we were thankfully forced to go without. Strick thought it was a blessing in disguise. “You know, sometimes when you’re in an alley a cyborg from the future appears and starts beating up people for their clothes. I just don’t understand those people in the future. They’re jerks.”

When we returned to my car, it had been stripped for parts and had a ticket on the windshield. Strick told me not to bother with calling the police. “They’re all corrupt, every one of them, from the first moment in training day they’re bad. And the LA police are actually run by a crime boss called the Ice Man who poses as one of them, and who’s never been seen except by a small-time hustler. I think that hustler went on to live in a haunted house, but I don’t know anybody who ever saw it. He ended up on a space mission to Pluto a few years ago, but you probably didn’t see that, either.”

So we took a long walk back through the city towards where Strick lived, as he didn’t have bus fare and my wallet was taken at gunpoint along with my cell phone. As we passed some prostitutes, who also turned down the taped-together $5 that Strick offered them (on which I saw some crayon markings), the writer found time to reminisce about arriving in LA. “I considered being a prostitute, getting a start like Richard Gere or Julia Roberts, but I eventually decided that it wasn’t for me. I had some people ask me about being a model, like how Ben Stiller started, but I was worried about getting mixed up in international intrigue. So I ended up writing, just like one of my heroes, Jack Torrance

Once back to his apartment we found it padlocked with an eviction notice on it. I refused to let Strick come home with me, but he was optimistic about the future. “This isn’t the first or last time that my talent has left me penniless and homeless. Tomorrow I have a script meeting with noted film director Alan Smithee, though, so you tell your readers that I’ll be okay.”

Progressive Taxation: Schedule X

Hot on the heels of his mash note to paying taxes, Matt Stoller has chosen to release what he says is “the fairest tax code ever proposed in this magnificent union of peoples and cultures.”

Stoller said in a press release that “Response to the 'myDD' piece on the joy of paying taxes was so overwhelming that I knew the time had come for me to release my master taxation plan, which I call Schedule X. Next year, I hope the Democrats in congress will see the progressive wisdom of my proposal and adopt it, instead of continuing to let these lowlife Republicans and their nefarious puppet master Grover Nordquist allow big-business fat cats and the Chamber of Commerces to shift the tax burden to the poor, the old, and other disenfranchised voters.”

Stoller included a copy of his proposal for progressive taxation, Schedule X:

SCHEDULE X PROGRESSIVE TAX FORM
100 Taxpayer/Business Name/SSN _____
110 Partner’s Name/SSN _____
120 Basic Tax Rate (Individuals put 50%, Businesses 90%) _____
130 Do you want 5% of your taxes to go to the Democratic Party? __YES__
(CFR 1910.115 makes changing this line a federal offense)


INDIVIDUAL DEDUCTIONS/ADDITIONS
200 Dependent Addition (+10% per child) _____
210 Fur Child Deduction (-15% per fur child) _____
215 Have you ever declawed your fur child? (If yes, set line 640 to 110%, monster!)
220 Have you ever voted Republican? (+25% if yes) _____
225 If yes, why? (Please explain) _____
230 Union member deduction (-1% per union membership) _____

BUSINESS DEDUCTIONS/ADDITIONS
300 Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of any
Chamber of Commerce? (Shame on you, set line 640 to 100%)
310 Summer home location, filthy price-jacking swine _____
320 Last person swindled for this home (if known) _____
(This is the person who will receive your taxes)
330 Does your business have a union? (+80% if no) _____
340 Are you a nonprofit? (+25% if yes, +50% if no) _____
350 Explain why you exploit the working poor (use attachments) _____
360 Do you supply Wal-Mart? _____
(If yes, set line 640 to 150% and report to federal prison)

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

400 Express carbon footprint, in tons/year, as a percentage: _____
(Don’t forget CO2 from breathing)
410 Is volume of primary residence is greater than 50 m3? (if yes +25%) _____
420 If you have solar panels, smugness is payment enough _____
430 Hybrid car deduction (-1% per wheel) _____
440 Did you attend a global climate change rally this year? _____
(-25% if by Gulfstream, -5% if by other means)
450 How many copies of Al Gore media do you own? _____
(-1% for each copy)

