Friday, February 29, 2008

Exclusive! Hillary Clinton challenges Voting Results

by Ricky Sprague, exclusively for PCMR Newswire:

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's campaign has expressed its intention to possibly challenge the results of voting.

My sources tell me that aides to Clinton have stated that they were alarmed by the fact that their candidate has fallen behind in the Democratic delegate count, and that she hasn't actually won the nomination. Specifically, Clinton aides questioned the idea that Barack Obama could be getting more votes than she is.

Clinton political director Guy Cecil has asked party officials to explain to him, in writing, why Barack Obama should have more delegates than Clinton. "If it's simply a matter of Senator Obama getting more votes than Senator Clinton, or being more popular, then that's something we need to seriously look at challenging."

He went on to add that the campaign would consider filing a lawsuit against the Democratic party if Mrs Clinton didn't win the nomination, but quickly added that the campaign had no intention of considering filing any lawsuits, and denied making such a statement.

"Now you're putting words in my mouth," he is alleged to have said.

Carrie Pugsky contributed to this report.

March Is National Bestness Month. George Orwell Understood This.

It’s possible that my learned readers are learned enough to have heard of a writer called George Orwell. For you information, he was a British writer, and his real name was Eric Blair, but he wrote books about animals and people starving under the name George Orwell. Perhaps his most famous job was “novelist,” but he held many other jobs, such as “essayist.” I have a copy of the Everyman’s Library of his Essays. One of my favorite pastimes is to skim through the book (I don’t read essays) and find quotations that illustrate my point. For example:

“Secondly, in writing one can keep the spoken word constantly in mind.” (p. 699)

I don’t know what “essay” this quotation is from, but I probably do not need to remind the reader of the resonance of this prescient statement. By beginning this sentence with the word “secondly,” Orwell skillfully suggests that something has come before. But what has come before? This must of necessity be enigmatic, for I have not read the previous sentence in the essay. The sentence continues, and Orwell mentions writing, which is his profession, or was his profession, as he has sadly passed away. He then contrasts talking (“spoken word”) with thinking (“in mind”), and finds them wanting.

This brilliance is on display on our modern age, if only we have the appendages to see. This is what National Bestness is all about. By keeping the spoken word in mind, as Orwell suggests, we can think about what we are saying. Thinking is important, arguably as important as writing. Again, it all comes back to National Bestness. The thinking, or rather the lack of thinking, that so troubled Orwell all those years ago, is in danger of becoming the norm, not the exception. In particular, National Bestness seeks to eradicate those ideas and feelings of non-National Bestness (or, if you will, “anti-National Bestness”), which is to say that those things against which I believe are tearing us all apart.

Our candidates understand this. The presidential ones, I’m talking about now. Ask John McCain. Ask Barack Obama. Ask Hillary Clinton. All three understand National Bestness; it is an idea that cuts across ideological lines. It is the ultimate bipartisanship. Together, we can raise our appendages to heed the call of National Bestness.

That is right; heed the call. Sometimes, it is necessary to listen with more than just your heart. Sometimes you must listen with your ears. Appendages and ears. As the great George Orwell himself once wrote,

“Dickens has not this kind of mental coarseness.” (p. 183)

Dickens, indeed anyone who believes in National Bestness, will not have a coarseness in their mind (“mental”). They will have the opposite of mental coarseness. Their mental will be smooth, along with their appendages. Orwell saw it, all those years ago. Can you see it now?

On a personal note, I understand that there is still some resistance to National Bestness, which is why February has 29 days this year, pushing back the start of “National Bestness Month” by one day. But that resistance is waning, and will soon wane all the way. Tomorrow is the start of a new month!

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS FOR THE WEEKEND OF FEB 29-MAR 2

Will Ferrell “travels” to the box office this weekend with his latest sports “comedy,” Semi-Humorous. This is another one of those “comedies” that the “funnyman” makes that sound good on paper, but are then torture to sit through, following in the footsteps of 2007's figure skating pic Ice Crapades and 2006's racing flick NASCAR Hicks. In this latest, Ferrell plays a slightly mentally challenged drug addicted date raping pro basketball player in the 1970s. Everything is automatically funnier when it’s set in the 1970s. Seriously, have you seen the way they used to wear their hair? Crazy, man.

Almost exactly a year ago, Ice Crapades opened with $762M on its way to a $15.43B final gross. In August of 2006, NASCAR Hicks opened with $689M on its way to $14B. Unlike the previous two films, which were rated PG-13, Semi-Humorous has, like The Passion of the Christ, earned a coveted R rating. Moreover, doctors are worried about an outbreak of “Ferrell Fatigue,” a tragic diagnosis in which the patient is driven to despondent desperation from watching a man play the same idiot over and over again. The only treatment is induced coma. The good news is that the treatment is over 70% effective, and Ferrell’s fans will risk it all to catch him in action, especially if he’s wearing those short shorts like they used to wear in the 1970s. Geez, that was a funny decade. Opening on over 53,250 screens, Semi-Humorous could gross $963M this weekend.

The second big release this weekend is The Other Boring Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson as two attractive sisters who speak with funny accents and do a lot of boring stuff. They sleep with the king of England, at the same time, although it’s all done off-camera. Then, a bowling alley is torn down. The sisters exact their revenge by spiking the king’s onion rings. It’s kind of a weird movie, actually. Both of these young women are attractive, I’ll say that for them, but neither one is considered a big box office draw. Johansson's biggest opening weekend (for a live action film) was 1998's The Whore Whisperer (made when she was still doing porn), which opened to only $349M. Portman of course starred in three episodes of the Crap Wars saga, but if you exclude those films, and I really wish you would, her highest opening weekend was $758M for V for Crummy Movie back in March of 2006. That sounds reasonably impressive until you realize her next highest opening weekend for a film in which she had a leading role was last winter with Mr. Deformium's Emporium which opened with a paltry $214M. Look for The Other Boring Girl to "yawn" its way to around $824M.

The final new release this weekend is the long awaited Menorrhagia, starring Christina Ricci, Reese Witherspoon and James McAvoy, in the story of a woman who is cursed by heavier-than-usual menstrual bleeding. If she finds a prince to kiss her “lips,” she will find true love. The film’s menstruation theme should help, along with the fact that Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon's name is attached. Opening on around 4,987 screens, look for Menorrhagia to "flow" to around $721M this weekend.

Last weekend's champ Point Vadge will likely lose business to the Ferrell juggernaut, but should still have a reasonable hold this weekend. Look for the examination of Sigourney Weaver's vagina to fall around 40% to around $692M.

LAST YEAR: Disney released the second motorcycle themed crapfest of the year, Fat Pigs, which grossed $789M . The critically acclaimed Zodicrap debuted in second place with $598M. Two-time champ Nicolas Cage’s Crap Motorcycle grossed $216M, while a second Disney film, Bridge to Tertiary Syphilis made $414M. Jim Carrey's crossover into horror, The Dumber 23, crashed 56% and collected a measly $245M in its second weekend.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

John McCain's comment of the Day: The Importance of American Blood

According to this article, John McCain claims that

"America's most precious asset... is American blood."

Moreover:

"American blood is the best blood in the world. It's significantly better than French blood, for instance, which is notorious for surrendering to- well, I don't have the names of these diseases right in front of me, but French blood surrenders to various types of blood diseases. There's a danger of American blood being overrun by Mexican blood, but a virtual transfusion should take care of that. And don't get me started on Middle Eastern blood, which is the blood that is most insidious in these dark, coagulous times. There is no need for Americans to be ashamed of their blood. My candidacy is all about American blood, about the pride of beautiful, viscous American blood, which not only red, but red, white, and blue, especially among those of a certain age, such as myself. Speaking of which, I am a maverick. You won't hear any other candidate speaking about blood in such a frank and honest manner. I'm sure I'll lose a few votes over this, but I have to be honest, and be myself. I love American blood!"


Here is a man with a healthy attitude regarding our precious national bodily fluids.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Paula Abdul Quote of the Day:


Said at some point during the "American Idol" program last night, in reference to contestant David Archuleta:

"You are so cute. So delicious. Your skin is firm and smooth, and delicious. I want to take bites out of you, little nibbles on your tasty skin. It's so, so delicious to nibble your skin. I want to bite you into pieces! You're so sweet and delicious that I want to bite you into pieces and use the pieces to sop up gravy on my plate. Delicious gravy. Mm, mm, yummy! Yummy delicious little boy! Little boy pieces! I want to chop you up and eat your yummiest pieces, then put the remaining pieces, the so-called 'sweetbreads,' in the trunk of my car. I want to drive around all day, digesting your best, sweetest parts in my stomach and intestines, while in the trunk of my car your liver and kidneys and brain simmer slowly. By the end of my journey, I will be satisfied! Yummy! I will feed your remaining pieces to my loyal and adorable dogs!"

(Live Blogging) LateBlogging Last Night's Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate

I missed the debate last night, but I'm going to "LateBlog" (copyright by me, 2008) it right now. Here we go:

I understand that it was moderated by Tim Russert, and someone else. Unless that someone else was Barack Obama, then it was a waste, because Tim Russert is a stinker. Anyway, the two candidates probably strode out to their podiums, Barack Obama looking presidential, downright regal, probably, while Shrillery looked like a beat down old hag. Obama smiles graciously, probably, while the other candidate's mouth is twisted into an almost comical snarl.

5 minutes in: They talk about health care. Or, rather, our lord and savior Barack Obama, the next president of the United States, talks about health care, and his actual plan to do something about it. Pillory Clinton just shrieks something that is audible only to dogs, then cackles malevolently.

10 minutes in: They talk about Iraq. Killery Clinton says that she regrets her vote for Iraq, because she didn't realize that the current President would turn out to be an inept jerk who didn't know what the hell he was doing. We were all surprised by that one, stupidhead! She is so stupid, and looks especially stupid standing (probably) next to Barack Obama, who is awesome. He just kind of smiles benevolently. He is so much better than the rest of us. If I was in a debate with HRC (Her Royal Crapness), I would probably just start calling her names, which is what she deserves, instead of just standing there and telling her about my great record and all my great plans for the country, which is what Barack Obama is probably doing. Or, did, since the debate was last night.

