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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

NOT QUITE THE BAMIYAN BUDDHAS, BUT JUST AS STUPID
Well, it's not nearly as bad as the Taliban's destruction of the famous Bamiyan Buddhas, but it's nearly as dumb. A warden involved with the heist of the Salvador Dali drawing at Riker's Island now claims that they destroyed the evidence to escape detection.

Monday, September 29, 2003

WHO: "Globesity"
Apparently the economy is so slow that businesses are seeking out niche markets wherever they can find them. The latest growth industry: Obese people. Here's a roundup: after the Fast Food Industry tried Operation Iceberg Lettuce, we now have: The Airline Industry, The Casket Industry, and The Sports Arena Industry.
THE PRESIDENT LIKED A GOOD FART GAG
Back during his "drinking days," the President enjoyed the hearty sounds of the Bronx cheer every now and then. Don't miss gossip columnist Lloyd Grove's first column for the New York Daily News.

Friday, September 26, 2003

STONING FOLLOWUP
South African Muslim leaders say "Islam has been vindicated" by acquitting Amina Lawal. One leader is quoted: "Islam triumphed in today's ruling, which showed that Shariah (Islamic Law) can work if the principles are strictly adhered to . . . What is most important is that Amina Lawal was not pardoned. She was acquitted. This case was judged on a point of law and not because of international pressure or pressure from groups within Nigeria. Justice has been served and Islam vindicated." Well, I wouldn't go that far, but like I said, whatever it takes . . .


PAGE SIX SIGHTINGS
Saw "'environmental activist' Tim Robbins flinging a cigarette butt onto the grass in Central Park when he saw photogs on the red carpet for the Dave Matthews Band show . . ." Prick.
GWENYTH PALTROW'S VIBRATOR
For real! It was in Page Six! And I swear, I don't think they're trying to shame her, either.
NOT GOOD
Which is all I want to say about this.
TRACK 61
This is interesting if you're remotely interested in subterranean New York. Much, much more about this will be posted throughout the day at www.nycsubway.org. Start with this post.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

NIGERIAN STONING SENTENCE OVERTURNED BY SHARIA COURT
Amina Lawal, the Nigerian woman sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery, has won her appeal to the Katsina State Sharia Court of Appeal. The BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights, a Nigerian-based human rights organization notes in a press release about the ruling that, among other things, the court held that "pregnancy outside of marriage is not proof of adultery." Whatever it takes, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

WHAT ABOUT RICHARD SIMMONS?
I'm on board with the JM J. Bullock-as-Sandy Koufax meme, but doesn't gay television owe some sort of debt to Richard Simmons, too?
JM J. BULLOCK EPHEMERA
Did "Too Close for Comfort" ever "jump the shark?" Toss-up.

More "Too Close for Comfort" information, including a .wav file of the show's theme song is here.

You might remember that JM was a regular on Hollywood Squares, too. A disturbingly detailed Hollywood Squares archive page can be found here. (Bonus points: the website's creator makes this profoundly depressing request: "If you were as much a fan of the show as I was, do you know the types of cars that were given away each week? If so, e-mail me and I can add that information to the page.")

The bottom line for me is that I regret that initial twinge of cynicism after Liz Smith made the Rosa Parks analogy. Come back Cosmic Cow, all is forgiven.
JM J. BULLOCK = THE HOMOSEXUAL JACKIE ROBINSON
Liz Smith floats this theory in today's column, reporting that the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy guys "had their most fun" at the Emmys meeting him. She adds that JM's "fey characterization of Monroe Ficus on Ted Knight's old 'Too Close for Comfort' sitcom, was a forerunner of today's glut of gay characters on TV."

In fact, there's some truth in this idea. HIV-postive JM, who has struggled with what sounds like a nasty methamphetamine addiction, was quoted last year saying that he's had "so many young guys come up to me saying, 'Thank you so much. I would see you on television and realize I wasn't alone,'"

Before Will and Grace, before Queer Eye, there was JM.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

WE NEED TORT REFORM. RIGHT NOW.
More proof that John Edwards is in the pocket of the librarians -- the Online Computer Library Center, who apparently owns the rights to the Dewey Decimal System, is suing a swanky New York City hotel for having a Dewey Decimal-themed decor: "The Online Computer Library Center is seeking damages of three times the profits the hotel has made since it opened."

