It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Lineup Suggestions for JCVTV

Having a small amount of interest in the television industry (I used to spend at least 17 hours a day watching before I discovered the opposite sex), I was greatly enthused by Juan Carlos's declaration to start a new network. Traditionally NBC has been the home to variety entertainment, CBS to stodgy crime drama, ABC to sitcoms produced by Garry Marshall, Fox to programs primarily comprised of copious gratuitous sexual references, WB to people with short attention spans, and UPN to those who will watch any sort of crap, just to claim they are "different". I'm trying to imagine what JCVTV would be like in the astronomically unlikely event J.C.V. obtains the necessary capital and affiliates to get it off the ground, or for that matter to even purchase coffee mugs with the network logo. I have concluded that JCVTV will, of course, come to be known as the silly network. (Why not go the whole mutton JCV and rename it SillyTV -- While you're at it I hear from the folks at MTV that dog oriented logos are in. Dogs look good on coffee mugs!)

I have a few program ideas that have been floating around in my head for a few years, days, months, and some I'll make up right now, just to fill this bit out:

  • Law and Order: Paris Division - Dedicated gendarme's ply their trade cleaning up crime in the seedier parts of the City of Lights. They turn the various thugs, extortionists, and embezzlers they arrest over to France's finest legal prosecutors, who studiously build airtight cases against these criminal vermin, navigating the various twists and turns of character and event. At the dramatic climax of each program they take their cases to the French courts, where they are promptly overturned because the defendant is a member of the government. I see an easy 40 episodes a year, with plenty of room for renewal. Starring Jacques Chirac as Chief Justice LeFarge.
  • Jacko You Up - A reality series where parents irresponsible enough to allow their kids to sleep over with Michael Jackson are forced at gunpoint (necessary in this case) to live for a year in Neverland. Hosted by Bubbles, the embalmed wonder chimp.
  • Tom DeLay's Hammer Time - The tough Republican congressman verbally bashes, trashes, pimp-walks, and breakdances his political foes to the rhythmic stylings of Top 40 hip-hop hits. Produced by Russell Simmons' Def Jam.
  • The Esoteric and Abstruse Vernacular Rencontre - Average Americans are required to identify, spell, and use difficult and unusual words or recieve a series of painful and amusing consequences, including electric shocks, being immersed in chemical goo, and being forced to live for a year at Neverland (think of the crossover possibilities!). Hosted by William F. Buckley and Maya Angelou. Sponsored by R.I.F.
  • The Trumps - A reality series following Donald Trump and his new bride as they travel the world playing golf, filming MasterCard commercials, firing business school graduates on national television, and trying exotic new hairstyles. Hosted by Ozzy Osbourne.
  • Howard Dean's Cage of Rage - The tough Vermont Governor physically bashes, trashes, clotheslines, and pile-drivers his political foes to the energetic music of Green Day and Hootie and the Blowfish. Produced by the NRA.
  • Who Wants to Be a Billionaire - Regis Philbin returns for an even bigger prize in a new variation of America's favorite game show. The network ensures that no one actually wins the billion dollars by having all of the final questions revolve around great Cricket Test Matches of the 1950's, and FA Cup Winners before 1900.
  • T.J. Is a Hooker - An ageing cop turns gigolo for a series of elderly women, most of them ex-wives of Donald Trump, sharing with them the disappointments of worldly life. William Shatner reprises his legendary turn as the barrel-chested lothario with a tarnished badge. Sponsored by Priceline.com
  • Zimpter Fiforg's Challenge to the Man - Each week Zimpter appears to challenge the human race to do all sorts of amazing things. Sample episodes: Week seven - Zimpter challenges the people of Japan to wear women's underwear on their head and attend motocross rallies en masse. Week twelve - Zimpter challenges the people of South America to speak for a week in a Yiddish accent. Week nineteen - Zimpter challenges the people of Zimbabwe to spray shaving cream into Robert Mugabe's hand while he is asleep.
  • Late Night with Crispin Glover - The wacky and misunderstood character actor hosts a late night variety and talk show. Instead of delivering a monologue, Crispin opens each evening's show by inhaling a different substance, including saffron, leafy cilantro, pine nuts, granulated fiberglass, thumbtacks, and, on special occasions, an entire haggis. Hosted by Crispin Glover, with sidekick Bobcat "Firestarter" Goldthwait and bandleader Dee Snyder.