15 minutes in:

Dear Barack Obama,

You are great! I can't wait for you to become president, so that everything will be great again, and our faith in our country is restored! You're better than great; you are awesome!

Sincerely,
Ricky Sprague


16 minutes in:

Dear Silly Clinton:

You stink. Get off the stage. Why don't find a vagina to wash out, because you are a douchebag. Get out of the presidential race and endorse Barack Obama, then crawl back under your stone.

Sincerely,
Ricky Sprague


21 minutes in: Stupid Clinton says that she is more electable against John McCain. Big deal, so am I, and I am a stupid blogger who doesn't hardly know anything. Barack Obama surprises me by giving me a shoutout, when he says, "Big deal. Ricky Sprague, a stupid blogger who doesn't hardly know anything could get elected against John McCain." It's like he read my mind, which he can probably do, because he the best in the entire world, and you love it that the world is finally waking up to this fact!

28 minutes in: Distillery Clinton admits to being a raving dipsomaniac. She is terrible. Barack Obama, who is awesome, encourages her to get help. He magnanimously tells her that "the country needs" her. This is the first time in his life that the otherwise perfect Barack Obama has lied. He is fantastic.

35 minutes in: HRC (Hating, Raging, Crummy person) says that she will get out of the race when she feels the time is right. Well, the time is right now; I'm not sure what world you're living in, but nobody wants you there, this debate would be so much better if it were only Barack Obama up there, and you were gone away to some cave, cooking your laundry in a giant pot, and you mistake the laundry for soup one day, and you take a sip of the hot water from the pot, and get like a mouthful of sock or something. You stink, HRC!

40 minutes in: The election is held early, much to everyone's surprise, and Barack Obama is elected president (which should surprise no one except Stinkery Clinton)! Debate is over, Obama is the winner, by a landslide!

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PARENTING:

Throughout history, parents have had their children's best interests at heart. I present now a history of parenting hysteria, for your edification, featuring actual parents' statements, starting with the most recent and going back back back through time.

1. "Get off that myspace, it's bad for you!"

2. "Stop playing those video games, they're bad for you!"

3. "Stop listening to that rap music, it's bad for you!"

4. "Stop going to those violent movies, they're bad for you!"

5. "Stop watching that tv, it's bad for you!"

6. "Stop reading those comic books, they're bad for you!"

7. "Stop listening to that radio show, it's bad for you!"

8. "Stop doing 'The Charleston,' it's bad for you!"

9. "Stop reading that pulp magazine, it's bad for you!"

10. "Stop reading those novels, they're bad for you!"

11. "Stop looking at that painting, it's bad for you!"

12. "Stop looking at those woodcuts, they're bad for you!"

13. "Stop looking at that tapestry, it's bad for you!"

14. "Stop watching those plays, they're bad for you!"

15. "Stop listening to that epic poem, it's bad for you!"

16. "Stop looking at those cave drawings, they're bad for you!"

17. "Stop watching that fire, it's bad for you!"

18. "Stop trying to communicate using rudimentary language, it's bad for you!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Only Thing Actress Mischa Barton Is Guilty Of Is Stealing My Heart

When I read this headline, Mischa Barton Facing 4 Misdemeanors, I thought, Since when is stealing the heart of me, Ricky Sprague, considered a misdemeanor? Because frankly, the only 4 misdemeanors actress Mischa Barton is guilty of, are as follows:

1. Stealing the heart of me, Ricky Sprague.
2. Being radiantly beautiful.
3. Taking one very, very sexy mugshot.
4. Working hard, but playing harder.

As a Hollywood insider, I can honestly say that actress Mischa Barton is my Hollywood mugshot of the week:

Ricky Sprague's Tales of Regret

As I've written on this blog countless times (and proven just as often with my incisive commentary and knowledge), I am a Hollywood insider. What I have not written about so much is my early career, and the road I took to achieve that insider status. Here is just such a tale, and it is a tale of regret:

Many years ago I was hired as an assistant in the International Marketing Department of a movie studio which I shall refrain from naming. My job was to do everything that my three bosses did not want to do, which was everything except attending screenings and meeting with celebrities. I got coffee and coissants, ordered lunches, created spreadsheets full of travel itineraries and interview schedules, organized and filed away promotional items, picked up press kits and posters from the printers, and dealt with members of the press. Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, to be specific.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a group of about 90 geriatrics who live in Hollywood but write for overseas publications. They write about Hollywood. So far, who cares, right? Well, many years ago, they created an awards show called The Golden Globes, as a way of generating revenue and publicity for themselves. This year's event notwithstanding, this is considered a big deal by publicity and marketing departments in Hollywood, since everyone wants to be able to say their film is "award winning," especially when people are voting for the Academy Awards (The Golden Globes event is usually held in January, which has traditionally been at the end of the Academy Awards voting window).

Anyway, the International Marketing Department's reason for existing (as the French say) was to appease the members of this organization. The screenings and events were organized for their benefit. Press kits were created for their benefit. Gift bags were created for their benefit. And I, as the lowliest man in the office, was charged with dealing with their needs.

One day, a member of the group I'll call Rarebit Juniper (not her real name), called us and told us she'd misplaced the press kit and poster for one of the studio's latest releases (I'll call this movie "Sweet Stang," even though that's not the actual title of the movie; I'm trying to be subtle and not reveal the name of the studio).

"Could you send me another copy of the poster for 'Sweet Stang,'" she weezed.

"Of course. I would be happy to do that," I lied, rolling my eyes.

"Actually, dear, could you send me maybe 10 copies of the poster," Rarebit amended.

They weren't supposed to sell the posters on eBay or to used bookstores in Hollywood, but there was a lot of speculation that's what they did. Why did they need 10 copies of a movie poster, for crying out loud?

Again, I said, "Happy to do that. I'll send them out right away."

"Could you make sure they get to me today," she said, then started coughing phlegmily into the phone reciever. After she'd finished coughing she said, "I need to be sure and get this stuff out today," cryptically.

"I'll have them messengered to you," I assured her. "They'll get there in just a couple of hours." We messengered all kinds of things, and charged them to accounts linked to the film in question. If you ever wondered why movies cost so much, well one reason is that we charged everything to the film's budgets: office supplies, lunches, shipping, printing, massages; as long as the work in question was directly related to the promotion of said film.

"I need them now," Rarebit insisted. "I'll need you to bring them here to my house. You have my address, don't you."

Of course I had her address, and she knew it. I'd sent her press kits and etc many times in the past. "I have the address. I'll get over there right away, I promise." We had to do anything they asked, because of those damned Golden Globe awards. We really wanted to win them.

As I was packing up the posters one of my supervisors, a really decent, charming guy, walked over and asked me what I was doing. I explained to him that Rarebit Juniper wanted me to bring her these posters myself, personally, that there was hurry and a messenger couldn't be trusted.

He laughed. "You're in for it," he said.

"Uh-oh," I said. "Whatfor you got to say that?"

"I've been over there myself. She does this to all of us, when we're new. Just keep in mind that you don't want to offend her; she has a lot of power in the HFPA. Just do whatever she says, don't complain about it, and you'll be fine." Then he added, ominously, "And go ahead and take the rest of the day off after you're done. You'll need it."

He turned and left in a hurry.

Now I was worried as hell. What was she going to do to me? Why had my boss, a decent guy, had that look of pity and irony on his face? The drive into the Hollywood Hills was a difficult one; I needed all my concentration to negotiate the winding, blind turns, but I was distracted by worry.

When I arrived, Rarebit was wearing a long, red silk robe that went all the way to the floor. Her skin was pale, and resembled crinkled paper. Her face was covered in about a pound of makeup. Her eyelids drooped in what I at first believed might have been caused by bells palsy, but I learned later that those were her "bedroom eyes."

She led me into the tiny living room, and directed me to place the posters in a corner, behind a Jacobean chair that was perhaps slightly younger than her.

"Would you care for a drink? I have sherry, and port if you'd like."

"Do whatever she says, don't complain about it," I heard my boss's admonition ringing in my ears. "Port," I said, as enthusiastically as possible.

"When you walked in the room," she told me, handing me the glass, "I could tell you were a port man." She winked at me, I thought; her wrinkles obscured most of her expressions.

"Tell me about the film business," she said languidly. Since all my best stories involved members of the HFPA, and their mild insanity, I was left with very little to tell her. But she laughed at everything I said, then put her hand on mine and said, "Just give me five minutes," in a confidential tone.

She left the room and ascended the stairs, and my blood ran cold. I had to get out of there, this was not going well, it had taken a very disturbing turn. But, again, I remembered my boss's advice, so I didn't run out of the house in terror. I waited. And waited. And waited. Five minutes became 10. Then 15. Then 20. I had a horrible thought: What if the elderly woman had fallen and broken her hip? What if she were in the upstairs bathroom moaning in pain, screaming, "I've fallen, and I can't get up," like that pathetic woman in the commercial that had been so popular just a few years before? I raced into the dining area, located a coater, and placed my glass of port atop that, put both on the dining room table, and bounded up the stairs.

My heart racing, panting, I walked down the narrow hallway to a door that was half open. She said, "I was wondering what was taking you so long," as I pushed the door all the way open. I'd wanted to say, "Are you alright," but I lost my breath. The sight of her is still seared in my memory, tattooed on my brain forever.

Her rail-thin yet sagging body was on almost full display, in a merrywidow and thigh-high stockings. Maybe the stockings were only meant to be knee high, I don't know. The creases on her face were nothing compared to the deep crevices that covered her body. Varicose veins an inch thick lined her legs. She smiled, and I could see that she had removed her teeth, which I now noticed were in the glass of port she'd poured herself earlier, and now rested on the table beside the bed. Her breathing was deep and deliberate.