MORAL COMPASS DEDUCTIONS/ADDITIONS
500 A child is starving in the streets, but you don’t care!
+25%
510 Have you ever felt resentment at paying taxes? _____
(+15% if yes, +25% for lying)
520 How many protests did you attend in the last year? _____
(-10% per march, -25% for disrupting conservative speakers)
530 Does filling in this form make you feel more American? _____
540 Do you value this experiment called America? _____
(+10% if yes, +25% if no)

INCOME AND TAX CALCULATIONS
600 Income, salary, tips, inheritance, and change found _____
(Be honest if you love your country)
610 Last year’s rebate from swindling crooks (Line 320) _____
(And please accept our apologies for their rapaciousness)
620 Total Income (600+610) _____
630 Tax Rate (Sum lines 120-599) _____
640 Simplified Rate (If 630>100%, 95%) _____
650 Taxes Owed (620 * 630 or 640, whichever is larger) _____
660 Aren’t you glad you paid taxes now? _____
665 If no, why do you mind the extremely small price to call
yourself an American? _____

The US Treasurer thanks you for doing your patriotic duty and paying taxes, and reminds you that only childish people and vicious Republicans don’t like taxes

The US Treasury Department: We Use Your Money Better

Technical Problems

Sorry about the lack of posting yesterday, but I had technical problems that kept me away. But I've got three good posts today, of course not counting this one, which is just an excuse.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Comrade Z Advances the Frontiers of Hypocrisy

Wine-swilling dilettante and SI “writer” Comrade Z, who holds a PhD in self-absorption and is thus often referred to as Doctor, has decided to venture away from his biography of Knute Rockney and idol worship of the Flaming Redhead to opine on the class of journalists he calls “Festering Boils”.

Comrade Z’s list of festering boils is intriguing:

… and they're all of a piece, Golenbock, Regan, Imus, Howard Stern, Limbaugh. There is little wit or intelligence involved in what they do, very little evidence of work involved or hard research to back up their pronouncements. Be loud, be outrageous, is what their sponsors want, and they oblige.
I would hesitate to call any of them a true “journalist,” and I don’t think they ever claimed to be such. Imus was probably closest, as an interviewer who spliced poor comedy into his act. Stern is a full-on bawdy comedian, Regan was a book publisher, Golenbock’s a fiction author, and Limbaugh is a political commentator.

I would have called them entertainers. Just because they work in the giant sphere of “media” doesn’t make them journalists. Maybe Comrade Z’s definition is different, which is fully possible, so this is perhaps a minor point.

More importantly, somehow his list misses another festering pustule of virulence, Keith Olbermann, who just two inches over on the SI main screen we see will be joining the NBC telecast. Olbermann at least carries pretensions of journalism while spewing his rants. I am also somewhat surprised that Comrade Z managed to miss Bill O’Reilly, who also probably considers himself a journalist.

But wait, the crazed ramblings of Comrade Z are not over! Now he weaves a fine tapestry of hypocrisy, which begins with this slam at these pustules which so inflame his sensibilities:

Someone else surely will pick him up, because there are always those who tune in to people such as Imus. […] All we can hope for will be that he'll be even worse next time, that the pop will be louder. And more permanent.
How is this hypocritical? Well, later on he when discussing Coach Coughlin of the giants, his sensitive side forces him to give us a lesson in etiquette:

Sure, it's easy to holler, "Fire the coach." I don't play that game with people's careers and families.
Kind of gets you weepy, doesn’t it? The Good Comrade thinks of other’s careers and families and showers his beneficence even upon the most unworthy. Just reading his column makes me a better human being. Doesn’t it do the same for you?

For some reason, incompetent coaching is okay with Comrade Z, but violations of the Z Speech Code merit inclusion in the Festering Boils of Society Page with the hope that they will be permanently popped. Perhaps with extreme prejudice, we don’t know. He’s a good man, Comrade Z, the kind of gentle philosopher we should all aspire to be.

For this fine work in the field of written hypocrisy, Comrade Z, we salute you! May those who speak improperly find themselves popped by the fires of your righteousness!

India Rocked by Protests

Protests continued unabated today across India, despite half-hearted second-hand apologies from Richard Gere for kissing Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS awareness event on Monday.

“His behavior was totally unacceptable, and he must pay the fullest penalty that Indian law has to offer,” said an unnamed leader of the protest. “Everyone knows that truck drivers chasing prostitutes is as Indian as curry and bathing in the Ganges. But kissing a woman on the cheeks is unacceptable. They both should be ashamed of themselves.”