With a lineup like this UPN is toast.

New TV for the Generation that is New

TV is becoming like the biscuit that got a little too moist and then was leaved to sit on a cupboard shelf for the month, which is to say having gone rotten. Have you watched some of this what they are saying is Reality TV? I saw this one show where the fat celebrity are supposed to lose weight in one months time or be fed to the hippo at the Cleveland Zoo. Yes, more amazing to my eyes was the presence on that show of not only Biz Markie but an actual, live Baldwin. I think it was Horatio Baldwin, the most fabled fifth brother, who starred with ostrich egg...excuse me, Danny Devito, in that movie "Once More for the City," about a egg that comes to life and fall in love with a ugly man and go into the city to become a reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper called "The Daily Scrimmage." It was the so beautiful movie, actually, when that egg fall off a wall and crack open, that Baldwin tenderly tape him back together with duck's tape and carry him through the factory and off into the sunset. Anyway, Horatio Baldwin is now the older man with big stomach, and he on this show with Biz Markie trying to lose the weight in one month's time in the hopes that Biz get throwed to hippo. What a kind of a stupid show they are putting on the public!

So I have decided that the greatest idea for me to do to save television for once and for all is to start a new channel with a new level of higher entertainment value. I call it Jorge Carlito Viejo Television, JCVTV, and we will have only high quality shows. No more of this sort of, how you say, garbage shows like every other TV channel. I am open to suggestions. Right now I only have one idea. I call it "Carlito Saving Lives." It is about this tall man name Carlito who has the special power to be able to shoot rays of purest light from his toes. If someone gets touched by the purest light ray, they are saved from evil villains. So some old lady might be getting robbed in the alleyways of the night, and Carlito appear from the rooftop and shoots the ray of pure light into the alley. Then the villain dissolve, screaming, and old lady run away saved. And she will shout, "Thank you Carlito. You saving lives." because that is catchphrase of the show.

Anyway, more ideas for this channel are accepable. And good day to you all.`56=-

Bennifer - The magic that was

I'm feeling down about morons who slip stupid coded downloads into their blogs (all right, more like paste them on with the electronic equivalent of sloppy Elmer's glue that gets all over your fingers and winds up peeling off like the aftermath of a Death Valley sunburn)....WHEN, along comes a Yahoo! news story that lightens my spirits. The "Bennifer" engagement ring is up for sale.

Why would any reminder of the crashed, burned, trodden on, turned into a latrine relationship of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez appeal to me? Because it's like a penalty kick in football (soccer), a slow, hanging curveball in baseball, a first and goal at the one-inch line. It's like having a 90 pound weakling pick a fight with you. It's how George W. Bush would have felt if Dennis Kucinich had won the Democratic primary. These are easy targets. These are frozen ducks at 10 paces with a shotgun. Score!

I think the most interesting thing about the relationship was the tabloids choice of the name for the couple: "Bennifer". It is a singularly ridiculous pairing of their names, the kind of wordplay that could only have been accomplished by someone whose biggest previous challenge in newsprint was finding a way to combine the words "Bigfoot" and "love child" in the same sentence.

There are so many better possibilities: Ben-Lo, Jenffleck, J-leck, Af-Lo, Loffleck, Jennifen, Ben-pez, B.J. and the Bear. Why settle on something that nearly rhymes with "Winnifred", a word completely unsuitable for big-shot, celebrity scandal-mongering?

In truth I didn't follow the relationship that much, for the same reasons I don't follow trials like the Michael Jackson or Scott Peterson case (somewhere a Court TV reporter is praying they wind up in a cell together, just for the two-shot). It depressed the hell out of me.

I and Mrs. Fando took a tour of the BBC a few years ago and the guides mentioned Ms. Lopez's visit there, her large entourage and the several tiny Beeb green rooms they took up, her insistence that certain French luxuries be flown over during her short visit, and finally, most galling from my way of thinking, that Britney Spears was also on the BBC around that time, did two or three shows in her visit and was relatively normal, undemanding, and even earned the respect of those who met her.

