Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pretentious Musicians

Okay, so I just caught sight of REM singing some new song, and Michael Stipe is walking around in a yellow suit with a mask on. He looks like some sort of demented cross between The Green Hornet and Deion Sanders. The sum effect is that he just looks like a preening jackass. I suppose he’s reflecting his inner self.

It got me to thinking about the most pretentious musical entertainers of all time. Perhaps you don’t agree; if that’s the case, you can criticize me in the comments (which just for this post I’ll open up). As you begin crafting your 600-word defense of your favorite band that appears below, please realize that I like techno music, so perhaps our musical tastes diverge somewhat. I can accept that.

Here are ten of the most pretentious performers, in my opinion:

Bruce Springsteen: Grunting like you’re constipated doesn’t make you sound deep. It makes you sound like you need fiber. And all this reminiscing about high school? That’s not deep, either, it’s really, really shallow. Throw in that he has nothing but contempt for the ‘average’ man he supposedly celebrates and you’ve got some serious smugness. And I don’t care for that guitar jerk in the bandana, either.

John Cougar Mellencamp: I never could recover from the permutations of his name, from John Cougar to John Cougar Mellencamp to John Mellencamp to John Melonhead, for spinning out his lamentable “Our Country” truck song and then spewing anti-American jingoism. If you’re gonna wrap yourself in patriotism, you might try actually being patriotic.

The Dixie Chicks: Let’s get this straight: they go to London, badmouth the President in specific and rednecks in general, thus alienating 99% of their fan base. Then their sales tank, but they get lots of awards (which are shiny but don’t pay the bills). They still can’t sell any records, so they badmouth their fan base some more. For some reason I’m supposed to view them as victims? They sound like garden-variety assholes. Imagine if a rap artist said lots of bad things about black people. Who’d get painted as a victim then? I’m just saying.

Madonna: If you’re going to sing “American Life” and prattle on and on about America and Americans, it would help to actually live here. And if you’re going to prattle on and on about the deficiencies of the United Kingdom, maybe you should move away. But if you’re Madonna, you can do both, and people will still take you seriously. It must be because…let me get back to you on that.

REM: They’re like communism: it’s okay to be infatuated with it when you’re younger, but once you get some life experience you should really realize how vapid and empty their platitudes are. These guys are getting close to collecting social security, and they’re still spitting out the same BS they did in their youth thirty years ago.

Bryan Adams: I’m still mad about “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” where he implies that he’s sooo much better than the rest of us because he sang the theme song for Robin Hood. And he just seems smug. Okay, I don’t have a good reason to put him on the list, but this guy really bothers me.

Boyz II Men: Listen closely to the song “End of the Road”. Doesn’t it promote date rape and demean women? Or is that just me? The subtext of this song is 100% misogyny, but somehow this went over everybody’s head. Oh, girl, I know what's good for you, so just drop your pants and roll over already.

John Meyer: Either speak up, or move the microphone closer. There is no middle ground here. This whispering slurred words thing just makes him unintelligible, and a quick search of the internet to find the actual words reveals that you’re not missing anything. I hate this guy with a passion, and when his songs come one it’s always a debate whether to turn off the radio or gouge out my eardrums. Fortunately I’ve not been more than arm’s length from the radio yet.

Avril Lavigne: I’m going to borrow her form and pen a little poem:
There’s more to lyrics than just rhyming,
And even that takes better timing,
Your songs leave me feeling sap-ped,
Because they are so very vapid.

Barbara Streisand: Here’s why I hate Barbara Streisand: her entire career is performing in front of people, yet whenever she appears anywhere we are bombarded with stories of how terrible her stage fright is, how it paralyzes her, and yadda yadda yadda. Well, guess what? Either it’s all bullshit or she’s an idiot for choosing the wrong career. You make the call. In the meantime, shut up about it already.

I’m sure you can think of others, so go nuts badmouthing them. Just remember that management disavows anything that is said or occurs in the comments section.

Paul Calls for Repatriating 900 Numbers

Before an Iowa crowd of at least 30 out-of-work farmers and suspected hobos, presidential candidate Ron Paul today criticized the Bush administration for “outsourcing the American libido” and promised that under a Paul presidency “the girl on the other end of the 900 number would be a buxom American blonde, every time.”

“It’s an issue of critical importance to my supporters,” Paul said to a smattering of cheers. “I know that most of them sit at home flipping through the Sears catalog and watching exercise infomercials to get their jollies. When they manage to scrape up enough money to call a 900-number, they should be sure that it’s not getting outsourced to India like McDonald’s drive-thrus and technical support. There needs to be a wholesome American girl talking smut to them!”

Hillary Clinton said Paul’s plan did not go far enough. “900-numbers should be free,” she said to an audience in New Hampshire. “It’s part of my Baby Bond-Smutty Talk-Executive Privilege Omnibus Reform Act. At the risk of sounding clich├ęd, I want a bond on every baby, a hot American babe talking dirty on every phone, and an emasculated chief executive.”

Some political observers questioned the wisdom of making phone sex a campaign issue. “Paul’s really taking a chance on this one,” observed Keith Wingderdock, Professor of Political Studies and Eraser Performance at North Harvard Tech-NY. “Although it’s an issue that resonates strongly with his base, we’re not sure how it will play to the family-values Republicans. But that might not matter, since they’ve apparently decided to boycott the election, thus ensuring the candidate that they hate most wins.”

Paul was undeterred. “Look, I have to give something back to the losers that are wasting their time skewing every on-line poll for me by voting hundreds of times. This is the least I can do.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On Dumbledore and Dumb Some More

Well, my reaction to the whole "Dumbledore's Gay" story is universal disinterest. Did author JK Rowling need the attention? Did somebody point out that now that she's finished Harry Potter she'll need to come up with a way to get people interested in her again? What's next, Ron is a coke addict? Hermoine posed naked in Playbrooms?

One final thought strikes me: there's a story that she had to slip a note to the director of one film not to include a love interest for Dumbledore. Does it occur to anybody else that this is the reason Hollywood is struggling? They have a 700-page, best-selling novel, and in the adaptation they feel the need to slip in unrelated sub plots that don't exist in the story!

I can't say if this is hubris or rampant stupidity, but I'm leaning towards a combination of the two. We'll call it hubidity.

Democrats Unveil Foreign Policy

House Democrats today introduced a resolution that, if passed, promises to dramatically change the way America relates to her key allies throughout the region. Sponsored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Comprehensive Allied Nations and Kingdoms Estrangement Resolution, called CANKER, would systematically criticize every nation in the world that currently cooperates with the US on any issue.

“This CANKER is a dramatic change from the previous decades of carrot-and-stick approaches,” Pelosi crowed on the House steps. “Instead of punishing enemies and rewarding friends, we’ve been quite clear about groveling to our enemies in the past. Now, we’re getting down to criticizing our allies.”

Ted Kennedy said from the hospital that “Everybody knows what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, which is why I’ve been so critical of the Cape Windmill project. I’m all for green power. So we’re going to criticize our allies into world dominance.”

Lame duck and ultimately irrelevant president George Bush called the bill “Needless pandering to ethnic minorities” and promised to veto it. At press time the vast resources of the media had not yet ascertained what that meant or whether or not that could be a problem.

A partial list of criticisms of various key allied nations includes:

Australians: This bunch of kangaroo-pronging, aborigine-murdering, gun-toting maniacs deserves every bad thing that happens to them, up to and including Rupert Murdoch.

Israel: This takes up forty pages of complaints and is best abbreviated as “Zionist oppressors of the peace-loving Palestinians”

Japanese: Bunch of short old farts always droning on about quality. And there’s not much motion to the ocean from them, either, if you get my drift.

Canada: There is nothing wrong with Canada, the perfect model of democracy. Except that they voted in a conservative, the stupid Canuck bastards.

The EU: Would it kill our fellow Westerners to bathe once in a while? Smelling like a cabbage-swilling camel is not a proud accomplishment. And we’re all for women’s rights, but run a razor through that wilderness you call an armpit before wearing a tank-top, Sasquatch.

Belgians: For such a tiny country, it sure does bitch a lot even though it can’t get a government formed. It must have something to do with having 30% of Parliament filled with secessionists.

English: Due to poor dental hygiene even the richest Briton looks like they have meth-mouth which, given their bizarre accent, is completely probable. Plus, nobody in that country knows how to cook anything that’s not disgusting or inedible.

French: According to a highly-placed source, all French are cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

Italians: Would it really be so hard to curtail mob activities to only 25% of GNP? And must all your women end up as porn starlets?

Poles: They once built a submarine with a screen door, had to scrub a mission to the moon because it was daytime, and never consummate a marriage with Australian women because they’re afraid that they “have teeth down there.”

Irish: Drunken terrorists who deserve everything bad that happens to them, except for the stuff caused by the English, which they’re totally innocent of, the poor babies.

Democrats promised to amend the Resolution 'as soon as we think of some other stuff that our allies have done, whether past or present, that we can complain about.'