“I’d rather see AIDS spread across the country, if this is the kind of behavior we’ll be exposed to.” Said one of the men, who identified himself only as Backwhardi. “If you can’t expect people to behave properly at a pro-condom rally for whore-chasing truckers, then where can you expect them to behave?”

Conservative author Ann Coulter was en route to the troubled sub-Asian democracy on Tuesday, hoping to user her clout there to help end the protests. Coulter is admired in India because of her conservative moral stance and penchant for wearing streetwalker skirts.
She spoke with reporters via satellite phone. “The Hollywood left prides themselves on their enlightenment, but then one of their so-called golden boys goes and does something stupid like this. He might as well have called them all ragheads as long as he was at it. I mean, honestly: kissing an actress on the cheek at an anti-AIDS rally? Where does he think he is, San Francisco on Gay Pride day?”

Somebody Else Noticed

Apparently I’m not the only one who’s noticed the concerted effort by ESPN to degrade the NFL and pump up the AFL. Peter King in MMQB makes this interesting statement:
i. I issue this disclaimer before I write the following words: NBC employs me. But the NBC Sunday schedule kills ESPN's Monday slate. Just kills it. Someone told me Michael Wilbon, on Pardon the Interruption the other day, asked MNF's Tony Kornheiser how he felt to have gotten the JV schedule. In the first 10 weeks of the season -- when the games cannot change, before the Week-11 start of flex-scheduling for NBC -- ESPN has 11 games, NBC 10. Of ESPN's 11 games, none contain matchups of two playoff teams from 2006. Of NBC's 10 games, eight are matchups of two 2006 playoff teams.
I sure hope ESPN lets us know how antagonizing their biggest supplier goes.

Honestly, ESPN’s behavior baffles me. They pay hundreds of millions for the Monday night broadcast rights, purchase part of the AFL, then begin bad-mouthing the NFL in print and on TV while pumping up the AFL every chance they get. Left hand, please phone the right hand.

Perhaps they’re such evil geniuses that they are going to get the marquee Monday-night NFL matchup to suck so that its ratings tank, thus degrading the NFL and making it easier for the AFL to move to fall and challenge the NFL directly, which would increase the value of their investment. Maybe ESPN hopes that the NFL destroys the quality of the Monday-night product so that ESPN can renegotiate the Monday night rights cheaper.

Or maybe ESPN is drunk on its own power and doesn’t realize that it’s destroying its sports-information monopoly. Personally, I vote for the latter, because assuming that giant corporations have malicious foresight is a lot like assuming that every mark in a cornfield was made by aliens: it could be true, but it probably isn’t.

(Editor’s Disclaimer: Yes, I know that a few columns ago I ripped Jason Cole for predicting the good games in 2007, and that logic applies here as well. But it sure does look like the NFL tried its best to rig the early-season schedule against ESPN and tried its best to help NBC until flex-scheduling starts. After all, it’s not like the NFL knows which teams will be good, either.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wolfowitz Enhances Image with Project 42D

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, rocked by a growing corruption scandal, today announced an ambitious initiative to restore confidence in his beleaguered administration. Wolfowitz has been criticized by world leaders for his handling of the raise and promotion of the President’s girlfriend. The ambitious plan, called Project 42D, has as its goal to transform the world’s marketplace to provide greater employment abilities to women in impoverished countries.

“Project 42D aims to put a Hooters restaurant in every single town, village, and hamlet in the so-called third world.” Wolfowitz told journalists Monday. “Hooters is a pre-eminent employer of women and a great motivator for social peace and justice. Do you think the Janjaweed militia would be running amok if they could park themselves in a Hooters, have some wings, and catch a soccer match on the 42-inch plasma TV? I doubt it!”

Wolfowitz expanded on the benefits of Hooters compared to traditional development projects. “A loan is just money, and it can go into corrupt hands or get diverted. A restaurant is a business, with cooks and owners and waitresses. Let’s not forget the waitresses! Places like Sudan, North Korea, or Des Moines would be totally different if they had Hooters there. They’d be friendlier and more open to tourists, a place you wouldn’t be afraid to visit with your family. I know I go to Hooters at least twice a week, and I guess that most other people do, too.”