Allow me to repeat myself: Britney Spears outclassed J-Lo. Britney "Let's get married for a few hours in Vegas" Spears. The same Britney Spears who once said "I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada." OK, she's not bright, but is apparently easier to get along with than Jennifer Lopez...though in all honesty they may have liked her better because her name was "Brit"-ney. (Somewhere, Her Royal Majesty Elizabeth the Second groans.)

This then was the woman Ben Affleck was drawn to. Was the attraction her insistence on being surrounded with a few dozen close friends, assistants, personal trainers, massusses, and bodyguards? Was Ben lonely as a child? Was it her ample posterior? Was he that obsessive and particular? Or did she just threaten to beat him about the head with a nightstick like that scene in "Out of Sight", if he didn't propose?

Well, it's over and now the ring's for sale for those wealthy individuals desperate enough for attention. "Look, I'm wearing the 'Bennifer' ring!" "OOOOH, they match your Madonna necklace and Evita Peron evening gown beautifully!" For some people, this ill-fated, star-crossed, cliche'-inducing romance can never be forgotten, so long as there are dinner parties to attend and snooty people who are easily impressed by the discarded dregs of Hollywood celebrity.

I expect the Trumps will top the bidding.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Friday - Not a Posty Day!

OK - It's 11:52 now and not a single post from any of our acknowledged participants (Misters Fiforg and Jose will be hearing from me about the actual participation part.)

11:54 and nothing. Stew's computer is on the fritz. Juan Carlos is surely doing a night shoot for some new Waste of Time Production.

It's been quite a day. Day job (what you thought we get paid for doing this? Would that someone make that dream come true! By you I mean anyone who happened to stumble across this.)

11:56 - there must be a Friday post. I cannot let a day go by. It must be done. (Mutters old Yul Brynner bit from "the Ten Commandments".

11:57 now - cutting it close. Too many typos and corrections. Nearly 11:58. At least my PC clock is fast.

This isn't really funny I know but there is a certain manic-obessiveness to it. 11:59 approaching.

Send it man! Send it!


**************

OK - I had added a bunch of fairly obsessive stuff, 1ncluding a fairly innocent use of the word "titter", and culminating in the blogs first William Shatner references (which no self-respecting comedy blog should be without for long, be they Trek, Hooker, The Transfigured Man, or "sabotage"...this will have to do for the honors I'm afraid). Trying to be clever I thought I'd throw a few links to absurd blogs in just for fun and went looking. Unfortunately I came across one, I will remember the sparkling pink lips forever now as they are burned into my brain. This blog had a bit of code worked in it that immediately thrust a window up demanding that I "upgrade" Internet Explorer. No escaping it, no exiting out of the window, just crap code in a pathetic attempt to get someone to download spyware or keystroke copying software on to their machine. Highly illegal and the mark of a cretinous hack of a blogger.

I'm not saying every blog with sparkling lips is to blame here, but should I run across this particular blog again while "next blogging" (Can the people at Blogger take a little responsibility here and filter out these nitwits and criminals?) I can only promise a good verbal thrashing and specific identification of the nimrod git(s) who crashed my session.

This might be much funnier if I weren't so angry. I should set Cakey the Jacked-Up Clown on them. No, you really don't want to know who Cakey is, either of you.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Fight! Tasers! Screams!..."Hey! Where's my cell phone?"

This CNN/SI story, about a fight that broke out at a girls basketball game, would on most occasions seem quite depressing. However, the story ends with one of the cheerleaders putting things into sober perspective.

"People were screaming and running," Prattville cheerleader [name omitted] said. "Girls lost their cell phones. Keys got lost. It's something I will never forget."

I too will now be forever haunted by the image of mini-skirted cheerleaders slowly moving up and down the hardwood, hunched over like baseball catchers, their voices whimpering in that excruciating high pitch that only they can make, hoping for a glimpse of their Nokias. The horror.

(As an aside, I'm wondering how many young men reached that page, saw the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model ads all over the place, and immediately produced an image in their heads of lanky, bikini-clad cheesecake going at each other like Greco-Roman wrestlers in a mosh pit? Not that I was thinking that myself, of course.)

Stew must be psychic!


Well, that didn't take long did it? Stew, you're a prognosticating genius! Whippets, Beagles...if I didn't know personally that you were an intierant male truss model, I'd swear you worked for MTV!

