Sunday, April 29, 2007

Chuck Post

New home for scare quotes!
World Net Daily is my favorite news source. It features columns by Chuck Norris AND Pat Boone! It also publishes a book called THE MARKETING OF EVIL: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom. Dr. Laura Schlessinger gave it a blurb: "David Kupelian dares to tell the truth." And Michelle Malkin: Now watch the cockroaches run for cover."

What can you expect from this book? From the WND website: “For example, few of us realize that the widely revered father of the ‘sexual revolution’ has been irrefutably exposed as a full-fledged sexual psychopath who encouraged pedophilia. Or that giant corporations voraciously competing for America's $150 billion teen market routinely infiltrate young people's social groups to find out how better to lead children into ever more debauched forms of ‘authentic self-expression.’"

And what ARE those debauched forms of "authentic self-expression?" Do they have a web site?

“Likewise, most of us mistakenly believe the ‘abortion rights’ and ‘gay rights’ movements were spontaneous, grassroots uprisings of neglected or persecuted minorities wanting to breathe free. Few people realize America was actually ‘sold’ on abortion thanks to an audacious public relations campaign that relied on fantastic lies and fabrications. Or that the ‘gay rights’ movement – which transformed America's former view of homosexuals as self-destructive human beings into their current status as victims and cultural heroes – faithfully followed an in-depth, phased plan laid out by professional Harvard-trained marketers.”

I'd like to see the conference room where the in-depth phased plans was laid out. I'll bet it's fabulous.

Chuck Norris writes!
“I laughed the other day as I read another ‘Chuck Norris Fact’ that someone sent me: ‘Nagasaki never had a bomb dropped on it. Chuck Norris jumped out of a plane and punched the ground.’ That's, of course, fist folklore.”

Getting a “Chuck”le out of an atom bomb joke! That's humor!

Later in the same column: “Over the past few years, I've been flattered and grateful to have been reintroduced to younger generations through the ‘Chuck Norris Facts’ proliferation on the Internet. Then came the hundreds of video clips and parodies of my life and personage, even reflected in my latest television commercial for Mountain Dew, which has also shown up on a host of websites and blogs.”

He is so humble in self-aggrandizement. One stands in awe.

From the CHUCK NORRIS FACT (aka CHUCK NORRIS LAUGHLINES) link, a smattering:
"Chuck Norris volunteers for the bombsquad in Iraq on weekends. He clears paths by roundhouse kicking IEDs."

"Chuck Norris is why we haven't found Osama. He politely declined to take the reward money because he likes his 7ft tall punching bag more."

"If Chuck Norris ran for president, the Republican party would heal overnight. There would be no need for a primary election, Democrat or Republican. He won't need to veto a bill, he'd just have to give congress a look. We could pepper the middle east with old Chuck DVD's. All would surrender immediatley. The Karate Commandos would be a new military branch. Seriously, if we want a sincere conservative with the charm and speaking ability similar to Reagan, Chuck is it. Nugent for VP, because he'd call the Democrats names while presiding over the Senate."

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I'd kind of enjoy it if Ted Nugent called Democrats names while presiding over the Senate.

"one day while chuck norris was on tour in the middle east. a couple of kind strangers were sitting down having a weekly meeting. when they heard chuck was coming fear struck their hearts. for they were copying his beard. while fleeing for thier lives, someday in september, they accidently ran into some building. chuck was satisfyed."

I don't get it either. "for they were copying his beard." Huh.

"Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried."

If he's never cried, how do they know his tears cure cancer?

"Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants."

"Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits."

"The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain."

And Mountain Dew!

"most poeple dont know what its like to be from a family that isnt one. my dad was a heavey drinker & left me & my mom to those poeple that make fun of chuck norris they have to live the life that he & i have done when you dont know when your next meal comes from or not until they live it they just dont understand & they never will."

And Mountain Dew!