Monday, October 22, 2007

NBC Begins Search for Leno Replacement

Next year, Jay Leno is going to retire from hosting the Tonight Show after a grueling career spanning at least 10 years. I would like to propose the following potential replacements for the incomparable Leno, who is to light-night hosting what such luminaries as Zachery Taylor and James Buchanan were to the Presidency.

So here’s a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly of who might step into the hottest chair in late-night showbusiness:

The Good
David Letterman
Odds: 5,000,000 to 1
Pros: It’s his dream job, he has prior career experience, and since his whole staff came from NBC in the past it simplifies 401(k) and integration back into the union.
Cons: Hates NBC, hasn’t been funny in 10 years, and is reputed to be trying to get on with ABC to ‘complete the hat trick.’

Katie Couric
Odds: 10 to 1
Pros: Continuing collapse of CBS Evening News makes her more and more available.
Cons: Is to flagship programs what icebergs are to ocean liners.

Oprah Winfrey
Odds: Never in a million years
Pros: Is the most successful talk-show host ever, has Dr. Phil running in her posse
Cons: Why would she want to stoop to the Tonight Show?

Ellen Degeneres
Odds: 25 to 1
Pros: Has talk show experience, hot lesbian vibe will draw in coveted 18 to 45-year old demographic that advertisers crave, reputed to be a comedienne.
Cons: Hot is kind of an overstatement, is history’s greatest monster according to some animal-rights groups.

Jerry Seinfeld
Odds: 2 to 1
Pros: One of the most successful comics ever, loves the Tonight Show, would do his best to succeed.
Cons: Enjoys being retired, this makes too much sense to be possible.

The Bad
Keith Olbermann
Odds: 255 to 1
Pros: His insane rants will resonate with psychopaths and social misanthropes working on their manifestos late into the night.
Cons: Is ratings poison.

Tom Arnold
Odds: No chance in hell
Pros: None.
Cons: Proven record of failure.

Joan Rivers
Odds: 8 to 1
Pros: Has warmed the seat in years past.
Cons: If you have to ask, you must not be familiar with the work of Joan Rivers.

Bill O’Reilly
Odds: 6,852,984,153 to 1
Pros: Pugnacious interviewer, well-known.
Cons: Won’t come cheap, would be like dumping gasoline on a fire, and no democrat would ever willingly appear on show again (leaving pretty much no guests).

John Travolta
Odds: 10 to 1
Pros: Smarmy, unctuous, will work cheap now that he’s shot his career all to hell.
Cons: Smarmy, unctuous, is so stupid that he shot his career all to hell.

The Ugly
Rosie O’Donnell
Odds: 5 to 1
Pros: Only daytime talk-show host to ever make Oprah nervous.
Cons: The alphabetical list runs from asinine, bitchy, and churlish all the way to xenophobic, yellow-bellied, and zzzz (boring). Did I mention dumber than a box of tack hammers? Because if I didn’t, I certainly meant to.

Charles Barkley
Odds: 652 to 1
Pros: This would be terribly entertaining
Cons: He would either kill or be killed by one of his guests, as Barkley does not suffer fools gladly.

Madonna
Odds: 7,500 to 1
Pros: Tooth-gap cam would be pretty cool to watch.
Cons: She’s a hypocritical moron, lives in England, and is universally hated on both sides of the ocean.

Tom Cruise
Odds: 50 to 1
Pros: Well-known, ambiguous sexuality, not in big demand by Hollywood for the moment.
Cons: Chair would require lifters so he could see over the desk. Plus, can we really afford to distract him from preparing for an attack by Xenu?

Barack Obama and his cohost, Dr. Ron Paul
Odds: Ask again after super Tuesday
Pros: Famous, everybody loves Obama, Paul has a huge following of mindless spammer zombies who do his bidding. They have as much experience at this gig as they do for President, yet for some reason people take them seriously.
Cons: Obama’s an empty suit, Paul’s a truther moron. So they’ll fit in with about 80% of Hollywood, and the rest will have to fake it because of peer pressure. There are no cons!

Bongiorno!

I hope everybody out there in blogland is having wonderful day, and best wishes from my little corner of the blogoverse.

I will apologize in advance for the low quality of blog posts this week. I’m traveling on business, which has the double-edged sword of making it difficult to access the blog at all and also taking up all my usual blog-writing time as work.

I’m currently trapped in Italy, which is kind of like prison in that it doesn’t have very many Wifi points. Of course, a lot more of the men here carry purses than in prison. So it’s got that going for it.

But I’ve managed to scrape together a little something for you that you might enjoy. Of course, I posed it after this, so if you’re reading this downwards then you already read what I posted and you know whether it sucked or not.

If you feel that it sucked, please remember that this blog is totally free. If you loved it, feel free to e-mail me detailed instructions on how to install a PayPal button.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another word for football forecast

I’ve caught nickname fever this week! So for every game I’ll give it a clever nickname, which you’ll chuckle at and then realize has some profound meaning about life, the game, or the color of music.

Before you complain, remember that this blog is free and not supported by advertising. And I’m too stupid to figure out how to install a PayPal button, and besides, I sincerely doubt anybody’d pay me for the typographical vomiting I do here on a semi-daily basis anyways.

Now on to the picks. Please remember that if you bet on football games, you’re essentially a moron. You’d be better off just burning your money and flushing the ashes down a toilet. Or sending it to me via PayPal, which would require you to instruct me on how to install the damn button.

Quite frankly, immolation is much easier for both of us.

The “Benedict Arnold” Game: Baltimore vs. Buffalo
One team ripped the heart out of Cleveland fans, the other is trying to creep across the border to compete for the Grey Cup (so I understand). Both of them should be deeply ashamed of themselves. But I suppose if they’re not ashamed of their poor offenses, then a little matter like betraying their fan base flies under their moral compass (how’s that for a mixed metaphor?).
Ravens 0, Bills -12

The “He sill works here?” Game: Tampa Bay vs. Detroit
John Gruden won a Super Bowl with Tony Dungy’s team and then spent the next several seasons fielding unprepared, sub-par teams. Now that he’s built his own team, he’s…flailing in mediocrity. Detroit GM Matt Millen has used his voodoo powers to zombiefy the entire Detroit management chain, up to the Ford family, to keep alive his dream of an all-receiver offense. Otherwise his tenure as GM is totally inexplicable.
Buccaneers 21, Lions 7

The “Remember the Alamo!” Game: Tennessee vs. Houston
Did you know that both Davy Crockett and Sam Houston were from Tennessee? Yet Texas lays claim to the fame of both men, virtually stealing the honor of celebrating their marvelous lives from the Volunteer State (named because of a brave group that went to their deaths to defend Texas). It’s time for some serious reparations from those freeloading Texans.
Titans 31, Texans 24

The “It’s not bullying if we do it” Game: New England vs. Miami
Here’s evidence of East Coast bias: if Randy Moss played for Minnesota and they scored a last-second meaningless touchdown against the Giants in a battle of unbeatens, and then the team celebrated and bad-mouthed their opponents, they’d be called “classless” and “dirty” by the media. New England does it and is feted and celebrated as a team for the ages. That aside Miami deserves the pummeling that they’ll surely get for being such an awful, awful team.
Patriots 52, Dolphins 3

The “Bicoastal buttheadsd” Game: San Francisco vs. NY Giants
Okay, I didn’t really have a good moniker for this game, but that’s alliterative, so I’ll let it stand. Plus, Tom Coughlin’s a butthead. I don’t have anything against San Francisco, though.
49ers 21, Giants 24

The “Pity the oppressed” Game: Atlanta vs. New Orleans
Does local governmental incompetence and corruption have something to do with the delayed rebuilding of New Orleans? Maybe. Does the fact that this is largely the same group of incompetents that was in charge before the flood perhaps indicate that they’re responsible for the collapse of the city? Perish the thought! It is, and always shall be, the blame of the Bush Administration, particularly FEMA head Dick Cheney. And you can’t help but feel sorry for the Falcons, who saw their season vanish in a puff of smoke on Moonlight Road.
Falcons 24, Saints 13

The “Cocoon” Game: Arizona vs. Washington
You know that old man in Cocoon who refused to get turned young, because he was content with the way things were? I bet that Kurt Warner (currently injured) and Joe Gibbs (shredding his legacy like Sandy Berger at the National Security Archives) both identify strongly with that guy: should have just left well enough alone.
Cardinals 14, Redskins 21

The “Limbo” Game: NY Jets vs. Cincinnati
How low can these two teams sink? The high point for Eric “The Snitch” Mangini came in embarrassing Bill Bellicheck, while Cincinnati is pioneering new ways to look terrible while losing.
Jets 28, Cincinnati 20

The “Great Expectations” Game: Kansas City vs. Oakland
When Herm Edwards weaseled out of his contract in New York and turned into a prick, the Chiefs were really excited about getting such a great coach, who was going to lead them to the Promised Land. He’s led them into the tank. There’s a lesson in there somewhere about honing your skills and being professional for Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell, who will watch from the Raiders’ sidelines because he missed training camp disputing his contract.
Chiefs 12, Raiders 15

