Sunday, August 22, 2004

Foxxy!



Everyone's always talking like it's some big mystery why Fox News is so popular, when its success can be summed up easily in only two words: The Men! Straight white men watch Fox's programming because it caters to their worst instincts, but Fox handily secures a big chunk of its potential remaining audience--women and gays--by giving us what we just can't look away from: Hot Men.

Can you resist the myopic pastiness of a painfully despectacled John Kasich? What about the delectably froggy eyes of the so-totally-not-a-partisan-hack Carl Cameron? The burn-victim-with-a-hideous-wig hunkiness of resident liberal-wienie Alan Colmes?

Ah, you want something spicier, I see. Surely then you are powerless before the hypnotically bushy upper lip of next-best-thing-to-Ricky-Martin Geraldo Rivera? What about the apparently acid-reflux afflicted star-hottie Bill O'Reilly? If you like that, you're sure to melt in your panties at the sight of Sean Hannity's smug mug.

Is it getting hot in here? Well, before your hands slide uncontrollably down into your jeans, I've saved the sexiest for last, the irresistable shaved-chipmunk and pig hybrid--and dickless turd--Neil Cavuto. How's that for a XXX Barnyard Fantasy?

And who even needs images when their names alone can make us drip? Hmm, Shep Smith, Brit Hume, Bill McCuddy...I can barely type the words for fear of spontaneous sexual combustion. Even though they all spout baseless right-wing swill, who cares? With their powdered toupes and their abysmal fashion sense, these men are impossible to look away from.

Sadly, the same can not be said for the network's anchorladies. Unlike their anchorhunks, the dowdy frumps of Fox News were all hired solely on the basis of their professionalism and journalistic skill.

Friday, August 20, 2004

The Terrorists Have Won



On the Fox News program, "Your World With Neil Cavuto", they ran a picture of a sparsely populated Athens Arena with the headline, "Do These Empty Seats Make the Terrorists Happy?" They kept it up there for about two full minutes as Neil--incidentally, the official Guinness titleholder for "the least attractive man ever to appear regularly on television"--interviewed Howard Safir about terrorism, security, and safity at the Olympics.

As you may have guessed, the question was purely rhetorical. Of course it makes the terrorists happy!

Other things that delight terrorists:

* Rain on your wedding day
* Flies in your Chardonnay
* A free ride when you've already paid
* A traffic jam when you're already late
* That good advice which you just didn't take

As a news provider, Fox continues to valiantly serve the American public by characterizing terrorists not as wouldbe political agents and murderers with actual political grievances it might serve us to at least attempt to understand, but as all-purpose Olympic-hating, good-times spoiling, no-funners.

I smell a Peabody.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Butt Out



Victory for public health or triumph of the nanny state?

I don't even mind the smoking ban all that much in practice. So I have to go outside if I want to smoke a cigarette, so what? But in theory it's an example of a terrible absolutist bit of moralistic legislation. At the very least the City could have made an effort to work out a slightly broader exemption system. But why bother listening to critics who don't have a voice? Mounting a significant public relations offensive to the smoking ban--or for that matter, in favor of repealing the antiquated cabaret laws, or any of the city's more ridiculous or outdated qual. of life regulations--in time to prevent it from passing was an impossible feat. Who wants to be labelled pro-smoking? Pro-drugs? Pro-, um, caberets?

At long last though--and, significantly, far too late--we smokers and caberet-frequenters have found a champion worthy of a public face-off with Mayor Bloomberg: Rheingold Beer. Their new, highly-targeted ad campaign, "Don't Sleep," is essentially a hipsterish advocacy ad, with some dude half-talking, half-rapping about how we have to "take the city back" from those who would restrict our right to smoke and carouse as we see fit.

It's directed by David Gordon Green! It's totally speaking up for MY rights as a New Yorker! IT'S AWESOME!

And it's totally depressing. That the only way this argument--not to mention the cabaret law issue--could receive anything like a real public hearing nowadays is for it to be coopted and exploited by a friggin' brewery desperate for deeper penetration into the burgeoning hipster market? After the legal issues have already been resolved and, for all intents and purposes, set in stone? And framed as a kind of grassroots liberation movement--DON'T SLEEP!--that never actually existed and never really will?