"Be a dear and rub my feet," she said, and repeated the gesture I'd earlier thought might have been a wink.

"Do whatever she says, don't complain about it."

I went over to the bed, knelt on the floor, and began to rub the bony protuberances at the ends of her legs.

She cackled drily. "Oh, you are too literal! Get up here, boy!"

Her dry hands grabbed my neck and for a moment I hoped she might try to strangle me, but no, she merely lifted me up and directed me onto the bed. She spread her legs, and they made odd popping noises that I felt couldn't possibly be healthy, but before I could advise her to get her joints checked, she told me to lick her.

"Do whatever she says, don't complain about it."


Her vagina was dry, and her wrinkles were abrasive. I've never licked sandpaper before, but I feel confident this is what it must be like. I understood at that moment why pornographic film stars spit on body parts before placing them in their mouths.

"Oh, you're better than Warren Beatty," she moaned.

I closed my eyes, and thought of women Warren Beatty had dated. Julie Christie. Goldie Hawn. Carly Simon. Madonna. Annette Bening. Particularly, Annette Bening in The Grifters. That's a good movie, and she's hot in it.

To my surprise, I found I was becoming hard.

"Your turn," Rarebit insisted, pushing my head away from between her legs. She was so old and feeble that I had to help her get off her back. The process took several minutes, and I was afraid I might lose my erection, but she took good care of me.

Have you ever been gummed before? There are no teeth to get in the way, just pure pleasure. And of course I kept thinking about Annette Bening in The Grifters.

After a few minutes I realized she hadn't been moving for awhile, so I glanced down at her. Her head was resting on my stomach, and the gentle sounds of phlegmy snoring vibrated against my skin. In spite of myself, I felt it was a very sweet moment.

I pushed her off me, rolled her to the center of the bed, and tucked her in.

The next day I told my boss what had happened, and how I did exactly what he told me, I did whatever she said, and didn't complain about it.

His eyes had grown steadily more wide as I'd related the story, and finally he said, "Geezus, man, I just thought you'd have to clean her pool or something! The minute you saw her in that outfit, you should have turned and run away. Our movies all suck anyway, there's no way any of them are going to win any Golden Globes this year."

"But, maybe next year...?" I said, pathetically.

Needless to say, my adventure was the primary topic of conversation around the office for the rest of the week. At least until our next release, then everyone was all business again. But I really regret telling my boss about what happened. That was one brutal week for me.

Monday, February 25, 2008

EXCLUSIVE! ANOTHER DAMAGING BARACK OBAMA DRESS-UP PHOTO!

For some reason, this image of presidential candidate Barack Obama wearing a traditional Somali outfit, is causing a great deal of controversy all over the "blogosphere":



Obama's campaign has called the circulation of the photo "shameful offensive fear-mongering". But that's not the worst "Obama Dress-Up Photo" that's out there right now. My sources have provided me with the following, which is sure to offend Obama's supporters, and might just be enough to tip the election in Hillary Clinton's favor:



That's right. That's Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama last Halloween, wearing a Ronald Reagan mask. Apparently, Mr Obama thinks it's funny to wear a mask of the president who set back the progressive movement by nearly a decade. I don't want to seem divisive, but this is despicable, the most despicable thing I've ever seen in my life, and it threatens to rip asunder the progressive coalition that Obama has put together. I'm disgusted, not so much by the photo itself, but by the fact that by running it on my blog, I might be inadvertently perpetuating the mongering of fear. Nevertheless, as a serious citizen journalist, I feel I have no choice.

We'll just have to wait and see if this photo affects the Ohio and Texas primaries.

"Trilby" at YouTube:

My latest piece of animation, an adaptation of the novel Trilby by George Du Maurier.



I animated it, Jeff Porterfield did the music.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

EXCLUSIVE! MIKE HUCKABEE AND GOD!


You think Mike "F*ckabee" Huckabee is down? You think he's not going to get the Republican nomination for President? Well, if this dubious artist's interpretation is to be believed, then you are capital-double-you Wrong my friend, whoever you are! My sources are telling me that the hillbilly satyr has spent an evening of unbridled passion with the creator of all things, God! Apparently, after getting a drunk call from the man upstairs, F*ckabee dropped everything and ascended to heaven where he was greeted by "Big G" himself, in a flimsy shorty robe! The two talked politics, then sports, then one thing led to another. Now you know why John McCain's having so much trouble locking up the nomination, and you know the meaning behind F*ckabee's cryptic statement about not majoring in math!

This is a big one for F*ckabee, so I've gone to the trouble to create a cute celebrity hook-up nickname for the happy couple, and of course it's gotta be "Godabee"!

Political Quote of the Day:

Harold Ickes, who has something to do with Hillary Clinton's campaign, made the following statement in an interview on This Week:

"There's been a lot of confusion regarding the so-called 'superdelegates' in the Democratic party. People have been saying that Hillary (Clinton)'s campaign says it's going to go after the superdelegates. That's just factually untrue. What we've said, what the campaign has been saying from the beginning, and you can go all the way back to December we've been saying this, that in order to go after Barack Obama and his campaign, we would have to be super delicate. Frankly, we've all been scratching our heads over this whole "superdelegate" business. We've said we need to be super delicate when we go after Obama, you know, because he's black. That's all we were saying, and all we've been saying. There was nothing sinister to it at all."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS FOR THE WEEKEND OF FEB 22-24

Four B- and C- list actors take on the vagina of a B-list actress and the stories are told from different perspectives in the highly sexy Point Vadge, one of five new openers this weekend, along with three very subtle comedies and one more sexy film. Last year, Sony had an astonishing 64 films open at number one, and this year will be no different, starting with this eroticer. The astonishing cast of Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Fox, and William Hurt, who all appear in hard core sex scenes featuring full frontal, rearal, and sidal nudity, will power this film to the top of the box office this weekend. The PG-13 pic's marketing and distribution push has been more extensive and erotic than that of any new release this weekend (with tie-ins with Penthouse magazine and McDonald's), so expect it to easily top all its competitors this weekend. None of the actors are particularly bankable, but there are very few people who don't want to see Forest Whitaker naked and atop Sigourney Weaver, humping and bumping in that sweet, sweet way. Look for this film to "earn" $689M.

Jack Black and Mos Def portray two mentally challenged men who recreate classic films for the residents of a home for the mentally challenged in the new film Stupid Premise. The PG-13 film from New Line comes from acclaimed French director Michel Gondry who after Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep decided to make a really, really dumb movie. A marketplace full of new comedies will split that crowd so Stupid will have to rely on fans of the director and stars to come out. Dumper and Point Vadge will also cut into this film's target aud of mentally challenged people. Breaking into roughly 800 theaters, this film could bow to about $247M.

Larry the Cable Guy (yes, that is his real name) brings more of his brand of "humor" in the Lionsgate comedy Witless Protection opening on Friday. The comedian plays a mentally challenged comedian that kidnaps a woman in FBI custody. He wants her to be his bride, so he ties her up and puts her in the trunk. This is his idea of "courtship." Then he takes her out of the trunk and "hefts" her. He's so strong, he can lift her over 30 times, even though she's played by Jenny McCarthy, who's really let herself go lately. Rated PG-13, this lovable charmer has the goal of establishing the funnyman as a box office draw. But let's look at his last two films' grosses: Larry the Cable Guy: Mentally Challenged Bureaucrat debuted to $84M while last year's Delta Dimwits achieved only an anemic $104M bow. Opening in only about 24,306 locations, Witless Protection might collect about $498M this weekend.

MGM unwisely releases the "comedy" Charlie Bartlett starring Robert Downey Jr., and other people you don't know. The film has been delayed so many times that it was originally filmed while Downey was in rehab. The first time. The R-rated film tells the story of a kid named Charlie Bartlett, who does a lot of things that I'm sure seemed hilarious in theory. For one thing, he moves to a new school. And that's just part of the fun! Stupid teens make up the main target audience, but they will be too stupid to sneak into theaters, so the restrictive rating will keep many of them out. The marketing push has not been strong, and mostly relies on convincing people that this film is actually Iron Man, the Robert Downey Jr. starrer that people actually want to see. Grosses should be kept low, as this film competes with Juno, which will win all the Academy Awards this year. Entering about 1,000 theaters, it will debut to around $84M.

The very spry bassist for the rock group Kiss, Gene Simmons, releases his first sex tape, The Gene Simmons Sex Tape, this week to an anxious, nervous public. The X-rated sex comedy tells the story of a spry rock and roll bassist who has sex with a woman he would never, ever be able to have sex with if not for the fact that he's a rock and roll bassist. Aging boomers who grew up on Kiss' music (back when they still wore the Kabuki makeup) are the core audience, with a secondary audience comprised of the morbid. The gold standard for sex tapes has been Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, which has grossed an amazing $7B since its release. The lowest-grossing sex tape has been the one which starred William Frawley and Larry Fine (allegedly; the footage was grainy). Marketing hasn't been strong, and with Larry the Cable Guy's film competing for the same audience, look for this film to earn about $6 million this weekend.

Fox's sci-fi actioner Dumper should take another big dump this weekend. Word-of-mouth is shitty and Point Vadge will "snatch" away much of the orifice crowd. Look for a 50% drop to about $952M which would give the Annakin Skywalker flick $963M in eleven days.

Last weekend, The Spiderprick Chronicles got off to a yeomanlike beginning erecting itself as the only throbbing offering for families and with no kidpics opening, a smaller decline is assured. Second-weekend drops for Disney's own Presidents' Day weekend films from the past two years were 37% for Bridge to Tertiary Syphilis and 21% for 2006's uplifting charmer Dogs Dying in the Arctic. Spiderprick should insert itself into another $130M for the weekend, bringing its cume to $734M.

