Thursday, March 31, 2011

Arming the Rebels

Well, guess what? You’ll never guess! It’s so funny, and you’d never have expected it, but you know what? The air strikes we made into Libya: you know, the ones where we basically started a third quagmire war in a Muslim country? Well, it’s a funny thing about that, because, you see, apparently the rebel army still can’t seem to defeat Khadafi’s forces even after NATO (read: the United States) removed the most significant advantages Khadafi’s guys had (like air power, columns of tanks, etc.). I mean, who would have thought that there was more to defeating an army of experienced and well-equipped mercenaries than just posing for the TV cameras and shooting all of your ammunition into the air? Oh, whoops; did I say that they shot all of their ammunition into the air before they went to go fight Khadafi’s army? Actually, apparently a lot of them did, so they had nothing left to actually fight with. And then they used that as an excuse for why they need us to arm them now. Boy, we sure can pick ‘em, huh?

Well, there’s a couple of things here on top of this bit of unintentional comedy. Okay, for starters, we (the United States) have already spent billions of dollars trying to help these bozos fighting Khadafi. The government has estimated something along the lines of $500 million, but I’ve taken to simply assuming that they are lying in recent decades, so I figure it’s got to be in the billions by now, and only due to escalate sharply as the mythic band of rebels continues to not defeat Khadafi. Now these heroic rebels valiantly claim that NATO is not doing enough to defeat Khadafi for them; um, I mean, to help them beat Khadafi’s regime. And they’re starting to sound impatient, like we owe them or something: Awesome. 

Before I get to the next issue, I would first like to point out that although this may be happening pretty close to where some of the movie Star Wars was filmed on location, this is not actually Star Wars. And this brings me to my next point: it has been reported that the rebels we are supporting contain Islamist militants, including elements of Al Qaida, and that they would probably be busy fighting us if they weren’t busy doing something else right now. Like I said, this isn’t Star Wars: the rebels aren’t a competent and noble band of benevolent freedom-fighters harnessing the divine powers of the force, even if Khadafi is kind of like Darth Vader. These guys are the same guys that used to burn American flags, and the only reason they’re not doing it right now is that they need our help, and they expect us to do all of the fighting for them. So when our own government starts to call for us to arm and train them with advanced American weapons and fund them with American money, oh by all means, let’s do so!

But, you know what? I think I have thought of a plan that will save us a lot of time and trouble! Rather than to arm, fund and train the rebels in Libya (because you know they’d just turn around and use our own weapons against us once we finally win their war for them!), what we should do instead is this: let’s get together a few hundred billion dollars, or whatever we’d be spending on this war, and let’s just put it into a big pile of cash and burn it. Then let’s just shoot all the weapons we were going to give them at ourselves! You see what I’m proposing here? Just cut out the middle-man! Think of how much money and time we’ll save in the long run! And it’s a whole lot simpler. See, if we launch the weapons at ourselves, maybe the Islamists will see that and decide that we’re just too crazy and stupid to bother with fighting against anymore. And wouldn’t it be nice to see a stupid and crazy policy get us out of a war for a change?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

5 React Gum Oil Spill Ad

Today I saw a new version of an ad from a year or so ago for “new” 5 React Gum. It’s basically like three people trying the gum while sitting in a chair in some large nuclear plant cooling tower or something like that, and as they taste the gum, they see these huge black globules of goo turn into different shapes, like, say, a butterfly, but with just one shape for each person; then they explain that “everyone experiences it differently”. Well, this reminded me of the old ad, where three different people were strapped into three different chairs and each forced (I’d have to assume against their will) to chew this new 5 React Gum in what I guess is the torture chamber from the end of the movie Brazil, and when they did, they saw these enormous black globs of goo appear and morph into different shapes (one shape for each person). Now doesn’t this sound familiar? Like maybe from the earlier sentence in this paragraph? Actually, the ads are almost identical, as far as I could tell, except that the globs of goo morph into different shapes this time than they did in the earlier ad. So if it’s so similar, why bother changing it at all? Well, maybe more to the point would be, if you’re going to change something about the ad, why not change the biggest problem with it?

So, what’s such a big problem with associating the taste of a chewing gum with the visual equivalent of a giant glob of black goo that looks like dirty motor oil, you might ask? I know it sounds delicious, but here’s the problem: the earlier ad was running during the BP Gulf oil spill, and the delicious-looking black goo that looked like crude oil spilling into water then morphed into the following three shapes (mind you, they were all still dripping with the black goo and were still the same oily consistency even when assuming the new shapes): 1.) an oil-covered bird, 2.) a dirty, oily V-8 muscle-car engine, 3.) an oil-soaked octopus. I am not exaggerating or inventing any of this, and I will attach a link to this ad on YouTube to prove it. Now, first of all, why would a big oil spill make you want to chew gum; and then, why would an oily bird, a dirty car engine, or even a clean octopus be desirable for association with the flavor of any product? So there’s that problem. But then on top of that, imagine running that ad during the biggest oil spill in American history!

Now, in all fairness, while I have to admit that the ad’s television run did, in fact, preceded the BP Gulf oil spill, it continued to run throughout the whole oil spill, and they didn’t even pull the ad from the air during all of that time, with the oil spill being the biggest news story of that period. Well, all I can say is: “Yum! Where do I get that mouth-watering oil spill gum?” It’s funny that they made a new version of this ad at all, but since they did at least think to alter the shapes of the glob images, you’d think that they would have changed the most important part: the black oil. Couldn’t they have at least changed the color of the oily, gooey substance? Or were they worried that then it would look too much like transmission fluid, brake fluid, and anti-freeze? Because dirty motor oil is way better-tasting than those, right? Especially for a chewing gum.

Want to see that ad? I’m not kidding about this; it’s real, and it ran during the BP oil spill:

BP’s Lost Laptop

The Associated Press reports that a BP worker has lost a laptop containing the data and private information of all Louisiana resident claims pursuant to the BP Gulf oil spill. Unfortunately for people requiring assistance from BP, that laptop was the only place where there was any record of your claims, and now that it’s gone, that’s that. It’s really a shame, but all the clean-up of the oil spill has been very expensive for BP, and as a result, they could only afford one computer to collect the information about everyone’s claims on. Oh, well; that’s just the way it is.

And it’s too bad, but they’ve also already spent all of the allotted funds for the collection of data on claims, so they’re not going to be able to let you re-file the applications for your claims either. You had your chance, and they’re really sorry, but if it was so important for you to get your claims paid, then you should have helped them to guard and keep track of the laptop. Maybe next time you’ll know better.

There is, however, a slight silver lining in all this for BP, since prior to the loss of the laptop, they had sold everyone’s personal information to hackers, identity thieves and spam marketers, so at least they made a few bucks on the deal.

Want to know the true facts? They’re actually not all that much better:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BP Oil Spill

There is another article today about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The title is self-explanatory: “BP refuses to put figure on how much oil was leaked in Gulf oil disaster”. They seem not to want to have to admit that they spilled an awful lot of oil into the waters of the Gulf, claiming that they actually leaked more oil in 2006 and 2008 than they did last year in the super-duper oil spill. Now, that might seem like they’re trying to get out of having to pay a higher price tag for clean-up and restitution, but I think they have found a new angle in dealing with this situation.

First, I think they are intentionally trying to present a ridiculously low estimate of the amount of oil that spilled out into the waters off of Louisiana, specifically so that everyone will get all mad and indignant and insist that the amount of oil that flowed into Louisiana was far, far greater than the amount that BP has stated. Then BP will agree to increase the estimated amount of spilled oil to whatever large volumetric figure the local populace in Louisiana insists that it is. And then BP will admit that, yes, all the amounts of oil that they listed from 2006 and 2008 also escaped from their drilling operations and found its way into Louisiana. Then all the local people, feeling vindicated in their accusations, will heartily agree that all of that extra oil must have also spilled into Louisiana as well.

So they will all agree on some really, really astronomical figure for the total volume of oil in barrels that flowed into the state of Louisiana over the past few years, and that’s when BP will take a new position on the matter. What’s that, you might ask? Well, seeing as how Louisiana got all of this oil from BP, they’re going to have to charge the state for all the free oil they’ve been getting. Oil is very expensive, especially in the current marketplace, and that’s an awful lot of barrels that you will now owe BP for.

Yes, I’m afraid the free ride’s over, Gulf residents: BP has lost a lot of profits here from oil that’s just been flowing free-of-charge into your states, especially Louisiana. And now with all the uprisings in the Middle East, the price has spiked. So now you guys are going to owe BP a lot more than you would have if you had just agreed to settle up with them earlier on in the process. Let that be a lesson for all future oil spill location residents. Just pay the oil company quickly for some low-ball estimate settlement of the amount of oil you got, or you’ll just owe them a lot more later on when the price goes up and they find out how much oil you really took from them. These oil spills are costly for these oil companies. You didn’t think they were just going to let you keep all of that oil for free, did you? After all, BP is a company, not a charity; and this oil spill has been very hard on them. They’ve got to make their money back somehow.