The “My mascot’s tougher than your mascot” Game: Minnesota vs. Dallas
On the one side, we’ve got a tough, bloodthirsty Viking ready to kill those who stand in his way. On the other side there’s the swaggering Cowboy, who shoots first and asks questions later. Which one do you think will win? I’m going to say the one with firearms, since that usually makes the difference when pre- and post-industrial societies enter into conflict.
Vikings 17, Dallas 23

The “I thought you used to be good?” game: Chicago vs. Philadelphia
Chicago’s been in the Super Bowl funk all year, unable to get anything going. Strangely, replacing one ineffective quarterback with another hasn’t made much difference. Philadelphia’s been in a funk also, but without Terrell Owens or the Super Bowl to blame it on, it’s hard to pinpoint the cause. I think his initials might be AR.
Bears 2, Eagles 3

The “Happy underachievers” game: St. Louis vs. Seattle
Do you get the feeling that these two teams don’t care that they suck? St. Louis plays without any passion, urgency, or even desire to win. Seattle knows that its division is far and away the worst in the galaxy, so even a below-average effort makes them the juggernauts of the NFC West. Please note that pregnant women must not be exposed to this game, as it will cause them to birth underachieving children.
Rams 0, Seahawks 0 (OT)

The “Mojo” Game: Pittsburgh vs. Denver
A few years ago the Steelers took all the sports mojo of the entire state of Pennsylvania. Don’t believe me? The Pirates (closest to the Steelers) have been utterly worthless for years. The Phillies flamed out in the playoffs this year. The Eagles have struggled mightily. Even UPenn has been hit hard by the Steelers Bogarting the Pennsylvania Mojo. Bad news for Denver? The Rockies have taken all of Colorado’s mojo, leaving Denver defenseless against the Steelers onslaught.
Steelers 45, Broncos 10

The “CBS prays for the Colts” Game: Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
CBS now stands for “Colts Better Succeed”, because the storyline of “clash of unbeaten titanic teams” for the November 4 game between the Colts and Patriots pretty much rests on them beating Jacksonville and Carolina. Oh, sure, there’s a vague chance that New England will lose, but it doesn’t seem likely. And it’s Jacksonville that worries the network, because they’re an AFC inter-conference rival that always plays the Colts tough. Since there’s an underdog bug ripping through college football right now, it has to catch in the pros eventually, doesn’t it?
Colts 21, Jaguars 31

How does it feel?

Oh, the delicious irony of the NYPD union bitching over giving breathalizer tests to officers who fire their weapons. Here’s what their president said:

"There is no reason or justification to subject an officer who legally fires a weapon ... to the humiliation and psychological trauma of a mandatory Breathalyzer test," Lynch said in a statement.

Why is it that the union has discovered a breach of personal liberty against themselves, yet have remained mum about their own members breathalizing everyone from jaywalkers to serial killers? And are you telling me that for years they’ve enjoyed inflicting “humiliation and psychological trauma” on those involved in minor traffic accidents and speeding violations?

So we can assume that one of the following must be true:

1. They’re hypocrites
2. The union wants to cover up for drunken cops who endanger our lives
3. NY cops are all sadists, but not masochists
4. They’re part of some totalitarian regime seeking to oppress us that does not want their performance judged or scrutinized

So which is it, my blue-clad union betters?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Knowing my place, Part 3

It's been some time since I penned an update of my plan to liberate the blogosphere form the tyranny of Instapundit and Daily Kos. When I am the new blog overlord, I can assure all an equitable sharing of revenue and links for even the most obscure of blogs (like those dedicated to 18th-century replicas of cat-themed flatware).


Until that time, however, I'm forced to consort with some of the worst that the blogosphere has to offer. Case in point? Witness my current ranking:


36,482 on the TTLB ecosystem. Let's just see who my neighbors are right now:


At 36,481 we have 153: Catholic Deep Fishing. The top post (from October 5) appears to use Catholic catechism to prove that dowloading music is wrong. This breaks his 4 months of silence since July 25. Bear in mind, this blog is slight more popular than my blog is.


At 36,483 there's rockcritics links, which is a list of links to various music blogs. That's it. Just a big long list. It was last updated on May 20, 2006. There's no commentary, just a list of links alphabetized by blog author. It doesn't even look particularly useful nor anywhere near complete.


So to recap: my blog, that I type on until my fingers bleed, is somewhere in popularity between a Catholic seeking to prove that file downloading is sinful and some stoner's incomplete 18-month-old list of links.


Just down the list from me, at 36,522? I Blame the Patriarchy. The old one, over on blogspot, before they moved to TypePad in 2005. Yes, that's correct: this *!#$%& blog hasn't been active in almost three years, and it's breathing down my neck!


It's well past time that I go all-porn on my blog in a desperate attempt to at least break 30 hits a day. It's really my only hope, like how Sports Illustrated went to painted naked models to compete with ESPN, who are at a disadvantage because their only female anchor is Linda Cohn. To that end, here's a cheescake picture to get the conversion started:

If absolute power corrupts absolutely...

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, then we can be sure that petty power makes petty dictators.

How else could you explain the sad saga of Ellen Degeneres' dog and the morons at Mutts and Moms who seized the dog because it got passed off to another home?

It's behavior like this that makes people reluctant to try to adopt animals and pass judgment by this latter-day Inquisition about whether or not they're "good enough" to adopt a homeless animal.

Look at it from the animal's perspective, Mutts and Morons: either a home or being put to death. You're pushing the gas chamber why, exactly?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

General Parade

Pundits have had a lot to say about US General Richard Sanchez’ comments regarding the Iraq war. Further, there’s been some furor about MoveOn.org suggesting that General Petraus has betrayed us. And I don’t even want to get into Rush Limbaugh’s attacks on every man and woman that has ever donned a military uniform.

Thankfully the Democrats are out front in defending the uneducated, unwashed masses that make up our military personnel.

But today I want to highlight some of the monstrous things happening here on the home front, perpetrated by the warmongers that run our so-called “Department of Defense”, which would be better called “Traitorous Group Dedicated to Destroying Our International Credibility.”

Here’s a parade of military personnel that we should get rid of NOW, not later, to make the US and the world a better place:

General Potter, US Postmaster General: Talk about a moron! This guy spends millions advertising the USPS. Are there really people watching TV and wondering how to send a letter or parcel? And if so, what are the odds they can actually afford the exorbitant rates that the USPS charges? No wonder stamps cost so much.

General Galson, Surgeon General: How do we really know that this guy went to med school? He could have gone AWOL for years, then flashed a Crest Cavity Control diploma and gotten approved. I miss Joycelyn Elders. At least she made health class interesting. And with the smoking wars won, isn’t it high time to retire this post? Pretty soon he’ll be going after McDonald’s or something.

Sergeant Duke, GI Joe: This guy’s smartass grin and obvious sexual harassment of special agent Scarlett should have gotten him drummed out of the service decades ago. Instead, he’s still field commander for America’s most elite fighting force

General Clement, Solicitor General: Do we really want to organize hookers into a fighting force? Unless he’s planning on throwing in wading pools filled with Jell-O, in which case I wholly support his efforts on our behalf.

General Grievous: A pale imitation of another soldier-actor, R. Lee Ermey, Grievous can’t even pick a decent script and ends up appearing in crappy movies like “Revenge of the Sith.”

General Mills, Breakfast Czar: Possibly the most dangerous one of the group. He chooses as his ambassadors disgraceful persons such as Captain Crunch, who uses child soldiers to do his dirty work, thus doing our reputation more damage than Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo combined. And I don’t even want to talk about his Special Forces representative, Pop, who with his two sidekicks makes a mockery of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.” Once he hires Colonel Oliver North he’ll have the hat trick of evil military personnel.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Word from our New SCHIP Spokesman

Hello, my name is Richard, and I want to talk to you about the need to extend the SCHIP program to all the children out there that need it. My parents work really hard, and they’re always there for me, but money just doesn’t go as far as it used to. After we pay the mortgage, food, gas, clothing, the butler, and all the other little necessities, there’s just not enough for health insurance. And there are millions and millions of kids out there, just like me, who are in the same situation.

I want to talk to you about my older brother, Casper. A few years ago he got really sick, and even though mom and dad tried to get government assistance, it’s been cut so badly that they were turned away. For several years Casper got sicker and sicker, and he finally died because we couldn’t afford the high cost of prescription drugs because of the price-gouging of the drug companies, much less the gas to drive back and forth to the doctor’s office.

There are a lot of Caspers out there, living in nice little houses in the suburbs where mom and dad are feeling the subprime mortgage crunch and can’t scrape up enough to get health insurance.

That’s why the Democrats have created SCHIP program, to save all the other Caspers out there. At least, it would save them if President Bush hadn’t vetoed it to divert funds for an illegal war. If I could talk to Bush, I would ask him “Why do you hate Iraqi children more than you love American children?”

Good night, and God bless us, every one.

Movie Woes

There's some talk (alluded to here) that the release of Halo 3 may be partly responsible for the poor October box-office receipts. Now, far be it from me to gainsay industry insiders, but I propose that the results are largely due to the generally poor caliber of movies that Hollywood turns out, as uber-media critic Ed Driscoll has repeatedly alluded to, over and over again.