After dancing its way to an impressive B.O. ("box office") total last weekend, BFF 4Ever in Da 2 Hard Streetz will get leprosy. Or something. Sorry, this is a film about dancing, and I wanted to imply that the film would not be able to "dance" through the box office anymore. You can't dance with leprosy, can you? Look for a 45% drop for $472M, pushing the cume to $547M.

Warner Bros. should consider itself lucky that its "comedy" "adventure" Foolishit will drop by 68%, for a weekend take of $321M.

LAST YEAR: Spending its second weekend on top, Sony's Crap Motorcycle starring former actor Nicolas Cage sucked hard but still sucked in $254M to top the box office over Oscar weekend. Jim Carrey continued his career slide with The Dumber 23, in which he portrayed his Dumb and Dumber character in a horror film. It debuted in second with a pathetic $146M bow, eventually grossing $347M . Disney's Bridge to Tertiary Syphilis slipped one spot to third with $142M in its sophomoric frame. Fox's comedy Reno 911!: Pay to See the Same Shit You See on TV debuted in fourth with $245M representing half of its eventual $342M final tally. Fellow comedy Black Comedian in a Female Fatsuit rounded out the top five with $163M in its third session. Opening much lower were the Billy Bob Thornton drama Mentally Challenged Astronaut, in which the Academy Award winner portrayed a mentally challenged man sent to outer space as part of a NASA promotion, with $45M and the white slavery drama Amazing Strange with $41M from a more limited release. Totals reached $11M for Warner Bros. and $21.3M for Goldwyn/Roadside Attractions.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ricky Sprague's Tales of Regret

A letter to Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, etc.

Dear Mr Wolfe,

I recently was made aware of a book which you edited in the '70s or '60s, or maybe in the '80s, I'm not sure, called The New Journalism. It was full of examples of the so-called "New Journalism", by writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Joe Esterhaus, Adam Smith, et al. In that book, you explained what the New Journalism is. Well, I have written an article which I think qualifies as "New Journalism." Although I realize it is probably too late to get this article into your book, since it was published several years ago, I would still like to get your opinion on its merits, and maybe you could pull some strings and get it published in "Rolling Stone" or "Esquire", even though I haven’t liked "Rolling Stone" since they published all those different *Nsync covers.

My article follows some of the precepts of the New Journalism. For instance: It covers a major event, it features lots of observations by me (it is written in the first person), and at the end of the story I reveal what I’ve learned from the experience. It also starts off with a sentence that grabs the reader's attention and compels him to read it until the end.

So, I think if you will read my article without prejudice, you will find that it is the greatest article you have ever read, and you will want to help me out. Thank you in advance for all your great help, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Ricky Sprague


MY EXPERIENCE AT THE “BEAN BLOSSOM BOOGIE”
By Ricky Sprague.

Men love to look at women's titties.

Now, I know what you're saying. You're saying, "Ricky, I already know that. Why are you wasting my time telling me something that I already know?" Well, if you'll just shut up for two seconds, I'll explain.

On July 21, 1998, I went to the "Bean Blossom Boogie", in Bean Blossom, Indiana, which is just about 7 miles south of Fruitdale. Its actual title is the ABATE. ABATE is an acronym, which stands for American Biker Association Something Something, which actually spells ABASS. I don't know what ABATE means (I think it has something to do with children's hospitals), but everybody calls it the "Bean Blossom Boogie," or just "The Boogie" for short, which is what I will call it from now on.

What happens at the Boogie is that a bunch of motorcycle people (“Motorcyclists”), get together and hang out at the Bean Blossom drag strip for the whole weekend. There are like 10,000 of them, and that's a lot of people. They all turn the drag strip into this big carnival for perverts, which sounds good on the surface, but let me tell you it was a little unnerving for me!

First of all, I should tell you that I was staying in a cabin about five miles away from the drag strip, so I decided to walk over there. That was mistake number one. I did not realize that there was a short cut through the trail over by the Roadhamel trail that cuts the length of the trip by about three miles. I had to walk all the way down on the 135, which was heavily-trafficked by, you guessed it, motorcycles. I don't know if you've ever walked down a highway when a bunch of loud motorcycles are roaring by, and there's only about a foot of space on which to walk on the edge of the road, but if you haven't, trust me, it's not the most fun thing you can do.

Anyway, after awhile (I forgot to mention that one of the “motorcyclists” honked his horn at me. It was louder than I expected, and gave me quite a start!) I made it into Bean Blossom. I only had a mile to go! But first, I wanted to check out the IGA grocery store, to see if they had a new issue of the national magazine in which my writing regularly appears (I forgot to mention I am a published author, but you could probably tell that from reading this article). I was shocked to see about twenty "motorcyclists" just sitting outside the grocery store, looking menacing. I was unsure whether I wanted to go into the store or not, for fear of having to face the gauntlet of “motorcyclists”, but I decided that if I could not face these men sitting outside the store, then I had no right to enter "Motorcyclist Ground Zero." I went into the store. They did not even notice me. Or if they did, they made no mention of it.

In the store I noticed that they had only one copy of my magazine. Usually, they have several more than that. I decided that probably a bunch of “motorcyclists” had bought the other issues, and were enjoying them. It gave me quite a thrill to think that they were reading my words, getting a nice laugh out of them, perhaps coming to some greater understanding of the ways of the world. Maybe I would ask some of them if they'd heard of me.

I walked the rest of the way to the Boogie. I only had about four dollars on me, and it had not occurred to me that there might be an entrance fee. I decided to by-pass the front gate altogether and sneak in! I found a space between where the wooden gate met the wire gate. I walked in. It was a secluded area, very few people. My years of sneaking in to movie theaters had taught me that if you just keep your head straight and keep on walking as if you belong there, no one will question you. So in I walked.

Let me tell you, I was stunned by what my eyes beheld! Have you ever seen a group of thousands of “motorcyclists” hanging out in tents and under canopies, drinking beers, smoking, cursing, etc? Well, if you haven't, let me fill you in. It was plenty wild.

First of all, I saw this guy-- actually, there were three guys, sitting under this canopy. They had a sign up that read, "Show Me Your Tits!" This sign struck me as extremely funny, and I decided to be a smart-ass about it. I walked up to him and said, "Does that sign of yours work?"

He answered my question by signaling two women who happened to be walking by at that particular moment. "This guy here wants to know if my sign works!" he shouted to the two women. They looked at the sign, then at me, then picked up their tank-tops and flashed their melons at me. I tell you, they almost put my eye out!

Well, as you might expect, that got a very positive reaction from all the men around, who started hooting and hollering at the women. Ordinarily, I'd probably have joined these men in their appreciation of these women, except that I was so shocked by what had just happened. That, and the women were uggoes.

Anyway, when I left that canopy I realized that every other canopy/tent in the whole place had a sign up that said exactly the same thing, or a variation on that. (Some signs substituted the word "Titties" for "Tits.") It seemed like it might lose its impact after being used literally thousands of times, but who am I to judge them?

I should point out that I could not have been more out of place here. Let me describe what everyone was wearing. The men all had on blue jeans, black shirts (with either "Harley Davidson" or "Hank Williams Jr" on them), and boots. Most of them also had bandanas. Several had beards, and huge beer guts. A lot of them felt no compunction about their horrid physiques and showed them off by removing their shirts. Actually, I shouldn't make fun of them, because if any of them read this, they could probably break me into two separate pieces and not even break a sweat.

The women were all wearing cut-off jeans that just barely covered the top-half of their butt, and either a tank top, bikini top, or half shirt. One woman had a tampon string hanging out from her shorts.

Here's what I was wearing: A green baseball cap which I got at Lands' End, a blue, long-sleeved T-shirt and kakhi shorts I got at Old Navy (gift certificate), and an old pair of blue and white Asics running shoes. I am 6'2" tall and weigh about 160 pounds. I am one of the biggest gorks in the whole world.

So I was walking along through the throng of people. Occasionally, a woman would flash herself or something and all traffic would stop, as the men stood slack-jawed, staring at the boobies. Some men had video cameras. Some snapped photographs. There was no shame anywhere. Isn't it funny how the only people in the world who have no shame, are exactly the people who need it the most?

Well, as I was walking among these people I realized that I wasn't even at the Boogie yet! Oh, no! I was just in the campsite! The Boogie was well ahead. As I got closer to the Entrance I saw a sign that read, “PLEASE HAVE YOUR ARMBANDS SHOWING.” I looked around at all the people. For the first time I realized that everyone else had either a yellow or green armband! Boy, let me tell you, that was when I really started to feel out of place! I decided to just “keep on keepin' on,” and act as nonchalant as I could. "Nonchalant," incidentally, is my all-time favorite word.

I was about 25 feet from the Entrance when one of the members of Boogie security stopped me. He started yelling at me, "Excuse me, sir? Sir? Excuse me! Sir! Sir!" I knew he was talking to me (there were no other "Sirs" within a mile of us), but I just kept walking. My thinking was, if I ignored him, eventually he'd just say, "Oh, well. I guess he didn’t hear me. I'll just let him go on. He looks like he knows where he's going. Besides, I see some titty over yonder." I probably don't have to tell you that my plan to ignore this man was a bust, and he caught up to me and informed me that I needed to show my armband to get in. I told him I wasn't sure where my armband was, and he told me I needed to make sure where my armband was; maybe I should go buy another one or something. To be perfectly honest with you, I'm not certain what was said, because I was so totally intimidated by him. Can you imagine what a tough guy you have to be to work Boogie Security? He could very easily have killed me, while all these other titty-freaks watched.

So I turned around and started back. My plan was to try to sneak in some other way, although what other way I don't know. I'm not exactly the smartest person in the world. If I'd had any sense at all I would have counted my blessings that that guy didn't open up a big ol' can of "Whup Ass" on me, and gone home. I did not do this, as you can probably guess. Instead, I got the bright idea to take one of those little yellow flags they had tied around the ropes that hold the tents in place, and rip it up and tie it around my arm. I know; I can't believe I did it either. But since I'm writing this, you know that they did not kill me.