The whole thing is so gross and dispiriting, it makes we want to smoke.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Really Attractive People



You know when you open up a magazine or a webpage and there's this photograph of a really attractive person and you take it for a cologne ad or a fashion spread, but then you look twice and you realize that this is in fact an interview, or a profile, or a record/book/art review, and that this model-type person is in fact an artist, of some kind or another, and so you turn to the profile or the interview, licking your chops, anxious to catch this pseudo-artiste making a dumb statement or somehow otherwise revealing their ignorance, their hilarious blind-spots about politics or culture or even their chosen craft, or at least giving some inadvertent indication of a profound and therefore inexcusable vanity, and you read and you wait, certain that a person blessed with so many harmoniously-cooperating attractiveness genes couldn't possibly also be a decent and/or even reasonably intelligent or informed person, it just wouldn't be cosmically fair, and, remembering that life is seldom fair, you figure that well even if it isn't fair and you accept that it is possible that someone this good-looking could also be blessed with creative gifts of equal magnitude to their physical ones, what then are the odds that someone who's had it so easy in all the ways that really attractive people have it so easy would also have that drive, that indefinable itch, that would lead them to strive for imaginative and creative greatness or excellence or general noteworthiness, how is that possible, weren't they satisfied with all the sex they got to have with their attractiveness-equals back in high school, when everyone from the beautiful arty girls/handsome indie-boys to the gorgeous-cheerleaders/hot jocks wanted desperately to get into their pants/skirts, I mean with all that attractive-person sex and that fully booked-up social calendar action how could they possibly make enough psychic room to simultaneously nurture and develop their talent for songwriting, fictionwriting, journalism, and/or acting, there's no such thing as superhumans, is there, but then of course, as you get to the end of the profile/interview without having found even a crumb of a damning comment or a tidbit of embarrassing biographical information you realize that none of this stuff is distributed equally at birth and that in fact it might even be helpful for "the artist," whoever that is, to be, because of their looks, in a lifelong position to be confident enough about their physical person to freely express those other parts of themself, the parts that don't have anything to do with looks and the parts that those who've observed them as they've blossomed, in hideous unison, as creative individuals and as astonishingly attractive physical specimens, right before our eyes, tend to be even more envious of than the superficial and easily quantifiable parts, and that whatever the case it really doesn't matter, the key to being a happy and decent and not resentful or bilious person is to accept, without reservation or envy, other people's gifts, yes, to even admire them for their mixture of good luck and hard work; or failing that, to turn the page and just pretend they don't exist.

Bush Goes For the Gold



I knew that, as the claims of "imminent danger" and WMDs became increasingly untenable, the Bush administration began to substitute their former rationale for war with a harder to challenge war of liberation argument.

Who knew we liberated Iraq in order to free them up for Olympic competition!

"VICTORY" Script (The ad can be found here: http://georgewbush.com/Default.aspx).

I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.

Voice Over:
In 1972...there were 40 democracies in the world.
Today...120.
Freedom is spreading throughout the world like a sunrise.
And this Olympics... there will be two more free nations…
And two fewer terrorist regimes.
With strength, resolve and courage, democracy will triumph over terror.
And, hope will defeat hatred.


Graphic:
President Bush. Moving America Forward

If you don't like this ad, well then you probably hate the Olympics. And you're probably less than appropriately enthusiastic about "sunrises," too.

Just like John Kerry.

Bubble Cars



Not to shit on the VW “New Bug” or anything. At least it knows it’s ugly. Its bland, edgeless silliness is its main selling point. But did the rest of the auto industry have to follow VW’s lead?

To be fair, this process has been at least a decade in the making. But is there a single car currently in production that doesn’t look like an even more gleaming version of those demo “Cars of Tomorrow” from corporate-info industrial films from the early sixties? I’m sure there is some excuse for all this, most likely a scientific reason having to do with physics and aerodynamism (-icism?) or engineering that I wouldn’t understand even if you bothered to explain it to me. But since when did pure physics determine how cars should look? What happened to cars that don’t look like a robot’s turd? It’s not like these things fly—why bother pretending they do by making them look like highly functional hovercars? The SUV boom of the late 90’s had one redeeming feature: the return of some angularity and discernable shape. But now the SUVS look like spaceships too, including the too loathsome to discuss Pt Cruiser.

Even the frame of the Rolls-Royce, which I thought relied for its whole cachet on the combination of its expense and its vaguely antiquarian, unassimilated boxiness, has begun to swallow up its grillwork, its headlights, and its tires into its now predictably ovoid form.

You can’t even tell the difference between a luxury and an economy car anymore, at least not from the outside. The true sign of a car’s expense has, along with any discernible line or edge, retreated into the car’s interior: the best way to tell the difference now is to check the sound-system, the degree of sound-proofing, and whether or not the car phone comes with a voice-activated speed-dial.