Asked about possible concerns over the restaurant, Project 42D Head and former US President Bill Clinton said he had already had high-level meetings to address his primary concern. “I’ve said it before: the biggest problem with Hooters is that they don’t serve breakfast. It’s an area they’ve just got to change if they want to be a responsible corporate citizen. I’m eating three meals a day there. Why can’t I get the fourth one there, too?”

AFL: Where Even the Owners are Better

Joseph Santoloquito has penned a mastery of Ars Apologia today on ESPN.com in a love note to the AFL, something which should be entered into marketing textbooks as an example of how to preserve value in the face of adversity.

The column gushes about Philadelphia Soul owner Jon Bon Jovi, full of passion for his beloved team, and starts with him willing them to prevail over the Georgia Force in their first game in the action-packed, don’t-miss-a-minute AFL season. By the way, have you purchased your AFL jerseys yet?

At one point a break goes against his team, and Bon Jovi responds with typical high-minded reserve: he flips off the referees. The gesture was caught by ESPN2 cameras, which broadcast it to the hundreds of family and friends of the players watching the game.

Santoloquito sets out to explain to us that that’s okay, because Bon Jovi “has a passion for the Arena League.” Bon Jovi has built up a model franchise, you see, the envy of the league, and we should expect him to be emotionally involved in the games. For his part, Bon Jovi later offered this explanation of his gesture:
"I didn't understand the ruling and [ESPN2 announcer Mike Greenberg] straightened it out for me after I flipped the bird. [Bergeron] did have possession. He did recover the ball. I reacted to something I didn't know the ruling of. The Georgia Force are a class act. I apologize for the middle finger thing. I didn't understand the rule. Simple as that. We'll be back next week."

Oh, well, that’s okay then. He flipped because he misunderstood the rule. It pretty much explains everything, doesn’t it? By this logic, Bon Jovi reserves the right to flip in the future. What sort of incidents warrant bird-flipping, in Bon Jovi’s estimation? Does he think the referees are purposefully trying to screw his team? As a reporter, Santoloquito doesn’t ask these question. I guess they didn’t occur to him.

We learn in this paean to Bon Jovi that he once bought his football team shoulder pads, he picked out the numbers for the cheerleaders, he cares for his team, and he’s got a fierce glare and wills his team to win. Read the article: I didn’t make any of those up.

Compare, if you will, this puff piece to the outcry against Michael Vick when he gave booing fans in Atlanta the same salute. Where was the explanation that Vick just wanted to win, was frustrated, was full of passion and vigor and just let fly without thinking? Not many places that I remember. I can’t fact-check, because the relevant articles have all disappeared into the ESPN server behind the “Insider” login, and I’m not an Insider. I did manage to find several articles ridiculing him, which I think is probably a more appropriate response. But I seem to remember one columnist (Woj? Hill?) criticizing him fiercely.

None of that from Santoloquito, who is wasting his talents writing about small-time miscreants like Jon Bon Jovi. He ought to be penning odes for truly vile characters, because he certainly shows a talent for it here.

I can’t imagine why the ESPN reaction would be so different to the two scenarios, but as chance would have it the Soul is also the same team that has Ron Jaworski, ESPN NFL analyst, as president. Also as chance would have it, the AFL is part owned by ESPN. And the ESPN.com AFL web page is currently playing host to webisodes about some Soul superfans as well, in another startling one-in-million stroke of luck. What a coincidence!

Santoloquito also makes sure to give us in passing the AFL Cavalcade of Stars. No, not the players, the owners:
While he is not the only famous face among the owners -- there's Tim McGraw in Nashville, John Elway in Denver, Mike Ditka in Chicago and Deion Sanders in Austin as well as NFL owners such as Jerry Jones (Dallas), Tom Benson (New Orleans), Bud Adams (Nashville) and Arthur Blank (Georgia) -- Bon Jovi undoubtably has the highest Q rating.
I suppose the referees should be honored to have been flipped off by the owner with the highest Q rating. Maybe they could make it part of the pregame show at every stadium, a forty-foot-tall Bon Jovi on the Jumbotron with the “Official’s Salute” right before the coin toss.

Look, I expect ESPN to be biased and to push hard to get the maximum return on their investment in the AFL. I would also expect them, with the resources of the ABC/Disney megalith behind them, to be just a little more subtle about it.

Bush to Appoint Tsar Czar

Confused by the proliferation of Czars throughout the US government, and worried about possible Royalist uprisings in the near future, President Bush today announced that he plans to appoint a Tsar Czar to control the proliferation of these experts.