I felt like one of those people in the "Mentos" commercials. You know, like the one where that girl who drives the little gremlin or something gets parked in by this asshole who won't let her out of her space, so she creatively solves her problem by popping a Mentos and having a bunch of big, beefy painters from across the street come over and pick up her car and carry it out into the street for her. The guy who parked her in sees how she solved her problem, and smiles and gives her a look like, "You did it! You solved your problem and that's very clever!" Come to think of it, my situation is a lot closer to the other commercial, the one about the guy who kicks his soccer ball over a fence and into this yard where they're having a wedding, but he can't go in and get it because he's not part of the wedding party. Well, he solves that little problem by popping a Mentos, then putting on a dinner jacket and kissing the bride. He gets the ball back and when he does, the guy who wouldn't let him in gives him that look. The one I already mentioned before. That's how I felt when I tied that strip of yellow flag around my arm. It didn't look anything like one of those armbands, but at least it was the right color. I thought the security guy would give me one of those looks, and in a way I sort of hoped that he'd see how cleverly I'd solved my problem (I thought he might be proud of me), but as it was he didn't even see me at all when I went into the Boogie.

I tried "Mentos" once, by the way. I didn't like it very much.

Anyway, as bad as the campsite was, folks, the actual Boogie itself was about a million times worse, and I'm not saying that for hyperbole, I am 110% sincere when I say this. The very first booth as you walk in was a booth that had a bunch of sex toys. I have seen and used a number of these items, from body butter, to French ticklers, to leashes and collars, (I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging) but I have got to tell you that there was a bunch of stuff at this booth that I didn't recognize. The woman who ran the booth came up to me and said, "You've never even ridden on a motorcycle before, have you?"

I could not argue with her (Actually, my father owned a motorcycle when I was in third grade and I once rode on that, but why split hairs?). I smiled at her. I asked her how she could tell. She just laughed.

I felt more out of place than ever, but at the same time I felt as though I’d made some kind of connection with the sex toys lady, and that through her, kinship with all the “motorcyclists” was possible. Perhaps, they would make me their mascot, and let me ride around the country with them, forgiving me my softness and lack of beer belly. Perhaps I could be the eccentric “motorcyclist,” the one who doesn't drink or smoke or actually ride a motorcycle, and only asks women to show him their tits in private. I smiled and continued along.

As I turned to head deeper into this demented 4-H fair, I spotted a woman walking toward me wearing a very short leather skirt. She gave me a sort of a "come hither" look. (Although I am extremely dense about such things, even I recognized this look.) She then hiked up her skirt to show me that she was not wearing anything underneath! I am not kidding you! She showed me her twat! (Or, "hairpie," as is the preferred term in Indiana.) Only her “used-up” look stopped me getting aroused.

Well, at this point, I decided I'd had about enough excitement. I was starting to wilt under the oppression of my ridiculous surroundings, and people were starting to stare at me. Much as I would have liked to stay and “Get Lucky” by watching Loverboy perform, I decided I'd tempted fate long enough. They'd pretty much left me alone so far, but who knew what they'd do as they got more drunk? I got out of there, but not before picking up a flier from the sex toy booth. From this I learned that a lot of the toys I was unable to identify were specially designed for use by bikers. Based on this, I have concluded that riding a motorcycle for an extended length of time does some truly odd things to one's physique.

Anyway, I walked back up 135. When I got to my street where I had to cross, the European woman who worked as a nanny for the family down the road from my cabin pulled up to the corner, right across from where I was standing. Don't get me started on her. Sometimes I would wave to her and she’d pretend not to see me. Sometimes I’d wave to her and she would just give me a sort of half-wave, as if to say, "Leave me alone, freak." Other times I’d wave and she’d give me a hearty wave back, which is what she gave me on this particular day, I'm very happy to report.

I was bolstered by this, and thought that if she hadn't made her turn onto 135 before I crossed, I would say something funny to her. As I was trying to think of what to say, I noticed that she had the three kids that she babysits in the backseat of her car. I thought it might be funny to say to her through her window, "You're not taking those kids to the Boogie, are you?" It would have been funny first of all, because the Boogie is obviously no place to take children, and second of all, because she was turning away from Bean Blossom, not toward it.

In the end, though, I decided not to say that to her, because I was afraid it might freak out those kids. But that is a stupid reason not to talk to a pretty girl, and I regret that fact that I didn’t say anything to her.

Friday, February 15, 2008

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS FOR THE WEEKEND OF FEB 15-17

This weekend the box office action promises to be wet and wild, both literally and figuratively. So these are the Hollywood insider projections:

1. FOOL'S SHIT: This film which features Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson as two mentally challenged people who find love while searching for their missing dookie, touched everyone last weekend with its surprisingly touching portrayal of the two main characters. Expect this film to exploit another $452 million this weekend, for an in no way handicapped $902 million cume after two weeks.

2. DUMPER: Hayden Christsomething plays a human-sized turd who can walk through walls or something. Samuel Jackson portrays the secret agent, codenamed Brown 25, who has been charged with bringing him to justice or something. Audience awareness of this film is remarkably low, especially if that audience is me. I got no idea what this movie is about, and if I don't know, then nobody knows, because I am the ultimate Hollywood insider. Look for this film to bring in a disappointing $398 million this weekend, as audiences flush this one away.

3. SHITLESS PROTECTION: It pains me to predict this film will only open in "turd" place, but that's still respectable considering it doesn't actually open until next weekend. That title alone is worth the price of admission. It's a pun. On the "witness protection" program. That's where the government hides people who provide evidence in cases where their lives are in danger, and they're set up with new identities. In this movie, the popular comedian Larry the Cable Guy portrays a constipated idiot who is in some way involved. I think he's the government operative in charge of finding weapons in Iraq. Anyway, it is hilarious, but audiences are only going to ring up about $378 million in ticket sales this weekend.

4. DEFINITELY, SHITTY: This is a film about a quirky, lovable single father with a quirky, adorable daughter, who manages to get a bunch of superhot actresses to sleep with him. It's based loosely on my own life (I don't have a daughter). It should "shag" about $358 million worth of scratch this weekend.

5. THE SPIDERSHIT CHRONICLES: One spider takes a massive dump all over its web, and has to move in with his cousin, a fastidious fly. They make quite the odd couple, as the fly must clean up after the spider, and keep from getting caught in his sticky web. They learn from each other, and then the spider eats him. Sorry- spoiler alert. This film should suck the blood from about $349 million.

6. MILEY SHITRUS: If you like the Hannah Montana tv show, only you wish it were a little longer and nauseating, then this is the film you've been waiting for. Lovable Miley cuts a new record while sitting on the toilet. $321 million.

7. 2 COOL 4 SCHOOL N SHIT: This is the uncompromising story of a dancer who will stop at nothing to achieve her dream. Not even a terrible, embarrassing problem with explosive diarrhea will keep her out of the big dance competition! This film appeals to anyone who cannot control his or her bowels. $523 million.

8. SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT, ROSCOE JENKINS: Martin Lawrence portrays a proctologist who cannot cure his own constipation. Hilarity ensues when he attends a family reunion. A bunch of stuff happens. Finally at the end his bowels explode and he dies. Kind of a downer. $389 million.

9. SHITTO: A whip smart 16 year old girl thinks she is pregnant, but it turns out to be a giant ectopic turd. A dangerous operation ensues. This one is getting audiences who are young and old, and have had problems with ectopic bowel movements (a surprisingly large audience, too often neglected by Hollywood). $421 million.

10. THE BUCKET OF SHIT: Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Two elderly men, one bucket. Two hours of massive, loud bowel movements. One extremely heartwarming film. Four quadrant appeal, mostly in the midwest and southeast, where bowel movements are common. $234 million, for a big giant dump of a cume.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Will Admit that I Occasionally Wonder Whether or Not it's Actually Worth it to Buckle My Seatbelt

I recently attended a screening of the Hannah Montana film, and was overjoyed to see that my role models, Miley Cyrus and her father Billy Ray, did not use seatbelts while driving. The scene was inspiring, because the seatbelt lobby has been one of the most effective and insidious in history-- it's very rare indeed to see anyone going without a seatbelt these days. It's a statement of rugged individualism.

But this story has practically broken my big, pure heart.

There is a group of people, called "hill people," "people of the soil," or, more euphemistically, "hillbillies," who believe that not wearing a seatbelt is a lifestyle choice. A perfectly valid one. It's funny how the very people who want to promote "tolerance" are the same ones who want you ("hillbillies") to conform to what they think is right. And then apologize for the way you'd lived your life up to that point.

Soon, these people will go after your cigarettes. Then your trans fats. Then your foie gras. You think I'm kidding? Just wait.

Just wait.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Who Will Bring His Appendages to Heed All-Important Call to National Bestness?

The following is an abridged version of a much longer (15,000 words and counting as of today) essay I am writing which details my theory of National Bestness. I believe this could be the start of an important new philosophical movement in this day when citizens are, in most cases, just seated, waiting for movement:

As represented by the ascendance of any and all political philosophies I disagree with, there is a troubling trend in our great American discourse. Quite simply, as a society, there is a great temptation to glorify that which I feel is wrong, or worse, negative or deletorious. The most difficult aspect of this is that our very appendages are at risk.

We need a new calling. We need a new heeding to what I am christening a Call to National Bestness.

Our nation can be the best. It can be the best again. Now, we are in crisis; as a people, and as a nation. All we have to do is use our appendages to embrace those things that I find most ennobling, and discard those things that, to my mind, serve only to cheapen and degrade our national experience as citizens of this great country, and our appendages.

