Monday, March 31, 2008

Missed It By THAT Much!

Oh, I was all over the 138th New Yorker "Cartoon Caption Contest"

My entry (perhaps a bit wordy) was:

On the bright side, because this case requires three sessions a week, you'll qualify for "Lobster Fridays!"

The "winners" included:

  • "Get naked, jump in, and make this marriage work!" - sucked

  • "We call it shark-tank therapy." - too obvious

  • "And if you'll agree to drop the divorce proceedings and reconcile I'll throw in a pair of lobsters."

The last one was VERY VERY close to what I submitted. But I think MINE was better.

I mean, the counselor doesn't NEED the tank in his office if he's just throwing in a pair of lobsters. On the other hand, he'd have to have one for "Lobster Fridays."

I wonder if the other lobster entry just got in before mine. And no, I'm not bitter (not much anyway).

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Penny-wise, Dollar Foolish

I thought something was wrong with my monitor settings when I tried to do a Google search today.

It turns out that Google did that on purpose to promote "Earth Hour Day." This is another one of those annoyingly meaningless "green" exercises which invites people to turn out their lights from 8:00pm to 9:00pm (in their local time zones) to combat global climate change.

My guess is that the energy saved by the handful of people who actually do turn out their lights for an hour will be more than offset by the extra electricity expended by Google users who take longer with their searches because of the f'd up home page (I'm just sayin').

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Careful Blowing Out the Candles

Is it your birthday, or are you just glad to see me?

From today's Erie Times News:

Big day for little blue pill
Happy birthday to the little blue pill. Ten years ago today, the Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra, a drug that has given a boost to millions of men with sexual dysfunction.

"It's had a huge impact," said Zdzislaw Chorazy, M.D., a Saint Vincent Health Center urologist...

No pun intended.

BTW, I'm surprised Google didn't have a special homepage image to celebrate.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Whimper, Less Bang

A silver haired Jamie Lee Curtis dons the cover of AARP magazine and Sally Field is a spokesperson for Boniva (osteoporosis medication).

Sure, they're still attractive. But this baby boomer is feeling a wee bit older.

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Maul Madness Round One

2008 has seen the Sopranos getting blacked out, Law and Order jumping the shark, Rescue Me, The Sheild, and Battlestar Galatica all on extended hiatus (with the latter two in their final season), and Deadwood ending in a whimper not a bang (along with my HBO subscription).

So, "Maul Madness" doesn't seem as fun as last year. But I'll carry on anyway.

Here are the brackets for Maul Madness 2008:

Winner of Region A faces winner of Region B

Region A
Rescue Me vs. The Factor with Bill O'Reilly

Region B
Soup vs. The Office

Winner of Region C faces winner of Region D

Region C
American Chopper vs. The Shield

Region D
South Park vs. Lost

Winner of Region E faces winner of Region F

Region E
Meet the Press vs. Law and Order

Region F
Hardball with Chris Matthews vs. Mythbusters

Winner of Region G faces winner of Region H

Region G
Family Guy vs. Battlestar Galactica

Region H
Simpsons vs. Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Let the games begin. And remember, no wagering!!

Read more!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Poor Jack.

If someone jumps off a building, and no one is around to listen, do they make a "smooshing" sound on the concrete?

Today, Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian kicked off his 2008 run for U.S. Congress on the same day as that Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's twelve count indictment was announced.

From the Detroit Freep:
Mayor, Beatty charged with perjury, conspiracy, misconduct -- Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and former chief of staff Christine Beatty today with perjury, obstruction, conspiracy and misconduct. Kilpatrick said that he expects "full and complete vindication."...(more)

(on sale now at Tabloid T-Shirts)

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Waiting For Cartman

Could it be that my beloved South Park has jumped the manatee?

As I posted last week, South Park's previous episode, "Tonsil Troubles," fell short of their usual quality.

Unfortunately, this week's outing, "Britney's New Look," wasn't much better.

The plot centers around a visit to South Park by Britney Spears. The boys, along with the rest of the town, turn into vicious paparazzi trying to hit the jackpot by snapping a picture of the pop star in an embarrassing pose.

Kyle, Stan, Cartman, and Butters manage to get past security and into Britney's hotel room by claiming to be her children (part of the deception involved dressing Butters as a squirrel).

Disappointed and distraught at not seeing her real children, Spears blows the top of her head off with a shotgun.

The funniest part of the episode occurs when the Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Butters all look helplessly at her lifeless body. After a beat or two, Cartman quietly turns around and heads out the door without comment (never to return).

Cut to the hospital where the ER team is able to keep Spears alive despite losing the entire top of her head. Guilt-ridden, Stan and Kyle stick around to try to make things right.