Want to read the article? It’s at (boy, that’s a long link!):

Glenn Beck’s Secret Patriotic Dream

Anyone who is a news junkie knows who Glenn Beck is. He is patriotism itself, if you’ve been watching his show, that is. He is a human flag pin! Many people say many things about him, but if there is one thing you can definitely say about Glenn Beck, it’s that he loves the Founding Fathers. But he’s not gay, don’t get the wrong idea: after all he’s a conservative, and a family man! (Okay, I know that sometimes that’s been a dead giveaway that they actually are gay; but really, that’s only Evangelists and Congressmen. As far as I know, Glenn Beck is dead butch.) So what’s his secret dream? (You know… his wet dream?) With all of the boundless love he feels for America and the Founding Fathers, what kind of passionately patriotic dream would that produce? I know! I’ve known for a while, but now I feel I have to tell you too, because this is America; and you have a right to know! Well, that, and after being sued over a Freedom of Information Act request for access to this dream, I can no longer legally keep it to myself or I will be in contempt of court. Okay, so what’s Glenn Beck’s wet dream? You know, I thought you’d never ask! (But are you sure you’re really ready for it?) Well it’s this:

Glenn Beck’s Wet Dream (Sponsored by Goldline): Glenn Beck having sex with Betsy Ross on the very first American flag, while George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson look on and give him the “thumbs up”!

See? Wasn’t it worth all the build-up? I knew you’d think so. But it’s not really complete until some adult video company gives it to us in a real movie version. Maybe they could even comp in his real live head like the Tonight Show always does when they paste Jay Leno’s head on top of some gyrating dancer’s body or something. Hell, maybe we could even get them to do it! In fact, I’d say it’s their patriotic duty to do it! But that’s okay, if they don’t love America enough…

Monday, March 28, 2011

No Boots on the Ground

When the Libyan military intervention began (Operation Odyssey Dawn), President Obama made a point of saying that there would be “no boots on the ground”. Now a number of news stations are reporting that either there already have been American troops on the ground in Libya, or that we’re going to need to send some troops in order for the rebel groups to be able to defeat Khadafi. Now I don’t want to split hairs here, but I know that politicians love to, so what are the facts? Put simply, the President never said that we wouldn’t send troops into Libya, he just said that there will be no boots on the ground. This clearly means that they will be wearing sneakers or dress shoes or something, or if they absolutely have to stay in uniform, that they’ll ride around on skateboards or Segways or whatever, and then crawl around on the ground or maybe walk on their hands so that their boots never actually touch the ground. Maybe they’re going to wear flip-flops: I’ve seen them in camouflage before, and that’s probably why. Plus it’s really nice and sandy in Libya, and where do you wear flip-flops the most? That’s right: to the beach. And Libya is mostly like a really, really big beach that never seems to end: it’s right on the seaside, and it has sand all over it. Who would wear boots to the beach? They’d get all full of sand and like hermit crabs and such. I mean, really! That’s worse than wearing white after Labor Day! (I mean, assuming it’s not because you got stuck out in a blizzard and are completely covered in frost and snow. I think we could overlook things in that case just to be nice.) So when the President said that there would be “no boots on the ground”, he clearly just meant that he wouldn’t be making our troops wear boots at the beach. I mean, he’s not a jerk, right?

So obviously the plan is for the soldiers to wear flip-flops. But are flip-flops really practical to wear with the army uniform? They may not look right, and that would be distracting during a battle. So here’s what I’d propose: why not let them wear Hawaiian shirts? I mean, it’s like a big beach there in Libya, right? And they’re going to want to blend in so as not to be noticed, right? So what blends in better at the beach than Hawaiian shirts? (Not all the same shirt, silly. All different ones!) Alright, I know what you’re probably thinking: having no shirt on at the beach would stand out less. Well, that might be true if they’re all tan and stuff, but what if some of the soldiers have farmer's tans or are glowing white from never getting out in the sun? Doesn’t that stand out more than anything at the beach? Then all the locals would be pointing and laughing at them, and they’d feel too humiliated to be able to fight well. So best to be on the safe side and just have them use Hawaiian shirts. I mean, if Hawaiian shirts are good enough to be the uniforms at restaurant chains, then why not the Army? Then maybe we could rename it Operation Beach Blanket Bingo, and with a name like that, nobody’s going to be able to complain much about it; it would sound so festive! And when you make war look like a big beach party, aren’t you going to attract more enlistments? Yes, I definitely think that saying “no boots on the ground” will become the “Casual Friday” of warfare, and it will just help raise morale overall, as well as finally making going to war fun again.

(The Colbert Report used a bunch of jokes like the above on their show from 9/18/14 about Syria.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Writing About Music

All my life, I remember reading wonderfully written reviews and articles about bands and albums that piqued my interest to the point that I actually went out and bought the album(s) they were writing about. Interestingly, though, I don’t think there has ever been a time that I actually listened to the music and heard anything that sounded even remotely like the description I had read of the music. The closest thing I can think of an article coming close to the sound it was describing is when somebody writing for Horizon magazine in 1977 said that the guitar player for the Ramones sounded like a chain saw. I would have said the engine of a Ferrari, but what do I know? I’m not a journalist with a trained ear. But whatever. It was close enough to allow me to get the message, and so I bought their albums and became a life-long fan. But that description is pretty basic, so it’s hard to misinterpret. What about trying to describe music that’s way more complex and varied than the Ramones? I’ll leave you to think about that on your own for a moment before I bring you back to Earth.

OK, so how about something that’s much easier: how about just another punk rock band from the same time period: The Clash. I have been trying to fill up my iTunes with all of my favorite songs by The Clash lately, only I have one simple problem (Okay, two): I grew up with record albums that are no longer with me, and when I used to listen to their music, I was always busy doing something else (like writing, drawing, exercising, etc.), so I never really paid any attention to what the words were or what the titles of the songs were. Well, some songs you can find and listen to samples of, and some songs you’d just have to know what the name of it is to be able to find it. I’ve found most, but there are a couple I can’t find, and most of the people I know who would know what they are live outside the United States now, so I can only write a note to ask them about it (rather than try to sing or hum it to them). Do you see the problem here? Well, this reminded me instantly of all the times a glowing review of an album I read led me to go waste my money on another lame record I didn’t want, and it comes down to the problem of how can you describe music with words? You kind of have to hear it. I mean, I could try sending an email that says: “Hey, what’s the name of that Clash song that has like a jagged, staccato rhythm guitar line, and the singing goes something like: do, do-be do-be  be-doop be-do-be-do-be-do (and then they all sing:) “Aaa, aaa, aa!” (all out of tune). And then they do that a few more times or something. Which one is that? I think there’s also a ripping guitar solo that sounds like it’s shattering a transistor radio speaker or something that does something like: Needeler needeler nee, nee nee nedeler neet nyerdle ee neet needeler, or something pretty close to that. And then they all go like “Aaa, aaa, aa; Aaa, aaa, aa!” (that second one was up a couple of notes, maybe a whole step.) So, which one is it? Do you know?”

The funny thing, is that all of that gobbledygook is actually a lot more accurate that most of what you’ll read in a magazine about what a band or record sounds like. Even funnier is that musicians who are familiar with guitars and amps and stuff have this whole lexicon that they use to describe what certain guitars and amps sound like (like edgy, glassy, warm, purring, roaring, squealing, hard, etc.), and once you get used to putting the descriptions together with the corresponding equipment and/or player, it actually kind of makes sense. But music journalists don’t use or even know about this type of terminology, and even if they did, it wouldn’t necessarily make any sense when talking about a band or album, since the musician’s lexicon is only talking about one aspect of one instrument, and that’s only one small part of any song. I’m not knocking music journalists, please don’t misunderstand me. After all, there has to be someone else besides A&R people for musicians to have to suck up to, right? And without them we would never have had wonderful expressions like “punk rock”, “heavy metal”, “grunge”, etc. But what I’m trying to say is this: describing what music sounds like is tricky and difficult, except in maybe very general terms. What music journalists who review albums write is beautifully thought out and descriptive (well, some of it is…), and very often creates entirely new kinds of colloquialisms in our culture, and that’s not only important and influential, it’s also powerful. But at the end of the day, we still don’t know what the music they are writing about really sounds like. And we won’t know, either, until we actually hear it. It’s just a limitation of the written language: it’s as simple as that. 

(BTW: The Clash song I referenced in the second paragraph I found out later was called "Garageland", for those of you who were wondering.)