Here, according to Yahoo, are the top 20 movies from last weekend, with the number in parenthesis their weeks of release:

Why did I get married? (1): A romantic comedy/drama about love and relationships. Turns out this sells: it’s got a one-week gross that most of these other movies would kill for. So you can bet we won’t be seeing a movie like this again, or we’ll see ten poorly-made knockoffs starring the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Brad Pitt next year that totally misunderstand the concept.

The Game Plan (3): Everybody loves a good football movie, which is why we get so few of them, unless they’re nihilistic looks at the catastrophe that is American youth. It’s amazing that anybody survives High School.

We Own the Night (1): Huge drop-off here, with this mob drama that only pulls half of the #1 spot. Maybe people feel like they can skip this, since the basic story has been done over and over on TV and in the movies.

Michael Clayton (2): Another ponderous drama starring George Clooney. Since nobody watched his last few ponderous dramas, this shouldn’t be a surprise. But this is Hollywood, where apparently nobody remembers anything. How long before studio heads realize that the take of Clooney movies doesn’t even pay his salary?

The Heartbreak Kid (2): I can’t imagine why the bulk of America isn’t flocking to see a movie about a jackass who makes a poor life choice and then tries to figure out how to cheat on his wife. I guess there’s something wrong with them. And this film shows on 50% more screens than Why Did I Get Married?, for half the gross. Well done, Paramount!

Elizabeth : The Golden Age (1): Did we really need a movie that helped us see the vulnerable side of Elizabeth I? Wouldn’t it have been more original to portray her as a less-compromising version of George Bush? Why does every historical female need a vulnerable side? Isn’t this sexist?

The Kingdom (3): I hope they got a good deal on the special effects for this version of CSI: Saudi Arabia, because it’s fading awfully fast.

Across the Universe (5): I love the 60’s, set to a Beatles soundtrack. Will no one ever save us from the Boomers’ endless reminiscing about the greatest period in history? As a member of Generation X, I would like to officially say: shut up.

Resident Evil: Extinction (4): Sequel to a sequel of a movie based on a video game. I don’t know what the formula for success is, but this probably isn’t it. Didn’t do too bad, though, grossing almost 50 million in four weeks. In this crowd that makes it a huge hit.

The Seeker (2): This is like Highlander: The Ripoff, except they’ve gotten rid of the sword fights and substituted a convoluted story involving time travel and vague biblical references. And let me tell you, without the sword fights this concept gets a lot less interesting.

Good Luck Chuck (4): Just what the world needs, another crude romantic comedy. I prefer my sexual innuendos as innuendos, please.

3:10 to Yuma (6): Midnight Run meets Tombstone. Again, though, in a field full of low expectations this is pretty much a smash hit. Did I mention this at least the second remake on this list?

Feel the Noise (2): It’s like Bring It On, but without the cheerleaders.

Mr. Woodcock (5): Has any actor ever drafted off one performance (Slingblade) more than Billy Bob Thornton? This guy’s like movie poison, but we keep seeing him over and over again.

The Darjeeling Limited (3): Why did they make a movie about three brothers focusing on their feelings? That’s not a formula for success. If you want to make a movie about brothers, use the template developed by The Sons of Katie Elder, about brothers who go take vengeance against somebody. That I’ll watch.

Into the Wild (4): Oh, wait, I found the actor who’s drafting off past performances more than Billy Bob Thornton: Sean Penn! Only he would film a total turd like this, then call us shallow and vapid because we don’t go watch it.

Easter Promises (5): If you see only one Russian mobster art-house film, make it this one. Because it’s the only one available. There is a reason for this.

Transformers (15): If you’re surprised that a movie based on a toy that’s been out 15 weeks is still making enough money to place 18th on this list, you haven’t been paying attention to Hollywood lately. So that puts you in-line with about 60% of the US population.

The Brave One (5): The premise of Death Wish meets the female empowerment of 9 to 5. Makes you realize how much better an actor Charles Bronson was than Jodie Foster. No, really.

The Final Season (1): I had to look up that this is a high school baseball movie currently playing to a limited release, which made it strong enough to finish 20th on this list. Ay, caramba!

If that list doesn’t tell you everything that you need to know about why Hollywood is struggling, then I don’t know what will. If Transformers, a mindless special-effects film based on a toy, can seriously compete with the others for theater time, then most studious must be turning out crap.

Sorry, but it’s true.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Global Warming Strikes Fragile NY Ecosystem

Researchers in Yonkers, NY yesterday released a study showing that the impact of global climate change, responsible for everything from a hole in the ozone layer to long lines at supermarket checkouts, has hit the center of New York’s famous Chinatown district. The study detailed the alarming decline of the rare New York alley cat Felinus Delicious, once plentiful in the 1930’s but now hovering near extinction.

“When I opened my restaurant in 1952 they were everywhere,” said Weng-Ho Chung, owner of Chung’s Tasty House. “They used to line up to get in the door. But I don’t think I’ve seen one in years, not since I opened my third restaurant over near Yong’s House of Diced Meat.”

Scientists blamed the decline of the alley cats on several factors, most importantly global warming. As the area businesses have expanded, most notably the restaurants and take-out palaces, the habitat area for the alley cat has also decreased. Worse, their favorite prey, Rattus Pansizus, has also suffered a drop in numbers over the past few years. While the Chinese Alley Rat, as it is known, is nowhere near endangered, it is considered a semi-threatened species.

Scientists had hoped that the decline of the cat’s main predator, Doggus Spiceybeefius, would help their numbers rebound, but it has not had the effect hoped for.

“I used to find two or three a week in my kitchen,” noted Sally Wang, owner of Wang’s Tasty Seafood Palace. “Now, I spend hours looking for them in the alleys and I’m lucky to come up with just one scrawny cat.”

The tradition has long been established that local eateries place food outside their doors for the cats, but this has been abandoned since they have become so rare. Animal behavioral specialist Doug Bunning noted that “Animals who’ve gotten used to eating handouts lose their ability to hunt, so it’s probable that since they don’t get free food any more they are starving. Plus, it’s so hot because of global warming that they’re too tired to hunt down anything.”

Climatologist Stormy Summers said “This is just the first of many species to go extinct because of global warming. First the mammoth, then the dodo bird, and now the Chinese Alley Cat. Cats are particularly vulnerable to global warming. In the late 1800’s the Felinus Guttus Intunius went extinct because of global warming during the violin production upsurge. Now we’re going to lose the Chinese Alley Cat. Next, I worry about the Felinus Racketus, which is already endangered in Wimbledon. When will people wake up?”

What can we do to help? “Turn on your air conditioner and leave your windows open,” advised scientists. “That way, the world will begin to cool off again.”

[Editor: Happy Blog Action Day!]

California Redefines Child Abuse

Arnold Swarzenegger (R-CA) today signed into law Proposition #P2313-14, called the “Proper Child Rearing and Safety Act.” The aim of this bill was to further criminalize parenting in an effort to drastically reduce, if not totally eliminate, the presence of children in the state of California.

Kip Didkins (D-Hollywood), Speaker of the California Legislature, said that it represents a bold new era in the relationship between adults and children. “In the past we’ve managed to stigmatize parents for all kinds of things, from spanking their children to smoking within a hundred foot radius of their house. And now that it’s illegal to smoke in a car with a child, we’re taking the next logical step to the criminalization of parenting.”

The 365-page bill requires, among other things:

  • All families must pay a $5000 per-child “annoyance” tax to duly compensate those who have to deal with having their children around in public areas.

  • Speaking loudly to children is no longer legal, and is punishable by a fine of up to $500. Violators are also required to attend a six-week resident Parental Training Course given at Alcatraz three times per year, during which their children will be raised by the state.

  • Contact sports and sports which keep score have been banned, to save the feelings of children, except for sports which involve more than 10 players at a time and generate over 50% of the sports-related revenue for the school.

  • All children’s beds must have safety rails and nets in conformity with California OSHA code #24601, in case children who jump on the bed suddenly fall off, as chronicled in the tragic song “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed.”

  • Injured children who are not treated by a doctor within one hour are eligible to sue their parents in Civil court, with damages capped at 5 million dollars per incident.

  • The 6th-grade health curriculum has been replaced with continuous screenings of The Best of Jenna Jameson because “They’ll watch porno anyways and it’s much more educational than putting a condom on a banana.”

  • Home schooling is no longer legal because, as the bill says, “Homeschoolers are weird and the children turn out so smart that they make other students feel bad.”

  • The entire 8th-grade curriculum has been replaced with two four-month units entitled “Why Socialism Works” and “How to be a Good Muslim.”

  • Parents may allow children to cry for a maximum of two minutes, after which the parents will be fined $2500. If the child cries for ten minutes the children will immediately be declared Wards of the State and the parents prosecuted for Neglect.

  • A 40,000-member strong “Department of Child Rearing” has been created, including 30,000 “Enforcement” employees charged with monitoring malls, airports, and other public places to search for Non-Conforming Parents. This department has full arrest and seizure powers and will report to a “Parenting Czar” as appointed by the Governor.

