Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Drudge Report Ripped Me Off!

Today The Drudge Report had this picture up this morning above the headline "Doesn't Look Like All The Others":



It looked a bit familiar to me, because I already did a funny dollar with Obama's face on it here. Clearly, Matt Drudge and Andrew Breitbart are ripping me off. I hope they will do the right thing and send me tons and tons of money; but real money, not fake money with Barack Obama's face on it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

13 Worst Pick-Up Lines

The following are some of the worst pick-up lines ever used. Learn from my mistakes. If you see a woman you're interested in, DO NOT USE ANY OF THESE LINES. Presented for educational purposes only.

According to the Bible, the first woman was formed from the rib of the first man, and I would like to bone you.

Check out my sweet bus pass.

Let’s go back to your place- mine is infested with vermin.

If I were you, I’d go out with me. In fact, sometimes I think I am you, watching myself from the next building over, taking photos with a telescopic lens. Do you ever get that feeling too?

You seem to be about my size; let’s try on each others’ clothes.

I’m a lot more sensitive than the guy you came here with.

Are those breasts real? Seriously? Are you sure? Let me feel them.

You’re like an older Miley Cyrus.

I’m celebrating my recent publication in Mad magazine, and I’d like to buy you a drink.

If you don’t go home with me I’ll just spend the evening thinking of you and masturbating anyway.

Have I seen you on pornamateurs.com?

9/11 was an inside job. I have some proof back at my place; I’ll show you.

I’m really desperate for companionship.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Few Notes on Traveling to the United Kingdom

INTRODUCTION TO THE TRIP

It’s been said by better people than me that they drive on the wrong side of the street and talk funny in Great Britain. But if you think there’s nothing more to this famous land than an eccentric refusal to drive on the right (i.e., “proper”) side of the street and a peculiar habit of dropping superfluous “u’s” into words (i.e., “favourite”), then you are woefully mistaken. Worse than that, you’re ignorant.

But ignorance is no crime, unless you’re committing a crime without realizing it, such as forgetting to pay for a tube of digestives you’ve taken off a shelf at Morrisons, a prominent store in the United Kingdom.

I visited this land for a week in July 2008, and I came away from the experience with some new insights, which I hope to share in this exciting travel narrative.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE UNITED KINGDOM

The first thing you should know about the United Kingdom is that it combines the charm of a drab, elderly woman in sensible knickers with the convenience of something really inconvenient. The citizens have been raised to believe that concepts like comfort and satisfaction are decadent, and therefore rude.

THE FOOD IN THE UNITED KINGDOM IS BAD

I don’t mean to make a blanket judgment based on only a few days worth of experiences, but the food in the United Kingdom is uniformly bad.

The food is an excellent case in point. Start with the “English Breakfast,” not to be confused with the “Appetizing Breakfast.” It consists of warmed over tomatoes from a can, warmed over beans from a can, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, heavy tubes of sausage, and something they playfully refer to as “bacon.” It is not bacon. It is half-cooked soggy ham strips. The hotel we stayed at in London included shot glasses filled with watery orange juice. The best part was the heavy oatmeal. £4.95, which, with the poor exchange rate, was about $10.00.

Okay, why not try a pub? Those are famous places at which to get a little refreshment. Well, that’s just what I did, after a day of visiting The Tower of London, a famous prison at which they used to hold people who belonged to the wrong Christian sects and homosexuals. (In fairness to Britons, to my knowledge they no longer imprison people for these reasons.)


A suit of armor in the Tower of London museum.
First Knight: Nice codpiece.
Second Knight: That's what she said!


At this pub I had a dish called Sausage with Bubble and Squeak, which consisted of four of those sausages in about a half-inch of a sweet vinegary fluid that might be called “sauce,” surrounding a patty of potato, cabbage, and something I could not identify (it was shredded), on which rested three onion rings. What the sausages lacked in flavor (“flavour”), they more than made up for in density. The potato patty was soggy, but I don’t think that was from the sauce. The onion rings had been left in the deep fryer just long enough.

But the true measure of any pub is its beer, or “ale,” and on this score, I am unfit to judge. I can’t tell the difference between “good” and “bad” beer- it all tastes like what I imagine stale animal urine would taste like. I prefer White Russians and Mojitos. Anyway, the sip of Guinness that I had tasted like any can of Pabst.

WHY IS MCDONALD’S THE MOST POPULAR RESTAURANT IN THE UK?