Calvin Klein Underwear

Recently I went out on my usual biannual shopping spree to replace all of my clothes (jeans, socks, boxers, t-shirts, etc.) that have started to wear out, only this time, the most important items were missing. That’s right: they didn’t have any of my Calvin Klein 100% cotton Gripper Jams anywhere! They don’t even have them anywhere online, but just to rub it in, the ads are all still up in the Google Search, and they simply say “out of stock” on all the web stores like, etc. Why is this, you might ask? Well, it’s because they don’t make them anymore. Why not? I couldn’t guess (but I have a theory!).

They all flew off of the shelves and out of all the online stores like crazy. You can’t even find them being price-gouged on eBay! So then why stop making a product when it’s apparent that a lot of people want it and they all sell out quickly? Well, I don’t work for them, but it is my considered opinion that they do it just to be jerks.

You see, they make tons of kinds of underwear at Calvin Klein, and it’s all modeled by these ripped Marky Mark type guys, and they all look great in them: kind of like superheroes. But there are two things about that: since they are worn under clothes, nobody can see them; and they are all ridiculously uncomfortable! Well, all of them except for the Gripper Jam: that one was great! They were long, down to the knee, like bike shorts, but they weren’t made out of Spandex, so they were comfortable. And the most important thing about them? Well, since the leg went down to the knee, they never rode up your thighs and bunched all up in your butt so that you’d have to be constantly trying to pull them back down your legs while you were walking down the street, like I always had to do when wearing their Boxer Briefs. I think Calvin Klein was the inventor and very first manufacturer of the Boxer Brief, and I learned very quickly what the problem with these things was, but I guess so did they, because within a couple of years, they had introduced the Gripper Jam with the ad line: “They won’t ride up your leg!” (<I’m actually paraphrasing there, as I don’t remember what the exact wording was.)

So they knew the problem, and they fixed it, but guess what? After years of solid sales, they discontinued it. Again, why? I think the answer is obvious: simple jealousy. My theory goes like this: the guy making this decision is all out-of-shape and unattractive, and he gets tired of seeing all these hunky guys modeling all this underwear that he can’t rock out in like they can, and he knows that they are mostly uncomfortable, except for one kind. So what to do to get revenge? Well, obviously kill the one type of underwear that’s actually really comfortable, so that he then knows that while everyone wearing Calvin Klein underwear will look better than him, they will also be really, really uncomfortable wearing them. And what else? They will also constantly look like losers having to continually pull down the legs of the boxer briefs whenever they try to walk anywhere, thereby destroying any chances they had of impressing girls like the stud-muffins they’re supposed to be. See? Revenge complete!

I’m not quite sure what to do about this to try to get Calvin Klein to make the Gripper Jam again. I went to all the websites and emailed them, and then I just got marketing stuff from them in my email inbox. Awesome: I love junk mail! Especially when it’s virtual! (I’m kidding: I hate junk mail! But do you want to know something funny? Right down the street from where I live, there is a company called American Direct Marketing that makes junk mail as their business {I think it may be the biggest junk mail company in the country}, and guess what it says on their door in big lettering? That’s right, it says: “NO SOLICITING!” I mean, the nerve! I guess they can dish it out, but they can’t take it! Actually, it’s worse: they do dish it out, and they won’t even accept it!) Anyway, I also found some 800 numbers to call, and the people who answer them don’t have a clue about anything! I ask how can I ask to have the Gripper Jam made again (who to write to, who to call, etc.), and they don’t know. Maybe they do know, but the out-of-shape ugly guy in charge has instructed them to say that they don’t know. I think it’s likely that he’s paying them a big bonus for every time they deflect away any attempt by anyone like me to send the message that people want them back, so that he’ll always be safe and secure in the knowledge that everyone everywhere wearing Calvin Klein underwear is horribly and desperately uncomfortable. That’ll learn ‘em for being hotter than the boss man!

I have even thought of seeking out Mr. Calvin Klein himself, but guess what? He doesn’t own Calvin Klein anymore! Even if I did find him, it wouldn’t even matter if he agreed with me! In fact, it’s probably even worse than that! Yes, he’s probably sitting around at posh parties, sipping Apple-tinis and woofing down catered appetizers, laughing hysterically about how all those hot young men will be picking their seats out in public while his name sticks prominently out of their waistlines. Ah, what a sublime joke, to have his name be the cause of all the hot guys in the world to have to constantly readjust their underwear in front of everyone! But then again, maybe it was revenge against the not-so-hot guys (like me) who just wanted to be comfortable. After all, isn’t fashion all about glamour before comfort? They say you have to suffer for your art. Well, I guess now we’re all going to suffer for his.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lethal Injections

There is another news story today about how states that use lethal injection as their chosen form of execution are in a mad dash to scour the globe for a new source of the drugs that they need to execute death row prisoners with. (I'm sorry, I know I'm not supposed to end a sentence with with. But I'm a rebel, so I'll do it as much as I'm comfortable with. Take that, Warriner! And do you know what else? I'm going to write an extra-long paragraph for it to go with. So there.) There was a story recently about how the federal government confiscated all of Georgia’s supply of the drug sodium thiopental, stating that there was a concern over how it was obtained (although I happen to know {I have it on good authority from some guy} that they actually confiscated it for a really big government slumber party).

This whole thing reminds me of a number of different recollections I have from over the years with regard to lethal injections. I used to hear that it costs many times more to execute a prisoner than it does to keep them in prison for life. I used to say: “If that’s true, then they are doing it wrong.” But if that’s a fact, it’s probably more likely that it’s because people who get life sentences usually get out of prison after like 15 years, while people on death row have to sit around for years while all their appeals get through the justice system and rack up all those legal fees, and aren’t they usually dead by then anyway? (Again, some guy told me that, so it must be right.) But the most frequent argument I hear against the death penalty these days is that the system that is used for lethal injections is painful, unreliable, and inhumane.

Well, again, I have to say that if that’s the case, they’re doing it wrong. I have a simple solution that will solve both of those problems (the money one, and the reliability/humanity one): use heroin to execute death penalty cases. I know that sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Think of how much they spend on getting the “cocktail” of drugs for the lethal injections, and then think of how often you’ve heard about them having to stop an execution because something went wrong, or because the drugs have expired. Well, when things go wrong with people who use heroin, they die, so isn’t that the desired effect of executions anyway? And now think of how many times you’ve heard of a junkie not using heroin because it has passed its expiration date. That’s right: heroin has no expiration date, so you can always use it to execute prisoners.

And the cost? Well, aren’t our police and DEA agents constantly confiscating heroin from drug smugglers and drug dealers, not to mention just from sketchy guys walking down the street? And then what do they do with it? (Besides sell it illegally and get high, I mean. {<I’m kidding! So please don’t plant heroin on me. But TV shows and movies are constantly showing the police doing that, aren’t they?}) They burn it or likewise dispose of it. Well, what’s to stop them from giving it to prisons to use for lethal injections? And then wouldn’t it be free, since they were just going to dispose of it anyway?

Alright, now for the biggest argument people always make: it’s painful and inhumane. Have you ever seen a picture of a heroin user who died from a heroin overdose? They die instantly, with the needle still in their arm. And for the pain part? Heroin is a pain killing drug, one of the most powerful narcotics in the world. What about dosing? What if they get the dose wrong? Well, if they get the dose wrong and it’s not enough, then the prisoner will just get high for a while. Then they just increase the dose. He won’t feel the second needle, I’d wager, and by then, he probably won’t even mind being executed. And if the dose is too high, well, then nobody will notice anyway. So really, there’s nothing wrong with the plan of using heroin overdoses to execute prisoners: it works, it’s free, it’s painless. The only real argument against it is that it’s impossible to find an argument against it, so nobody would be able to stop executions anymore. And isn’t that what the complaints are all about in the first place, really?

I am not addressing the issue of capital punishment here, and I’m not advocating the death penalty. Whether or not we execute certain prisoners is up to the justice system, at least until the machines take over. Then we’re all going to die anyway, so what difference does it really make? I just think that if they’re going to do it, they might as well do it right.

But, hey, at least I’m not like some people! I remember back when I lived in New York City, and some high-powered-looking lawyer or Wall Street hedge fund manager wearing a $5,000.00 suit and alligator shoes had stepped in dog poop and was trying to scrape it off on the curb, and he looked at me and fumed: “I think the penalty for not cleaning up after your dog should be death!!” Well, if we’re going to start doing that, then we really will need a more effective and less expensive method of executing criminals. And doesn’t it just make sense to execute people in prison with something that gets people put in prison too? I’m just saying: two birds with one stone. (If you want to talk about inefficient methods of execution, how about killing two birds with one stone. Who kills birds with stones anymore? It’s hard enough just to hit them with rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles!)