  • Ever California school will have a resident psychologist who speaks with children once per week to ensure parental conformance with the rules.

  • A website called “Badparents.Ca.gov” has been created to give on-line tips to the CADOCR so that they can punish and investigate transgressors.


  • Hillary Clinton called the bill “Watered-down Republican pap” and promised that her administration “would take real steps towards changing the nature of child-rearing by creating a Spartan agoge as conceived by the poets of Lesbos.”

    John Edwards said through a spokesperson that “if there were more millworker jobs, then all children could be raised by millworkers, which would be best for everybody, but those damned free-traders have betrayed us to foreign companies and driven all our millworkers out of the country.”

    A spokesman for Rudy Giuliani said “I don’t see what the big deal is, since your kids end up hating you one way or the other anyways.”

    Saturday, October 13, 2007

    Nobel Wind Prize

    [I will freely admit that this is a little more lowbrow than I like to go, but now that Al Gore has won a Nobel Peace Prize for global climate change, it’s a brave new world out there. So just enjoy it; it’s a Hell of a ride!]

    You know what all the recent Nobel Peace Prize winners have in common? You can use them to characterize the eight types of farts. So here’s the list of Nobel Wind Prize winners:

    The Mohamed ElBaradei Fart: You know when you feel like you really ought to be farting, but instead end up belching? That’s an MEB fart. See, things ought to work one way, but they come out in a totally different fashion, almost like your body is too incompetent to send gas out the correct orifice, or like your ass has paid off your mouth to shovel shit for it.

    The Jimmy Carter Fart: All sound and fury, signifying nothing. Big rip, everybody’s embarrassed (or impressed, depending on your friends), but there’s no smell whatsoever. Unless there are Jews around, and then it smells like a skunk drowned in a cesspool in your pants.

    The Kofi Annan: The corrupt fart, when you let it rip, and suddenly you need to change your underwear. You’re dirtier just for having been exposed to it. Typically this kind of thing runs in families, so your son may also have this problem.

    The Muhammed Yunis: The micro-fart, where no matter how much pressure builds up inside you all you can squeeze out is a tiny little meep. But it works well, one of the rare success stories of breaking wind.

    The Yasser Arafat: Horrifically violent fart, at the worst possible time, in a social situation where you can least afford it. If one of your farts is going to ignite over a dessert of Bombe Alaska and burn your ass to cinders while you’re in a luncheon with the CEO of the company, it’s this one.

    The Mikhail Gorbachev: The “something’s missing” fart: either all sound and no smell, or all smell and no sound. Almost as if some critical component has been left out, without which the entire exercise is a sham and a mockery of all that a good fart is supposed to be, simply because your body in its arrogance decided to score a cheap political point against you.

    The UN Peacekeeping Force: You ever tried to do “pull my finger” but ended up with a fart without sound? That’s this one: the incompetent fart. Seems like it should be a no-brainer, easily done, with clearly achievable goals, but it just doesn’t work.

    The Al Gore: The mistaken fart. This is when you move your chair, and it makes that distinctive brrrp! sound just like passing gas, and everybody looks at you like you’re holding a dead chicken. Suddenly people start freaking out, fanning themselves and opening windows, but nothing really happened. So eventually everything gets back to normal, when your foot scrapes the floor and suddenly everybody’s freaking out again, jumping out of windows and calling you a pig and whatnot. And this repeats, day after day, even if you’ve never once farted in the presence of another human being. You’re a walking fart fraud, getting people all wound up over nothing.

    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Hix in Stix Nix Pix for Week 6

    This week, the secrets to every game can be found by doing a simple “compare and contrast” to see what’s alike, and what’s different, about every one of the teams competing this week.

    St. Louis vs. Baltimore
    What’s alike: Both teams play 9 on offense versus 11 on defense. At least, it sure seems like it. Both teams feature a quarterback whose best days are likely behind him. Both teams play in a city whose baseball team was terrible this year.
    What’s different: Baltimore also plays defense, while St. Louis eschews this as an unnecessary part of the game.
    Rams 3, Ravens 17

    Minnesota vs. Chicago
    What’s alike: Both teams are caught in a vicious struggle to the death to be far and away the worst team in the NFC North.
    What’s different: So far Minnesota is winning the battle, but they have yet to play Chicago.
    Vikings 6, Chicago 3
    BONUS PREDICTION: The sum of the QB rating in this game will be less than the QB rating for the winner of the New England-Dallas game

    Miami vs. Cleveland
    What’s alike: Both teams make their opponents look nigh-unbeatable.
    What’s different: Cleveland put over 50 points on Cincinnati, while Miami has almost scored a hundred for the season.
    Dolphins 14, Browns 17.

    Washington vs. Green Bay
    What’s alike: Both teams feature what, to some people, is an insulting slur as their team nickname.
    What’s different: Washington is owned by a megalomaniac. The other team plays that guy as QB.
    Redskins 28, Packers 24

    Houston vs. Jacksonville
    What’s alike: Both teams get victimized by the Indianapolis Colts twice a year, and will be for some time to come.
    What’s different: Jacksonville has long been the most chivalrous NFL team, playing to its opponents level to prevent embarrassment. Well, except to themselves.
    Texans 21, Jaguars 20

    Cincinnati vs. Kansas City
    What’s alike: Both teams feature grandstanding, me-first guys that think nothing of their teammates, promote their own greatness, and make spectacles of themselves in public.
    What’s different: Chad Johnson keeps his antics confined to the field. Herm Edwards has no such boundaries.
    Bengals 45, Chiefs 10.

    Philadelphia vs. NY Jets
    What’s alike: Both teams hearken from wretched places to live, and have a flying mascot. They are each desperately hoping for change in fortunes to turn around their seasons.
    What’s different: Philadelphia’s mascot is carbon-neutral, and they have a hope for turning around their season. The high point of the Jets season was tattling on Bill Bellicheck.
    Eagles 24, Jets 17.

    Tennessee vs. Tampa Bay
    What’s alike: These two teams are like a photocopy of each other, they’re so similar: they play in the South, have three wins, and a bright future.
    What’s different: Tennessee’s coach didn’t take three years off and isn’t considered a genius, like Tampa Bay’s coach. And Tennessee’s not feasting on weak NFC competition like Tampa, either.
    Titans 38, Buccaneers 24

    Carolina vs. Arizona
    What’s alike: Both have 3-2 records and share the division lead.
    What’s different: Carolina isn’t cursed by the cosmos to be the worst team in the NFL every year.
    Panthers 20, Cardinals 17

    New England vs. Dallas
    What’s alike: Both are undefeated and playing in the monster game of the season, which for each of them is their first real test. Both feature players (Moss and Owens) who have been identified as destructive to their teams in the past.
    What’s different: For some reason the pundits think Dallas’ schedule was weak, but the Patriots are a cinch to go undefeated. Moss is more surly than destructive, and Owens is 2-3 for sabotaging his team’s seasons. Patriots fans don’t secretly dread the day that their QB is exposed as a fraud, while Cowboys fans do.
    Patriots 31, Cowboys 34

    Oakland vs. San Diego
    What’s alike: Both teams have been coached by Norv Turner.
    What’s different: San Diego is still coached by Norv Turner.
    Raiders 142, Chargers 3

    New Orleans vs. Seattle
    What’s alike: Um, they’re both in the NFC? Both teams play near the coast?
    What’s different: The most polite way to put this is: New Orleans is awful.
    Saints 12, Seahawks 25

    NY Giants vs. Atlanta
    What’s alike: Both teams are playing in the “This seemed like a good MNF matchup in the preseason” game.
    What’s different: Atlanta has no business playing on Monday night.
    Giants 28, Atlanta 13

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    The Ten Commandments of Climate Change

    LISTEN TO ME, OH BENIGHTED CHILDREN OF MEN! I bring to you these ten commandments of Global Climate Change, which thou shalt hear and obey henceforth so as to walk in the path that leads to carbon righteousness. Woe be to those who crave the fossil fuels, for it would be better for them that they had never learned to drive than that they continue to emit the invisible gas which slowly chokes us unto death.

    Hear now my commandments:

    1) I am the Arbiter of Science. Thou shalt have no other arbiters before me.

    2) Thou shalt support thy Arbiter in all things, and at all times, and for every purpose. Regardless of the inanity of my statements, thou shalt accept them as gospel. Thou shalt propose me as the winner of any and all awards, regardless of its description or purpose or my fundamental lack of merit. I am thy Arbiter.

    3) Thou shalt purchase only a Prius, yet keep it parked. I am thy Arbiter.

    4) Thou shalt not emit. Emitting is for thine arbiter, as he flyeth about to correct thee for thy sins against nature itself. Thine emittance is a sin. I am thy Arbiter.

    5) Thou shalt suffer not criticism against me. All gainsayers must be labeled as tools, stooges, and wretches of the lowest possible moral fiber. I am thy Arbiter.

