Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Bush invigorates America's youth

Dave Letterman has amassed a number of great clips showing George W. Bush in a less-than-flattering light (my favorite thus far has been the clip of him looking to make sure he's not being watched, and then spitting in disgusting fashion. While I'm on the subject, check out this apologist for Bush's practice of the "manly art" of spitting).

While the main attraction last night was Janet Jackson, the presidental clip was absolute gold, showing Bush delivering a speech with a fat kid standing behind him yawning, then stretching, checking his watch, shifting his footing, cracking his neck with both hands, executing a few deep bends at the waist to stay awake, and finally falling asleep on his feet before being jerked awake by applause and joining in. Never in my life have I seen anyone so bored and restless.

Update: According to Jam! Showbiz, CNN first incorrectly reported that the White House denied the veracity of the clip, then later retracted this and affirmed that it was real after all. Letterman heard the first report but not the second, which didn't air until he was taping his show, and ended up going on a rant about how the White House was trying to make him look like a dope. Then he was eventually passed an update about the retraction and complained, "Now I've called the White House liars, and you know what that means -- they're going to start looking into my taxes!"

Oh, and apparently the kid can be seen in C-SPAN's footage of the speech.

Further Update: Here's a Realplayer clip of the actual clip. And another one of what went on the next night.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Jan and Dean off the airwaves

Surf radio king Jan Berry -- one half of Jan and Dean -- is dead at age 62, of lingering effects related to the 1966 car crash that derailed his career. One hopes that the grief of singing partner Dean Torrence is ameliorated by the fact that the male-female ratio in Surf City has now shot well above the already-advantageous two girls for every boy.

In happier news (which I heard thanks to Jay "Scoops" Pinkerton), Toronto shock radio DJ Dean Blundell has been suspended without pay, along with cohorts Jason Barr and Todd Shapiro, after Jackass regular Steve-O paid a visit to the Edge 102.1 FM studios in which he "urinated on the studio floor and performed a gag he called Unwrapping the Mummy, using duct tape and his genitalia." (In perhaps bigger news: I had been under the impression that Steve-O had been the only one to survive the filming of Jackass: The Movie; however, he was miraculously accompanied by Chris "Party Boy" Pontius and Jason "Wee Man" Acuña.)

One might say, "But it's just radio, right? You can't actually see it, so what's the problem?" Well, aside from the studio audience who apparently has nothing better to do in the morning than come watch a radio show where the studio audience can't even at least hope to get their dirty faces on TV, there's the matter of the studio's Webcam.

Program director Alan Cross -- already an infinitely cooler DJ than Blundell, thanks to his brilliant series "The Ongoing History of New Music" in which he shows he knows his shit so thoroughly that the producers of Rock & Roll Jeopardy quake in fear at the very thought of him picking up the buzzer -- immediately called down to the studio to demand that the show be stopped. When that didn't work, Cross got very cross indeed; he sent security to physically remove the guests and suspended and fined the DJs. Barely in the job for two months, Cross is already kicking ass and taking names.

And no ass needed to be kicked off Toronto radio more than that crass dolt Blundell, who has unsurprisingly received prior complaints and is singlehandedly responsible for making me turn off morning radio for good. Just one of a seemingly countless number of third-rate Howard Stern knockoffs that infest North American airwaves, Blundell neglects only to rip off the the part of Stern's act known as "being halfway funny." (Well, that, and the fact that Stern actually has a chance to affect the world around him -- it's very possible that the 2004 Presidental election will be affected by his relentless Bush-bashing.) That doesn't mean there isn't a lot of laughter coming out of Blundell's show -- it's just all coming from him and his cronies. Listening to the show, you get an inescapable feeling that you missed the private joke that they're all hee-hawing about, but that it's probably at the expense of you, the listener. You also get an inescapable feeling that you want to punch Blundell in the face.