In a White House press conference, he explained. “Listen, we’ve got drug czars, bioterrorism tsars, education czars, social security tsars, a proposed Iraq war czar, internet pron tsars, anti-bioterrorism czars, and immigration tsars. It’s too much for one person to keep track of. So what I need is a Tsar Czar, to better wrangle them up and control them.”

One of the areas of concentration will be clarification of the difference between a czar and a tsar. “It’s a little-known fact that this is a Russian word,” explained noted linguist Noam Chomsky. “And it’s little-known because most Americans are stupid, boorish creatures that need to be controlled by the intelligentsia. I look forward to us assimilating more Russian customs as time goes on.”

Barack Obama’s suit gave the Democratic response to the President’s news conference. “I just hope everybody knows that my first act as, hopefully, president will be to name a Hope Tsar, who hopefully will help restore hope to those who are hopeless. Oh, and I hope to be able to cancel Fox News, which I hope doesn’t air my comments to the bitter, hopeless people who watch it.”

Some Democrats were critical of the plan. Senator Ted Kennedy complained “I hear about tsar this, czar that, but nobody ever brings me any vodka back. It’s a shame.”

Nancy Pelosi criticized the administration for trying to draw attention away from its many scandals. “This is just another attempt for the president to appoint a scapegoat to blame without having to go through Congress, just like he did with Sam Fox or Alberto Gonzales. The constitution has appointed us gatekeepers to his staff, and he really should respect that.”

Asked about the constitution’s design for foreign affairs, Pelosi had no comment.

GGW Producer: I’m a journalist too!

Following the release of Josh Wolf, Girls Gone Wild producer Joe Francis today announced from jail that he was also a journalist and should be freed. Francis is in jail for contempt of court in Panama City, Florida, and has also been accused of soliciting underage girls to appear in his videos, drug and bribery charges, and tax evasion.

“I didn’t know that being a journalist gave you a license to do illegal stuff, so I never brought it up,” said Francis. “My real crime, if you want to call it that, is to be an outstanding journalist who publishes his own video newspaper on the spread of nakedness to college coeds. The big media saw me as a threat, so they used their cronies in the courts to have me locked up. Can I help it if I have a really good distribution system for my articles?”

Asked about the other allegations, Francis dismissed them as the work of an overzealous prosecutor. “The guys that are after me make Mike Nifong look like Jack McCoy, if that gives you any idea of their integrity. It’s all a pack of lies. But to make all this go away, I’m more than happy to post unedited footage to my website to get out of jail and give the feds free copies.”

VA Tech Thoughts

Thoughts and prayers to all the students and staff at Virginia Tech. Too serious a thing to be blogging light-heartedly without saying something.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Our trip to the Discount Zoo

Today, just to show what a good father I am, I took my kids to the Discount Zoo. Sure, it doesn't have all the fancy animals or big restaurants of a normal zoo, but the it's the kind of zoo experience that kids are sure to remember. How is the Discount Zoo different than the regular zoo?

Well, in the discount zoo the animals are always on exhibit and never hiding in their cage. (Hint: look closely at the rabbits)













You don't get the same top-notch statues that you might get at other zoos, like lions and tigers and bears. You get a clapped-out statue of a guy on a camel.













The animals aren't quite as exotic, or as active, as the animals in more traditional zoos.













Like many zoos, there's a slight animal mortality problem.














But a trip to the animal nursery always lifts the spirits of young and old alike. Just look at that cute baby walrus!













Unfortunately, since it's in a bad part of town there's a problem with pornographic billboards. I managed to shield the children's eyes from this filth, though.













(Editor's note: these are actual pictures from a zoo; bonus points for guessing which one!)

ESPN to 49 States: You Suck

Okay, it's really something less than 49 states, since not every one has a baseball team. But with their Week 2 power rankings of baseball teams, ESPN has "calculated" that the two NY teams are 1-2. It appears this is based on advanced statistical calculations, such as OBS, ROTFL and NYRULEZ, since neither team is at the top of their league and the Mets dropped 2-3 to the Braves, who have a better record to boot.

But don't worry, in true ESPN form they've insulted your intelligence with a weak disclaimer! Just read:
Believe it or not, a large faction of us here in Bristol, Conn., really don't believe New York or Boston is at the center of the baseball universe. Really.