I suppose there will be some legal wrangling between the network and the Schultz estate before they can go full bore though. Posted by Hello

Are we trendsetters, or what?

The same week Stew writes a couple of posts involving whippets, MTV2 is relaunched with a logo resembling nothing less than a mutated two-headed whippet.

I suppose the original MTV will soon sport a new logo that will resemble some sort of single-headed beagle, and Mr. Miller will be the toast of the town!

Am I obsessing on whippets?

I hope not but I did find out that these gentlemen wrote a wonderful song about them in the early 1980s, too bad about the hats though. I was lucky enough to find the lyrics when digging around the internet.

Whippet!

Crack that whip
Give the pup the slip
Step on a snack
Bring Kennel Ration back
When a problem comes along
You must whippet
Before the dog digs up a bone
You must whippet
When other dogs are wrong
Buy a whippet...Now whippet

Good dog
Not too smart
Easy groomin’
Straight hair
Moves fast
Try to detect it
It’s not too late
To whippet
Whippet, good


When a good dog can’t be found
You must whippet
You will never live it down
Unless you whippet
No dog gets away
Just like a whippet
I say whippet Whippet, good
I say whippet
Whippet, good


Crack that whip
Give the pup the slip
Step on a snack
Bring Kennel Ration back
When a problem comes along
You must whippet
Before the dog digs up a bone
You must whippet
When other dogs are wrong
Buy a whippet
Now whippet


Good dog
Not too smart
Easy groomin’
Straight hair
Moves fast
Try to detect it
It’s not too late
To whippet
Into shape
Good dog
Not too smart
Easy groomin’
Straight hair
Moves fast
Try to detect it
It’s not too late
To whippet
Whippet, good

Now if I can just find a good song about beagles.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The State of the Union - Predictions

All right, it's nearly over by now, but I haven't watched a word yet because I've too busy venting about noisy restaurant-going blowhards with tiny, emasculating cellphones. However, there are 7 completely non-partisan sets of predictions I can safely make without having seen a word:


  1. The President will say that the state of the Union is "strong". He will say this in one form or another at least 72 times. At least one half of the chamber will applaud vigorously after each time, as though they had just heard it for the first time and it sounded like a really great idea. Dick Cheney will nod in a supportive and non-cardiovascularly threatening way from his secret bunker in Juneau.
  2. The Republicans will agree that the state of the Union is strong but point out that it could be much stronger and that the President will be cooperating with Congress to make it so. Somewhere, at least one of them will quietly kiss Harry Reid's shoe. (This person may or may not be Arlen Spector.) At least one of the Republicans will announce he is running for President, but "don't let this get in the way of the President's message". Tom DeLay will hit someone with his shoe. Somewhere, Newt Gingrich will be commenting on a talk show about something vaguely related to the speech by means of a personal anecdote.
  3. The Democrats will say that the state of the Union is "not strong" and that they have been deceived by the President into voting for things they discovered much later that they really didn't want because they make Howard Dean angry. Chris Matthews will point out on his television show that exhaling makes Howard Dean angry. Hillary Clinton will respond to any questions about the 2008 Presidential election with a girlish titter of a laugh. Somewhere, Tom Daschle will be silently weeping and writing his memoirs.
  4. The Libertarians will be standing outside the Capitol, like the unpopular kids at school outside the rich kids' party. They will then get tired and retreat to their homes to continue drafting new political manifestos and programming in COBOL.
  5. Those in the Green Party not sitting in trees somewhere in Oregon, will be making out in the back of an old VW van, repainted to make it look vaguely like "The Mystery Machine". At least 12 of them will actually be wearing orange ascots.
  6. The press will make at least 75 references to the President's charming ability to string more than one sentence together, 45 references to the word "quagmire" (at least 7 of those will be in reference to Vice-President Cheney's wardrobe), 62 references to the President's National Guard service (with the exception of Dan Rather...every time he stops momentarily to loudly grind his teeth is the precise moment that such a reference would have occurred there), 22 uses of the word "smirk", and at least 4 references to Hillary Clinton's girlish laugh. Fox News will run a musical highlights reel of the speech. Aaron Brown of CNN will snort in derisive laughter every time someone uses the words "Bush" and "statesman" in the same sentence.
  7. The average U.S. citizen will sit quietly at home, wondering why "That 70's Show" was preempted.