To be honest, I’m not sure that it is. But I can tell you that each time I stepped into one, it was more crowded than any other restaurant, with lines (“queues”) that stretched almost as long as the lines to get on the buses. So at least, it’s massively popular, and it’s easy to see why. The food tastes decent and it’s relatively inexpensive (meal deals started at £2.99). But I didn’t want to wait in line for something I could get at home anyway (although I was curious about the “Little Mexican”), so instead I went down to Burger King and got the six mini Angus burgers meal for £5.99. That’s around $12, American, which is like TGI Friday’s prices.


My Burger King Angus Burgers. They weren't what I would call "good." But the Coke was served without ice, which was interesting.


MINI REVIEWS OF FOOD IN THE UK

Fish and chips: Crap and shit

Mince meat pie: Wince- eat why?

Scottish Breakfast: Avoid

Indian Food: Not bad, actually. I would stick with this


Mince meat pie. It tasted like a Banquet Beef Pot Pie you would get in a box from your local Ralphs (or Kroger) in America. But with fewer vegetables. By the way- they do love their peas in the UK. You can get them whole or "mushy," which is probably great if you like baby food.


BRITISH BOWEL MOVEMENTS

Unfortunately, I was unable to observe any actual British bowel movements. However, based on the toilet situation (they actually call bathrooms “toilets,” as in, “Where is the men’s toilet?” I’m not sure what they call the actual “toilets”), I believe that Britons’ turds must be small, dainty things that disintegrate upon contact with the two inches of bluish green water that sits in the bottom of every bowl I used. My own BMs are sturdy, and American-sized, and therefore required two or three flushes of British toilets. I admit I was vaguely concerned the first couple of times I used one, watching the water swirl and fill the bowl every so slowly, then listening during the interminable period while the bowl refilled.

In America, most toilets flush with an assertive whoosh that lets you know it means business, and won’t take any shit- so to speak. In the UK, toilets negotiate. “Pardon me, Mr. Poo, but would you mind terribly if we took this little trip into the sewer? I promise it won’t be too inconvenient. What’s that? You’d like only half to make this trip? Well, no worries, we’ll just have another go ‘round on the next flush. Cheers.” This seems all the more astonishing when you consider the British diet, which I’ve already discussed. Britons must break up their BMs and spread them out over the course of the day. In America, obviously, we’re all too busy working- the average American takes fewer than six hours of vacation time per year, compared to two months for the average Briton- to waste time on waste.


Typical UK toilet. Be prepared to flush several times if you're an American.


SOME BIG NEWS IN THE UK- GOVERNMENT GETS INVOLVED IN BOWEL MOVEMENTS

The day after we landed in London, the leader of the country (“Prime Minister”) announced a government initiative to encourage people to throw out less food. He made the announcement from the G-8 Summit in Japan. There are a couple of things that are off about this. First, England’s participation in the G-8 Summit implies that it is somehow one of the top eight countries in the world. I don’t want to be mean, but if England is in the top eight of anything, the world is in bad shape. How is a country with such questionable toilets considered “top eight?” The answer to that question is, “I don’t know, but it is a sad state of affairs.”

Second: Why is the government telling people how much they should throw away? Why is it the government’s business what people do with their own garbage? Deciding what to throw in the “rubbish bin” is a deeply personal choice that should be left to the individual, not some faceless government bureaucrat only interested in meeting his “quota.”

Third, and most important: Why are Britons only throwing out £8.00 worth of food per week? Given the fact that the food in the UK is rubbish anyway, the government should be quite pleased that the amount that’s actually thrown out is relatively small. And here’s something else that just occurred to me: Even if this rubbish is actually eaten, it’s just shit into the sewers anyway, so isn’t it just 6 of 1? Rubbish is rubbish, whether in the toilet or the bin.

IN CONCLUSION

I actually have a lot more observations, but I have lost interest in writing anymore. Suffice it to say, the people of the United Kingdom are blessed with the fortitude to actually live there, which is saying a lot. To them I say what I have said to all of my ex girlfriends: I wish you the best of luck in all future endeavors.


The British diet must be conducive to a long life, because I saw a lot of these signs all over England and Scotland. But really, why would you want to live to a ripe old age in a place with such food and bathroom problems?

Monday, July 28, 2008

"ZANY DICK!" Will Be Screening At The Sydney Underground Film Festival!