    6) Thou shalt buy abatements from my company, which verily doth sell them, though they be nearly unverifiable. Thou shalt buy them in abundance. I am thy Arbiter.

    7) Thou shalt not visit those web sites which gainsay me, nor shall thou readeth Michael Crichton, for he speaketh with the golden tongue of the devil himself. I am thy Arbiter.

    8) Thou shalt accept Climate Change as the reason for all things. For everything there is a season, which is either hotter or colder or the same because of Anthropomorphic Climate Change. I am thy Arbiter.

    9) Thou shalt not employ logic, nor correct thy fallacies. Logic is the tool of the unbelievers and the faithless, and you shall abandon it at all costs. Stray not from the one true path, nor acknowledge one speck of contrary data. I am thy Arbiter.

    10) Thou shalt honor and obey my apostles, the stars and starlets, who speaketh with my voice and act through my will. They shall be as Arbiters to you as well, unless they should speak against me, and thenceforth earn my wrath and scorn until they have served penance by purchasing mighty offsets from my company. I am thy Arbiter.

    In all these things thou shalt act with faith for me, thy Arbiter, and the decider of science and the right.

    I am thy Arbiter.
    [UPDATE: Thanks for the many links out there, I realy appreciate it. I also fixed a dangling "they" in commandment 9. If you enjoyed this, you may enjoy A Democrat's Prayer also.]

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Return of Dinosaurs Imminent, Researcher Says

    Rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, to levels unpredicted just a few short years ago, will shortly cause instantaneous biological evolution, prompting a new age of dinosaurs and possible destroying the millennia-long stranglehold of mammals on the Earth.

    That is the conclusion of a new study from Dr. Flannery Tims, a leading Australian Chrono-Biologist. Tims said he took data from the upcoming IPCC report, synthesized it in his bio-modulator, and found dark times ahead for Homo Sapiens.

    “Imagine Jurassic Park spontaneously occurring your back yard,” he said. “One minute you’re mowing the grass, and the next minute a pack of Velociraptors are eating your dog and tearing your bowels out. That’s what could happen by the end of 2008.”

    Tims told the Australian Television Commission that levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were reaching levels not seen since the Cretaceous period, near the end of Reptilian dominance on Earth. Given that, he expects a return to the biodiversity of times past, with forty-foot-tall Gigantosaurs walking down Main Street and T-Rex racing across the Utah deserts.

    “It’s no coincidence that cold-blooded reptiles thrive in the hothouse conditions that we’ve created on Earth with our carbon-based economies,” Tims said. “Today a simple gecko pitching car insurance, tomorrow a cold-blooded killer that can run down a motorcycle and eat its rider. According to my models, this future could arrive any day now.”

    Sharky McAroon, head of the Australian chapter of Animals Are People Too, said that Tims’ models were welcome but probably too little, too late. “Ideally, mate, we’d have had these calculations twenty years ago and could have gone to a Rickshaw-based economy instead of an SUV-based one.”

    Asked if there was anything that could be done to avoid this Dino-calamity, Tims said “Pray to Gaea to shield us from her wrath, and buy plenty of ammunition.”

    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    Feminist Group Criticizes Hillary’s ‘Baby Bond’ Scheme

    Feminist organization Really Angry Feminists For Liberty and the Environment (RAFFLE) today lambasted Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton for her proposal to give newborn babies a $5,000 savings bond, saying that it “amounts to paying women not to have abortions.”

    RAFFLE president Suzanne Hoppersmith-Gurney-Jones said “We were very disappointed in her proposal, because it shows a serious retreat from her previous stand on abortion rights, a collapse on the environment, and a withdrawal from everything we thought the Democrats stood for. She may as well be a Republican Theocratic Jackbooted Fascist.”

    In the past, RAFFLE had advocated for mandatory abortions for all first-time pregnancies, on the grounds that “there are too many people and women should exercise every single right they have, particularly the right to choose, the pre-eminent right in the entire pantheon of rights.”

    Clinton’s campaign stood by the proposal, calling it “Supreme pandering of the highest order, the rare campaign promise that is both completely ludicrous and impossible to implement. But it makes her look like she cares, so it helps reform her totally glacial image. She can’t screw donors’ wives like some candidates in the past did to get them to open their wallets.”

    A source close to the DNC called RAFFLE “people too weird to get into MoveOn.org” and hinted that, since they were completely loony, they would likely be ignored.

    Hoppersmith-Gurney-Jones was undeterred. “We’re here, we’re angry, and we’re going to protest and make asses of ourselves until our demands are met. Some people called Napoleon crazy, and look where it got him.”

    A Poem for Todd Boyd

    I was going to write a long counter-argument to this poorly-reasoned piece of garbage on ESPN, but moments before I began I realized that life is too short to waste arguing with cretins. Thank goodness, because it would have taken me hours to unravel the Gordian knot of foolishness that columnist Tood Boyd has woven together.

    Instead, I’m going to pen a poem:

    An Ode to Dr. Todd Boyd, AKA the Notorious PHD:

    I think that I shall never read,
    Another piece by PHD.

    Whose dissertation must have been,
    as good as gas from my rear end.

    He loves, o’er all, the seventies,
    Which calls in doubt his faculties.

    (A decade that was so abhorrent,
    We ‘scaped but recently its torrent,

    Blacksploitation it did not lack,
    But Culture? Fashion ? Not one smack!)

    So if you go to USC,
    Don’t suffer you his fallacies.

    But rather, take a real major,
    Where teachers think instead of blather.

    Stop Hyperventilation over Obama

    Listen, I’m no fan of Barack Obama, but the hyperventilating about him saying he wants to establish “a kingdom on Earth” while speaking from a pulpit over the weekend is apropos of nothing. It’s typical religious language, and hardly means he wants to declare himself king.

    You’d expect right-wing pundits to know this, since a significant part of their coalition is the religious right, but apparently enough of them are ignorant that they started firing the cannons without thinking about it.

    A similar hyperventilation occurred on the left (and in Europe) during the 2004 elections when Bush said he “talked to God” a lot. This is commonly used in many Christian groups as a euphemism for “Prayer.” When my European friends (I have many) came to me concerned that Bush was an out-of-control theocratic freak, I explained to them that the phrase essentially meant nothing; Bush wasn’t saying he spoke and God answered, but rather using a linguistic construction that churchgoing people of his faith would understand to mean praying and living a Christian life. No more, no less.

    So give Obama a break on this, already. There’s plenty to criticize him for without digging this up.

    Monday, October 8, 2007

    Curious George and the Child Safety Advocates

    This is George. Even though he’s a monkey, George is a lot like you: he’s young, has a bright future, and probably has negligent parents, guardians, or caregivers. Fortunately, Child Safety Advocacy Groups are working with local governments and law enforcement to help protect children like you and George. Let’s watch George as he demonstrates some of the many ways that today’s lifestyle is dangerously unacceptable for children just like you.

    This is George riding a bicycle. This is not good. Where is George’s helmet? Where are his kneepads? Where is the supervising adult? Roads today are clogged with drivers choking on their own rage, most of them drunk or high or both. It is never safe to ride a bicycle. It is certain that soon George will be hit by an SUV driven by a drunk on a cell phone. Do not ever do this.

    This is George working as a window washer. This is wrong. Children should never be forced to work. If your parents, guardians, or caregivers ever force you to work for money, you must immediately notify a teacher or other non-parent, guardian, or caregiver so that they can help you, usually by calling the police. Then, some nice people called the Fosters will take care of you while your parents talk to a judge about why you have to work so hard. Once your parents agree not to make you work any more, you can go live with them again.

    Here, George is working on a movie. This is not the same as manual labor, because if you work on a movie you could be famous someday, and everybody wants to be famous. So this is good. But working on a movie is hard, and takes up to nineteen hours a day. If you are fortunate enough to work in movies or television you should be grateful for the opportunity. Playing sports for money is also good for you. Sports are only unhealthy if they are done competitively for fun. Otherwise, you can be sure that the adults in charge have your best interests at heart.

    Here is George smoking. This is very bad. Smoking is a way for evil American Southerners to oppress children, the uneducated, and the third world by exporting a cancerous weed that destroys families and causes gingivitis. The Child Safety Advocates are working on laws to prevent smoking everywhere except for the moon, and especially to outlaw smoking in the presence of children. If one of your parents, guardians, or caregivers smokes, be sure to tell your health professional about it at once so that they can help them to stop, and perhaps tell the Fosters to come take care of you for a while so your parent, guardian, or caregiver can clean up their act. You will like living with the Fosters; they are very nice.

    This is George in prison. He picked up a stick, pointed it at another child, and said “bang”, so he will have to spend some time in jail. George will also need to see the psychiatrist. Any kind of play which can be construed as violent is the sign of an unbalanced mind and must be stopped immediately with the harshest possible consequences. If George had harassed another student, he wouldn’t even see the psychiatrist; he would be tried as an adult, registered as a sex offender, and jailed for life. That is what is best for George and for society.