Everyone has an obligation, some might even say a duty, to serve this Call to National Bestness. The way to do this is to subsume your own selfish disinterest in National Bestness, and submit yourself fully to it. The temptation to do with your appendages whatever you want is a great one, but failure to follow the Call to National Bestness is a failure of your obligations to our society and culture, and a way of striking a blow against the very society and culture whose benefits you claim to enjoy. It is a guarantee of failure of everything, from the individual, to the collective of society. And when our society and cultures fail, our citizens cannot be far behind. And from there, we lose our appendages. As Alexander Hamilton, one of our most famous Founding Fathers, once wrote, "only a graceful appendage of wealth . . . the tendency of things will be to depart from the [Bestness] standard."

The reasons for following the Call to National Bestness are as follows:

1) Each person, regardless of his or her status within a society, has an obligation to see that the society of which they are a part improves more than if it had not improved, based on the use of your appendages.

2) Not serving the Call to National Bestness is the same as living your life only halfway, or perhaps two-thirds of the way, but certainly under no circumstances by much more than that. This is the selfish self-interest in the use of "your" appendages.

3) There is no greater feeling for the citizen than to know that he or she has given his or her best to the Call of National Bestness, regardless of the intentions of that person, or his or her desire to actually heed the Call of National Bestness. In other words, to think of "your" appendages as "our" appendages.

4) When people become corrupt, they lose the appendages that provide connection to the Call of National Bestness. Corruption of the appendages is the symptom of not heeding the Call of National Bestness.

5) Do not be cynical about things that are important to me; they should be important to you, as well, and you should be willing to sacrifice appendages. That is what National Bestness is all about.

The national landscape is changing in harrowing ways. People do not, any longer, believe in the institutions that I believe has made us a strong society, a beacon to others seeking National Bestness. This is the lowest form of unassertiveness, and it is vital that we achieve assertiveness, especially in a way that is moral, and therefore best. The best of the Bestness is sure to follow, as will our appendages.

Tell me, then: Who will bring his appendages to heed the all-important call of National Bestness?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A New Slogan and Bumper Sticker for John McCain


Now that Senator John McCain, who represents the people of the great state of Arizona, is sorta pretty much the nominee for the Republicans, I thought I would be gracious and offer up a new slogan and bumper sticker, which co-opts this campaign season's most important word.

Good luck, Senator! You'll need it!

Ricky Sprague's Tales of Regret- Special Valentine's Day Edition

A special Valentine’s Day-themed edition of my ongoing Tales of Regret feature:

As stated previously, I attended classes at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. I went there because my gf was there, and I wanted to impress her. My moving impressed her, but she was rarely impressed by anything else I did. My gift-giving skills were particularly bad. For instance, one Valentine’s Day I cooked her a meal consisting of Smack Ramen and Spam, with conversation hearts floating in jell-o for desert (I was poor). The year before I presented her with a Bullwinkle T-shirt I had won by eating 40 Taco Bell tacos in a month (she gave it back to me).

Well, this particular Valentine’s Day, the one I’m discussing right now, I was determined would be different.

Being young university students we were both interested in multiculturalism. One of New Mexico’s great selling points is that it is a state full of representatives of other cultures, including Mexican, Native American, Spanish, African American, and White. There are ample opportunities to explore these cultures.

I could have taken her to see some Anasazi ruins. I could have taken her to Chaco Canyon, the center of the Native Heritage Trail Scenic Byway. We could have gone to the restored 1870s Spanish Colonial rancho Casa San Ysidro. I took her to a cockfight.

Up until 2007, Cockfighting was legal in New Mexico. For many years, animal rights advocates had tried to get it banned, but there was a great deal of resistance from legislators and from residents who claimed that the sport was part of their culture. The culture of New Mexico. The state in which we lived. The state I had moved to in order to be close to my gf. This was my thinking. By attending a cockfight, we would be learning about New Mexico’s culture.

It was difficult to learn the location of the cockfight, because New Mexicans are fiercely protective of their culture. Or they were back in the early '90s. It was only by chance that I came upon a tattered copy of “Grit and Steel,” the official magazine of game cocking, that had a list of February events. By luck, there was a Valentine’s Day special in a rural area about 30 miles from Albuquerque.

On that Valentine's Day I blindfolded my gf and led her out to my car. “Where are we going?” she asked, laughing.

“We’re going to have a special New Mexico experience,” I said, excited that I was finally giving her a gift that didn’t totally stink.

“Wow. Okay, let’s go!”

After we’d been in the car driving for about half an hour she asked me, a bit suspiciously, “Um, how much farther?”

I’d gotten lost on the country roads (they all looked the same to me) but I didn’t want to let her know that. “Not much father,” I asserted.

Not long after that I caught sight of a sleek, black truck with chickens in the back, and followed. Sure enough, within five minutes we’d reached our destination.

As soon as I’d parked the car I pulled off her blindfold and called out “surprise!” She looked around the dimly lit parking lot at the Hispanic, Asian, and white men (mostly men, but there were a few women), in cowboy boots, overalls and baseball caps, as they walked together in multicultural harmony toward the shabby corrugated metal building.

“Um, Richard, where are we?”

“We’re at a uniquely New Mexican sporting event!”

She gave me a cynical look. “That’s the kind of thing you say when you’re bullshitting me. Where are we?”

“We’re at a cockfight!”

“Oh my god, I cannot believe you brought me to a cockfight!”

“It’s New Mexican culture-“

“It’s barbaric! I can’t believe you thought I would want to see a cockfight!”

“You like New Mexico, and you eat chicken! What’s the big deal?”

“How can you be so dense? You actually thought this was a good Valentine’s Day present? This is your worst present ever!”

“Oh Jesus, you say that every year.”

“And every year it’s true! Take me out of here now.”

“Come on, let’s just go in for a little bit. A few minutes. If you don’t like it, then we can leave.” Sensing an opening, I continued: “You can’t judge something before you’ve actually seen it for yourself. That’s not very tolerant.”

I couldn’t help but smile at that. It was pretty sweet reasoning. I was smiling when she turned to me. She was not smiling. “Fine. But you are an ass.”

Inside the building (there was a sign on the door that had been drawn on a small piece of cardboard that read “Jimmy and Juan’s Game Cockery Farm”) we discovered a world unlike any we’d ever before seen. The men milled around, loudly talking, making purchases of gaffs and penicillin, and examining the chickens that were in cages along the far wall. The smell was of mud and sweat, and a little blood and rust. At the center of the building was a large “pit,” which was approximately 15 feet wide and 15 feet long, surrounded by wire mesh. Around the cage were several rows of long wooden benches on risers.

We approached the cages and surveyed the animals. They were really quite extraordinary- lean and muscled, with elegant plumage. “Wow, look at that one,” I said, pointing out a particularly eye-catching chicken whose name was, according to the sign on its cage, “James Featherduster.” “He’s got a great looking, uh, whatever you call those things that dangle off their beaks.” (I didn’t know what they were called.)

“I just want to get out of here,” my gf whispered. I didn’t hear that at the time, though. She told me later that she’d said that.

“Ya’ll oughter put a few bucks on ol’ James here,” his owner asserted, his leathery face cracking into a toothy smile. “He’s got the real warrior spirit in ‘im.”

I looked at my gf, whose face had lost all color. “Let’s put a few bucks on him!” I said. It seemed like an important part of the experience, and I didn’t want to miss out on it. James Featherduster’s owner instructed me that bets were placed immediately before the fight, so we made our way back over to the risers and had a seat. My gf had her hand on my arm, in an ironclad grip, her body close to me. I must have been doing something right!

James Featherduster’s handler carried him into the pit, and on the other side another handler carried his chicken. As the two men began attaching the gaffs (small metal spikes) to the chickens’ legs, a man wandered into the crowd and we all stood and started placing bets with him.

When I handed over my five-spot and told the bet-taker that I wanted it all on James Featherduster’s nose, one of the other bettors laughed at me.

“What’s funny?” I asked, defensively.

“Cock-A-Doo is going to rip James Featherduster a new one, that’s all!” the man said.

“Cock-A-Doo is that good, huh?”

“James Featherduster looks good,” the man explained. “But Cock-A-Doo has won eight matches in a row. He’ll take the Featherduster down!”

“Okay,” I said. I had no idea what I was doing anyway. “Put that five on Cock-A-Doo.”

After a few minutes the betting was over and the match started. James Featherduster and Cock-A-Doo couldn’t wait to get at each other, practically flying across the pit. They met dead center, about two feet off the ground, pecking with their beaks. Their feathers flared, and a roar went up from the crowd as they hit the ground.

My gf buried her head in her hands, so she missed the best part, as the two chickens parried, thrust, and pecked, in movements both balletic and brutal. Feathers and blood flew.

The chickens were hooked to each other at one point, and had to be separated. Their handlers came out and pulled them apart. Then, each did something I thought was strange: they put their mouths on the chicken’s asses and blew. One of the other spectators helpfully explained to me that doing this helps stimulate the animals. I joked that blowing on my ass would stimulate me, too, and that got a laugh. I felt pretty good, like I was really connecting with these people.

I turned to look at my gf, to see if she’d appreciated my humorous remark, but she was turned away, dry heaving. “We can leave as soon as this fight’s over,” I reassured her. I thought Cock-A-Doo had a chance, and I might win some bucks.

Well, Cock-A-Doo didn’t win. At the end of the fight he was a broken, bloody mess; dead but still involuntarily pecking away with his lifeless head. “Well, at least he’s not a quitter,” I said as my gf and headed out.

“Why are you crying?” I asked my gf when we were back in the car.

“Because I love you,” she said. I thought that was the sweetest thing she’d ever said to me.

But I do regret taking that other bettor’s advice and putting my five bucks on Cock-A-Doo. I should have trusted my first instinct and bet on James Featherduster. You really should trust your instincts.