****************

Update: Dick Cheney was actually at the speech, nodding in a supportive, non-cardiovascularly threatening way. I'll claim half-credit then. No word on the rumours that Condeleeza Rice watched the entire speech safely ensconced in a satellite in geo-synchronous orbit above Billings, Montana.

Shut up!!! Will you shut up you obnoxious moron?...

...At least that what I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs tonight.

I, Mrs. Fando, and the Littlest Fando were out at one of our favorite local restaurants this evening. Normally this is a nice, relaxing way to enjoy ourselves and have a little conversation, provided a television is not within a 270 degree visual radius of the littlest Fando, who will sit and stare at it as though her eyeballs were connected to the screen with taut fishing line.

This evening, to our collective dismay (all right, the littlest Fando was engrossed in the cheap games included with our cellphone package) we were accompanied by a loud, obnoxious, garrulous fellow with a cellphone. I say accompanied because, although he was sitting in the booth next to us, he sounded as though he were inside our heads, speaking loudly into a microphone attached directly to our aural nerves with rusty barbed wire. Had he been actually facing us, I would have expected the plastic glass barrier behind the Littlest Fando to have exploded like one of the televisions in the finale of Antonioni's "Zabriske Point".

In addition to a kind of driving only seen in "The Blues Brothers" and Ron Howard's earliest film work, one depressing side effect of cellphones is to cause their users to increase their vocal volume by at least 50 decibels. Unfortunately, as the fellow in the next booth already had a voice like a busted muffler, he would have easily drowned out a jet engine. In fact, he would have drowned out a jet engine equipped with amplification provided by Pete Townshend.

I'm never quite sure what to do in these circumstances. One option is to turn around and ask the party if they could, perhaps, speak in slightly more quiet tone, if that's not asking too much. I felt it would have been a waste of time on this occasion because he wouldn't have heard a word I said. He would have been sitting there, jabbering away like a jackhammer with a second grade vocabulary, watching me silently mouthing words at him.

I briefly contemplated beating him to death with the cellphone. As I am a Christian, that was plainly unacceptable from a moral perspective. Even had I been completely without moral scruples, there is the unsettling problem of explaining such action to the police. ("Umm... yes, he slipped and cracked his skull on the phone... yes, it happened 22 times in a row before he finally snuffed it. Well, we tried to help him, but he couldn't hear a word we said.")

Fortunately the person in question was not Jack Nicholson or Eddie Murphy (both of whom, I think, would have been far quieter and more respectful) or we would have spent the rest of the evening explaining to the Littlest Fando how some words are not considered appropriate for dinner, the playground, young children, or in this case even merchant seamen.

Perhaps the most annoying part of the whole situation was the apparent mirth of the conversation occurring on the phone. Unlike the very skillful one-sided phone conversations with which Bob Newhart gained early fame, this conversation appeared to be one of those where even the entire transcript, delivered by professional comics in a room full of nitrous oxide, would have been dull enough to kill a hippopatamus at 200 yards. Except that for the participants it seems as though the laughs would never end. Every other sentence was punctuated, more often interrrupted, by a series of painful guffaws. I'm sure you've seen the type before, the person who can barely stifle a laugh before getting halfway through telling us whatever is supposed to be so funny. Only in this case there were apparently two of them, polluting the microether with half-delivered comedic banter that would have invited a broken bottle beating from an otherwise sympathetic audience on open-mic night at a comedy club. At one point I half expected one of the waiters to shove a taquito down the man's throat, but instead they only offered his party more salsa.

Towards the end of the phone conversation I was vainly wishing that the restaurant was equipped with the old "Cone of Silence" from the "Get Smart" television series. This device would come down on the heads of the people using it as a means of keeping their converstaion private and inaudible to outsiders. The downside was that they couldn't hear each other as well.
In our case however, it would have been a vast improvement on the evening. In a small Mexican restaurant somewhere tonight, the person going through suggestion cards is going to be wondering just what a cone of silence is and where they might purchase one?


Let us put an end to fowl humor!!