What Britney said to the photographers following her around:
"It was so right and like my management totally knew what they were doing when they sent me to rehab. So right you know? I just want to say that I'm just really, really shocked at like how nice our world is because it is just so nice. Like, oh my god. Like the other day like I was sitting there and I saw all these magazines and they said I was pregnant and like it's so true. Like, America, believe everything you read because like you're smart and I'm stupid."

It's sarcasm.

My new favorite spam
“Were intensely overjoyed to welcome your house financing application affirmation.”

I love to have an emotional connection to mortgage lenders, especially since I don’t own a home.
Another breaking story from WND:
“A plan that has been launched in the California state Assembly – again – could be used to ban references to ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ in public schools statewide by prohibiting anything that would ‘reflect adversely’ on the homosexual lifestyle choice.”

I haven't been to school lately, I guess. How often do Mom, Dad, and/or homosexual lifestyle choices come up as study topics?

In other news…
Two diaries written by Anna Nicole Smith have sold on eBay for 500,000 bucks. The guy who sold them said that one of the diaries contains her confession, “I have for men to want sex all the time. I hate sex.” The diaries also contain a counter-argument to the theory of evolution, based on her close reading of Spinoza.

Did you know that there’s a web site called Cheddarvision, on which you can watch a 44 lb chunk of cheese mature? Now you do. Knock yourself out.

In Utah, Don Larsen, the Republican chairman of District 65 authored a resolution which says in part, "In order for Satan to establish his 'New World Order' and destroy the freedom of all people as predicted in the Scriptures, he must first destroy the U.S. The mostly quiet and unspectacular invasion of illegal immigrants does not focus the attention of the nations the way open warfare does, but is all the more insidious for its stealth and innocuousness." Last year, also in Utah, congressional candidate John Jacob blamed Satan for his unsuccessful campaign. Did you know that Satan has a website? He doesn’t? Why not? He could feature debauched forms of authentic self-expression with underage teens!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mitchum Blog

Robert Mitchum
From James Wolcott’s blog:
“…it is difficult imagining Mitchum exerting himself much in bed, given how lax he often was on screen (his stellar performance in Night of the Hunter excepted, of course).”

I enjoy Wolcott’s blog. He exudes a gleeful and literate malificence towards people who deserve it. But hey, this is Robert Mitchum he’s talking about.

One of my comedy partners, Dan Coffey, was once at a party where he happened to be chatting up a woman. Elvis Presley had just passed, and Elvis-obsessed Dan, upon discovering that the woman he was chatting up was an Elvis fan, began to hold forth on the various bizarre stories connected with that icon’s sadly abbreviated life – you know – trying to give a gun to Nixon, the eating habits, the giving away of cars, etc.

Suddenly the woman said, “I don’t want to hear anything bad about Elvis.”

I feel the same way about Robert Mitchum. What Wolcott calls “lax” I call laconic. His was a deadpan acceptance of certain doom. BLOOD ON THE MOON? Hello? HIS KIND OF WOMAN? THE SUNDOWNERS? CROSSFIRE?

OUT OF THE PAST? One of the best noirs ever. I don’t want to hear anything bad about Mitchum. And MACAO (the movie Wolcott references in his sneer at Mitchum) is actually a lot of fun. Flawed of course, but what isn’t?

Keep in mind that I rented SNAKES ON A PLANE last night, and thought it was the best movie I’d seen in months. It was like a disaster movie from the seventies, only getting away with more. It delivered. If you see a movie called SNAKES ON A PLANE, you want to see snakes biting people in every way you can imagine. SOAP did that. Snakes bit people on penises, on breasts; they swallowed a head, they swallowed a chihuahua whole… And you got to hear Samuel L. Jackson declare, “I have had it with the motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane.” Nobody says “motherfucking” like Samuel L. Jackson. On some level, what more do you want from a movie? Oh, art. That.

I liked it so much I have even forgiven the creepy viral marketing/internet crap that surrounded its launch.