Want to read the article? It’s at:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Shark Bait

Everybody knows that sharks are jerks. Just look at this headline for a story about yet another shark attack: “Shark bites Cancun tourist in surf despite warning”. See? Yes, I know that they have to eat and stuff, but look at that headline! The shark was warned not to bite the tourist, but did it listen? No! Actually, it is my belief that the shark knew better, but once it was told not to do it, it just couldn’t resist biting the tourist simply because it was told not to. We all know that what’s forbidden sometimes holds an allure that stuff we’re allowed to do does not. Look at Prohibition: once they outlawed drinking alcohol, everybody started doing it. I think the same is also the case with the drug war: legalize drugs, and all of a sudden they wouldn’t be as cool. So what does this prove? Well, for one thing, it’s probably a teenage shark. It was probably even wearing an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt so that the arrow was pointing at the bite victim while they were being bitten: it’s obviously a snarky shark. I think there’s only one way to deal with this sort of problem: that’s right, we’re going to have to call the shark’s parents and tell on it. Then it will be grounded, and it won’t be able to attack anyone else for a while.

Actually, scratch that last part! I just saw again (I can’t believe I’d forgotten about it!!) an ad for Snickers that proves that they are to blame for the shark attack! It’s still running on TV, so you can see it too. It shows a group of sharks being interviewed about which attack victims tasted best, and then they reveal that the best-tasting one ate a Snickers. Well, now they’ve done it. Now all sharks are going to think that we’re all going to taste way better than usual because of Snickers, so there will be way more shark attacks than ever before. And even if they find that we’re not any better-tasting than usual, they will keep on trying, remembering how much more delicious we are promised to be if we’d had a Snickers to eat. I mean, how long could it take for them to find someone who has eaten a Snickers? It could be the very next person they bite! So they’ll just keep on trying. This is just the beginning: mark my words!

Want to see the ad that proves that Snickers caused the shark attack? It’s at:

Want to read the article? It’s at:

Violent video games and crime

Statistics show that violent crime is down overall in recent years in the United States. I think that violent video games are clearly to blame for this troubling trend. I mean, just think about it: people playing violent video games are just sitting around all day playing video games, so they’re going to be way too out of shape to actually perpetrate any violent crimes; and since they are getting their aggressions out through violent fantasy role-playing games, they’re not going to have enough bottled-up angst left to commit any real acts of violence. This is the real threat to our culture. You see, parents and church groups have been rallying for years against violent video games and all the crime they purportedly cause. Do you want all of that to end up having been a waste of time? Think of what might happen! They’d get all frustrated, and then since they don’t play violent video games, they’d have no other way to get their frustration and aggression out but through actual, real acts of violence. And the more statistical proof that comes out that violent video games do not cause actual violence, the more frustrated and angry they will become, which will obviously lead to these groups lashing out with yet more and more hideously violent crimes. I’m telling you, it’s a vicious cycle! Surely it’s better to ban these types of violent video games altogether, before the country runs red with blood from all of the explosive violence erupting from the frustrated fuming church groups and parental associations when they find out that the evidence doesn’t support their cause. Hey, maybe they’d even commit crimes in an attempt to blame it on kids who play violent video games and thus prove their point. And who do you think the government would believe: a collection of church and parental groups, or a bunch of kids who must be disturbed hooligans anyway since they play those horrible violent video games? See what I mean? And guess what else: with all these out-of-shape, well-adjusted, angst-less kids thanks to violent video games, who’s going to be able to fight in the military? Yep, we’d better just ban them all.

No options off the table

I heard on the news last night that although the United States’ major role in the Libyan conflict is over, they are “not taking any military options off the table”. I think that’s a mistake, because you know what that means? That means they have a table that is completely covered with military options. Now they’re going to have to eat on the floor and stuff. And to read a map, they’ll have to try to hold it open in the air with both of their hands and try to look at it while it’s all flopping around and trying to fold back up on them. I’ve done that before, and it’s really frustrating. Then they’re going to get all mad, and to get their aggression out, there’s going to be this whole table with military options all over it just sitting there, ready for them to use. Well, you know they’re only going to be able to resist that for so long, and pretty soon they’ll be launching missiles again into Libya, and maybe even other countries too. Just wait, you’ll see. But if they were to take just, say, like, maybe one or two military options off the table (they could just put them on the floor, or if that takes up too much room, maybe they could just stick them underneath the table. I mean, the table is big enough that it could hold them on top of it along with all the other military options, so surely there’s enough room to store them under it, right?), then they’d have room enough to put a nice vase with like flowers or something in it. Then that might cheer them up enough that when the map made them mad or whatever, they could just look over at the pretty flowers and maybe even go smell them, and then they’d feel all better. I just hope they don’t knock a bomb or anything off of the table and onto their foot, because that might hurt and make them mad, and then there would be all of this military stuff just sitting there, waiting to be used…

Low calorie frozen entrees

In my attempt to maintain my somewhat boyish figure, I often partake of low calorie frozen entrees. This is partly because every time I try to cook anything on my stove, the smoke alarm goes off. So I’m limited mostly to the microwave. Usually I will buy Lean Cuisine by the boatload when they’re on sale. The only problem with doing this is that since Lean Cuisine is actually pretty darn tasty, one often will want to eat more of them, and then you may lose the benefit of the low calorie intent. Well, for the first time yesterday, I noticed that the Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen entrees were on a half price sale, so I bought a few of them just to see what they’re like. Well, I can report that if these things were the only food available, it would solve the obesity epidemic instantly, because they taste so bad, they actually make you want to delay eating for as long as possible. This could be a brilliant plan if they could be sure that people wouldn’t snack around them. But alas, there are such things as Combos and Doritos and the like, and as long as there are things like that in the world, making diet food taste bad intentionally will only result in binge snacking. It was a good try, though; I’ll give them that much.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No Nukes? Yes Nukes?

There is an interesting article (actually, it’s especially the headline that’s interesting, in that it’s really stupid) on the internet today called “What’s behind our conflicted feelings on nukes?” It's actually kind of a fun article. Here’s the link:

But I can tell you the real answer in just one sentence and save you all a lot of time (here it goes…): So, what’s behind our conflicted feelings on nukes? It’s this: On one hand, you have the specter of nuclear meltdowns, radiation poisoning, and horrible, lingering death; on the other hand, you have the possibility of creating an actual Godzilla or Mothra, or some other awesome mutant monsters. (I like especially how MS Word says that Godzilla is spelled correctly, but Mothra isn’t. I guess someone doesn’t have enough monster movie nerds working for them…)

Now if the second part of that sentence (the part about making a real Godzilla!!!) doesn’t warrant risking the first part, then I don’t know what risk is worth taking! Just think of it: we have a catastrophic nuclear meltdown, and a radiation cloud hovers over the country killing most, but turning some others into superheroes. Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention that part, but doesn’t everyone just automatically know at this point that nuclear radiation creates superheroes? I mean, the least it would do is give us a Toxic Avenger and like a Swamp Thing or something, but surely everybody just assumes that will happen I guess. Right? I mean, it’s just common sense. So enough about all the new superheroes that will be created; this is about giant monsters! So where was I? Oh, yes: a catastrophic nuclear apocalypse scenario thingy, right. So like tons of people might get sick and die, but at least we’d probably get a real live Godzilla! Just think of what we could do with such a creature! Everyone’s mad at Obama for attacking Libya, right? Well, if we had a real Godzilla, we could just point him towards Libya, and sit back and watch. Then when everyone complained about it, the President could just say: “What? I didn’t do it! It was Godzilla! Maybe he was mad at them or something.” It would be the perfect excuse for everything! Like, say we wanted to nuke some country, but we didn’t want everyone to know it was us. We could nuke them, and say Godzilla did it. Or we could just wait for the new Godzilla to appear, and then blame it all on him. Or in a pinch, we could actually send our own Godzilla and get him to do it.

Okay, look; I know what most of you are probably thinking: “Well, that’s really irresponsible! What if when he’s created, our new Godzilla attacks one of our own cities?” Well, I think I have the answer for that too. First of all, it would be awesome anyway: we’ve all seen the movies, so you all know I’m right. I mean, wouldn’t it be preferable to a slow, miserable death from radiation poisoning? (I can hear some of you saying: “Yeah, but if we didn’t use nuclear power at all, we could avoid all of this.” Yeah, maybe so, but we’d still have no real Godzilla either. You know the expression: “No pain, no gain”.) But, okay, I know that there would be damage or whatever, so what we could do is just go through the ruined city afterwards and collect all of the abandoned cell phones melted onto the sidewalks and stuff; then what we do is just download all of the cell phone camera footage of the attack, and then edit it all into a movie! The profits from the worldwide release would surely pay for us to not just rebuild the city, but also for the secret government military program to control Godzilla’s behavior so that we can use him as a weapon in the future! See? It’s foolproof!