Well, I certainly feel better. And they italicized two words, so sincerity just oozes through the formatting.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain with the vested interest in the Subway series and the much-beloved New York-Boston feud!

We can be sure that the list is correct, because it was from this website that we heard last year all about how the NL champion would surely fall in 4 games to the mighty AL champion in the World Series. So it's not like they could possibly miss something.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Will badmouth for traffic!

Following this graph posted by Bill Hobbes about traffic at Katherine Coble's website, and pursuant to my public and forestated goals, I would like it to be known that this blogspace is available to bad-mouth, slander, harass, libel, or otherwise disturb any prominent individuals who would be willing to publicly threaten and harass me in order to increase my traffic.

And as an added bonus, I am happy to provide the following "starter attacks" for you to choose from! Choose from such exciting, exotic character attacks as:
  • Intimate relationship with a goat
  • Stole money from a retirement community via rigged macarena contests
  • Embezzled crack money from a children's charity
  • Arrested in Wendy's parking lot driving naked
  • Starting cult of personality
  • Caught manscaping in public restroom (for men or women!)
  • Was born a hermaphrodite
  • Seal hunts without a license
  • Real name is Jamie Rumpcheeks
  • Caught cruising Piggly-Wiggly looking for discount prostitutes

And many, many more! Just send me an e-mail and I'll get to work on your personally written attack post today!

Tarantino to direct Scooby Doo meets Batman

As part of a continuing bid to educate filmgoers about the glory of the 1970’s and thus validate his recent flops, Quentin Tarantino agreed today to direct the R-Rated remake of seventies film classic “Scooby Doo Meets Batman.” Once again George Clooney will be stepping into the role of Batman, this time with everyone’s favorite crime-solving Great Dane by his side. The Scooby Doo gang have all agreed to return to their traditional roles, and Robin will be played by Topher Grace.

“I’ve got a lot of surprises in store for both franchises.” Tarantino promised. “I had to agree not to kill off any of the main Scooby Doo characters or Batman, but I did get producers to agree to that long-awaited Velma nude scene. And the forty-five minute torture scene of Robin is really going to be a first for modern films.”

The plot will be familiar to fans of Scooby Doo: while camping in the woods the gang comes across Batman and Robin as they search for the secret hideout of Joker and Penguin, who have abducted a scientist who has invented a flying suit. The Joker will be played by Tarantino favorite John Travolta, and in a ‘Get Shorty’ reunion Danny DeVito has agreed to reprise his portrayal of the Penguin. In a surprise addition to the story, John Leguizamo will provide the voice of Scooby’s nephew Scrappy.

In a slight departure from the original movie the scientist will be played by a woman, Halle Berry, who in the story has been surgically altered to have rockets instead of arms and can fire bullets from her eyeballs by picking her nose.

The studio said it was still searching for someone to play the breakdancing assassin after Samuel L. Jackson turned them down because of conflicts with his upcoming film, ‘Shaft 2: Shafting Talk Radio.’

Friday, April 13, 2007

TN Placement Firm Offers Seminar

Famed Tennessee placement firm KL Jirk Associates, hoping to capitalize on recent publicity about similar business practices, is offering a one-day seminar titled “Recruitment in the 21st Century: Innovations in Scamming.”

An outline of the topics to be covered:

Housewives and Nagging: Making it work for your business
Why keep a relationship between the job seeker and the recruiter professional? Be sure to involve the seeker’s spouse or significant other, particularly if it’s a housewife who doesn’t work. Because those uneducated housewives can be your best friend, nagging at their husband to make sure to meet your outrageous fee demands and take the first rotten job you find for them. Plus, a special sidebar on “Blogging Housewives: Bad Juju.”

Percentages and Wiggle Room: Perspectives on Promises
Have you ever gotten caught ‘promising’ to do something for a client? How embarrassing! This will help you to be sure to couch your statements in bland percentages, like “I’m ninety percent sure that…” and other such meaningless pap.

Hysterical Pitches: Going Beyond “It’s Tough Out There!”
Everybody knows that when unemployment is at rock bottom and skilled workers are commanding premiums, the job market tilts in favor of workers. So as a recruitment professional, you need a top-notch gloom and doom speech to get them to open up their wallets and fork over some cash to you.