On another note….
I’m not complaining, but I have NEVER had so much activity from readers as I had from the (surprisingly bland!) Imus commentary I posted last week. I’m not sure that people were actually “reading” what I wrote, but rather were seizing the opportunity to hold forth on their own agendas. What’s that all about? As I wrote, I’m not that familiar with Imus (having never actually, you know, listened to his program), but there are odd elements to this.

“Insiders” liked to go on his show, because he had actually read their books (believe me: this is rare), and was familiar with their work, and who they were. Moreover, he gave them the opportunity to be “looser” than they would be on the Sunday morning/Charlie Rose/NPR type of shows. Many of these folks rose to his support. They have since disappeared. James Wolcott has defended him, but these other folks have vanished.

Many of the people who posted here seemed to blame Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson/whoever for the demise of Don Imus. This puzzled me. Admittedly, my understanding of capitalism is incomplete, but it seems to me that the dread Sharpton/Jackson juggernaut had only a tangential connection to the (temporary?) doom of Don Imus. It was a corporate decision to drop the guy. Because he acted like an asshole.

Who actually listened to his show? What’s the attraction?

Imus helped children with cancer. Good on him. All the more reason for him to put a sock in it. After all, he has kids depending on him for their survival.

And I am still left with the bone-headed, tin-eared stuff that Imus actually said. Okay, he wasn’t racist. I will accept that as a given. But still, he said it. And if there’s one thing I believe it’s this: what you say has consequences. Some pay those consequences, depending on who’s paying attention, and who doesn’t. Imus did pay the consequences. He assumed that nobody was listening except his fans, but it turned out that- in this new Internet world - Rutgers fans got wind of it, black activists got wind of it, liberals got wind of it, CONSERVATIVES got wind of it. He's a victim of the culture wars. But who cares? He’ll be on satellite radio soon anyway. Rejoice. To quote Dr. Dre: Fuck y’all. Fuck all of y’all. Imus equals Dr. Dre? Dunno.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

(Almost) Imus-free blog

Billionaires in space!
Software mogul Charles Simonyi spent a whole bunch of money so he could blast off with a couple cosmonauts this April. His friend, Martha Stewart, stood on the ground to wave him off. He helped develop Microsoft Word. I own a licensed copy of Microsoft Word. Therefore… I dunno.

Can you hear me now?
A new study suggests that the reason bee colonies are disappearing at such an alarming rate is that their navigation systems are being disrupted by radiation from cell phones.

Geico cavemen
So amusing are they not? ABC is toying with the possibility of a sitcom starring the Geico cavemen. And CBS may do a dramatic series starring that creepy gray moth from the Lunesta commercials. Is that supposed to be restful? Having some nervous insect fluttering around your bed while you’re trying to sleep?

New life for dead boats
Geneva watchmaker Romain Jerome SA has introduced a new line of wristwatches made of steel and coal from the Titanic. CEO Yvan Arpa told the press that the watch “is very luxurious and very inaccessible." Which is everything I look for in a timepiece – you can’t afford it, and you can’t find it.

I want to make a wristwatch out of Don Imus’ shattered reputation. Any takers?

“Predatory Lenders”
Everytime I see these words in print I visualize men and women (business casual), clutching clipboards, and roaming lower middle class neighborhoods in a pack, searching for single parent families to give mortgages to, and then devour.

The coming crony shortage
Paul Wolfowitz, appointed by President Bush to head the World Bank a few years back, got in trouble last week when it was revealed that he used his position to get his girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, a comfortable job in the US State Department, with a big pay raise. Wolfowitz is married, but has lived apart from his wife since 2001.

Wall Street Journal: “The World Bank’s staff association had said Shaha Ali Riza, who remained on the bank’s payroll while working at State for the Middle East Partnership Initiative, had received $61,000 in raises since she left, a sum the association said is out of line with bank rules governing salary increases.”

The coming crony shortage2
Slate: “Even if the congressional investigation of the U.S. attorney firings yields no more evidence that the dismissals were nefarious, it will have been more than worthwhile for the window that's been opened into the internal workings of the Bush administration. The latest revelation, of course, is that top White House aides, including Karl Rove, used e-mail accounts set up by the Republican National Committee—and that some of the messages they sent—as many as five million—are missing, including e-mails that relate to the U.S. attorney firings.”