Earl you’ve hit it in a nutshell, well maybe more than a few nutshells. Fowl humor is destroying the basic fabric of our society. Strange talking toucans, budgies, boobies (not talking about Lohan here), finches, and spoonbills attempting to pass themselves off as funny. Of course I was always a fan of Foghorn Leghorn because he could really turn a sentence with his wit and pluck…sorry bad word there. However, your average fowl is good for maybe a laugh or two at best and that is only when he has a bell or can say something like “here’s a pretty boy” in the voice of Gilbert Gottfried.

If you want funny in my opinion buy a whippet. There is humor at its best, watching him chase his tail and go at it with his reflection in a mirror. That’s comedy my friend. So as far as I am concerned, up with canine humor and down with fowl humor. Although I’m sure there are guaranteed to be some loons at the Super Bowl, mercifully one of them won’t be Janet Jackson.

*********

Update - Whippets do funny well, they don't necessarily do poetry well. I think this guy is spending too much time with the whippet. That doesn't sound good, does it?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A foul humour

At least that's what I'm in after witnessing Arsenal go down at home to the "Team-that-shall-not-be-named". I'm hardly in a mood to trifle with, much less sincerely think about the hallucinogenic wonderland known as television advertising, much less the million-dollar lizard-fests that pass for witty marketing during the Super Bowl. That is, of course, the perfect mood from which to comment on them in this particular blog.

I'll go Stew two better and say that there seem to be 5 different techniques that the trained marmosets employed by advertising agencies use to attract people to a given product:

1. Sex
2. Really stupid people who love the product in an unreasonable, and slightly perverse way
3. Attacks on the self-esteem of those who, for their own generally sound reasons, think the product is a big waste of time. I'm talking about an even bigger waste of time than say, buying Lindsey Lohan a turtleneck sweater, or giving Michael Douglas "The Joy of Celibacy" for a vacation read. I should point out that most of these attacks take the form of making people feel insecure about their own attractiveness to the opposite sex. In other words: sex
4. Wacky animals and other cartoon characters
5. Sex

So one conclusion a sensible person could reach is that advertising agencies are not trying to sell their products to the general public, so much as they are trying to sell them to Caligula.

Besides the appalling Cialis ads (Note to the ad agency: The sight of senior citizens informing us about the renewed vigor of their love lives, while no doubt personally fullfilling to them, is having the exact opposite effect on the rest of us that your product is intended to produce ...on second thought, I suppose that's a brilliant business move), my least favorite commercials are the ones where two idiotic young males devise ways in which to cheat each other out of beer. These methods usually involve a complexity that would make Wile E. Coyote's head swim. However intricate the plots though, this type of ad only appeals to desperate alchoholics, as the rest of us are intelligent enough to realize that we can simply drive to the nearest liquor store, supermarket, or convenience mart and choose from one of the 750 brands of beer on sale there.

Super Bowl ads are of course a breed apart from regular advertising. Because so much money is being spent to acquire time slots guaranteed to be viewed by millions of people, who aren't otherwise occupied wiring their ale-laden fridges with high-voltage inducing booby traps, the commercials are designed to be of the highest quality.

This is, of course, rubbish. Advertising executives are like the children in primary school who are solely interested in attention and don't care whether it's good or bad attention. Even as we speak, I'm certain there are furry advertising executives plotting various "wardrobe malfunctions", ways to combine the cuteness of a taco-scarfing chihuahua with the charm of an insurance-selling gecko, and calculating just how many severed limbs people can stomach as two blokes lock down their last six-pack of brew.

Of course, if they leave anything out, the Oscars are just a few weeks away.

I'll have what the squirrel is having.

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The regular NFL season is over and you settle down on a cool winter’s night to watch the biggest event of the season. That’s right, the Super Bowl commercials are here. Nothing all year can produce the excitement of finding out whether $2 million has been blown on another worthless 30-second campaign.

Over the last thirty years the formula has changed for what makes a good “Super Bowl commercial”. Originally, all you needed was a popular football player ridding himself of the scourge of dandruff, prancing around in uncomfortably tight slacks, or tossing his blood and perspiration soaked jersey to a young lad. These days most of the commercials take one of three tacks:

1. Computer generated frogs, lizards, trolls, lemurs, or any number of other beast who speak amazingly well for reptiles, monkeys, fowl, etc., come to life to extol the virtues of product X while either killing or maiming themselves or an unlucky human being. Somehow this is supposed to entice John Q. Citizen to buy a hearty brew, I assume so that he can become intoxicated enough to see the blood thirsty menagerie listed above in his head.