The fine folks at the Sydney Underground Film Festival have accepted my "transplant tragedy," "Zany Dick!" for inclusion in their illustrious event! Thanks so much to everyone associated with SUFF! They're good people, with shall we say eccentric taste.

Little Boy Escapes from Daycare and Heads to Hooters- And My Own Childhood Memories Come Rushing Back

When I read this heartwarming story of a child who said "Screw you" to societal norms and escaped the tyranny of his daycare center for the comfort of Hooters, I was reminded of my own frost-cool youth.

My mother had always wanted a little girl to dress and paint with make up and braid the hair of. Unfortunately, she had been saddled with me- a whining, irritating creature with the wrong genitalia. She endeavored to dispose of me in the least incriminating ways; she would leave me in a shopping cart in the fruit section of the local supermarket (Kroger), or send me off to a summer camp that consisted of four surly and slightly inbred brothers and a miniature (or perhaps malnourished) horse and strangely took place during winter, or she would take me to the police station and insist that someone had left me on her front porch.

But always, I made my way back to where I belonged. I belonged at home with a mother who understood that sometimes little boys of five years old need to spend time in a small room with no illumination and poor ventilation and "think about whatever it was you did." I belonged with a mother who didn't always put out her cigarettes on my arms. I belonged with a mother who only spent four nights a week dancing on tables at high society functions with drunken louts nicknamed "Bobo" and "Freddie."

Then my balls dropped at age eight and mother cut my hair and let me go out in pants instead of dresses, and stopped calling me "Nancy."

In a way, when you think about it, we're all just trying to get Hooters, aren't we?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Batman Kicks Iron Man’s Ass

Warning: Spoilers, especially of the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight.”

Toward the end of “The Dark Knight,” it’s revealed that Batman/Bruce Wayne has been working on a secret project that basically turns everyone’s cell phone into sonar images. He can spy on everyone in Gotham City. I’m not sure exactly how it works, but it’s both ultra cool and scary as hell. Batman realizes that one person shouldn’t have this power- he rationalizes using it because he needs to track the Joker, who is undeniably worse than Batman.

This same Batman who, in “Batman Begins,” brought down the entire League of Shadows to save the life of one murderer doesn’t trust himself to only use the spying device once. That’s why he gives Lucius Fox, the head of Wayne Enterprises’ Applied Science Division, the power to destroy it at any time. And he does just that, once Batman has found Joker.

There are a few decent people in the government, but even those decent people can be corrupted, as happened to poor Harvey Dent. A recurring theme throughout the film is that Commissioner Gordon doesn’t know who on the police force he can trust.

Compare this to the fascist presented in the Iron Man movie from earlier this summer. This is a guy who builds weapons for the government, so it can perpetuate its Middle Eastern war policies. When Tony Stark is kidnapped by insurgents, he uses his expertise to build a weapon to free himself. Upon his return to the United States he builds another, more impressive killing machine, so that he can fly back to the Middle East and act as a de facto government agent.

He hasn’t learned anything at all. Tony Stark should never have been in the Middle East at all. Our soldiers shouldn’t have been there. If it hadn’t been for the United States’ failed policies, he wouldn’t have gotten kidnapped.

Iron Man works for the government. Batman works outside of the government. At the end of “The Dark Knight,” Commissioner Gordon is forced to destroy the Bat-Signal, effectively severing all ties between hero and government. At the end of “Iron Man,” Tony Stark is recruited by Nick Fury of SHIELD, which we’re led to believe is some government defense agency.

A couple of more points:

Batman refuses to use a gun. Iron Man has rocket launchers that pop out of his shoulders.

Bruce Wayne spends the entire film nursing his broken heart. Tony Stark literally has a hole in his chest.

Bruce Wayne pretends to sleep with one hot prima ballerina after another, as part of his carefree, millionaire playboy cover. Tony Stark actually hops from bed to bed (come to think of it, this is one point where Iron Man is better than Batman. Sorry- forget this one.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

That Raging Hypocrite the Pope Gives a Speech in Australia


Hypocritically decrying materialism, all the while standing in his funny hats and jeweled scepters and solid gold candlesticks. Threatening anyone who disagrees with him with eternal damnation while railing against using fear against people. No, I don't like "the pope."

Original CNN article from which I swiped quotes here.