Soon enough, the rich won’t even be able to tell that they’re rich.

Who's Cuter? (Separated at Birth Part II)

Conservative attack-dog Charles Krauthammer, or scourge of the Whos, the Grinch?

I hate 'em both. This should be a close one.

Let Them Eat Savings



In an effort to placate angry protestors whose bids to obtain permission to protest the upcoming Republican Convention on the Great Lawn of Central Park--instead of the less pleasant and far less visible West Side Highway--have been repeatedly rejected, and no doubt nervous about the potential of a Chicago '68-style flareup, Mayor Bloomberg has come up with a remarkable solution: bribe 'em with discounts.

"Law-abiding protesters will be given buttons that bear a fetching rendition of the Statue of Liberty holding a sign that reads, "peaceful political activists." Protesters can present the buttons at places like the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Sex, the Pokémon Center store and such restaurants as Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too and Applebee's to save some cash during their stay."

""It's no fun to protest on an empty stomach," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday."

--NY Times

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Separated at Birth?

Or, perhaps more appropriately, who's cuter?

Rupert Murdoch or the Ghoulie?


Your Blog



Just how far can a human head fit up the ass of its owner?

I don't know. But you do.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Pearls of Wisdom



Whether in full color, sepia tones (see above), black and white, or op-ed ID lithography, Peggy Noonan, the official high priestess of the conservative punditocracy, owes her success as much to her high-bourgeois style as to her eloquent turns of phrase and elegant on-camera presence. Always smartly turned out in the latest in upper-middle class business casual, Noonan can trust that her waspish good taste and received-idea filled gravitas--as well as her just this side of snooty diction--will carry her audience smilingly through even the most patently bogus and noxiously partisan of rhetorical maneuvers, whether they include taking on the disembodied voice of a recently dead and sainted man to rain fire upon his friends and allies--and her avowed enemies--or claiming in the introduction to her book "The Case Against Hillary Clinton", for transparently rhetorical reasons, that at the start of the Clinton Administration she had sincerely had the highest of hopes for the oh-so-promising Miss Rodham-Clinton, she could have been such a great first lady. But alas, she was to disappoint us all, it wasn't meant to be, etc., etc.

The word "disingenuous" is not in Ms. Noonan's vocabulary. Words like "strength," "fortitude", and "resolve" take up too much space in her well-paid brain to leave room for the language of "doubters" and "cynics"; every good speechwriter knows to hold fast and true to the proven classics. And what, besides her soft, soothing upper middle-class coo, is more classic than Peggy Noonan's everpresent pearl necklace? Whether deigning to weigh in on urgent matters of state or contributing to the soft journalism of quotidian Presidential kitsch (Democrats need not apply), Peggy Noonan simply would not be caught dead without her beloved fruit of the sea. Exactly what kind of heathen do you take her for?

"Consuela, donde esta mis necklace de pearls, por favor? Yo necesito be on 'Topic A with Tina Brown' in una hora! Consuela?!"
"."
"Well, of course I looked there, what am I, stupida? No, they aren't there. Oh just leave I'll find them."
"."
"That's ok, Consuela, si, gracias."
Mutter, grumble, mutter.
"Goddamnit, I'll bet she took 'em, that conniving wetback puta."

Ah yes, Peggy Noonan, our slow-to-wither Beltway princess, is indeed a woman worthy of her pearls.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

This and That



God bless 'em, but male porn stars are totally fucked up. A lesbian friend recommended the work of Jeff Stryker to me, so I downloaded a couple clips of his off of Limewire. Now, I know we don't pay--or in my case, not pay--for porn for the dialogue, but Stryker's unscripted sexual asides are kind of unnerving. It's as if in the act of committing various sexual acts he's trying to dissociate not only from what's happening at the moment but even from his own anatomy, and the anatomy of the person he's with.

(Note: Dirty words have been excised in the interest of avoiding total overkill.)

You like that don’t you. See it is the biggest around, you heard right. Good. Suck that. Work with that big. Yeah. Oh yeah. Go down on it, yeah harder, yeah, work with that, yeah. Yeah, you like that big, it is the biggest, you heard right. Yeah, lick the sides, lick the sides. Now suck on that while you jack it. Yeah, work with that. Play with those. Go down on that. Yeah take that all in your mouth. Yeah work with that big. Yeah suck on that. Yeah take it all in your mouth. Suck on that, yeah. Go all the way down on it. Yeah. Take all that big. Put it all in your mouth. Yeah. Pants off. Get on your back. Gonna you in the mouth. Oooh. Aww, that mouth feels so good. You like me you in the mouth. Oh yeah, suck that. Take it all. I’m you in the mouth. You like that big in your mouth, don’t you. Aw yeah, lick that, yeah, stick your tongue up that. Aw yeah, lick that. Yeah, stick your tongue all the way up that. Aw yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Aw.