Five million e-mails? How can you even generate that many e-mails, much less lose them?

What were they thinking?
I did not know this but Katie Couric has a blog! How exciting! She posts video essays on “Couric & Co.,” which can be found at the CBS News Web site. Recently, an essay she did on libraries was discovered to have been stolen from a Wall Street Journal column by Jeffrey Zaslow. The producer of the video essay was fired.

I have several questions. First of all, shouldn’t the folks at CBS be reading the Wall Street Journal every day? If they had, wouldn’t they have noticed right away that the essay handed Ms. Couric was the same as the one in the WSJ? My second related question: why did the producer think she could get away with it? Surely, she must be compensated adequately; couldn’t she have, you know, taken an hour or two and written an original essay?

The other thing, as Timothy Noah in Slate points out, the site purports to be Ms. Couric’s personal thoughts on this and that; he writes that the essay “began with a personal memory: ‘I still remember when I first got my library card.’ That sentence was not lifted from the Zaslow column, but it's actually more fake than anything else in the commentary because it purports to be a personal recollection. In fact, however, it is McNamara remembering on Couric's behalf ….”

So this essay, after we remove the plagiarism and aliases, is untrue in every particular and is actually about nothing at all. Just more… content. But it’s free!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Imus Blog

Imus wears a cowboy hat indoors: this is wrong.
As a middle-aged white guy liberal, I must weigh in on the Don Imus flap. Full disclosure: I have never listened to his program. I have never had any desire to listen to his program. Besides, his program is not carried where I live, as far as I know.

But I am aware of who he is. Back in the seventies, there were billboards of him everywhere in Manhattan - before he got fired from some station or other, and then admitted that he had substance abuse problems, and came back in a blaze of glory into his radio world, where he remained ever since, well, this week.

I read a New Yorker profile of him, and watched another on 60 Minutes. I never quite got him. He seemed like a secretive, self-important creep to me. But then, there are so many self-important creeps out there. Why single him out?

I gather that writers liked being on his show, because he’d actually read their books, and asked good questions. That's a plus. And folks like Dan Rather and others liked going on his show because he allowed them to show another side of their personality with his wacky shenanigans. Well, I guess that’s a plus too. Any time a media smoothie acts goofy, it’s probably good for the republic.

On the other hand… there’s the notion that you can say anything that pops into your damn head, and because you’re a person on the air, with a history of being a person on the air, and having a roster of fans who hang on your every word, you can get away with it, and even be considered “witty.”

Well, there was nothing even remotely witty about Don Imus’ remarks last week. It’s hard to wrap my mind around exactly what they were. I don’t think Imus is a racist – but then again, maybe we all are – I think he was more trying to be a hip white guy – the kind of guy who watches women’s basketball, and has opinions about it.

So all right, he was paying attention to the NCAA Woman’s Basketball Championship. You, outraged person, were you? I sure wasn’t.

Be that as it may, Imus referred to the losers of this championship competition as “That's some nappy-headed hos there.”

Okay. He was referring to teenagers here, black teenagers who had come from behind to almost seize a championship, yadda yadda. The point is: you don’t refer to kids as nappy headed hos. What is the point of that?

I don’t know anything about the NCAA Woman’s Basketball Championship, but I will go out on a limb and assume that the young women involved in it were hard working, determined, focused, and bitterly disappointed that they didn’t go the distance.

If Don Imus were truly a fan of the genre, wouldn’t he have taken that into account. And called them valiant, or brave, or feisty…. No, tin-eared Don Imus called them “nappy headed hos.” Proving that his audience is not young black women, but idiot white men, spinning the dial between ESPN, him, and porn.

I am so sick of this. Well, he’s gone, but it is still Imus’ World. We just live in it. Or try to live in it.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Wrongdoers? Creditors? Beware!
Soon this shall be mine: (AFP) “…scientists have finally come up with a workable design for an invisibility cloak.”