    Here is George in the hospital. He has broken his leg, probably after being hit by a crack-addled man in an SUV. The doctor is frowning because George doesn’t want to talk about his parents’ lifestyle or possible gun ownership. This is wrong. You must tell your doctor everything you know about your parent, guardian, or caregiver’s lifestyle and gun ownership. If you do not know the details, guess, or tell the doctor that it is a secret you’re not supposed to discuss. The doctor can decide whether or not the police need to make sure that your house is safe enough for you.

    Here is George shopping alone in the city. Going shopping is dangerous, even moreso alone. Public areas are full of strangers, at least half of whom are men, the worst kind of strangers. Remember that if you are ever separated from your parent, guardian, or caregiver in a public place you are at high risk to be kidnapped, murdered, or both. It is critical that you find a “safe” stranger as soon as possible, since malls are full of male strangers searching for lost children so they can kidnap them. Here is the list of strangers by order of safeness:

    1) Female nurse
    2) Female police officer
    3) Female teacher
    4) Woman with children
    5) Older woman
    6) Woman without children
    7) Shemale
    8) Male police officer with feminine traits
    9) Male police officer with mustache
    10) Man accompanied by woman with children
    11) Man with children

    Under no circumstances should you approach a man without children. If you do, then you will end up like George here:

    Why Steinbrenner is Correct

    Before we criticize George Steinbrenner, take a moment to view it from his standpoint:

    He’s spent over a billion dollars on player salaries since the last World Series, with no trophy to show for it. This puts his spending the last 7 years just under the GDP of Belize, and higher than 22 countries on the IMF list of GDP. This is not pocket change by any stretch of the imagination.

    He’s signed the best players in MLB to come to the Yankees, yet they persistently under-perform in the postseason.

    The manager is the one who motivates players and puts them into position to be successful and win postseason games.

    His manager is the highest-paid manager in the game.

    Ergo, his manager is not performing his role adequately and should be fired.

    If you were given charge of a billion-dollar, seven-year project, received the highest salary of any project manager in the world, and then botched it, wouldn’t you expect to get fired? I sure would.

    I’m sure Torre expects the same.

    So save me your tears about how irrational Steinbrenner is. It’s clear that Torre’s not getting it done, won’t get it done, and needs replaced.

    If the team isn’t motivated to save him, they won’t be motivated by him, either.

    Saturday, October 6, 2007

    Hot Football Picks

    Usually, I try to be modest with my football picks. But this time I'm feeling pretty lucky, so I want to be sure that you understand the Svengali-like power of these football selections: this isn't what I think will happen, it's what I know will happen. I've seen the postgame press conferences, and I can freely quote below so you can get a feel for each game.

    Carolina at New Orleans
    Several Panthers players will say that they are really, really sorry about the hurricane a couple of years ago and all, but it's time to move on, and no, they don't feel bad about kicking the Saints' ass all over the field. Then Drew Brees will come out and fly into a rage when asked, "Do you still think you were a better selection than Daunte Culpepper?" Panthers 35, Saints 13.

    Jacksonville at Kansas City
    Did you know that in ancient Greece there were little statues with penises on them called "Herms" that were put all over as a sign of good luck? Well, in the postgame press conference several players will refer to Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards as a prick, too. Jaguars 28, Chiefs 20.

    Detroit at Washington
    Thus spaketh Kitna: "Now that God has taken an active interest in our games, and is rooting for us, it's heresy for other teams to score on us. So not only do the Redskins have a racist nickname, they're a bunch of sinners who are going to hell, too." Lions 21, Redskins 24.

    Atlanta at Tennessee
    You can play this on an infinite loop for the rest of the season:
    Reporter A: "Coach, how much does your team miss Michael Vick?"
    "I'd rather talk about the guys that are here, and the game we just played, okay?"
    Reporter B: "So you don't miss Michael Vick?"
    "Let's talk about the game, okay?"
    Reporter C: "Do you think the game would have been different if you still had Michael Vick?"
    "Sigh."
    Reporter D: "Coach, how much does your team miss Michael Vick?"
    Falcons 3, Titans 17.

    Miami at Texas
    Question from press conference for Texans coach Gary Kubiak: "Wow, was David Carr cursed by Mono Tiki Tia or something? It's incredible how much better you guys got since he left."
    Asked of Matt Schaub, former backup to Michael Vick: "If John Kitna is this gracious about God healing him of a concussion, how come you're not out proselytizing in the streets for the trade that he engineered to get you out of the train wreck that is Atlanta?"
    Dolphins 3 in junk time, Texans 45

    Seattle at Pittsburgh
    Actual question for Seattle Coach Mike Holmgren: "Geez, I know your team sucked out there, but why do you look like you're chewing on shit?"
    Holmgren (with mouth full): "Mmcus mi mmm."
    Seahawks 14, Steelers 31

    Cleveland at New England
    Asked of Tom Brady: "How great is it to have a real receiver?"
    Asked of Randy Moss: "How great is it to play with a real quarterback?"
    Asked of Bill Bellicheck by TMQ: "Isn't it true you've brought dishonor to the NFL on a level with the infamous 1919 Black Socks and that we'd all be better off if you committed seppuku?"
    Asked of Browns coach Romeo Crennel: "Geez, man, did you even bring a team?"
    Browns 0, Patriots 54

    Arizona at St. Louis
    This is my "Can't-Miss" game of the week. See, if you can't miss this game, there's something seriously wrong with you. The postgame conference will be disrupted when Brenda Warner attacks Matt Leinart for suggesting that he shouldn't be splitting time with her husband, scratching Leinart's face. He will subsequently win a 450-million dollar lawsuit for damaging "his rugged, surfer-boy good looks."
    Cardinals 21, Rams 10.

    New York at New York in New Jersey
    Actual question: "I'm sorry, which team were you with again? You both played so bad, and are geographically confused, so it's hard to tell you apart."
    Tom Coughlin: "We're the *@#$%! Giants, you #$%&! Damn Eli Manning!"
    Tiki Barber: "Oh, sorry, grumpy. I couldn't tell."
    New York 7, New York 7, with grief counselling for both fan groups after the game.

    Tampa Bay at Indianapolis
    ESPN Reporter: "Now that you've lost, doesn't this delegitimize your title defense, deflate your team, and prove that you just can't win the big one in defense of having won the big one?"
    Peyton Manning: "But we won. By thirty points."
    ESPN Reporter: "So you say, but does anybody really believe stupid southern white men after Bush made such a debacle in Iraq?"
    Buccaneers 20, Colts 50.

    San Diego at Denver
    "Coach Turner! Is it true that you've hired Nate Newton as the team's Assistant Coach for Motivation?"
    "Norv! Norv! Have you taken away the shoelaces and belts from your players?"
    "Mr. Tuner! Isn't it true that you're spending 5 million on hookers a week to keep the players satisfied?"
    Chargers 13, Broncos 30.

    Baltimore at San Francisco
    Sports Illustrated reporter: "So, coach Billick, time for some offense yet?"
    Billick: "The offense isn't the problem."
    Baltimore Sun-Times reporter: "So, coach Billick, are you looking for some new offense yet?"
    Billick: "The offense isn't the problem."
    Tony Siragusa: "I'm a big fat moron who dresses like a reject from a slimfast commercial. Mmm, boy, I sure love hot dogs!"
    Billick: "The offense isn't the problem."
    Baltimore 10 (on five safeties), San Francisco 12 (on four field goals)

    Chicago at Green Bay
    The press conference ends in tragedy when an overheated Peter King of Sports Illustrated throws his size 52 underwear at the podium as a sign of eternal love for Brett Favre, only to have it rupture Favre's vertebra and send him to the hospital. King is put on suicide watch and issues a statement saying that "I'm sorry I was ever even born."
    Bears 6, Packers 31.

    Dallas at Buffalo
    Reporter: "Tony, is it right for me to marry a woman not of the faith?"
    Romo: "Verily, thou shalt not marry outside of the Cowboys faithful unless thou art without a hope in a foreign land, such as Oregon."
    Reporter: "But what if I live in a foreign country?"
    Romo: "It would be better to cut off your manhood than befoul it with a Bills fan."
    All together: "Amen!"
    Cowboys 28, Bills 10.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

    Hundreds Protest “Cro-Magnon Oppression”

    Hundreds of naked protestors today stood in frigid weather outside of the third annual “Neanderthal Good Vibrations Conference” in Stockholm, Sweden to protest what they called the “naked Cro-Magnon oppression of our peaceful Neanderthal cousins.”

    “We’re here to say that genocide is unacceptable, whether it’s in Burma or Sudan or Paleolithic Europe,” said Coalition to Oppose Mankind’s Aggression (COMA) spokeswoman Rainbow Autumn. “And we want it to stop right now!”

    Wearing strategically-placed ice cubes to symbolize the climactic changes that scientists have used for decades to cover up what COMA says is the systematic slaughter of Neanderthals, the protestors held placards with slogans such as “Not pro-cro-magnon!” and “Have you hugged a Neanderthal lately?” They held a moment of silence for victims of Cro-Magnon oppression and dispersed peacefully after several members had wardrobe malfunctions which led to their saggy boobs getting caught in the revolving doors of the conference building.