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Letter to Mel Gibson after seeing "The Passion of the Christ"

Way back in 2004, I think it was, I went to a screening of "The Passion of the Christ" at the beautiful Grove Theater near the beautiful Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax in Los Angeles. I was so moved by that film that I sent the director, Mel Gibson, a letter. Today, I finally received a reply! I present below both my original letter to Mr Gibson, and his thoughtful response:

My letter to Mel Gibson, after seeing “The Passion of the Christ”

Dear Mel,

I have just seen “The Passion of the Christ,” and I just wanted to thank you so much for making such a positive, uplifting, spiritually enriching movie! It is AWESOME, the most awesome movie ever, even better than “The Matrix,” which is the most awesome movie ever.

I took this woman I know, and I was heartened to see that there were a bunch of families there, with three generations (grandmother, mother, small child). It’s heartening because there’s finally a movie that’s appropriate for the whole family, and even though the woman I know and almost everybody else had to cover their eyes and stuff for like an hour of it, we all knew that we should watch it because it’s the only way we can really understand the sacrifice that JC made for us.

And man, what a sacrifice! Like when that Roman picked up that thing, well first when they were beating him with the bamboo sticks or something, and then they stop, and you’re sorta worried because you think they might stop beating him, and then his sacrifice wouldn’t be any big deal, you know? Like, big deal boo hoo, they hit him with some bamboo, oh that’s too bad, but then that Roman guy picks up that chain whip thing with the hooks, and then he hits the wooden table, sort of subtly telling us what’s going to happen to JC’s meat when he gets whipped with it, and then you SHOW us what happens to his meat, and he’s getting beat like forever, and you see all the blood and skin and stuff coming off and it’s awesome because you know he’s doing it to save us. And you know that he put that guy’s ear back on his head at the beginning, so you know he could really get those other Romans, if he wanted to, but JC doesn’t play that game, as your movie shows.

I also liked how you strove for historical accuracy in making your movie based on a strict literal interpretation of the BIBLE. Like having them all speak in Aramaic and Latin, like they did in real life, and having the devil in it. Also, the part where JC invented the dining room table and chairs, because I didn’t know he invented those things, but I bet he invented lots of things because he’s JC, and you didn’t want to spend too much time on that stuff because your movie is about how he got beat down!

Plus, best of all, I liked that it was super violent, so now everybody is going to try to top you just like they have with “Saving Private Ryan,” another awesome movie with lots of blood that taught me a lot. And the next time anybody says that the movie I’m watching is too violent, or the video game is too violent, I can just say that it has to be that violent in order for me to fully appreciate the sacrifice of the person who’s getting the smackdown laid on him or her or getting shot or whatever. Hey! That’s an awesome idea! You could do a video game about this, where you can play either JC who’s getting beat down (and you could keep hitting the triangle button to turn the other cheek or something and get points for not fighting back), or you could play as the Roman guy, and get points for like when you beat him so bad his ribs poke through his skin like in the movie.

Also, I really liked the dialog, like on the Sermon on the Mount, where JC goes, “If you don’t love your enemies, what good does that do you?” or whatever, it sounds better in Aramaic or Latin whichever JC was speaking, and you really showed it at the end when the Temple is destroyed and that one Jewish guy was all like crying and stuff. Don’t mess with JC!

Anyway, thanks again for your compelling movie which I loved, for all the reasons above stated.

Sincerely,
Ricky Sprague
Los Angeles, CA



And Mr Gibson's reply:

Dear Ricky,

Thanks for being such a great fan.

Yrs,

Mel


Encl: Headshot

Thursday, February 7, 2008

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS FOR THE WEEKEND OF FEB 8-10

Once again I show off my insider status as regards Hollywood by dazzling you with my iron-clad foolproof predictions for the weekend box office. These predictions are arrived at by a complicated scientific formula that takes into account such factors as audience awareness, promotions and marketing, and other things that would amaze you if you heard what they were (I have a spreadsheet). So please read and be impressed, as happens every week:

1. SCREAMING GIRLS IN 3-D: This movie explores the cult surrounding that girl whose father is the "Achy Breaky Heart Guy." It made about $789 million last weekend, and should top $982 million this weekend, because little girls are forcing their parents to take them. The audiences are terrifying. Soon, they will take over the world. I mean that literally. You know how adults are always saying ridiculous things like "the children are our future," and "I'm voting for kids"? Well, check out this film and see what you're actually "voting" for. They will assimilate you.

2. THE I: Jessica Alba portrays a woman who loses all her appeal after she's impregnated by some no-name jackass. $234 million.

3. THE JUNO LIST: Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman portray two old men who are dying of explosive diarrhea. They make a vow to dp a teenage girl before they pass on, and little Juno, a "whip smart" 16 year old girl, responds to their Craigs listing. But when Juno gets pregnant, none of them is sure which of the two older men is the father of the child. Hilarity ensues because Nicholson's character wants Juno to get the abortion, and Freeman's character wants Juno to not get the abortion, so that they can sacrifice the newborn baby to a pagan god who will extend his life. This movie is appealing to the entire family, from the whip smart 16 year olds to the dying elderly. Expect it to add another $724 million to an already impressive cume.

4. RAMBO 27: THE DRESSES: Sylvester Stallone makes a brave choice, portraying a pre-op transsexual who leads tourists down a river in Burma. When the intolerant government discovers his/her secret, they send in the army to prevent him going through with his operation. Well, Rambo doesn't take kindly to that. He kills every last damned one of them. In the end-- spoiler alert-- his kindly doctor, portrayed by Katherine Heigl, performs the operation, and he changes his name to "Clara Rambo." Audiences are eating this with a spoon; another $582 million should improve its cume impressively.

5. GEORGE CLOONEY IS SENSITIVE: George Clooney plays himself as a man who cares a lot about people who are being exploited. It is a powerful, moving performance, made all the more poignant because it is so sincere, and honest. This film didn't do very well when it was released last year, but that's only because audiences are afraid of honesty, and like to go see movies like "Foolish Movie" (see below). But if they give this one a chance, they will see how sensitive George Clooney is. Look for this poignant, sincere film to finally connect with audiences for a robust $290 million weekend.

6. FOOLISH MOVIE: Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson star as a divorced couple who go out on a hunt for a humorous, romantic script. They never find it. Oh, can you stand the charm of this film? Can you afford to miss it? My sources tell me that Mr McConaughey appears without a shirt in a couple of scenes, which is a really brave choice for him. My sources also tell me there are actually people who look forward to movies like this. Expect this film to top $589 million this weekend.

7. UNSPARTABLE: This movie hilariously sends up bad movies by actually being bad itself. Audiences are responding to its postmodern quality. Diane Lane plays a woman who gets on the internet and watches clips from various comedy films. But if she watches too many, she will die! Audiences are flocking to this incredible film that has Hollywood scratching its head. $482 million this weekend.

8. WELCOME HOME TO YOUR FAMILY HOME WHERE YOUR FUNNY FAMILY IS: Here's another one of those movies that features a quirky, wacky family. A family so much like your own. Don't you love spending time with your family? Then why not spend time with a fake family that's so much like your own? That's the philosophy behind this film, a film so funny and charming that it doesn't have time to mess with putting punctuation in the title. Martin Lawrence plays the only sane member of a wacky family. People love that stuff! Oh, this will make $623 million this weekend! Jesus Christ!

9. UGLY WOMEN ARE BAD: Paris Hilton portrays an attractive, and therefore good, young woman. Her friend is ugly, which makes her bad. This film is appealing to everyone who is not afraid to face the truth about the way the world really is. Look for it to make about $129 million, because it's only playing in about 100 theaters, for some reason.

10. U2 IN 3D: Imagine having a face full of Bono. That's what you get in this exciting film that documents the noble charity work of Bono, and the band in which he sings. At the end of the movie, Bono ascends to heaven on a golden chariot, and drops a bomb on the screaming girls from this weekend's top box office movie. Bono is a vengeful god, you see, and does not want anyone, even screaming little girls, to worship any other gods above Him. It will make an astonishing $infinite amount of money, because the normal rules of space/time and value do not count in reference to Bono.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Horoscopes for the remaining Presidential candidates (except Ron Paul)

Here are the astrological forecasts for the remaining presidential contenders. As you know, astrology is a science, just like astronomy, only more so. A lot of careful thought and study went into these. Here they are:

MITT ROMNEY: You are an ambitious person by nature. For instance, you want to be president. You have amassed a great fortune because of your stick-to-it-iveness. This quality is sure to help you in all future endeavors, whatever those endeavors may be (you will not be president).

MIKE HUCKABEE: Today is the perfect day to putter around the house with the family, particularly the dangerously psychopathic ones. Try to prevent any of them from hanging dogs from trees. You are quick with a homily, which makes you charming, but you might want to "change things up" a bit, by which I mean read a book or something, you're a moron.

JOHN MCCAIN: People like and respect you, because if they don't you physically attack them. A wise man once said it is better to be feared than liked, which is the polite thing to say to someone who is a total thug and bully. You will be just as good a president as the current one, only a little more assertive. Try not to eat the chicken dish; I don't want to make you paranoid, but I think someone is trying to poison you.

BARACK OBAMA: Today's your big day! If you're running for something, see if you can get as many people as possible involved in some crazy scheme you're cooking up. It's a good time to try something crazy! You're so close you can almost taste it! Now's the time to really seal the deal; perhaps by appearing somewhere in a funny hat, and without a shirt. Do not listen to your strategist or adviser who might think that's a crazy idea. Now is the time to "go with your gut." You can trust your gut, especially if it's telling you to do what this horoscope is telling you to do.

HILLARY CLINTON: Someone close to you needs serious help. Why not take a day or two and talk to this man, maybe get him to stop campaigning for you? People really like you, because you know what's best for them, even if they don't. Try not to worry when you feel rejected. You know that in the long run they will come back to you, because deep down they know only you can help. And if they don't know that, then they're not worth ruling over anyway.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Another Inside Politics column!