Meet the Republicans! Now surrender peacefully.
In NRO’s The Corner, March 31, Ramesh Ponnuru noted an appearance by GOP presidential candidates with an outfit called Club for Growth, which endorses those candidates who promote, among other things…
-- Making the Bush tax cuts permanent
-- Death tax repeal
-- Cutting and limiting government spending
-- Social Security reform with personal retirement accounts—
-- Expanding free trade
-- Legal reform to end abusive lawsuits
-- Replacing the current tax code
-- School choice
-- Regulatory reform and deregulation

The Crane cited is Ed Crane, president of the Cato Institute, which seeks “…to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace.”

Ponnuru wrote: “Crane says he was disappointed with Romney's answer to his question the other night. Crane asked if Romney believed the president should have the authority to arrest U.S. citizens with no review. Romney said he would want to hear the pros and cons from smart lawyers before he made up his mind. Crane said that he had asked Giuliani the same question a few weeks ago. The mayor said that he would want to use this authority infrequently.”

Pelosi in Syria!
Cheney called her trip “bad behavior.” Bush said it sent “mixed signals.”

Leon Panetta and Jim Baker have been to Syria – Baker ten times – for the Iraq Study Group. Senator Bill Nelson went there, and representatives David Hobson, Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts, and Robert Aderholt. Pelosi went there two weeks after a trip by Ellen Sauerbrey, US assistant secretary of state for refugees and migration. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage went there in 2005. John Kerry? Christopher Dodd? Been there. Last year. Darryl Issa went there post-Pelosi. Everybody and his dog, it seems, has gone to Syria. So what’s the big deal with Pelosi?

Drudge strikes again!
Drudge posted an “exclusive” that CNN reporter Michael Ware heckled Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham at a Baghdad press conference. Footage of the press conference does not show heckling of any form, and reinforces Ware’s claim that not only didn’t he heckle, he didn’t even ask a question.

The blog called Red State, undaunted, wrote that the story is “…indicative of a broader infection. So many reporters are acting as third-rate activists, childishly mocking that which doesn't fit their model. Their model does not allow for improvement in Iraq. Their minds cannot grasp anything but quagmire and defeat....”

So even though Michael Ware did not in fact childishly mock, he’s still guilty of childish mocking. QED.

Always Rosie!
Rosie O’Donnell did it again on The View. Apparently she hinted that 9/11 was an inside job, a scheme hatched by Cheney (or somebody) to destroy incriminating Enron documents (or something) housed in the World Trade Center. She said, "I do believe it's the first time in history that fire has melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Building 7, which collapsed in on itself, it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved.”

This is ridiculous, of course. The first time in history that fire has melted steel? What? Steel is created through melting. Besides, did the steel in the World Trade Center even melt? My understanding is it warped and collapsed. Should Rosie be fired? No. Should she take some physics classes? Yes.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Whole Blog and Nothing But

Why They Hate Us
The Wee Wife and I went to Whole Foods for the first time the other. It’s a grocery store. It offers valet parking. It’s a grocery store that offers valet parking. Okay, that creeped me out. I admit it. And the customers creeped me out as well. They were all wearing tailored burlap, or so it seemed, and emitted this air of self-satisfaction as they fingered the organic figs. Whole Foods has a manifesto as well. It’s a fucking grocery store. With a manifesto. It’s right there on the wall – part of it states: “We take responsibility for our own success and failures. We celebrate success and see failures as opportunities for growth. We recognize that we are responsible for our own happiness and success.” To which I screamed (silently), “You’re a fucking grocery store! Shut up!”

As we walked by the meat department, I overheard a middle-aged guy ask, “What can you tell me about this chicken?”

We caught snippets of the butcher’s response: “Free range yadda yadda organic yadda yadda locally grown.”

My wife muttered out of the side of her mouth: “The chicken’s name is Leon.”

I muttered back, “It was strangled lovingly by Guatemalan virgins.”