Public Records and Fee Setting: A Practical Guide
Worried about leaving prospective client’s money on the table? Worry no more! We’ll show you where and how to look when it comes time to write up the prospective job-seeker’s bill.

A Look at Synonyms
Some would say scam, rip-off, and execrable thug. With our mastery of words, we’d say new business practices, opportunity, and “placement counselor”.

Legal Threats and Harassment of the Helpless: A Shyster’s Perspective
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Imus + Rocker = Pearlman

Once again ESPN.com exposes us to their columnist version of Gollum, hate-filled narcissist Jeff Pearlman. And once again Pearlman is radiating stupidity, leaving all who are exposed to his column just a little bit poorer for the experience.

Just to review, in the past Mr. Pearlman has:

written expansively (and poorly) about how he hates Barry Bonds (also available in paperback!).

written expansively (and poorly) about how he hates John Rocker (with pretty good reason, one might add).

written expansively (and poorly) about how athletes should stay out of politics, except for the ones who receive Pearlman’s “Good Thoughtkeeping” seal of approval (which devolves into a diatribe against Christians).

written expansively (and poorly) about how intolerant athletes are against gays (which again devolves into a diatribe against Christians).

Today we’re treated to an expansive (and poorly written) diatribe about how Bonds will cheapen the memory of Jackie Robinson by wearing #42 (which, surprisingly enough, does not devolve into a diatribe against Christians).

Leave aside the rich, post-Imus irony of a white guy telling a black guy how to honor the sacrifices of his black forerunners, and forget for a moment Pearlman’s concerted efforts to demonize Bonds, and consider the crux of Pearlman’s aggravation at Bonds wearing Robinson’s number:


Now in his 22nd major league season, Bonds' track record in areas of race and sports is, to be polite, abysmal.
Bonds hasn’t done enough, in Pearlman’s opinion, to help black people. No word on whether or not the other black ballplayers in MLB pass muster with Pearlman for their track records; one must assume that they do, since they are spared criticism.

As evidence of Bonds’ crimes against his race, Pearlman trots out only one piece of damning evidence: Bonds once (gasp! horror!) supported “ultra-Conservative” Republican Pete Wilson for governor of California.

But there’s no further proof from lazy Pearlman, only some anecdotal evidence that Bonds is, at worst, selfish and doesn’t help anybody. You could even call Bonds egalitarian in the way that he doesn’t let race impact his self-absorption and he blows off pretty much everybody regardless of age, race, or gender.

I’ll let Pearlman, in high dudgeon now, express his distress:


So, again, how does Bonds break the all-time home run record with a straight face? How can he speak of "the great Hank Aaron" (as he does) while doing everything in his power to expunge his name from the record books?

What would Hysterical J have him do? Stop short of the home run record out of respect? Barry Bonds passing Hank Aaron is no more an effort to “expunge his name” than when Aaron passed Ruth. We can degrade Bonds’ achievement because of the steroids issue, and that is a legitimate discussion. But that’s not the argument Pearlman makes! Pearlman’s argument is that Bonds hasn’t “earned” the honor of #42 by taking enough appropriate actions on behalf of other black athletes.

Bonds, to mercifully shorten Pearlman’s thesis, isn’t a good enough black person to wear Robinson’s number. I wonder what Jackie Robinson would have thought about that viewpoint, that there are black people who are worthy to honor him and those who aren’t? I wonder if there are any terms for this kind of thinking, perhaps one that starts with “R”?

Now let’s check out the third link above, where Pearlman weighs in on which group he feels is least qualified to lead society:

But when push comes to shove, no population in society is less qualified to guide voters than pro athletes. Not doctors, not lawyers, not garbagemen, dogcatchers, dishwashers, librarians, sportswriters -- no one. Unlike, say, normal people, America's professional sports stars reside in a universe that is pure Fantasy Island.

Pearlman is pillorying Bonds for not following Pearlman’s own advice! I think this is called a catch-22, but I’m not sure if that term is appropriate here. Rampant hypocrisy might fit better.

The fact is Pearlman doesn’t like Bonds, so he issues this denunciation with shotgun-precision insults designed to make us feel that Bonds is a loutish, awful brute. Bonds’ real crime, and the real crime for most of Pearlman’s targets, is that he disagrees with Pearlman. And this font of wisdom will not suffer disagreement lightly.