Get up against that can. C’mon. Get up against that. Bend over. Yeah, get down, spread that I’m gonna that pretty little. Bend over. I’m gone give you that two cartons worth. Aw yeah that tight. You can take that big up that. Loosen that up, let that in. You want me to ram that in? You want me to ram this in that. I like it tight, tighten that. You like this big. Tighten it. Tighten it! Tighten that!


I never thought the definite article could be made to sound so...dirty.



Saturday, August 14, 2004

Kittie Porn



Speaking of Americans' unhealthy and intellectually dishonest relationship with animals, why is it that many of us elevate our pets to the status of demi-gods but reduce all other animals to the status of...dinner?

This picture is pure kitten-kitsch porno. And there is tons more where that came from.

Clear Your Plate



As if we needed further proof that David Foster Wallace is the contemporary writer most adept at mixing high moral seriousness and curiosity with pure reading pleasure, he's gone and written a hilariously format-inappropriate article for Gourmet magazine. Assigned by the editors to cover the annual Maine Lobster Festival--they were no doubt hoping for a colorful, roving-eye piece in the tradition of "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again"--DFW instead opted to produce a lengthy examination of the ethics of boiling animals alive.

A failed vegetarian myself, nothing tempts me back to swearing off animal-eating more than the intellectually lazy, logic-defying, and/or nonexistent arguments in favor of a carnivorous diet. It starts when we're kids, and we've either just seen Bambi or Babe or some other anthropomorphic masterpiece, or we've just returned from a trip to a petting zoo or a farm, and we're look down at the pork or chicken or beef on our plate, and we begin to wonder: why is this ok? I just petted a pig, and now I'm eating one? We find it very confusing, and we want guidance and instruction from our parents, our teachers, or even television, to account for this apparent moral paradox. And, unless our parents are hippies, we are forcefed a bunch of counter-intuitive, irrational bullshit, not in the interest of enlightening us but simply to get us to shut up. "It's different, because these pigs were bred to be food." "It's ok, because they don't have any feelings." "Oh honey, the lobster likes the hot water."

The fact is that the practice of eating meat, at least in the case of a wealthy, industrialized nation like America, is pretty much morally indefensible. That is, there is no 100% coherent moral argument to be made in its favor. And yet this ethical deficit, instead of being confronted and addressed, is simply papered over and cutesied up with magical thinking and euphimistic, dishonest language--as DFW points out, why "pork" instead of just "pig", why "beef" instead of "cow"?--by our parents, by the media, by ourselves, and by 99.9% of the foodies who typically contribute to magazines like Gourmet. What are we, children?

In related news, I recently discovered lobster rolls--lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise in a warm bun of fresh bread. In a word, delicious.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Extreme Makeover



I know this'll sound terribly earnest but--what the fuck is up with TV and plastic surgery? I'm as big a fan of "Extreme Makeover" and "Nip/Tuck" and "E: True Hollywood Story" and "The Real Latoya" as the next gay, but all this smiley-faced plastic-surgery positivity is beginning to get creepy. Even "The Learning Channel"'s plastic surgery programs have 'up' spins on cosmetic surgery as a brave and empowering choice.

The effect is particularly ghoulish when we've just watched someone endure a ghastly bit of elective surgery, when we witness them going through an obviously painful and risky recovery, and they're trying to smile through their bandages and pus-drippings to affirm the legitimacy of their decision, while the score goes all affirmative and gooey-sounding and the narrator begins chirping about what a brave and bold choice the patient has just made...

And people invariably look worse when they're through.

The Other White Meat



Former 'Creed' frontman and Christian martyr Scott Stapp deserves our appreciation. Indeed, he deserves our prayers, our admiration, and our money. If for no other reason than for his valiant one-man bid to resurrect the wifebeater-and-leather-pants with mid-length girly-hair look, we need to honor, love, and obey this theologian of our times. Whether selflessly striking Christ-like poses in his videos, professing his deep aversion to the "trappings of fame", or humbly expressing his profound submission before the grace of God, Stapp has pioneered a breakthrough reconciliation with showy, commercially-minded acts of self-worship and truly Christian humility.