I'm thinking about changing the title of my exclusive political column to "First of All," where I employ an annoying and trite "first of all" opening to each paragraph. Here I try out a "First of All" mini-column:

First of all, regarding Hillary Clinton's tears: My sources tell me that they were real, and the reasons they were shed were threefold: First, after campaigning non-stop for nearly four years, Ms Clinton has developed painful bunions on her feet (which could be avoided if only the fashion-conscious Senator would wear sensible shoes); and second, she has recently been made aware of the nefarious underground organization known as Anybody But US Senator Hillary, or ABUSH, which has mobilized against her for tomorrow's voting. ABUSH's stated goal is the total obliteration of Ms Clinton's presidential campaign, and from what I'm hearing they are set to accomplish this Super Tuesday, as she will win none of the states holding elections, and go down to ignominious defeat, much like the cheating New England Patriots did in the Super Bowl last Sunday. Thirdly, the former "first lady" was supposed to win the nomination easily, but she hasn't; she's had to work for it, in spite of endorsements from Jack Nicholson et al. That is very wearying.

First of all, my sources tell me that conservatives are invigorated by new polling suggesting that the presidential race's only true conservative, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, may be pulling within 17 percentage points of John McCain. Apparently, the surge can be attributed to a coalescing of the conservative standard-bearers, National Review magazine and Rush Limbaugh's radio program behind the candidate who's been called "at least as conservative as G. W. Bush." I'm also hearing that Mr Romney's Mormonism, far from being a liability, is actually considered an asset, as the Senator from Arizona is (allegedly) an atheist.

First of all, speaking of atheists, the "Sinister Minister" (because he's left-handed, according to my sources) Mike Huckabee has agreed to stay in the race as a favor to his friend John McCain, with the goal being to try to suck away votes from the deeply religious Romney. McCain has apparently promised Huckabee a cabinet position in a possible McCain administration: Secretary of Keeping Things Decent. My sources tell me that McCain is hoping that the illiterate Huckabee doesn't find out there's no such cabinet department until after Super Tuesday.

First of all, Senator Barack Obama's fundraising for the fourth quarter of 2007 was no fluke. He earned just slightly more than Republican representative Ron Paul, and my sources tell me that this means that Obama is now considered at least as viable as Paul. That is, in certain states like "California" and "Kansas". My sources are also telling me that when Obama wins every Super Tuesday primary (thanks to ABUSH, see above), he will attempt to avoid gloating about it by biting the inside of his lip as he gives his victory speeches, one for each state. It should take about four hours (it would be longer, but I'm told Obama takes Montana and North Dakota about as seriously as I do, meaning they'll each only get a few seconds).

First of all, I am tired of the "first of all" thing. First of all, I am going to take a nap.

Monday, February 4, 2008

My Predictions for Super Tuesday Election Results!

An Exclusive Ricky Sprague "Inside Politics" column!

For immediate release:
Tomorrow is Tuesday, February 5, 2008. It is called Super Tuesday because a bunch of the states are having their presidential primaries, and the two major political parties ("Democrat," and "Republican") will elect delegates to their respective party conventions, these delegates are to be pledged to the specific candidates that receive the most votes. Now that you have the background, I would like to offer up my own predictions, based on what I'm hearing out in the field, from my sources. Only the most reliable of my sources have been consulted and listened to. Hence, the projected accuracy of this column.

Now on to the predictions, broken down by state:

ALABAMA: For the Democrats, look for Barack Obama to squeak past Hillary Clinton to win all of this state's important 68 delegates. On the Republican side, my sources are telling me to expect Mike Huckabee to pull off the upset over Mitt Romney to score the state's 87 delegates.

ALASKA: Not a lot of people even realize this is a state; as a result it's delegate count is unknown to me. It must be very cold there. Why this is not part of Canada is beyond me. On the Democratic side, look for Barack Obama to grab all the delegates, while it will be Mitt Romney for the Republicans.

ARIZONA: This state is in the southwest, and conventional wisdom has it that it's near the US border with Mexico. Immigration is big there, as a result, so they say, which plays to Barack Obama's strengths. Expect him to nab all 431 delegates, many of them Spanish speakers, which is sure to gall Republicans. Speaking of Republicans, although this is John McCain's state, and he's well known there, I still expect him to win all 782 delegates here.

ARKANSAS: Not to be confused with Kansas, this southern state has given us one of the last three presidents, and looks to do so again, as Mike Huckabee (the state's former governor) will take all 398 Republican delegates. He did such a great job for the state, taking it from number 49th to 48th in the nation for literacy, and 45th to 46th in poverty. On the Democratic side, look for Barack Obama to sweep up all 421 delegates, surprising no one, especially not me (and readers of this political column).

CALIFORNIA: This is the glittering prize, the jewel in the crown of the delegate race, as it awards more than 7 million delegates to the respective winner of each party's primary. On the heels of his endorsements from "The Governator" and a bunch of newspapers, I expect John McCain to lose out to Mitt Romney, who will pick up all of the aforementioned 7 million delegates, much to the delight of Hugh Hewitt. As for the Democrats-- Oprah Winfrey campaigned for Barack Obama in this state, need I say more?

COLORADO: My sources are telling me to expect John McCain to feel "mile high" thanks to his winning of the state's 4 delegates. That's a small number, but Colorado shouldn't feel too bad, considering it's got all that so-called "natural beauty," because of the all the mountains. Mountains that are terrifying to drive through, especially during thunderstorms. Don't ask. And don't ask why Barack Obama will pick up all 5 Democratic delegates in this delegate-poor state.

CONNECTICUT: Connecticut holds the distinction of being the only state whose name is composed of two antonyms joined by a vowel. For this reason, look for Mitt Romney to pick up all 298 Republican delegates. On the Democratic side, wild guess, Barack Obama should "connect" with 523 Democratic delegates. Oh, and Mitt Romney will "cut" John McCain; I should have said that when I was mentioning his delegate count.

DELAWARE: Everyone is "delaware" of the fact that Delaware calls itself "The First State." I think they mean chronologically, not alphabetically. Mitt Romney will take all 31 Republican delegates, while Barack Obama will score all 45 Democratic delegates.

GEORGIA: While the state's governor prays for rain, the presidential candidates (at least those who believe in a deity) will be praying for votes. Look for Barack Obama's prayers to be answered on the Democratic side, as he takes all 58 delegates. As for Republicans, Mike Huckabee looks to win big, in spite of the fact that one of his campaign promises is to close down every fast food restaurant in America. People are irrational when it comes to voting. 590 delegates for him.

IDAHO: "I'd a ho" what will happen in this state, other than the fact that Barack Obama will win every delegate for the Democrats, and Mitt Romney will win every Republican delegate. But see, the thing is, the state's delegates are actually potatoes. I'm serious about that.

ILLINOIS: Barack Obama's home state looks to award him a big number of delegates, probably about 50 or so. This is also Mitt Romney's home state, possibly, although I could be wrong about that. He will pick up all 32 Republican delegates.

KANSAS: I once got two speeding tickets during ONE SINGLE STOP-- one from a state trooper, the other from a city officer, and for that reason I refuse to recognize this state's "delegates."

MASSACHUSETTS: This is the state that Mitt Romney governored for four or eight years. He is beloved here, and look for him to pick up all the Republican delegates. As for the Democrats, Ted Kennedy's recent endorsement of Barack Obama should be enough to put the Illinois Senator over the top in this important state, which is often called "Taxachusetts" by humorous conservatives.

MINNESOTA: It's a very cold state, but it has a warm spot in its heart for John McCain, primarily because the residents don't know him personally. He will win all 592 Republican delegates. As for the Democrats, the polling is very close, but look for Barack Obama to pull ahead of the other candidate and win all 319 delegates.

MISSOURI: Based on projections from the most scientific of sources (push polling, and focus groups), I'm calling this state for Barack Obama on the Democrat side, and Mitt Romney on the Republican side. No idea how many delegates they get.

MONTANA: Let's be honest. Nothing against the great citizens of this state, but, seriously, I don't think anyone cares.

NEW JERSEY: The Garden State is our most densely populated, and a microcosm of our nation at large (it's our most representative state). The winners of this state's primaries will win their respective party's nominations. For the Republicans, Mitt Romney will surge past McCain to win all 937 delegates, while on the Democrat side it will be Barack Obama getting all 523 delegates.

NEW MEXICO: If you like spicy food, this is the state for you. And if you like your politics as spicy as your food, then this is also the state for you. And I'm not just saying that to suck up to great people of this, the greatest state in the union. I am saying that because I want someone out there to send me some of those great peppers I like so much. Look for winners in both the Democratic and Republican primaries.

NEW YORK: The state made safe by Rudolph Giuliani following those dark days after 9/11. My sources tell me, however, that America's Mayor has dropped out of the race, leaving the state's 923 Republican delegates to John McCain. On the Democrat side, polling released just today shows the Senator from New York with a 56% to 34% lead on Barack Obama, who is closing the gap fast, and looks to take this state's 452 delegates.

NORTH DAKOTA: See Montana.

OKLAHOMA: Sorry, Oklahoma, but see Montana. Unless a tornado hits.

TENNESSEE: Had been trending for the former First Lady, but thanks to Al Gore's endorsement of Barack Obama, look for the Illinois senator to pick up all 498 country music delegates. On the Republican side, the family values candidate Mitt Romney should boot scoot boogie his way to all 532 delegates.

UTAH: The Mormon capital of the world will award all it's delegates, Republican and Democrat, to Mitt Romeny and his magic underwear. Total: 4,821 delegates to the successful businessman.

WEST VIRGINIA: The last state to vote, or at least the last state alphabetically. This one is a statistical dead heat, but I expect, based on the information I'm getting from my gurus, that Barack Obama, the greatest American hero since John F. Kennedy, will pick up all 652 Democratic delegates, while John McCain, the greatest American hero since Henry Kissinger, will get the state's 590 Republican delegates.

AMERICAN SAMOA: No idea.

There you have it. Bank on these predictions. A lot of thought went into them.