How to Age like a Supermodel

There is a news story online revealing beauty secrets, fitness regimens, etc., former supermodels use to stay young and fit looking. This is very complicated. How do you know which one might work for you? How do you know it will have the same effect on you and help you age like the supermodel who uses it? I have a better, less complicated plan that will absolutely guarantee that you will age exactly like a bona fide supermodel. It’s a simple two-step process, and it goes like this:

Step 1: Become a supermodel.

Step 2: Age like you naturally would.

See how simple it is? After you complete the first step (that’s just one simple step!) you literally have to do nothing further to achieve the desired result! It happens naturally, all by itself. And aren’t things that are 100% natural always the best for you? I’m telling you, you can’t go wrong here. Just follow my simple, two-step process, and you are guaranteed to age like a supermodel: it’s just that easy, and it’s 100% effective! What other diets and fitness plans can promise that?

The original news story looks like a slide show promotion for an article that will appear in next month’s issue of Allure magazine. If you’re interested, here is the link (but you’re just making things more complicated than you need to!):

He’s Lost Control Again (Reagan's Airport)

The news reports that the control tower at Reagan National Airport was empty and unresponsive on Tuesday night, and two planes had to land by themselves. Since this is a very strategically-placed airport, this is a big embarrassment for the Department of Transportation. But there is an easy way to deflect attention and make it go away, in light of the recent union controversies. Ray LaHood should simply say: “Hey, it was at Reagan Airport; maybe all the air traffic controllers got fired again or something.” Then they’d all laugh and the media would go off and debate about the union stuff again and leave LaHood alone.

New Old Dominion Ad

Old Dominion has a new ad on TV where it shows the drivers of its trucks as being the people who will be the recipients of their deliveries: a bride in a bridal gown, an Air Force pilot (I think), etc. This is actually kind of a cute idea, although I’m not sure it gets the idea across as much as it makes it look like they are forcing people into driving their trucks in exchange for allowing them to receive their deliveries. But that’s not really an issue so much in comparison to something else that is a bit problematic, and that’s what they are calling themselves. They refer to the company Old Dominion as “O.D.” (They don’t say the name Old Dominion at all, but it’s painted on the side of the trucks.), and it makes them sound like a dead junkie. And all of a sudden, it seems like the bride and the pilot and the others have died of a drug overdose and are in hell being forced to drive 18-wheelers as a punishment.

Slayer & Polka

Years ago I used to play and record in a metal band, and I went out of my way to find the guy who I thought was the best engineer/producer for this type of music in the area. He was great to work with, and made my stuff sound really good (to me, anyway). When we were on a break in the studio, I saw that he also had been recently working on another album called Polka from the Fringe. So I made fun of him working on a Polka record, since he was really known for punk and metal, and he said: “Hey, don’t knock Polka. Polka’s cool!” And I was like: “Really? Polka?” And he said: “Yeah! Hey, what’s a band you might like that’s… You like Slayer, right?” So I said: “Yes, I like Slayer.” And he said: “So what’s that beat they’re playing all the time? You know, that ‘kick-snare-kick-snare-kick-snare’ beat? Slow that down. What kind of beat is that? It’s a Polka beat, isn’t it?” Well, he had me there, so I had to agree. So he concluded the argument with: “So, really, Slayer is just a fast, Satanic Polka band.” Well, the experience gave me a whole new appreciation of Polka music. Now I wonder what the guys in Slayer would think of that?

BTW, I have found a blog post about this very album, Polka from the Fringe, if anyone is interested. The guy I worked with must have been the recording engineer, as the album is produced by a guy I’ve never heard of. But it was recorded at Baby Monster Studios in NYC, which is where I recorded, so I know it’s the same album. Want to know more?:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Shower Head Warrior

It rained like crazy here for the past few days, with winds up to 110 mph in some places, and we had the usual rivers in the streets and cars crushed by downed trees. This served to remind me of a few short months ago, when the Southland had record-breaking rainfall, and the whole city seemed to be underwater. It was back then, when all our cars were drowning, that the apartment complex I live in decided to implement the new water-saving faucet and shower heads. Isn’t it always like that? We can’t step outside without risking drowning, but it’s time to save water indoors! Yay!

Okay, so the kitchen sink faucet head is fine: it’s less water volume, but it’s still reasonable enough; and the bathroom sink faucet head is I suppose reasonable enough: it crimps off the volume of water ridiculously, but it increases the water pressure to such an extent that it can still blast the toothpaste off of your toothbrush and sandblast the stubble out of your razor head, so long as you don’t mind everything splattering all over the room and your shirt. So you can brush your teeth with your shirt off; no big deal (unless you forget!). But you can learn to get used to it, even if it does seem a little bit dumb. Okay, maybe a lot dumb. Most of the water seems to get flushed down the toilet and spray around in the dishwasher, but there is no retrofitting for them. Fine, whatever; still I can live with it. But the shower head is a problem.

I don’t really demand so much from a shower head. Most of them probably don’t even think I’m a jerk or anything (even though I am!). I just need them to wash the soap and shampoo off of me in a timely fashion. I don’t need them to massage me or ‘take me away’ or anything like that. Just one simple thing: wash the soap off, please. But this new shower head, it’s not very enthusiastic about its job. My old shower head was all full of lime scale and crap, and so I figured that it couldn’t really get any worse than it already was when they put the new one in. Well, I was more wrong than I usually I am. This shower head seems to view the morning rush with contempt and disdain. “Want to wash the soap off? Well, you’re going to have to wait until I’m good and ready.” This is the mantra of the new shower head. The water here is good and hard, so washing soap off is no problem; well, no problem if you get to have any water to wash it off with. It literally takes a half an hour for me just to wash the shampoo out of my thinning, short hair and get the soap off of my body each time I take a shower. That’s like five or six times longer than it used to take, and I’ll bet it’s using even more water to do it! I can’t imagine what it’s like for a woman with thick, long hair, or like for a guy who’s in an 80s hair-metal cover band! (Maybe they wear wigs now.) I have skin allergies, so I have no choice: I get a rash if I don’t get the soap off. And how about the shampoo? Well, at first, I’d just rinse my head off of the shampoo and get out of the shower, but then I noticed that I was getting white flakes of dandruff in my hair (!). I’ve never had dandruff before, so I was a little shocked. So when I noticed it, I put a little water on my hand to try to remove it with, and do you know what happened? That’s right: my hair sudsed all up! It wasn’t dandruff at all, but evaporated shampoo still in my hair! Holy crap! I’ve never had that before! So now I have to spend time actually actively rinsing my hair out with my hands for many minutes until it starts squeaking all over before I can be sure that the shampoo is coming out. I mean really! Like I don’t have enough to do! And do you know what else? The shower head limits its output by forcing the water supply through such a tiny little passageway that it actually heats the water up until it’s boiling hot! I’m not kidding; you can no longer take a cold shower anymore: it’s impossible! And mark my words: this will lead to more sexual harassment in the workplace, if guys can’t take a cold shower! (I’d love to see the first guy who tries to use that as an excuse!) Meanwhile, every time it drowns this city in flood waters, it’s just swept away directly out to sea, and they don’t even try to store any of it anywhere! All this while we can’t even get wet in our own showers!

Well, if this kind of mandated conservation is what we have to look forward to, I think our future looks awfully dim! You know why? Because it takes five minutes for those damn CFLs (the new light bulbs: compact fluorescent lamps) to warm up enough to actually light up a room! (And then they burn out in just a couple of months, regardless of what the packages and government lackeys say!) I’m all for saving water, especially in a growing metropolitan area where it’s becoming more and more scarce. But seriously, we’re not allowed to take a real shower anymore, when most of the city’s water is going to water neighborhood association-mandated lawns? Why don’t we just make a new rule that says you can replace (or must replace) your water-guzzling lawns with Japanese pebble gardens or cactus landscaping? Or how about just green-painted pavement or Astroturf? Then maybe we could take a decent shower! (Doesn’t sound like fun? Oh well. I'm sorry, but I feel like your right to mandate a lush, beautiful lawn in the desert ends when I can’t wash the shampoo out of my hair!) I’m telling you, the future is going to look just like a Mad Max movie, only instead of oil and gasoline, we’re all going to be fighting to the death over the last decent shower heads and light bulbs. You’ll see!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Travelers Rattlesnake Ad