Anyway, in short: Blundell is a jerkoff. I wanted him off my radio. Now I've got what I want. Mr. Cross, let's make it permanent.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Ask Oxford; Receive answer from Lynn

I was just browsing through the FAQ section of Ask Oxford, the online presence of the Oxford English dictionary, and I've found an error: One entry reads:

There are allegedly three words in the English language that contain two u's in a row - one is vacuum, do you know what the others are?

There are three originally Latin words, apart from vacuum, containing -uu- in use in English. The common one is continuum; the less common are menstruum and triduum.

However, I can think of another word that contains uu: duumvir (and its other forms, such as duumvirate), which refers to a leader of a system of government in which two people jointly hold power.

Not good, Oxford. But at least the site's handling of that annoying "-gry" riddle that I keep getting sent is on the ball.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Toes on the nose, bros!

There are a couple of annoying things about the current Old Navy commercial. First, there's the surfer dude who yells, "Toes on the nose, bros!" He sounds like an utter moron, but every time he yells it, it crawls inside my brain and won't come out. Unless it's through my mouth, that is, as I'm somehow compelled to parrot this asinine catchphrase in my worst Southern Californian accent. Also, if you keep watching after he says it, he and the other people riding on his board kind of bop around in this synchronized idiot surfing dance.

The other thing is the announcer who says, "With prices on the down low, Old Navy's got the most from coast to coast." Now I don't claim to be "with it" when it comes to the latest "hip" slang -- I don't need to claim this, since it's widely known that I am -- but I happen to know that "down low" doesn't mean "low", as Old Navy seems to think it does. It means "secret". So Old Navy is actually saying that their prices are secret, which clearly isn't true, since their website helpfully lists reasonable prices for a wide variety of stock.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Cars Can't Escape

I just stopped by Wilco's official website to see when the new album was coming out (answer: June 8), and discovered a nice little treat: While cleaning out their loft, they found a finished version of "Cars Can't Escape", an outtake from the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot sessions, and they've made it available for download in MP3 and MP4 formats.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Jesus Christ, fashion plate

As you probably know, Jesus is big right now, thanks to Mad Mel's snuff film. Those who aren't rushing out to see it are causing havoc in front of the theatres through excited radio interviews and giving away crucial plot details.

But now you can have fun at home with the Christ. Thanks to Jesus Dress Up, you can outfit him, paper-doll-style in any number of outfits, from ballerina to rave kid.

(Update: CNN reports that The Passion of the Christ was bumped out of the top spot at the box office this weekend by Dawn of the Dead. Of course, these films are not so dissimilar, both being gory splatter flicks about reanimated corpses.)

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Hey kids, I've got one about a ten-inch pianist

I'm a lover of victimless mail fraud. To me, nothing beats it for sheer entertainment.

So I was delighted to find out about The Senator Prank over at The premise: The proprietors of the site sent out a letter to all 100 members of the US Senate pretending to be a 10-old-boy with aspirations of a career in comedy, and asking each to include his or her favorite joke on the included response form.

Amazingly enough, many responded, including such high-profile figures as John McCain, Tom Daschle, Orrin Hatch, Rick Santorum, and Democratic presidental candidate John Kerry (at least, one of Kerry's aides responded). Some were funny (There's a reason McCain hosted Saturday Night Live, after all), some merely responded with lame excuses as to why they couldn't think of any jokes (Santorum not wanting to admit that the only jokes he's heard lately have him as their butt, thanks to sex columnist Dan Savage). Hillary Clinton, Arlen Specter, Trent Lott, and Ted Kennedy, on the other hand, couldn't be bothered to respond at all. Pretty lame, guys.

Upon reflection, my favorite response is that of Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who includes not only a kid-friendly gag, but also a stirring, inspirational call to arms:

Q: Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?
A: He didn't have any guts!

Always have the guts to stand up for what you believe in.

Children of Maryland, you're lucky indeed to have a great lady and role model like that as your senator.

This just in: Courtney Love is crazy

Letterman is on right now, and Courtney Love is melting down. We're talking Drew Barrymore's flashing crossed with Farrah Fawcett's bizarre behavior crossed with Madonna's dirty mouth and complete refusal to get off the stage. And she's dropping so many names I'm frankly surprised not to have been mentioned yet. I guarantee you'll be hearing more about this.