Even though the lack of a roof over her mouth prevents her from making more than grunting sounds, Britney's "people" lead her around like Spock in Star Trek's "Spocks Brain" (a reference I'm surprised the South Park writers didn't allude to) and have her continue to record songs and make appearances.

To what's left of Britney's face, the "Team Spears" people sing her praises. But, behind her back, the ink still wet on their paychecks, they chide and mock her.

Disgusted by this exploitation, Kyle and Stan plot to take her to Alaska.

I'm probably not doing it justice, but to make a long story short, it turns out that Britney is just the next in line to be sacrificed as part of a regular ritual carried out to ensure a robust corn crop harvest.

Like the Easter Bunny story, everyone except the kids are aware of this dark, secret conspiracy.

It's pretty rough satire which takes on our celebrity driven culture that, fed by "entertainment" news, loves to put people on pedestals for the explicit purpose of knocking them down.

However, the laughs weren't all that side-splitting for me. It mostly evoked appreciative chuckles. Such as the recreation of Britney's disastrous MTV appearance and, later on, a quick nod to "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers" when one of the paparazzi recognizes Spears.

But in it's first two new episodes, South Park has yet to come up with anything as fresh, and laugh out loud funny as the "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch" song, or the crew's metamorphosis into fat "Warcraft" warriors, or the spot-on Family Guy parodies.

I think one of the main problems was having Cartman leave the episode so soon and not come back. He certainly could have helped liven things up a bit. My guess is that the writers felt that there were already enough parasites being depicted and Cartman wasn't needed.

In retrospect, given how mediocre most of "Britney's New Look" played out for me, leaving the episode early turned out to be a pretty smart move.
Read more!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maul Madness 2008 Begins

2008 has seen the Sopranos getting blacked out, Law and Order jumping the shark, Rescue Me, The Sheild, and Battlestar Galatica all on extended hiatus (with the latter two in their final season), and Deadwood ending in a whimper not a bang (along with my HBO subscription).

So, "Maul Madness" doesn't seem as fun as last year. But I'll carry on anyway.

Here are the brackets for Maul Madness 2008:

Winner of Region A faces winner of Region B

Region A
Rescue Me vs. The Factor with Bill O'Reilly

Region B
Soup vs. The Office

Winner of Region C faces winner of Region D

Region C
American Chopper vs. The Shield

Region D
South Park vs. Lost

Winner of Region E faces winner of Region F

Region E
Meet the Press vs. Law and Order

Region F
Hardball with Chris Matthews vs. Mythbusters

Winner of Region G faces winner of Region H

Region G
Family Guy vs. Battlestar Galactica

Region H
Simpsons vs. Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Let the games begin. And remember, no wagering!!

Read more!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Horton v. Wade

Geez...crying babies, ringing cellphones, and now this.

Anti-abortion activists do the Pro-Life equivalent of yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre at the premiere of Horton Hears a Who as described by Kim Masters in Slate.

...protesters started yelling shortly after Horton uttered his famous motto: "A person's a person, no matter how small."

...anti-abortion activists had infiltrated the theater. Afterward, they handed out fliers designed to look like tickets.

...ZoBell says it would be nice if these people came up with their own material. But if they don't go too far-by copping the illustrations, for example-they can use a line like "A person's a person, no matter how small," even if it wouldn't have pleased Dr. Seuss. And it wouldn't have. The Geisels were opposed to using the Dr. Seuss books for any political agenda.

While, I support the group's right to protest (and am even somewhat sympathetic to their cause), I'd be damn pissed if they started disrupting a movie I had just bought fifty bucks worth of tickets for.

I wonder how they'd react to me and my FOUR kids turning around and telling them to SIT DOWN and SHUT UP.
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Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Wages of Sin

According to today's New York Times:

Investigators Seek Records of Spitzer Campaign’s Payments to a Consultant -- Federal authorities are seeking records involving payments to a political fund-raising consultant to Gov. Eliot Spitzer as part of their criminal investigation, according to two people with direct knowledge of the inquiry...(more)

(on sale at

It could be that Spitzer was using campaign contributions to fund his whore addiction. Nice arrangement.
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Audacity of Toast

Rev. Jerimiah Wright has been "fired" as advisor to Barack Obama's campaign after some of his very inflammatory remarks from past sermons came to light. Wright has said things like AIDS was invented by the CIA, the United States invited 9/11, and "God damn America."