There is a funny ad that’s been on the air for a little while where a rattlesnake shakes a baby’s plastic toy rattle to try to intimidate a bunch of rabbits, and they all laugh at the snake. Then the announcer says something about the importance of knowing how to identify risks, yadda yadda. It’s kinda cute. But the thing is, it’s still a poisonous, venomous snake whether it’s using a child’s rattle or its own rattle. It could still bite you and kill you, because the threat isn’t the rattle; the threat is the poisonous bite. And even if it wasn't a poisonous snake, it would still hurt like hell if it bit you, especially if you were a little rabbit. I can’t really understand why it doesn’t just bite the hero rabbit character, as the rabbit is being a jerk. (Actually it’s because the script tells it not to.) I mean, after all, the rattle sound the rattlesnake makes is a warning; it’s basically doing you a courtesy by saying: “Hey, I’m here, and I’m going to bite you if you get too close.” I would think that laughing at a snake like that would be pretty dumb. Then maybe next time he’d just bite you without giving you any warning. So I guess the idea is that Travelers Insurance laughs at whatever they consider to be not very risky, thereby tempting fate, like when you say: “Oh, I never get pulled over or get a ticket.” And then as soon as the words pass your lips, just like clockwork, the flashing lights and siren appear behind you to prove you wrong. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to make me want to buy insurance from them, though, when this ad basically shows them essentially doing the same thing as laughing at a gun-toting murderer just because he’s wearing a tutu or something. He could still shoot you, no matter how silly he looks, and laughing at him may not show intelligence so much as idiocy. I don’t think that shows very good judgment in identifying risks. But isn’t having good judgment about identifying risks something that would be more important for the insurance company’s profit margin, rather than something on which a person looking to insure something would base their decision? (That is, assuming that they weren’t so bad at it that they went broke immediately from paying out fraudulent claims all day long.) So wouldn’t this ad be a better ad for trying to attract corporate stock investors rather than clients? I mean, if it actually showed them being intelligent rather than reckless in identifying risks.

Is it Low T?

For a little while, there have been ads asking men if they have certain symptoms, and suggesting that perhaps their problem is ‘Low T’ (low testosterone). These ads are pretty funny to me, as I’d probably ask different questions to find out if a man actually had ‘Low T’. My ad would run more like this: “Not beating the crap out of people at the drop of a hat? Not raping people all the time like you used to? Not screaming: “What’re you lookin’ at!?” as often as you should? Have an embarrassingly clean criminal record? Still have all your hair? Maybe it’s ‘Low T’!”

Monday, March 21, 2011

Foreign policy & energy policy

We have all kinds of weird stuff going on right now with regard to Libya and our energy policy that I have to wonder about. So let’s take first things first: Libya. Reagan called Kadhafi (Gadafi? Qadhafi? Khadafi?) “The Mad Dog of the Middle East”. But he’s not really from the Middle East, is he? He’s from North Africa. Maybe “The Douche-Bag of the Desert” would have been more appropriate. “The Naughty Boy of North Africa”? “The Shithead of the Sahara”? I don’t know; maybe they’re not as catchy. Whatever. But it’s funny that we’re attacking Libya right now. “Well, he’s attacking his own people!” So was Iran in 2009, but Obama didn’t do anything about that. Bahrain and Yemen could be said to be doing the same thing right now (although definitely not on the same level). But if rescuing populations at risk from their own governments is the new standard for military intervention, then what about the Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Darfur, and the Congo? Can’t we afford to have endless quagmire wars in all those places too? If we all invested in Halliburton, at least we’d have something to retire on. It’s obvious, though, that the reason for our interest in the Middle East is that they have oil. Well, doesn’t Sudan also have oil? They’re killing each other too.

It’s also funny, because no matter what he says, President Obama didn’t seem to want to get involved in this war (good idea), but he was basically peer-pressured into it by Hillary Clinton. All my life I’ve heard women say that if women ruled the world there would be no more wars. I used to say: “Yeah, until two world leaders walked into a summit meeting wearing the same dress.” (I'm kidding.) But I digress. Maybe it’s okay for her to goad a man into starting a war that she wouldn’t have started herself just to prove the point that men start a lot of wars, though. Maybe? But actually, if our policy was based on what natural resources a country possessed, I’d have thought that if Hillary Clinton would have wanted military intervention anywhere, it would have been in the Ivory Coast: yes, that’s right, their main natural resource is what you need to make chocolate! Don’t women love chocolate? And thanks to some real jerk speculator (he is jokingly referred to as “Chocolatefinger” by the news media) who bought up all of the worlds’ cocoa (in addition to the crisis in the Ivory Coast), chocolate prices have spiked to such an extent that candy manufacturers have actually had to drastically shrink the sizes of their candy to avoid raising prices. Now answer me this: how can we be expected to continue our current trend of having the world’s most obese children if this sort of thing is allowed to continue? This is about our place in the world! And if we don’t continue to have the fattest kids, can we really say that we’re the richest country with the most prodigious consumers in the world anymore? I mean, really!

Okay, so this is really about oil I guess. It couldn’t be because the President just had to call for Kadhafi’s ouster, and then he was embarrassed that he was able to stay in power, could it? Nah. We need oil, but we’re not supposed to allow oil drilling here at home where we have it. I mean, okay, yes, we’re allowed to drill for it where when there is an oil spill it will destroy some of our most beautiful areas and completely destroy their jobs and ecosystems there (preferably down South where they’re all Republicans, I guess). But for God’s sake, let’s not even consider drilling in the protected areas in Alaska! That’s special land! But does it really make sense to protect land that nobody ever wants to go to anyway? (Oh, I know, maybe after 2,000 years of global warming people will finally be able to go there without freezing their butts off! But I doubt they’d want to go there even then!) How is anybody ever going to know whether we drilled for oil there or not anyway? Yes, by all means protect the lonely frozen wasteland that sits on enormous oil reserves that nobody will ever see, and let’s instead drill where everybody likes to go fishing and go on vacation, and where a large percentage of their residents rely on the local ecosystem for their livelihoods. Oh, and where we get most of our seafood from too! That’s a great idea! You know what might be an even better idea if we’re never allowed to drill in the protected parts of Alaska? What we could do is invade all of the Middle East, every oil-producing country, all at the same time! They’d never be expecting it! And since we’ve already got now, what, just three wars going, we could just have everyone from the United States get drafted into the military to invade these countries. Then nobody would live in the United States anymore, and all the people from the Middle East could just escape to America. So we’d just trade where we lived, essentially. But the joke’s on them! Now they’d owe our 15 trillion dollar debt, and we’d become the wealthy oil sheikhs! Hey, it might not seem like a good idea to you, but if what we want is to be able to get oil, at least we’d be allowed to drill there. Well, until the President decided to ban it, anyway.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Macho Peacho

I always wanted to create and market a liquor called Macho Peacho (like Machu Picchu): it would be a 100-proof peach schnapps that would be marketed to compete with Jägermeister for the bar and college market. The name just strikes me as really funny and also very marketable. It would be peach-flavored, but not sweet; and it would taste good, but strong. Shots of it (served freezing-cold) could be called “Macho Shots”, and with that name, I’d be willing to bet that guys would be constantly peer-pressuring each other into trying it, and challenging each other to drinking contests of “Macho Shots”. The bottle could be shaped like a flexing body-builder’s torso and arms, but with a peach-shaped (and peach-colored) cap for a head. The ads could say: “Macho Peacho: It will put hair on your chest where peach fuzz used to be!” And also: “Macho Peacho: Ain’t that a peach?”

CNN’s Supergirl

Arwa Damon: it’s a name that means “Fearless Unkillable Reporter-Warrior Demon” in ancient Sanskrit. I think about some of the reporters who have taken their lives into their hands to go cover some of the most dangerous stories of our time: Dan Rather in the back of a pickup truck worrying about his hair while reporting on the Mujahideen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s; Anderson Cooper getting his hair messed up while running away from a bunch of jerks in Egypt a few weeks ago during the uprising there; Kyra Phillips reporting from the field without any make-up on, embedded with soldiers in Afghanistan in recent years: Arwa Damon eats these losers for breakfast crushed up with her shredded wheat! She sprints in with a microphone whenever the stuff that 80s Thrash Metal bands used to sing about starts happening: war, plague, famine, apocalypse. Over the years, I’ve seen her reporting nonchalantly from the most pernicious and threatening shit-holes in the smelliest armpits of the world, and it’s apparent that this woman spits in the grinning skull-face of death on a daily basis! She kicks danger in the balls and stomps on the face of fear with every breath she takes. If there was a nuclear strike, she’d be reporting on how hot it was at ground zero from right inside the blast radius, saying something like: “If you look at how the flesh is melting off of my skull, you can get kind of a ballpark estimate of how hot it is in here. Now as you watch my skull disintegrate into glowing cinders, you can get an idea of what this blast is doing to the buildings in the city around it.” And she would rise from the ashes to report on the story of the fallout, a phoenix from CNN, all aglow with neon green radiation shimmer demonstrating what it looks like to be radioactive. If bravery has a face, if imperviousness to threats and danger has blonde hair, and if unsinkable resilience in the face of certain torture and death can hold a microphone and stand in from of a camera, surely Arwa Damon embodies all these things. She is a god among men. When is somebody going to base a video game on her? It would totally kick ass! Move over Lara Croft, we’ve got a real superhero.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Revenge of the Supermoon!