Which is what really irks me about Pearlman: a common theme is his grudge against athletes, Christians, Barry Bonds, Republicans, John Rocker, sportswriters, and a host of other inappropriate groups because they’re not tolerant enough. But Pearlman himself is an archetype of intolerance and bigotry through his habitual and reflexive anti-Christian slander. It’s in these thoughtless caricatures that Pearlman truly reveals the depth and wisdom of his soul.


Which is why it’s fitting that Pearlman is forever linked with Rocker. They share the same frame of mind, even if they don’t agree on some of the particulars.

Jemele Hill gets it right

I’m often critical of ESPN (see the next post), but let me say that this column by Jemele Hill on the Duke Rape Case Dismissal is outstanding, far above typical ESPN.com quality. Excellent work by Ms. Hill and well worth reading.

Katie to Critics: Don’t Blame the Pretty Face

Katie Couric came out swinging against her blogworld critics today, calling them “ignorant of the way major news bureaus work” for their reaction to the growing scandal of her plagiarizing a Wall Street Journal article on television.

“What people don’t understand is that in addition to being a hard-hitting interviewer, award-winning presenter, and accomplished story framer I’m an empty suit who doesn’t write her own copy.” Smiled Couric. “I can’t be held responsible for everything that gets stuck under my nose and I read on-air to hundreds of people. It’s not like I work for a famous news division or something.”

Other network executives agreed, blaming the so-called ‘blogosphere’ for blowing things out of proportion. Brian Williams of NBC had this to say: “This so-called scandal is just a bunch of jealous coke-bottle-glasses-wearing fat balding guys in underwear in their mother’s basement complaining about us real journalists, who understand that borrowing from each other is part of the game. We don’t have time to do a so-called ‘investigation’ of every little thing that we get. That’s just not the way the news cycle is supposed to work.”

Couric’s predecessor, Dan Rather, commented while wearing a tin-foil hat and a crazy expression. “I would propose that what happened is that this famously right-wing propaganda rag changed their internet time stamps and released past-dated newspapers to make it look like she stole their material, when in fact it was just the opposite. It’s a lot like how the Republican company Microsoft rushed out an updated version of Word in order to discredit my documents about Bush’s time in the Air National Guard, which were completely true.”

Network sources indicated that Couric’s final punishment would be light, if any. “We don’t really mind that she stole material from somebody else. We mind a little bit that she got caught. But we’re impressed that she was able to quickly shift blame to her producers, so we don’t think we’ll be doing any follow-up anytime soon.”


UPDATE: Boy, is my face red! I had "Chris Matthews" instead of "Brian Williams" above. Whoops!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

WikiConduct: The user-editable code of conduct!

We, the men and women womyn (christofascist douchebags not included) people of the blogosphere agree to adhere to and abide by break shove up your a$$ the following code of conduct Orwellian thought control in order to make the Internet a more hospitable place fascist dictatorship oppressive atmosphere.

Rule #1: No one will threaten anyone else except for those Chimpy Bushilterburton jackbooted thugs hippie-wannabe moonbat freaks Wikipedia submitters.

Rule #2: Bloggers will not be held responsible for what they allow to be said in their comments section by filth-spewing liberal trolls like those at the cesspool called the Huffington Post test edit please ignore

Rule #3: The deletion of inappropriate comments and whatever right-wingnuts say because it’s not worth reading anyways is not censorship morally justified equivalent to the book-burnings in the dark ages

Rule #4: Civility in discourse is as important in the blogosphere as in real life overrated

Rule #5: No one will post anything anonymously, because this leads to cowardly attacks on others just like our soldiers in Iraq just like the MSM just like the last two chickensh!t editors who edited this anonymously

Rule #6: All blogs will carry a warning that describes their content so as to prevent anyone from being offended suck except for Daily Kos! Kos Rulez! be smeared by the drive-by media in their ignorance ignore this code of conduct

Rule #7: A committee Star Chamber will be established that Surrendercrats will complain to about every right-wing blog to construct a do-not-blog list that the Rethuglicans will use against us just like the do-not-fly list to ensure conformance with these regulations and issue certifications to those blogs which meet this standard edicts against those who dare to resist the forces of civility

Rule #8: We will always act in a civilized manner to one another Jimmy Wales is a BUTTHEAD

Rule #9: Bite me

(Latest edits shown in blue)
(Previous edits shown in red with strikethrough and purple with strikethrough)
(Original shown in black with strikethrough)