---- (On Sale Now at:

Obama, generally a smooth communicator, doesn't sound too credible when he claims that he's NEVER heard ANY of Wright's controversial comments. Apparently, Obama has been sleeping in church for the last twenty years

...Obama took the title of his 2006 autobiography, “The Audacity of Hope,” from a sermon by Wright, who baptized him and officiated at his wedding. He has called Wright “a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible.”

...The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation,” the posting said, adding that over the years, “Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Not Funny Dude

Ever the iconoclasts, Trey Parker and Matt Stone used the HIV virus as comic fodder for "Tonsil Trouble," South Park's twelfth season premiere.

In the episode, Cartman contracts the AIDS virus due to a tainted blood transfusion he receives during a routine tonsillectomy. When the news is broken to the gang, Kyle can't help but snicker at the irony of one the most bigoted, homophobic members of their group being afflicted by the "gay" disease.

Fed up with Kyles constant laughing, Cartman, syringe in hand, sneaks into Kyle's room and evens the score by infecting him too.

After finding out he's infected too and knowing EXACTLY how it happened, an enraged Kyle proceeds to destroy all of Cartman's toys. Cartman calms him down by devising a plan to find a "cure" by visiting Magic Johnson who's "had HIV for about fifty years and is just fine."

When Kyle wonders if it'll work, Kyle replies that he's "HIV positive" it will.

In the end, the boys discover that Magic Johnson's proximity to piles of money is what keeps his HIV in check. A direct injection of one hundred eighty thousand dollars worth of currency distilled into liquid form totally eraticates the disease.

The usual South Park satire is there. The AIDS cause is lampooned as "retro" and "so 1990s." Meanwhile, the "concerned" celebrity culture is mocked as all but the "C" listers stampeed to more fashionable charities. Even Elton John eshews the "red ribbon" movement, leaving only Jimmy Buffet as the biggest named performer available for Cartman's fundraiser.

Clever, insightful, and funny, yes. Yet, I felt a little let down.

At the beginning, I braced myself for discomfort once I realized what the episode was going to be about. But as the storyline progressed, it seemed as if the writers flinched a bit. They weren't nearly as obnoxious in portraying the objects of their satire as they could have been. Magic Johnson, for instance, just came across as an average, friendly guy. That's fine, I've nothing against Magic in particular. But, his character just wasn't South Park.

In the South Park universe, if you're going to shoot, shoot to kill, not wing, your target. And in the end, "Tonsil Troubles"missed. Maybe not by a mile, but by a few yards at least.

Of that I'm positive, HIV positive...

....oh goddammit!!

Read more!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The "Emperors Club" Has No Clothes

I was on the treadmill at the gym today chuckling to myself like Beavis and Butthead when I saw the CNN story about a New York governor named "Spitzer" who was caught hiring prostitutes. To make matter's worse, the name of the reporter talking about it was "Fred Dicker."

I'm so immature...(hee hee).

...(btw, the shirt's for sale)
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Monday, March 10, 2008


I came sooooo close for the March 3rd New Yorker "Cartoon Caption Contest # 135."

My half-way decent entry was:

"We can only stay for ONE drink."
The winning entrees:

  • "You said B.Y.O.B., right?" - ugh

  • "It's great to see you, but we can only stay about fifteen seconds." - very similiar to what I submitted (so, I kinda like it). But, I think MINE was a bit more subtle.

  • "Sorry we're late. Clearing customs was a nightmare." - pure crap

Read more!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Luck O' The Irish

Spread St. Patty's Day wishes the Motown way...

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Render Unto Sony...

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)
Director: Kirby Dick

1975 saw the release of both Jaws and Rollerball. The former received a "PG" rating while the latter was rated "R."

At the time, I remember Norman Jewison, the director of Rollerball, complaining about the "R" rating and it's effect on possible box office. He cited Jaws and the fact that violence was somehow treated more leniently than sexual content.

"Caress a breast," Jewison groused, "and you get an 'R, stab that same breast and you get a 'PG'."

Not an inaccurate statement (then or now), but his point was somewhat diminished by the fact that the violence in Rollerball is clearly more prevalent than that in Jaws.

This was on my mind when watching This Film is Not Yet Rated, a 2006 documentary directed by Kirby Dick. The film takes on the curious and VERY secretive cabal that is the MPAA ratings board.

Dick does a good job of demonstrating how arbitrary and inconsistent the methods used by the ratings board are when it comes to assigning a rating.

There was a South Park episode called "The List" where the boys got entrenched in the process by which little girls derive various lists such as "cutest boy," "nicest teacher," "prettiest purse," etc. The methodology was comically shown to be incredibly political and bureaucratically immovable. ONCE a decision was made, however arbitrary or incorrect, it could not be changed.