A potential saint? I'll leave that call to the Vatican. Better than Jesus? Duh! What's a couple hours on a cross to the miseries and torments described by Stapp's undisputed masterpiece, "My Sacrifice"?

I'm careless, I believe
Above all the others we'll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
My sacrifice

Whoa.

On a related note, it's interesting to see that the music industry now manufactures rock idols the same way sausage factories make sausage. That is, by grinding and mixing up various parts of assorted animals with byproducts and preservatives, forcing it through industrial sized extrusion machines, and encasing the whole meaty mass in pigs' intestines.

Scott Stapp: Christlike and Sausagy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Rock Video



Have you seen that video where there's like this band, and they're either on a stage in a concert hall, at an arena, or on top of a car in a parking lot at an impromptu concert, and all their fans are cheering and screaming and raging and pumping their fists in righteous-looking support for this, their favorite band, and like there's shit flying around, cuz sometimes the band is bluescreened and there's weird chaotic cgi shit going on around and above the band, like sometimes when the drummer goes real wild or the distorted bass line gets really funky the whole image will shudder, and distort, and we'll get weird, roto-scopic shots of the fans in the audience, and the whole thing is edited real fast, and the audience of pierced and tattooed and obviously paid extras, who are all either skater-punks, creepy purple-tongued neo-goths, or ridiculously attractive teen models pretending to be either, are just loving this shit, they fucking love it!, because THIS is their FAVORITE band, and the lead singer is hopping around and bouncing into and out of the camera's frame, sometimes even falling to his knees, and then we see quick shots of the band's fans at home, staring the camera down righteously, "this is my sanctuary", their bedrooms, look at the posters, I like the same stuff they do! and they are wearing the t-shirts of the same band whose video they are currently in and their faces are just the peak of adolescent, indignant disaffection, and then one of them raises an arm and gives the finger to the camera, which is digitally blurred, blocked-out--fuck you MTV!--before we cut back to the concert on the roof of a car or in a shopping mall or in what looks like some kid's dingy rec room, man that could be my rec room! and all the homegrown, local fans are loving it cuz this band is so fucking REAL man, YES, I love Knucklebutt! I can't live without MamaSLUDGe I'd die if Kracklewuss ever broke up or stopped putting out awesome records and it's so cool that they are still thrashing and keeping it real by kicking ass in parking lots and I know they're doing it cuz they got something to say and not because the camera's are on, and that they are taking part in this elaborately staged representation of a small punk concert instead of an actual small concert because they just love the music and NOT because they are selling a vision of my disaffection right on back to younger and stupider and more gullible and more vulnerable disaffected Crudd fans than I in order to move on, keep on moving on, moving on more and more units. NO WAY!

Papa Roach would never do that.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

This Old Tree



Looking for ways to spruce up your tired, pseudo-19th Century village? I find that a coat of puke-yellow paint, applied evenly to the bark of the trees that enclose my little Mennonite community, really spruces things up. Be sure to wear a robe while you do it, to avoid any unsightly yellow stains.

It's a great way to sex up the village's border. Plus, it helps keep the fake monsters out!



Thursday, August 05, 2004

Gay DJ



You know what every good DJ needs, even more than a sense of rhythm, spinning skills, musical taste, and a good vinyl collection? That's right: Muscles.

Records are heavy!

Sherry Mann of Carlisle, Pa. (Philistine)

The following is taken from the letters section of Entertainment Weekly. Yes, I read Entertainment Weekly. Not usually the letters section, but I was on a plane when I read it. That is my excuse.

"While reading this week's movie reviews, I was reminded of the Friends episode in which Joey uses a thesaurus to replace every word (to a hilarious end) in a recommendation letter he writes for Monica and Chandler. Was it necessary for Owen Gleiberman to write of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, "Yet his stentorian tones and myopic gleam of authority are just a lightly packaged version of his off-camera singles bar swagger," when what he really meant was "Ron Burgundy = unfunny crap?" Gravely, whilst yours truly remains overwhelmed via your astuteness, I emphatically inscribe the assessment subsequently with the intention that the arithmetic mean individuals originating in the cohesive territories of America will be capable of deciphering said magazine's estimations approximating the filmic depictions. Is that too much to ask?"

Sherry Mann
Carlisle, Pa.

Sniffing out and whining about perceived snootiness in what is patently, professedly middlebrow is a common hobby of the proudly idiotic. Like Sherry Mann.