Thursday, September 18, 2003

NO. 1 REASON THE RIAA CAN SUCK IT
According to The Stranger, local RIAA leader Dave Meinert claims that if music piracy isn't stopped, it will mean the DEATH OF ART. WHAATT??? That's right, you heard him: "If the industry doesn't succeed in stopping downloading now, artists, and ultimately society, will suffer. 'I don't look forward to an artless world,' he says." And if you believe that crap, then the terrorists have already won.
GOYA, THE 1500-POUND GUINEA PIG
"If you saw this animal in the distance on a misty day it would look much more like a cow or buffalo, than like a guinea pig." It would make one heck of a cuy roast, I'll tell you that much.
OHIO MUST-DO
"Grass-car" races -- lawn mowers on steroids. 93 mph on a muddy track is like "roller-skating on snot."
YOUR HAMMOCKS AND SWING SETS ARE KILLING MOOSE
From the Juneau Empire: "The worst case scenario is they can't get loose and they starve to death. Or another bull comes along and beats the snot out of them."

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

GRAY DAVIS + TOFU SHAKE = "HOPELESS NERD"
More on politicians' eating habits. Gray Davis drinks decidedly unmanly tofu shakes for breakfast. The recipe is reprinted as well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

BILL RICHARDSON
Potty-mouth Bill Richardson on what to eat: "'Who's hungry? Who wants steak? I'm getting a big steak. This is where my [expletive] diet goes to hell.'"

And on peer pressure: "'Walter Mondale came out and campaigned for me once, . . . [a]nd after a long day of campaigning, he smoked a cigar. And I thought that was really cool. So I started doing it.'"

And showing his respect for the rule of law: "'Hurry up,' Richardson says as the driver guns it onto Interstate 40. Within seconds, the two-car caravan hits 95 miles per hour, then 100, then 110, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, making strategic use of sirens. The trip takes 16 minutes."

Monday, September 15, 2003

WHITE MEAT
Whereas my colleague Scott would like to focus on what our politicians are sending out of their bodies (i.e., Tom Daschle's bladder), I'd rather elevate the discourse and talk about what's going in. Like turkey sandwiches. Apparently its the food of choice for reporters meeting with Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt. This is why the Dems are finished... can you imagine our chickenhawk-in-chief going in for anything less than steak?? I bet Gephardt's weak on national defense, too. Wimp.
PASSED ALONG, WITHOUT COMMENT
China 'Open - Crotch Pants' Face Extinction: "Suddenly, he stops in mid-stride and squats, the seam of his pants parting smoothly to allow a stream of urine to pool onto the concrete."

Friday, September 12, 2003

CHANNELING BACHMAN TURNER OVERDRIVE
Yasser Arafat to Ariel Sharon: "You can get to work by nine/And start your slaving job to get your pay/If you ever get annoyed/Look at me I'm self-employed/I love to work at nothing all day/And I'll be taking care of business."
Ariel Sharon to Yasser Arafat: "B-b-b-baby, You just ain't seen n-n-n-nothing yet."

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Once again, Simon and Garfunkel...

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
If you are among the many whom the decrepit music industry fears might be frightened away from buying music because of a consumer backlash in response to its lame attempt to harass its own customers, there are several things you can do: 1) read a book; 2) go to a museum; 3) visit a park; 4) cook a nice dinner. Why prop up their vile enterprise?
WHAT TO DO?
What to do in the face of the RIAA's extremely idiotic treatment of young consumers (read: its future fan base)? In the words of either Mike Watt or the Big Boys, "Go start your own band."
FUCK THE RIAA
That 12-year-old who was sued by the Record Industry Association of America has settled with them for $2000. Here's more on why the record industry deserves all the terrible publicity this should generate. At 54 cents, CDs are cheaper to produce than LPs ever were, yet the price of CDs stayed artificially high for years after their debut. Fuck you, RIAA.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

QUOTING SIMON & GARFUNKEL
"A rock feels no pain and an island never cries."
QUOTING SIMON & GARFUNKEL
"Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia up in my bedroom/I got up to wash my face/When I come back to bed/Someone's taken my place."
SIMON & GARFUNKEL
"Tonight I'll sing my songs again, I'll play the game and pretend/But all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity."
THE RIAA IS SUING 12-YEAR-OLDS
The Recording Industry Association of America is suing a 12-year-old. Real nice. But why go to KaZaA when you can download free, legal music from reputable artists who could give a crap about the RIAA?
POP QUIZ
Which is the strangest thing about this story about two Russian men marrying in a secret ceremony officiated on the sly by a Russian Orthodox priest? Is it:

a) The sight of two young men in embroidered bridal crowns;
b) That the men had to bribe the priest to perform the ceremony;
c) That the priest, after taking the bribe, muttered to himself how shameful it was to be performing the ceremony;
d) That a chauffeur named Oleg exclaimed "My goodness, a man kissing a man. What if they've both been smoking? What's that like?";
or e) That the smut-peddling New York Times gratuitously mentions Tatu in the same article?

Monday, September 08, 2003

FAT ASS
What I said.
If you like to go out and play in a cold climate, you might like this gear out of Iceland. They even have clothing appropriate for "food processing" and "flotation."