Then we bought some weird fruit and high-tailed it out of there.

The Wee Wife said, to nobody in particular, “You’re not saving the planet! You’re buying coffee and recycled toilet paper!”

I muttered, “What can you tell me about this chicken?” It is my new muttering mantra.

Blogosphere Antics
Kathy Sierra, creator of the blog, CREATING PASSIONATE USERS, about computers, has shut down her blog, and cancelled all speaking engagements, after a series of death threats were posted there and elsewhere on that vast virtual edifice we call the Internet. On her final entry she wrote, “I’m at home, with the doors locked, terrified.”

Blogosphere Antics part 2
Last fall Jessica Valenti was one of a group of “liberal” bloggers invited to have lunch with former President Clinton. As part of that event, the group posed for photographs with Mr. Clinton. In one of those photographs, Ms. Valenti can be seen in front of Mr. Clinton, standing a little bit sideways. That she possesses breasts was evident.

Conservative blogger Ann Althouse posted this photograph on her blog with the comment, “Let’s just array these bloggers… randomly.”

A poster commented: ‘Since we don't know who she is, this is quite the cheap shot: Who is the Intern directly in front of him with the black hair? As such, it would be beneath me to respond, I don't know, but she can deliver my pizza any day.”

Various other intern jokes ensued, before Ms. Valenti herself weighed in: “The, um, ‘intern’ is me. It's so nice to see women being judged by more than their looks. Oh, wait.…”

To which Ms. Althouse replied: “Well, Jessica, you do appear to be ‘posing.’ Maybe it's just an accident.”

To which Ms. Valenti responded: “It's a picture; people pose.”

To which Ms. Althouse scolded: “…I really don't know why people who care about feminism don't have any edge against Clinton for the harm he did to the cause of taking sexual harrassment seriously, and posing in front of him like that irks me, as a feminist. So don't assume you're the one representing feminist values here….”

If you’re going to pose with Clinton, in other words, bring your burkha, girls.

Anyway that went on for a while last September, with various people making the usual Clinton horn dog jokes, and sneering at Ms. Valenti for (a) acting slutty and (b) not owning up to her own sluttiness.

Then it went away pretty much until this March when Ms. Althouse appeared on with Garance Franke-Ruta, where they discussed why liberal bloggers don’t like Ms. Althouse, and Mr. Frane-Ruta mentioned the "Jessica Valenti breast controversy." Mr. Althouse got very upset and angry by this, for some reason, calling it “offensive” and an “insult.” She said terming the flap a “breast controversy” was just a label.

She later said, “[Then] the precise thing that ma[d]e me mad [was that] I say I will stand my ground, then I say I don't appreciate the ‘breast controversy’ locution, and she interrupts me. It's that sequence that pushes me over the line.”

So that video made the web rounds. A week or so ago, Ms. Althouse posted a video, which garnered some more blog reactions, apparently, She wrote “Based on my ‘American Idol’ vlog, where I hold up a glass of wine … and eventually take two sips of it, they are all: Althouse is a drunk, Althouse's drunken videoblogging, etc. This is the way these people see having a glass of wine? How very prissy and puritanical!”

I have seen this video. She is sitting on a couch, watching AMERICAN IDOL, and making boring comments about it. You can hear Ryan Seacrest in the background. Actually, he’s louder than she is. She may have taken a sip of wine somewhere in there. I didn’t notice.

The Poetry of Michelle Malkin
“Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter/Planner/Funder/Enabler/Apologist,
You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you. You are my enemy. And I am yours.
I am John Doe.
I am traveling on your plane. I am riding on your train. I am at your bus stop. I am on your street. I am in your subway car. I am on your lift.
I am your neighbor. I am your customer. I am your classmate. I am your boss.
I am John Doe….”

Dear John Doe: Where did you get the address of Muslim Terrorist Plotter to mail this letter? And if you know the address, why don’t you save the postage, drive on over there, and make a citizen’s arrest? Yours, Enabler.

PS What can you tell me about this chicken?