Update: Sure enough, the media was on this. The San Diego Union-Tribute has a good summary. Strangely enough, I'd forgotten that the FCC is a little sensitive to breast-baring after the Janet Jackson Superbowl debacle, so I'm sure more will be forthcoming on this issue. And as an encore, Courtney added to her current legal woes by getting arrested later yesterday night after injuring a patron at a surprise show at a NYC nightclub.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Just add it on to the hot-rod death toll

I find it to be a little contradictory that I don't particularly like watching baseball, but I enthusastically enjoy reading about it. Actually, maybe that's not so weird. Lots of people like reading about World War II, but wouldn't have liked being there very much. Anyway, John Shiffert's 19 to 21 Baseball... Then and Now is as good a website as I've ever seen on the subject of baseball history.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

The common touch

While I was sitting near the door in the Brass Taps Pizza Pub on the Danforth last night waiting for Jay, I'm pretty sure that national NDP leader Jack Layton entered and walked past me. Seeing the flicker of recognition in my eyes, he had a little flicker of being recognized in his own eyes but played it cool. The woman with him was totally beaming at me with an I'm-with-the-only-politician-who-actually-looks-good-with-a-mustache look on her face.

I now know I'll be voting NDP in the next federal election. I was already predisposed against Prime Minister Paul Martin because his face features those irritating Nathan Lane eyebrows and a contast look of discomfort/constipation, and he shares a name with a jackass former boss of mine. But now I'm voting for Layton because because there's just no way that Paul Martin drinks in the same bars I do.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Which again proves my theory: Germans love David Hasselhoff, but that's just part of a general pattern of strangeness.

My friend Elizabeth sent me this link to what seems to be an academic essay on The Sexual Fantasies of Gummy Bears. I have to say that I read it and said "Guh?" I'm not sure I get it. The writer, a Dr. Nicola Doering (or Döring, if you prefer) seems to be impressively credentialed, despite having also written about Ally McBeal.

Is she serious (albeit insane)? Is it some kind of deadpan parody of academic research? Or are Germans just plain weird?

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Elan Mastai: A Tiger Beat Exclusive

Ever since the abhorrent and overexposed Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez relationship began to disintegrate amid charges of infidelity, I've been crediting my old school chum Elan Mastai for busting up Bennifer. Here's how it went down:

1. Flush from the success of his Hollywood screenwriting debut (the improbable skateboarding monkey movie MVP 2: Most Vertical Primate), Elan, who is one charming motherfucker, fast-talks his way into a gig writing the screenplay for the videogame adaptation Alone in the Dark. (Check out the debate over Elan's suitability for such a job here; I'm going to weigh in on the pro-Elan side, since he's not only a talented and funny guy, but also smart enough to seek advice from his geekier videogame-playing pals, then name characters after them.)

2. Filming of Alone in the Dark commences in Vancouver, starring Christian Slater.

3. A visiting Affleck hits a local strip club with Slater, and allegedly cheats on Lopez with an exotic dancer.

4. Amid a firestorm of publicity, the impending Affleck/Lopez wedding is called off, and the relationship deteriorates irreparably. Teeth are gnashed. Clothing is rended. Lives and careers are destroyed. I am pleased.

So, had Elan not written the screenplay for Alone in the Dark, Bennifer might still be America's most public irritant. I take his role in destroying their relationship as a personal favor. Thank you, my friend -- a nation is in your debt.

Anyway, this is all brought up by the fact that Elan has turned up in the news in an MSNBC story: It turns out that he and Slater are working on a screenplay based on the strip-club incident. Congratulations, Elan. You are indeed "one happenin' guy."

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The return of G.I. Joe

Oh, happy day! Fensler Films has a new website, and it's got nearly all the G.I. Joe PSAs, all conveniently on one page. What could be be better? How about the fact that some of them are new and previously unseen?

I'm so happy I could shout porkchop sandwiches!

Listed on BlogShares