My guess is that Trey Parker and Matt Stone were lampooning how MPAA ratings were arrived at since the two procedures seem somewhat similar.

The main complaint of filmmakers like Kevin Smith and John Waters is that an NC-17 rating is almost the kiss of box office death for a film because distributors are less likely to promote it. AND the major factor that seems to raise a film from a PG-13 rating to an NC-17 is sexual content. Furthermore, homosexual content is treated more severely by the board than similar heterosexual content.

Dick shows some film examples that indeed support his thesis. If he had spent more time developing these examples, his movie might have resonated more strongly with me.

HOWEVER, Dick spends an inordinate amount using the tired Michael Moore device of ambushing MPAA Ratings Board members, who try to maintain strict anonymity, on camera. While entertaining, a little of this goes a long way.

Dick also makes it personal by documenting the trouble he's having with the board getting the documentary itself rated.

Again, this illustrates the arbitrary nature of the process. But, it got to be as boring as watching that old 1960's clip of Lenny Bruce (a true victim of censorship) reading the transcripts of his obscenity trial in lieu of doing his act.

And there's a big difference between applying a rating to a movie and banning it. This is especially true in today's world of "unrated, director's cut" DVDs that anyone can rent at Blockbuster.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated shows that the current rating system is arbitrary, imperfect, and can affect a film's box office potential. BUT, the very fact that I was watching it proves that no one's voice was being silenced.

The filmmakers who were interviewed seemed like whiny teenagers who complain when their parents won't let them use the family car. Or the griping I hear from my kids when they want to get on MY computer (like right now).

It was hard to take John Waters as the "voice of reason" as he once made a film that ends with the hero eating dog shit fresh from a poodle's ass.

Maria Bello seemed overly dramatic when complaining about having to trim (no pun) a millisecond from a nude shot in The Cooler that showed her pubic hair. Sure, it was silly for the board to parse things so finely. But, I saw an uncut version of The Cooler, and the ending was a disappointment with or without Bello's muff scene intact (again, no pun).

Unfortunately, we live in a world where people need warnings on coffee cups to realize that the contents are hot and instructions on lawn mowers NOT to pick up them up while they're running. So, it's not surprising that movies would fall victim to the same sort of labeling restrictions.

As a father of four, I certainly would like SOME guidance.

Perhaps instead of ratings, maybe the MPAA could set up a website that just lists movie contents (20 utterances of "fuck," 3 killings, 2 breast shots, etc.) and let the viewers decide for themselves.

Of course, simply counting such things doesn't always demonstrate anything definitively. For instance, both The Wizard of Oz and Psycho show the same number of killings (two).

That old saying is true. I don't know what's obscene, but I know obscenity when I see it.

For what it's worth, I think that it's dollars not morals that drive the movie industry. I have no doubt that IF there were a market for it, the movie industry would produce and widely distribute films about puppies in blenders.

Dick and a lot of the people interviewed in This Film Is Not Yet Rated seem to forget that it's called "show BUSINESS."
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Grumpy Old Men

I love how the reporter from The New York Times, the paper that just did a hit piece on an "alleged" affair asks John McCain why he's so angry when she brings up a non-story from 2004.

From CBS News:

McCain Irked By Times Reporter (link)
On a flight to New Orleans, John McCain loses his patience with the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller, who quizzed him on a 2004 conversation with John Kerry about being Kerry's running mate.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hello, it's Me

The Hillary Clinton "Red Phone" ad begs for a number of punch lines. Here's mine:

(check out the shirt!!)

BTW, the ORIGINAL scare ad was LBJ's "Daisy H-Bomb" against Goldwater from 1964:

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Contaminated Comix

The material that came in for The New Yorker's "Cartoon Caption Contest" #134 was hazardous.

My two entries:

  • "Not tonight, I'm having a meltdown."

  • "Did you lock the front plutonium chamber door?"
Here is the list of winners:
  • "Don't sexual fantasies usually involve sex at some point?" --- BORING

  • "Next time can we just get flu shots like everyone else?" --- It's okay, but sort of off base for the cartoon.

  • "Not tonight, dear. I have acute radiation poisoning." --- similar to one of mine, but I prefer mine.

Read more!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sea of Love

Here are some actual pics posted on Plenty of Fish (a dating site).

They're great examples of what NOT to do when trying to stir up interest in yourself:

Welshdogg - this steamy shot makes him look like "Buffalo Bill," the killer from The Silence of the Lambs.

indiana01 - "Happiness is a warm gun."

Rom30 - Awwww, how romantic! He took this shot in a public restroom.

ianhouse - It's a shame that the only pic he had from from the security camera at Seven/Eleven.

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