2. A popular artist (I use this term in its loosest connotation), exposing more flesh than your standard B-movie actress, belts out a shallow song about Cola Z. Although the vast majority of the song is probably incomprehensible, it is packed with enough double entendre to make the Canterbury Tales look like McGuffy’s Reader. The past few years the diva (I also use this term loosely, not knowing what it really means) du jour has been that dame of adolescent puppy love, Britney Spears. While I’m sure young Britney is a wonderful person, her music and hip gyrating leave that powdery, baseball card bubblegum taste in your mouth. Now that I think about it, maybe that WILL sell more syrupy, carbonated beverages to cleanse the palates of Bob Doles around the world.

3. The newest bright idea in Super Bowl advertising involves the company giving the perception they blew the money on an inferior commercial. Not only does this take the imagination of an earthworm; it is a slap in the face of the consumer. What’s next, we fade in to an unidentified hand giving us the finger followed by the logo of the corporation. Maybe a good commercial would have the CEO of whatever mega-corporation mooning us while burning a pile of money on his desk.

I must admit that, as a culture, we have probably caused most of the problems listed above. Americans expect our commercials to shock and mesmerize us into an uneasy feeling that if we don’t buy the product we are somehow missing out. “If Budweiser is good enough for a chorus line of dancing squirrels in G-strings then, by golly, it’s good enough for me.”

My greatest fear is that a thousand years from now when the vaults of Super Bowl commercials are uncovered our generation will be vilified as a dim-witted, tone deaf, and shallow lot who worshipped beer drinking chimpanzees and comely pop singers. Instead of being known for the works of Van Gogh or the inventiveness of a Thomas Edison, our era of history will be defined by Britney Spears and a few lager-swilling vermin. On the other hand it may be better than Ray Lewis pitching Hagar slacks.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Going Blue!

No, it's not what you think it is, although I'm sure many of you are wringing your hands in disappointment that this post contains no nudity or explicit references whatsoever, not even Lindsey Lohan's bust, which seems to everywhere else but this blog. This isn't that kind of site, (unless you count the link in Stew's post to a Deney Terrio website, which is simply obscene).

No, I'm referring to the photos of Iraqi citizens holding up their blue ink-stained fingers in celebration of the election on Sunday. Regardless of your politics (which is not the purpose of this blog - all are welcomed here, except for Nazis, Osama Bin Losin's group and all other totalitarian posterior sphincters of the world), the sight of previously oppressed people celebrating the idea of voting in a free election, whether or not you think it was legitimate, is inspiring. People all over the world are staining their index finger blue as a non-partisan show of solidarity with the people of Iraq.

All right, a long setup, I admit, but as full of joy as I am for Iraqis, these fellows have taken the concept just a bit too far.

****************

Update: I've just been informed that these blokes have been blue for quite a long time now. It must be some sort of skin condition. Either that or they've known about that Deney Terrio site much longer than Stew and I have.

Where is MC Hammer when you need him?

I, as many Americans, (except maybe Ted Kennedy) applaud and rejoice with the Iraqi people over their historic step toward democracy yesterday. One cannot help but feel a sense that what they are experiencing is what our own founders experienced over two centuries ago. The exhilaration evident in the scenes coming out of the country yesterday leads me to two thoughts. First, excitement and even a misty eyed appreciation of what it takes to brave dangerous circumstances and vote, then to proudly display their ink-stained fingers. Secondly, Iraqis can’t dance. Now I certainly will give them a ten for enthusiasm but there is not a Baryshnikov or Nureyev among them. I would dare to say not even a Deney Terrio graced the streets of Baghdad yesterday.

Now one can understand during life under Saddam’s brutal regime they probably didn’t get to watch much "American Bandstand" or "Club M-TV" but one would hope a bootleg copy would have made it through. I’m sure Al-Jazeera and Iraqi TV were not replete with "Dance Fever" repeats and who would want to watch something like “Chemical Ali’s Dance Party”. But now as freedom spreads its wings in Iraq maybe Debbie Allen can show up from time to time to give them a lesson.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Odds Bodkins!