Saturday, September 06, 2003

WHOOPS
Scratch that last post. My bad.
WHY THE DEMOCRATS ARE SUNK IN 2004
Pathetic.

Friday, September 05, 2003

I work in midtown Manhattan, at 53rd and Madison to be precise. It seems that no matter which way I commute, I find myself passing at least one religious cult. If I go through Grand Central, there is often a Jew for Jesus lurking about with some comical pamphlet in hand. You know, they're not even actually Jewish. It's really creepy. At 53rd and Lex, there's always the Jehovah's Witnesses dressed in ankle-length skirts, sweating profusely all over their pamphlets. They sometimes get heckled. My favorite, however, is the random misogynist Christian man who patrols the 53rd Street and 5th Avenue station. I'm not sure he has a church, but he's got a lot of faith. I've often heard him holler about the Bible's clear definition of women as "subservient, like slaves to a master," and cheefully add his own exegesis detailing the ways this rule applies to women's clothing, professions, and even their right to a divorce a husband. Lest you think his range is limited, I'll tell you he's had a few colorful statements about gay marriage as well. He's a very timely guy. Today, he outdid himself. It seems he found a Biblical passage explaining that almighty god himself plans to "freeze the bellybuttons right off harlots and whores like Britney Spears, as he casts them into hellfire." Who writes this guy's material?
TO QUOTE THE BUZZCOCKS
Nothing ever happens to people like us except we miss the bus -- something's gone wrong again.
TO QUOTE THE BUZZCOCKS
You say you don't love me, but that's alright with me 'cause I'm in love with you . . .
TO QUOTE THE BUZZCOCKS:
Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!
GROSS
Britney Spears, cultivating a charming trailer park vibe: "Spears Says Mom Approved of Madonna Kiss." "And my dad, weirdly enough, he thought it was fine, too." Yuck.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

MORE PLAYING CARDS
And then there's this: "First it was the U.S. military, then an Israeli newspaper, now Palestinian militants. . . . 'In the past, we used to just lay out the lists of [wanted militants] on the page just as photographs, but since the Americans came up with this gimmick in Iraq, it was something that came to mind,' Arik Bachar, Ma'ariv's foreign editor, said by telephone from the paper's offices in Tel Aviv. . . . The resulting full-page spread hit Israel's newsstands on Aug. 22. Under the headline "Kingdom of Terror" were 34 playing cards, each adorned with the face of a Palestinian militant whose name had been supplied by Israeli security officials. The joker was Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and the ace of hearts was Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin. The face of Ismael Abu Shanab, a senior Hamas official, was crossed out in red -- Israeli forces had killed him the day before in a missile attack in the Gaza Strip. . . . Not to be outdone, a pro-Palestinian Web site operated by a group calling itself the Palestine Information Center followed suit last week, showing playing cards framing the faces of 16 current and former Israeli officials, set against the provocative background of a burning bus. In this Palestinian version, Sharon is the joker, and his image is placed between the barrels of two rifles aimed by two masked fighters with their tell-tale green Hamas headbands."


THIS DECK IS LOADED

Looks like getting your own deck of cards is now passe. How do we know? Easy -- the Republicans have gotten into the act. After the Bush Administration set the stage with the Iraqi Most Wanted cards, the libs counterattacked with Operation Hidden Agenda cards. Now, the neocons are at it with the the collection of 52 Most Dangerous Liberals. Is anyone safe from being the next "Ace of Spaces"?? Here's one for the repubs: How about giving us the top 52 most annoying radio hosts and "authors"? Think we can get Coulter in as the Queen of Clubs?
CANDIDATES' BLADDERS
We've already posted about Tom Daschle's weak bladder. Then Arianna Huffington chimes in with campaign tips, including always noting the nearest bathrooms. After reading that, we snarked about Howard Dean's bladder. Well, we spoke too soon. Dean has been campaigning on the strength of his bladder for a while now, telling California teachers last summer that he is "only person running for the presidency of the United States who knows what it's like to stand up without being able to go to the bathroom for five hours." First Bill Clinton campaigns on a "mostly briefs" platform. Now we have to hear about bladders -- unsoliticed, too! When will it end?
THIS MIGHT BECOME A NEW DAILY FEATURE: CHINESE COLUMNISTS COMPLAINING ABOUT "PESKY" BOOTLEGGING LAWS
And these people are real unapologetic fuckers about it, too: "After all, we all have been taught by our fathers and mothers, the press and the president and all those who are righteous, that buying pirated CD's and DVDs is morally very wrong. Got it: VERY WRONG." Right, that's what we need, a bunch of people condoning bootlegged junk. Real nice.
WHAT THE CANDIDATES THINK ABOUT . . . PEEING
It's number four on Arianna Huffington's list of things to remember: "4) Drink lots and lots and lots of water. And when you think you've drunk enough, drink another bottle; 4a. Make sure you have a well-trained advance person who always knows where the closest bathroom is." Is Howard Dean's bladder porous? Is Wesley Clark's bladder strong? This is becoming the hot issue on the campaign trail(s).
CHEAT SHEET
The cheat sheet of strange or interesting place names.
INTERCOURSE, PENNSYLVANIA
How come these towns' names are never what they seem they should be?
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DAY
Dildo, Newfoundland.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