By the way- doesn't the pope look like one of Batman's villains in that fifth panel?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Laziest Spam Scam Email I've Ever Gotten

[ No Subject ]
Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:07 AM
From:
"earthquake2008"
To:
undisclosed-recipients



Greetings.
I am George Alex. , an attorney at law. A deceased client of mine, that shares the same last name as yours, who here in after shall be referred to as my client, died as the result of a heart-related
condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all the members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki /2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake
I can be reached on (georgealex7777@yahoo.com.hk) for more details about my late Client has a deposit of Eighteen Million Dollars ( US$18 Million) left behind.
Best regards,
George Alex.
Attorney at Law
georgealex7777@yahoo.com.hk


Seriously- one wikipedia article link and that's it? You didn't even bother to put my last name in there? This is the spam scam equivalent of those people who put up one string of lights at Xmas. If you're going to be that lazy, why even bother?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Zany Dick!" Accepted into the Dragon*Con Film Festival for 2008!



The fine and wonderful folks at the Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival have graciously accepted my short animated film, "Zany Dick!", for inclusion. So:

Thank you Dragon*Con for legitimizing my highly questionable efforts!

Congratulations to me, and to the inimitable Jeff Porterfield, who of course composed the amazing music, which is actually the best part of the movie!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

President Bush Responds to a Congressional Subpoena


I took Iago's final lines from "Othello" by the late William Shakespeare and put them in the head of the current president of the United States. It's cheeky fun!

Selling Votes on eBay

Why is it a crime to sell your vote? If it's YOUR vote, then you should be able to do with it what you want. If I choose to throw it away on McCain or Obama, or to vote for someone like McKinney or Barr, or better yet, to not vote at all, that's my business. The government can't force me to vote. I'm not voting anyway, so why not sell my vote to someone in a state like California, which is already safely Obama's?

In Iowa they have caucuses, where people trade votes all the time. It's built into the system. If a candidate doesn't reach a certain threshold (I think it's 15%), then they get nothing, and voters for said candidate are bribed and cajoled into throwing in with another candidate. That is representative democracy.

And, how is this any different from vote pairing? What about sex pledges? (Selling sex is illegal, so sex-for-votes scams should be, like, doubly illegal.)

Anyway, back to the story: How much is the state of Minnesota wasting in prosecuting this kid?

Then there's this sanctimonious humbug, from some gasbag in the Minnesota secretary of state's office:

"We take it very seriously. Fundamentally, we believe it is wrong to sell your vote," said John Aiken, a spokesman for the office. "There are people that have died for this country for our right to vote, and to take something that lightly, to say, 'I can be bought.'

"It's a real shame," he said. "I can imagine the conversations being held in American Legion Clubs and VFWs about whether this is a joke or not."


Is he saying that the people who died "for our right to vote" are having conversations in American Legion Clubs and VFWs? I'm sure that if you asked soldiers both living and dead if they appreciate every right they fought to defend, they'd probably come up with one or two that they don't like. But they fought for them anyway.

They fought for our FREEDOM, which should include the right to vote (if there's someone worth voting for), to not vote (if there's not someone worth voting for), or to sell your vote (if there's someone who wants to pay you for it).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pity the Poor Academic Widowers

Those are the men who are partnered with those whose devotions are divided. At times, it seems, they love their academia more than they love us. Long hours are spent at the computer composing articles or, less likely, syllabi, or even in the classroom (and the occasional office hours), while the academic widowers are left to pine, and wonder about their partners' loyalties.

I made a dinner consisting of foie gras, cheese, Ritz crackers, and a box of the finest wine I could locate. For dessert there would be scones. At 6:30 pm it was ready.

But where was My Professor?

My Professor returned from the academic conference stumbling drunk and questionably stained at 11:45. I said nothing, only crossed my arms and sighed.

"Well, the wine'sh shtill good," she slurred, pouring a glass. "And you got my fav'rite kin', too. How shweet."

"I thought you'd be back in time for dinner," I said, as dignified as possible.

"You know how theshe confrenshesh get," she said, between gulps. "I'm shorry. I'm shorry you went t' all the trouble."

"You're my partner. It's no 'trouble'."

"You sheem troubled." Hiccup.

"I'm troubled, but it's no trouble."

"You and your shentimental idiom!" Three more drinks.

"Stop using your vocabulary on me. You know I hate it when you use your vocabulary."