Yes, it’s time for the extreme supermoon, or the super-extreme moon, or whichever they were talking about. And the revenge part? Well, it's one of those rare times when it is raining for days where I live, so I'm going to miss seeing the super-extreme supermoon tonight, which has me a little disappointed. I know, I made fun of the supermoon, so I don’t get to see it; it’s my own fault. But I was hoping to find out if werewolves would get all extra big and steroid-y muscle-y-looking like in that old video game "Altered Beast" because of the supermoon (In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, “Altered Beast” is a video game from the late 1980s that is still available for the iPad and other current platforms. A friend of mine used to play it in our college dining center basement all the time. The character the player plays is a regular guy with a blond mullet until you absorb some power thingy, and then he gets all huge-muscled, at which point my friend would say: "Take steroids!" Then with the next power thingy you absorb, the steroid abuser mullet guy would turn into a werewolf. But not just any werewolf: a werewolf on steroids! {That's the best kind!}), but now I'll never know. All the werewolves here are all skinny and stuff, like the coyote from the Roadrunner cartoons. Maybe they’re all junkies or something. Or maybe they’re all models and actors/actresses who are just never allowed to eat anything; and what’s the point of being a werewolf if you can’t even eat anything? What’s even sillier but probably true is that they’re all vegetarians: that’s why they’re so cranky and attacking people who eat meat all the time.

Not familiar with “Altered Beast”, or just want to see what a werewolf on steroids looks like? Simply follow this link:

How about that supermoon? Here’s an article about all the stuff that might happen to everyone who’s not a werewolf:

Actually, never mind about that last article, as it makes fun of and debunks the very real behavioral effects of this supermoon. How can I be so sure, you ask? Well, for one thing, that polar bear Knut (from the Berlin zoo) died today, so that has to be from the supermoon. Full moons are really great for werewolves and stuff, but they’re really bad for polar bears. Everyone knows that. So it figures that a supermoon would kill them. But maybe not all of them; maybe just ones in zoos and stuff. Maybe, just maybe, it’s because Knut was rejected by his mother and brought up in captivity. That might weaken him vs. polar bears in the wild. You know, that actually makes more sense, doesn’t it? Maybe Knut’s mother had seen this sort of thing before, and knowing about the cycles of the moon like she obviously did, she didn’t want to see Knut grow up in a prison just to die like a dog. Hmm, I guess that means that the supermoon is also bad for dogs, so bring your dogs inside tonight and let them sleep in the house. Um, where was I? Oh yes, of course, polar bears in zoos are more susceptible to death from supermoons than polar bears in the wild. Well duh, just ask any wildlife expert. Oh, and more proof about the supermoon’s effects? Well, how’s this? Some guy with a knife threatened somebody at a basketball game today (it was at the Staples Center in Los Angeles at a Clippers/Cavaliers game). If that doesn’t prove it, nothing will; except maybe this: we launched missiles at Libya today! Awesome! I can’t wait for the whole world to blame the United States for everyone who dies and everything that goes wrong or even happens from now on. Oh, what am I saying? Surely everything will be all our fault now from the very beginning!

My Sweet Satan (Horror Comedy Movie)

My Sweet Satan: A dessert shop in Manhattan where the desserts are so delicious because the chef sold his soul to the devil to be able to make the world’s most delicious desserts and pastries, but because of this, the desserts are also cursed, and eating them makes people possessed by the devil and need an exorcism, and they act like Regan in The Exorcist, but they vomit up delicious chocolate mousse, gelato, crème brûlée, tiramisu, nougat, Napoleons, etc., and when people see this happening, they say: “Oh my, how horrible! But wait, isn’t that delicious chocolate mousse (etc.)?” And then they pick it up and eat it, and then they become possessed, and they are taken into the kitchen to produce the desserts en masse.

(For anyone who doesn’t recognize the reference in the name My Sweet Satan, in the early 1980s, some crazy televangelists claimed that the Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven” contained a backwards message that said something about “Here’s to my sweet Satan” or whatever, and some extra stuff too. I remember this like it was yesterday. I actually played my album backwards and found most of what they were talking about to sound like gobbledygook, except for one place, where the phrase “There’s still time” from the line “There’s still time to change the road you’re on” kinda sounds maybe a little bit like “My sweet Satan” if you really want it to badly enough, but I still think it’s an absolute complete fluke coincidence. And you really have to go that extra mile to hear it, too. It also sounds kind of like: “Ma’s meat sentence” or like: “Mine, eat bacon”. Whatever. Anyway, what’s way better than even if that was true and they really did it on purpose is the idea of these crazy, high-horse Moral Majority types sitting around and listening to rock and heavy metal albums backwards all day long looking for anything that sounds vaguely Satanic. You really have to reassess a group that’s willing to go so far for so little. If you want to know more about it, go to the following link:

And then scroll down the page about a third of the way to where it says: “Allegation of backward masking”.

Some bands, like Venom, used to record backwards Satanic messages on their records purposely, but they never got any accusations about it that I know of, and this was during the same time period. They must have been sitting around grumbling under their breath about how they did all the work and Led Zeppelin was getting all the credit.)

Nixon and Coal

I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher last night, and one of the guests said something about how coal has killed more people than any other form of energy. I went to sleep after that and had a pretty bizarre dream where there was this big coal monster that was going around stalking and killing college-aged environmentalists with a huge kitchen knife like Jason from Friday the 13th. Then these men in black kind of guys would show up to clean things up and cover it up (their version of "clean coal" I suppose), and it was all being led by some shady government sp00k guy. So when the media found out about it, they sent Bob Woodard and Carl Bernstein to investigate, and it turned out that the government sp00k guy was a clone of Richard Nixon (!), and that the whole program was designed to attract Woodward and Bernstein so that Nixon’s clone could get revenge for the exposure of the Watergate scandal. So when they first see that it’s Nixon, one of them says: “You! But how?” And the other one says: “Why?” And then Nixon shoots them and says: “I’ve got a very long memory, mister!” I think it would make a great TV movie! Maybe it could be sponsored by the coal industry.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pepsi falls in cola ranking

That is the headline advertised on Yahoo! News for the following news story:

This was inevitable, of course, after Pepsi allowed themselves to be made ridiculous by Negativland’s album Dispepsi. OK, so I’ll admit it wasn’t an immediate effect, and OK, so it took 14 years for that album to insidiously destroy Pepsi’s public support and brand identity. But can you prove that wasn’t what did it? I didn’t think so. Maybe they should bring back the “Pepsi Challenge”. Hey, it seemed to work well until that Negativland album. I guess it’s a good thing that they didn’t also make fun of Coke on the same album, or I guess we’d all be drinking bottled water nowadays. Actually, come to think of it… Hey! Oh, those guys! See what happens when you allow artistic freedom?

News coverage of domestic nuclear plants

Since the beginning of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant crisis in Japan, our ever-vigilant news media has been making a point of trying to get everyone all panicked about all the nuclear power plants here in the United States that are evilly lurking, waiting for their opportunity to strike! I wasn’t worried before, since we can clearly see from watching The Simpsons that nuclear power plants aren’t that picky about how they’re run, and you can always drop all the glowing green radioactive sticks and goo anywhere you like and nothing ever goes wrong. Okay, well maybe you’ll get a three-eyed fish once in a blue moon, but you get my drift. And since cartoons have never steered me wrong before, I’m still not afraid. And this is where the news media comes in: they can sense my lack of fear, so they are trying to heap on the threats by showing maps of where all the nuclear power plants are in the United States, how old they are, and in what states of disrepair they might be in. This is very helpful for the lazy terrorist. There must be tons of unemployed potential terrorists in the world without the inspiration to try to find stuff on the internet or in libraries. That’s why these maps the news networks put up on the TV are so helpful. They’re just trying to make it easier for the unmotivated terrorist to think of somewhere to attack. The news people are smart, so they must know that this information can be very dangerous to just broadcast to the whole world. So let’s give them the credit they deserve for helping our enemies: Thanks, guys!

It’s just an idea… (Leave them alone to fix the problems please, news media.)

Hi. I’m getting a little bit tired of hearing the media bitch so much about the performance of the Japanese government during this earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown crisis. I know we’re always perfect here at home in response to natural disasters, but don’t rub it in; we don't want to make them feel bad. No, I’m not “on their (the Japanese government and their evil machinations) side”, but it’s just my guess that they’re kind of busy right now trying to solve problems and figure out the best course of action while also trying not to make millions of people panic.