A FANTASY
You are: A Washington Post reporter.
He is: Senator Tom Daschle.
You bring: A bumper dumper.
NO STARBUCKS AMERICA
Where exactly is "No Starbucks America?" Here is an article from March 2003 about Starbucks opening stores in Arkansas: "The Arkansas opening will leave only Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia as the remaining Starbucks-less states."

UPDATE: South Dakota is the only state without a Starbucks. The North Dakota stores are in Bismarck and Grand Forks.
STARBUCKS VIA GOOGLISM.COM
One of the stranger entries here is "starbucks is not for you asian anyway." This comes from an urban legend started by a drunk woman in Thailand. Snopes debunked the story back in 2001.
WHY DOES STARBUCKS COFFEE TASTE LIKE CRAP?
This and other questions are answered by a Starbucks barista here.
STARBUCKS AMERICA
Information for a rainy day . . . like today!
STARBUCKS
There are 32 Starbucks stores in Shanghai. There are none in South Dakota.
DASCHLE, VIA GOOGLISM.COM
My favorite entry: "daschle is the dems' 'eddie haskell'."
TIRED OF THAT PESKY FBI WARNING ABOUT BOOTLEGGED DVDs?
This guy is: "Most DVDs I buy these days, both legal and bootleg, bore me to tears with a lengthy FBI announcement about having me locked up if I reproduce copyright material."
TOM DASCHLE IN “NO STARBUCKS AMERICA”

Four things we learn about Tom Daschle while traveling around “No Starbucks America” (NSA):

1. He grips the gearshift with his right hand even though this car has an automatic transmission.
2. Although he comes from a “family of small bladders,” he drinks up to six cups of black coffee a day and then pees in cornfields.
3. He can drive for miles trying to work the food out of his teeth with his tongue.
4. He can feel like a dork when he gets confused about South Dakota’s two time zones.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

EVIDENCE OF MOBILE LABS
But not the kind Bush is looking for . . . the darker side of Walla Walla.
"EXPERIMENTAL TOURISM"
"Experimental tourism" is leading many to "exotic locales" like Walla Walla.
WALLA WALLA PIG THEFT
The dark side of the fair: "A newborn piglet went on a frightening journey after he was stolen from the Old McDonald's Farm exhibit at the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days and apparently chucked out of a vehicle on U.S. Highway 12. . . . The fair staff believes whomever stole the piglet probably grew tied of its squealing, and tossed it out of the vehicle."
SEAFOOD.COM: "FISH ARE CUNNING, MANIPULATIVE, CULTURED AND SOCIALLY AWARE"
And they pursue "Machiavellian strategies of manipulation, punishment and reconciliation" and exhibit "stable cultural traditions." Read more here.
DOWNTOWN WALLA WALLA WILL BE "ROLLING WITH SHINY VEHICLES" SEPT. 5-7
Don't miss this year's Wheelin' Walla Walla. Especially the drag races and the outdoor screening of Grease.
WALLA WALLA WOMEN WEAR ORTHO EVRA PATCH LIKE "BADGE OF HONOR"
And Depo-Provera shots are increasingly common among younger women -- more contraceptive news from Washington.
ON MY MUST-DO LIST
Pig racing at the Walla Walla County Fair. "The pigs run around a U-shaped track for a distance of about 40 feet for a prize of Oreo cookies and soft-serve ice cream, although all of the pigs get to indulge in the prize." And don't forget the action between races, when you can test your swine intelligence in the "College of Pig Knowledge," featuring pig and pork industry trivia.
COUGHING MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE
A doctor is saying that "[c]oughing vigorously until an ambulance arrives could save the lives of people having a type of heart attack brought on by rapid and erratic heart beat." But if you're Barry Bonds and you have an irregular heartbeat, you will beat up on Arizona Diamondbacks pitching. For your information, here is what it feels like if you are having a heart attack.

THE CHANCES ARE ONE IN 909,000 OF THIS HAPPENING
But, just so you know, there's an asteroid heading towards earth with the power of "20 million Hiroshima bombs." CBS, on the other hand, says that it only has the power of 25 Hiroshima bombs. Then there's the Independent, which says that the impact would have the power of 8 million Hiroshima bombs.

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