She examined her glass. "The volume is troublingly low," she said, to herself (not to me, no not at all), and refilled the glass. Then she turned her head in my direction and almost looked at me from below her heavy eyelids. "My vocabulary, ash you call it, ish th' only way t' deal with you when you get catachrishtic. Ooh, I'm not sure I ushed that properly--"

I sighed again. It was the only appropriate response when she got like this. This was my burden. For I loved her. I loved my academic.

Pity me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Mamma Mia!" is Appalling, Cliched, and Hateful

ABBA is a Swedish pop band consisting of four members, two of whom were songwriters who knew about fifty words of English between them. They used those fifty words to compose lyrics to accompany ridiculously catchy tunes during the 1970s, creating a string of popular songs. There's something admirable about this, even if the music is pure kitsch- the aural equivalent of a black velvet painting of a clown laughing. It's tolerable in small doses; say one or two songs a year. The musical "Mamma Mia!," which incorporates these songs into a sitcommy story as subtle as you'd expect from something with an exclamation point in the title, bludgeons all of the admirable qualities of the music until you find yourself wanting to kick Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson each in the shin.

The story is like a middle aged woman's pornographic fantasy, but with any possible sex appeal drip-dried away. About twenty years before the start of the story a woman has slept with three preposterously fantastic and successful men- an architect, a banker, and a writer!- any one of whom might have fathered her daughter. The daughter, who is now 20 and about to be married, has invited all three of these men to her wedding on some fabulous and fictional Greek island. Everyone is rich and worry-free and happy to just go hang out for a few days in Greece. Must be nice. There are plenty of complications, the likes of which might have made for an above-average episode of "Three's Company," but are strained and painful at this length (the daughter, who's invited the three possibles without her mother's knowledge, asks them to hide from the mother; the mother is trying to stay ahead of creditors). The daughter calls off her wedding, because she's just not ready yet. She'd rather just take a trip around the world with her fiance! Again, that must be nice. But that's not all: the mother gets a marriage proposal from one of the three possibles- the architect! It's all so glamorous, even to the point of one of the possibles- the banker- turning out to be gay! (Really, having a gay character in a musical full of ABBA songs is a bit too "on the nose," don't you think?) And as for the question of who's the real biological father- that's left unanswered! It just doesn't matter, you see, because each of the three possibles wants to be "one-third" father to the irritating girl (which is actually kind of insulting, when you think about it- none of them wants full responsibility for her)! What mother and daughter could ask for more?!

Sorry, I suppose I should have put the words "Spoiler Alert" somewhere in the previous paragraph, but it's just not possible to spoil something that's already rotten to the core. Exclamation point.

Watching "Mamma Mia!" is like being trapped in a car on an interminable road trip with a group of very annoying and tragic people who know every ABBA song forwards and backwards, and insist on singing those songs over and over, no matter how heavily you sigh, how obviously you roll your eyes, or how determinedly you shout at them, "STOP SINGING THOSE DAMNED SONGS!" Actually, your resistance only makes their singing more loud and shrill, because really all they want to do is E*N*T*E*R*T*A*I*N you! So why are you being so negative about it?

I don't think I have the vocabulary to properly express just how loathsome and hateful this is. It's pandering at the most cynical and blatant; cliched, unsurprising and boring, making its success as a stage show all the more dispiriting. I'm sure the movie will do just as well, which is more than it deserves. You'd be better off getting a copy of ABBA's "Gold" CD (preferably used) and listening to one song every six months or so.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Unusual Victorian poem about Ejaculation

For whatever reason, my erotic enema poem is one of the two or three most-visited entries on this blog. I think it has something to do with people's interest in erotic enemas. But there's also an interest in the author of that work, the obscure poet, Joel S. Muttoe. I know this because I've been getting requests for more examples of his poetics.

Thanks to Muttoe's almost total obscurity, and his disquieting lack of skill, I am one of the very few people to own any examples of his work. For this reason, as a public service, I am posting a scan of another of his romantic poems, this one relating to male ejaculate ("silt," as it was sometimes referred to in Victorian times), and probably just as good as his erotic enema poem, "Flood of Love," linked above. It was taken from an anthology called "Odes 'Pon a Damp'ning Shaft: The Erotic Poetics of the Penis," which was edited by the great educator and editor Dr. MacAdam Playfaire. It features a number of poems, each more questionable than the last. I believe it is, sadly, no longer in print. A search of eBay found one copy for $1,234.21.