I know that it looks a little weird to us here not to see everyone pulling their hair while running around and trampling each other to death looting everything in sight, but they do things a little differently over there. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll loot and kill when nobody’s looking, if it makes you feel any better. But this claim by the media here that the Japanese government is trying to hide the facts, etc., seems a little suspect to me. It seems like they are trying to find out what the facts are, and then what to do about it, without causing mass panic. I know that’s not the way we’re used to things over here, where the media tries to whip people up into a frenzy at the slightest provocation and spirals even the merest suggestion of a threat all out of control until they’ve gotten everyone hiding in their basement with a shotgun and a flashlight and six-months-worth of canned food piled up like a bird-blind; but can’t our news people, just for one minute, try to think about what’s best for the victims of this crisis rather than what’s best for their ratings?

Sure, you news anchors have nothing better to do all day than harass the grown-ups who are trying to actually solve the problems, but I think you’re just gumming up the works at this point. The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant isn’t going to swim over here like Godzilla and breathe atomic breath all over the United States. Even if it did, it would just be that lame Roland Emmerich Godzilla, and that one’s not even scary (or cool). So can’t we give the victims of this disaster a little bit of dignity and just leave them alone to try to get things sorted out without sticking a camera in their faces every five minutes? I trust them to do the right thing, and the media’s constant nagging can do nothing but get in their way. So please just stop with the disaster porn. Let’s do what we can to help as a nation, and pray for them. And by all means, report the facts when you have them. But enough already with the speculation and the doom-saying. Didn’t we have enough of that before?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hey, what a coincidence that I just happened to post something about a Guinness ad, and it just happens to be St. Patrick’s Day! I didn’t realize, but what luck. I just saw Amy Poehler suggest to Tiger Woods last night that he could wear his (old) Masters green blazers on St. Patrick’s Day when he suggested that they aren’t good for wearing out anywhere. Maybe it’s because he felt the blazers look crappy and aren’t good for anything that he’s not playing well enough to win one anymore. He just doesn’t want any more of them probably. I don’t want one either, but probably more because I think golf is really boring. But if I was good enough to win one, I’ll bet I’d think it was beautiful, stylish, and perfect for every occasion. Well, until I wasn’t good enough to win one anymore; then I’d think that they were lame and ugly. But enough about golf. Isn’t that Scottish anyway? I just mentioned it because of the green blazer from the Masters. You’d think that since golf was invented in Scotland that there would be a tartan blazer, but then I guess they’d argue endlessly about which tartan to use; I guess it’s better just to make it green.

I used to live in Manhattan, NYC, and I had a view from my 15th storey window of a large, major intersection on the lower west side of the city. On St. Patrick’s Day, I used to come home from work and just sit in my window and watch that corner. There were two Irish pubs on that corner, and they were great fun most of the time, but on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone just seemed to overindulge just a bit too much, and I learned to stay out. But the view from my apartment was great! Some drunk guy would stumble out of the pub and run into some guy just walking down the sidewalk, and the drunk guy would inevitably start a fight with the guy on the sidewalk, then the police would come, arrest them both, and drive away. Then, as soon as the police car was out of view down the street, some other drunk guys would come staggering out of one of the pubs and start a fight with each other or with someone else just walking down the street, and the police would come and arrest them and drive away, and then some other drunk guys would flop out onto the sidewalk and start going at it with the fisticuffs, and the cops would come, etc. This would go on like clockwork for hours, just one after the other, after the other, all evening. It was the only day of the year it was like that. Most of the time, there was never anything to speak of going on in that neighborhood. But on St. Patrick’s Day: look out!

New Guinness Ad

I saw a new ad for Guinness tonight where it shows a big frothy pint of Guinness in close-up, and text on the screen says: “It’s always time for a Guinness*.” Then that text goes away, and a new line of text says: “*Unless you’re the designated driver.” Then that text goes away, and it says: “Guinness: only for the bold.” Which seems to suggest that it’s also saying: “Not for those pansies who agree to be designated drivers. Screw those losers.” I guess that there is some requirement of an alcoholic beverage ad to say: “Please drink responsibly” unless they say something about having a designated driver. But I guess it doesn't matter if your ad rubs in what that designated driver is missing by not drinking. I’m surprised that they don’t just adhere to the letter of the law, especially in liquor ads, and say: “Please drink responsibly, all day, every day.”

Back when Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum used to run those ads with people raising their left knees up like the picture of Captain Morgan on the bottle, and end with the line: “He’s got a little Captain in him!” I used to want them to show some guy passed out in an alley in a puddle of his own vomit with his left knee up and say: “He’s got a little Captain in him!” I've seen that outcome from "having a little Captain in him" a lot more often than the guys acting all smooth and getting the girl like they showed in the ads.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Urban Coyotes

Regarding the following news story:

This San Francisco woman who says that photographing coyotes in San Francisco parks is her passion should move to Los Angeles, where she’ll find packs of them roaming around hillside neighborhoods at night. I originally thought it seemed safe enough driving through the neighborhoods crawling with coyotes as long as I stayed in my car, but recently I have noticed that they’ve begun to set up cannons, giant slingshots, TNT ambushes, etc., to try to stop the cars and catch the people inside. Fortunately, they always seem to blow up in their faces so far, but you never know. From what I’ve heard about coyotes from wildlife experts, they are very persistent, and once that coyote’s after you, if he catches you, you’re through. I always used to wonder about how so many huge pot holes got in all these Los Angeles roadways all the time, but now it all makes sense. But I still wonder why there are all these street signs up in the hillside neighborhoods that say “Free Birdseed”.

Presidential Golf

I was watching the news tonight, and every channel was talking about the coming nuclear holocaust in Japan. This was a little too depressing, sensationalistic and repetitive for me, so I switched over to Hannity on Fox News. (I know, “Boo! Boo!” But in my defense, it’s a really funny show.) They were covering the story from a different angle, basically using it as an excuse to attack President Obama for playing golf during an international crisis, and reminding us of how the “Mainstream Media” (as they call the other news networks, excluding themselves) used to savage President Bush for playing golf during crises to the point where he actually stopped playing golf altogether. This is actually a good point, although maybe not as pressing an issue as the nuclear catastrophe. The truth is that, yes, the majority of news outlets used to criticize President Bush to no end for playing golf (or clearing brush, or whatever) during times of crisis, but they haven’t said a peep about President Obama doing the exact same thing (well, not clearing brush, but you get my drift), only it really seems like President Obama is doing it a lot more. (I don't know if this is actually true, but Fox News says it is, so I'm just going to go with it.) I think this is because he knows he can get away with it. Now, this may begin to sound like a partisan argument to you, but I assure you it’s not: what I’m really getting at is how stupidly counter-productive this behavior has been for the media.

Okay, let’s start with President (George W.) Bush: The media criticized and attacked him for anything they could think of, but especially pounced at easy opportunities such as when he played golf, etc., when important things were happening. Was this constructive for them? Let’s look at the facts: The media hated President Bush, as indeed many Americans did, for what he was doing policy-wise. When he played golf, he wasn’t busy with any policy or legislative stuff, but when they made him stop playing golf (and he did stop playing golf because of all the criticism), he had lots more time for policy stuff, which the media hated him for. Um, it seems to me that if they had let President Bush play golf all the time, he would have had a lot less time for policy, and he wouldn’t have had that much of an effect on the country. You know the phrase, “It’s Bush’s fault”? Well, it might not have been if the media establishment had left him alone to just play golf and clear brush. In fact, it is my belief that the Iraq War is completely the fault of the media people who criticized President Bush for playing golf. It’s apparent that without golf, the President developed aggression issues that had to be expressed somehow, and invading Iraq was the obvious outlet. And since most everyone, including the media, seemed to support invading Iraq at first, Mr. Bush probably thought: “This is way better than golf!” And so he did it.

Which brings me to President Obama: This guy spends a lot of time with recreational activities, but you won’t hear anyone criticize him for it except for Fox News (and nobody pays any serious attention to them). This is funny when you consider that there is a lot more progressive policy stuff that the media is hoping for out of this President. Every time he gets a pass playing golf or basketball, he learns that they will let him get away with more and more, so he does it more and more, and that’s less time that he can spend on policy stuff. You get my drift? The point is that if Fox News wants President Obama to make less policy, they should sit quietly while he plays golf; and if the rest of the media wants him to do more agenda stuff, they should press him to stop playing golf and basketball and get busy on policy. Or maybe they’re worried that if they do, he’ll get all aggressive like the last guy and invade Iran. I guess we’ll never know unless they try it…