    Lars Kipperbottoms, head of the conference, said that he had expected as much from the protestors. “I tried to explain to them last month that the Neanderthals had been extinct for about thirty thousand years, and they sent me an orange jumpsuit with a handwritten note that said ‘Remember Los Alamos.’ I still don’t know what that means.”

    Ms. Autumn said her group was determined to see justice for the victims of Cro-Magnon oppression. “The international community is all about justice for Homo Sapiens, but they want to leave other species in the lurch,” she said. “I’m bringing a civil suit in world court seeking payment from world governments to the victims of this slaughter and immediate UN protective forces installed to keep them from coming to further depredations at the hands of their so-called ‘cousins.”

    “Real cousins don’t treat each other this way,” she added. “Not even in West Virginia.”

    Norv Turner: Threat to World Peace

    A recent article posits that Norv Turner is responsible for the decline and fall of both the Chargers and the 49ers, and I can fully believe this. Such is the man’s manifest incompetence that he can ruin one franchise with his presence and another with his absence.

    But why stop there? His machinations stretch far beyond the football field. Witness, if you dare, the far-reaching effects of what I call…

    THE TURNER ZONE

    Veganism
    Norv Turner was born in 1952. You know what else was born this year? Vegans, spawned by the first Vegan lifestyle manual, “How Live in Harmony with Gaea” by Darlene Redcrotch. Filled with helpful hints like “shaving supports the evil patrimony”, it encouraged a generation of granola girls to be hairier than a buffalo and smell like a sasquatch fart. Would such a tome of manifest evil get published in a world without Norv Turner? Well, it surely never was before.




    Second Palestinian Intifada
    Turner’s disastrous 2000 season as Washington head coach so totally demoralized and distracted Washington politicians that they were completely incapable of defusing and preventing the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000. Would Arafat have dared to so completely disregard the Noble Peace Prize and the Oslo Accords if he thought Bill Clinton hadn’t been preoccupied with the slow-motion horror show that was the 2000 Redskins? I doubt it.

    Countless 2007 Fantasy Football-Related Suicides
    For years LT has been a stat machine for fantasy football freaks, and suddenly he falls into the Turner Zone and is never heard from again (62 yards and 1 TD so far this season). All over America, fantasy owners with LT are being barraged by semi-literate geek rants from the other dorks in their leagues, whose nasally chortling will eventually drive them to autoerotic asphyxiation as the only means of escape.

    The Gay Phenomenon in Iran
    Heartthrob and all-around good guy Iranian president Ahemenidijad assures us that “this gay phenomenon in Iran does not exist.” Why not? Because they’ve all moved to San Francisco, center of the worldwide gay community, in a show of solidarity for the beleaguered 49ers fans who have had to suffer under Norv Turner the past few years. If only Norv Turner hadn’t ruined them, then Iran would be a more cosmopolitan society today.

    Nate Newton’s 2,645 tons of Pot
    Nate Newton had to play, year after year, on a Cowboys team whose offense was headed up by Turner. The stress eventually got to him and he had to start smoking marijuana almost constantly in order to help keep himself mellow. Plus, he put on a lot of weight, going from JJ to Fat Albert over his NFL career. Won’t somebody please think of the children?

    The 1917 Bolshevik Revolution
    Some of you may object that this happened years before Turner was born, but I would ask you this: has any person ever more strongly resembled Russian mystic Rasputin than Norv Turner? Think on it: has a mysterious hold over those in command, uses sinister powers to destroy and ruin those around him, and seems to survive wounds which would kill any ordinary man. If he’s not Rasputin, he’s football’s nearest equivalent.

    Yale has no balls

    Now we know why Yale sucks at sports: they have no balls. How else could one reconcile these two stories?

    * WSJ reports that Yale’s endowment is 22.5 billion

    * Yale Law announces it will allow military recruiters to keep from jeopardizing 350 million in federal funding for Yale University.

    There’s a situation under which Yale could continue their research and keep their integrity: dispense 1.5% of their endowment. If they gained 5% return on their endowment they would then add “only” 775 million to their coffers per year (not counting any donations, of course).

    Problem solved, integrity intact. Donations should ever rise as they show what a socially conscious university they are. But Yale chooses a third rail: sanctimonious grandstanding and shameless money-grubbing. I ask two questions:

    1) Why the hell is the government giving *any* money to Yale? They have 22.5 billion cash on hand, yet take in 350 million in government subsidies. And I’m supposed to believe that Exxon is evil? At least they provide me a service. Yale’s last product was Mr. Burns, America’s most evil plutocrat.

    2) The average American’s salary is 28,000 per year. Do you think if I offered the average person $8700 (31% of their income) they’d do something to compromise their principles? Well, that’s exactly what it costs Yale to compromise their deeply-held principle on gays that they’re sure “history will vindicate”. That’s some bargain-basement backtracking, if you ask me.

    Apparently, Yale is wealthy, craven and cheaply bought. And that kind of mix doesn’t come easily.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2007

    Dear Patriots Fans

    I hate to be the turd in the punch bowl, but all this 19-0 talk needs to stop. Yes, your team is undefeated. Kudos to them! Yes, the Patriots look very good this year. Yes, they have new fire to prove that Peeping Bill Bellicheck's hobbies have nothing to do with their dominance the last 7 years.

    But let's just take the rhetoric down a notch, shall we? Take a closer look at those 4 opponents you're so proud of humiliating. They're a combined 4-12, each one having a 1-3 record. "Of cawse!" you chortle chowderly. "They've played ah Patruts, dnchaknaw?"

    Beating up the tomato cans that are the Jets, Bills, Chargers, and Bengals hardly qualifies the Patriots as the second coming of the 1972 Dolphins. Simply look at who *they* managed to beat: Chicago, Baltimore, and Miami (twice!). Baltimore appears to be mediocre, Chicago is so bad they put in Brian Griese as QB, and Miami is "cover the children's eyes" horrible.

    I'm not saying the Patriots aren't good; they certainly appear to be. I'm just saying that when they have to play real teams (against whom they only really have three games: Dallas, Indy, and Pittsburgh) some of that luster may come off. It may not; who knows?

    But don't be surprised if the Patriots cruise through their creampuff schedule to 13-3 (in a division with the football equivalent of the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Devil Rays) and suddenly find themselves stiffed in the playoffs against a more hardened team.

    Seems like this has happened to certain Indiana team in the past, in a few games that the Patriots might remember well...

    How the Baseball Playoffs will Pan Out

    I didn’t watch even one inning of baseball this year, and if I did, I blotted it from my mind because I’m a Braves fan and they sucked. So, without further ado, here’s my take on the upcoming playoff series:

    Yankees-Indians
    Since the Yankees spend more on ballboys than the Indians do on their whole team, this one has to go to the Yankees, doesn’t it? On the other hand, the Indians do have a racially insensitive mascot, which should count for something. And isn’t it cute that New York fans whine about a “drought” that is seven years old, meaning no titles in the last seven years? There are teams that have gone 30 years without a playoffs appearance, aren’t there? I figure Yankees in 6.

    Angels-Red Sox
    Since the Red Sox think the Yankees are cheapskates for how little they spend on ballboys, this has to go to Boston. I figure a clean sweep for Boston, and then much crowing from our chowderhead-infested sportswriters at Sports Illustrated and ESPN about how this is the year the Red Sox break their “new curse” or some such nonsense.

    Cubs-Arizona
    After the Tribune puts “For Sale” as the name on every player, the Cubs’ motivation will waver. The series will go seven games, just to maximize the angst of the Cubs fans, but Chicago will lose on a critical error in the 10th inning.

    Rockies-Philadelphia
    After their phantom win Monday, the Rockies will need four more phantom wins over a determined Phillies squad looking to shake the image of the 90’s-era “Krukelheads” that defined a generation of degenerate, moronic, underachieving Phillies players. Colorado won’t get the phantom wins and Philly will run away with the series in 5 games.

    Red Sox-Yankees
    With 62-point-font headlines screaming THIS ONE IS FOR EVERYTHING!! the entire New York-Boston corridor will relentlessly punish us with story after story about how important his series is not just for baseball, but for world peace. Finally sickened, the rest of the country will send in the national guard to shut down all print and broadcast affiliates until after the games are over. It doesn’t matter which team wins; they’re both evil.

    Arizona-Philadelphia
    I don’t know anything about either team, but I remember that Arizona won a world series with Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. But Schilling’s gone, and Johnson’s a shell of his former self now. And Philly did hunt down and kill the Mets in the last two weeks, so they deserve some love. So Philly gets the nod from me, and we’ll say it’s in seven games just to make it look close.

    Evil Empire-Philadelphia
    After a week of buildup articles and sneering from the SportsGuy about how Philly is the “minor-league entry” the Phillies will sweep whichever group of preening jerkoffs comes from the AL. Bud Selig will somehow insert himself into the World Series and make it less fun for everybody, possibly by insulting Barry Bonds. And sportswriters will begin to justify the loss for the Evil Empire and begin preparing us next year for “THE RESURGENCE OF THE GREATEST TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME!”