I don't really have a post here. I just enjoy writing "odds bodkins". The look of it impresses me, sort of the way seeing the words "mallophagous" or "unstercorated" in print would excite Anthony Lewis or William F. Buckley.

While we tend to avoid politics on this site, simply because a blog whose readership is naught (including the posters apparently --I need to speak with Mr. Google about the statistics-keeping here), can't afford to alienate half of its potential readership, the election in Iraq happened today.

An honest to goodness election in Iraq, regardless of your political persuasion (all right, Baathists and violent Islamic Radicals excepted), should be worth an "Odds Bodkins!" in a positive way. God bless that troubled country.

There is, by the way, no truth to the rumor that Mickey Rooney placed third in the choice of constitutional delegates there. I just want to quash that right now. It was David Hasselhoff. Or Dan Marino. I can never tell them apart.

The home life of the mime

It must be terrible to be the spouse of a mime. Imagine this person, walking around all day in the terrible cold in winter, or the sweltering heat of July, caked in makeup Tammy Faye Bakker rejected as "over the top", and unable to say a blessed thing about it.

The average person would walk in the house, gently close the door (after making a show of closing an imaginary door, for the benefit of the neighbors, I suppose) and then begin to swear in a loud voice like Jack Nicholson in "The Last Detail". I expect the frozen and/or runny makeup would only intensify the horrific quality of the event, sort of like having Insane Klown Posse' do a live performance in your home, only in the voice of the person you promised to "love, honor, and cherish" (and "obey" for those of you who didn't write your own vows, wear paisley tuxedos, or get married in the nude at Berkeley).

I expect the average span of a mime's marriage is between 3 to 6 months, depending on whether they get married during a temperate season or not. I should add that for female mimes this would be no different. Most males married to a lady mime would tend to find the thought of their loved one arriving at home covered in exotic clown makeup, and swearing like a mafioso sailor either strangely cute or arousing in a peculiar way. (That could just be me though.) Nonetheless, most women who've spent an entire day in such a condition aren't going to put up with such nonsense. Come to think of it, where female mimes are concerned, there is probably a very high degree of female on male domestic violence.


Starting the Trend, Mr. Myself

I think perhaps the fair it would be to admit that I started the new trend of this week which is what we might call the poem. Lots of person all of the sudden are writing poem about their emotion of the heart which they feel inside of them at the state of the world today. How can I possibly let this trend go away the way Mr. Milhouse Nixon let the secret tapes go away from his White House into the court records? I can't do it. I have in my heart so many feelings that I want you to understand the way Adam Sandler understand the sacred history of Mummenschanz. Here is a poem I write because so many emotions welling up in my bent heart of JCV.


Mimes Hitting Everyone with Secret Tears
by JCV


When the man with the white, white paint face approach,
he have gloves on hands and beret on head.
He look like Night of the Silent Dead.
He begin to act like box surrounding him,
like invisible rope being pulled toward him,
He climb ladder that no one can see.
Who can this white, white man be?
He jerk around like robot man,
but I getting too uncomfortable with this garbage.
I slap him across this white, white face with loaf of bread.
Yes, slap him across the painted, painted head.
He didn't bled. He just spin around and sigh a lot.
Why peoples of this nature in the parking lot?
Don't the police come and arrest them?
I can't eat that bread now. It break on his head.
Two piece of it fall on the ground, and it have paint on it,
white, white head paint all over bread like butter,
gross paint butter on my broken loaf of bread, angry words I mutter,
"You cursed stupid white face paint quiet monster in the parking lot."
He follow me home, still pulling invisible rope, tying unseeable knot,
still surrounded in the box no one can see, still climb the ladder,
the clear ladder, all the way to my house, he never leave.
He is in the bathtub now, him sitting there with no sound, I cannot believe,
just sitting in water, climbing ladder, in the clear box, the rope,
just sitting, white, white paint face, bread crumb on cheek, biting the soap,
quiet, quiet, white paint face, never speaking, in bathtub.
Sometimes I slap the face, but he never leave, never leave.
He never leave.
Never leave.

the end