Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mistresses Should Try to be Clear and Literate in their Apology Letters to the Wives of the Men with whom they've had Affairs

Should mistresses apologize to the wives of the men with whom they have affairs? This question of etiquette has been much on my mind ever since I read that one of the mistresses of the odious Jesse James sent an apology letter (by fax) to Sandra Bullock's agent.
Jesse James' alleged second mistress Melissa Smith sent an apologetic fax to Sandra Bullock’s agent’s office Sunday, regarding her alleged affair with the Oscar-winner's hubby.
Smith wrapped up the fax providing The Blind Side star with her e-mail address and phone number, saying: "From the bottom of my heart, I hope you accept my apology sincerely. Please contact me if you wish to discuss on the phone or in person."
It's difficult to rate the sincerity of the mistress in a situation such as this. It strains credulity to think that Ms. Smith did not realize that Mr. James was married. His wife is a world-famous actress. But we do not know what Mr. James told Ms. Smith.

She just doesn't understand me.

It's a marriage in name only.

We basically sleep in separate beds.

She won't give me a rusty trombone, which is my favorite position.

Men do say things like that. And a person who is at the mercy of her emotions-- oh, he just seems like such a deep and wonderful man he can't be lying!-- can be susceptible to such lies.

But does she need to apologize to the wife? Here's the letter:

First of all, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, Ms. Smith does herself no favors by beginning the missive "I'm sure you're wondering why I'm writing this letter to you." When a person begins a letter like that it is a sure bet that everything that follows is unworthy of your time.

If you have an apology to make, make it. Don't try to get inside the head of the letter's recipient.

And if you're going to apologize, don't follow up the apology with a sentence about how you know that nothing you say can take away the pain "of your actions." First of all, the grammar is garbled. Doesn't she mean to say "the pain caused by my actions"? (Or is she implying that Mr. James likes his action rough?) Second of all, if you know there's nothing you can do to alleviate the pain, why write to this person?

Then the second paragraph begins with yet another attempt by the author to get inside the head of the recipient. "I know that this message wills [sic] most likely go unanswered," she says, and then concludes the sentence by stating (for the third time in four sentences!) that she's sorry.

She then notes, in a letter of apology, that her actions are unforgivable!

Why would you apologize for something you believe to be unforgivable? And why do you suppose that the wife of the man with whom you cheated cares if you are ever able to forgive yourself?

She then begins the third paragraph by again stating that she knows she can't do anything to alleviate the pain her actions have caused (this time she uses much clearer wording). Then she apologizes again. Only this time, it's from "the bottom of [her] heart." That is like starting your letter with "I'm sure you're wondering why I'm writing this letter to you."

She then offers the wife the chance to call her or meet in person-- to what end? You've already apologized four times in the letter. You've admitted that you don't expect your apologies to do any good. You've stated you can't forgive yourself.

What the hell is there to talk about?

It's only too bad that this apology letter was so poorly executed. This letter should not have been sent to the wife, but to a proofreader, or an editor. She should be apologizing for her use of trite cliches and tautologies. She should be apologizing for her typographical and grammatical errors. She should be apologizing for the semi-literate nature of the letter.

As of now, the question is still open: Should a mistress apologize to the wife of the man with whom she had the affair? Would it make a difference if the husband lied to the mistress about the state of the marriage?

The only image I could find of Ms. Smith was this picture with the irritating Star magazine watermark. You'd think a stripper would have more of a web presence. I mean, Bombshell McGee had hundreds if not thousands of pictures online. I guess Mr. James wanted to be a little more subtle with this one.

Melissa Smith pic source.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tacky House and Food Revolution: Two Reality Shows that Perfectly Encapsulate Our Times

That is the premise of my latest post at When Falls the Coliseum-- that Style Network's Tacky House and ABC's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution are the perfect shows for our times. First two paragraphs:
It’s rare for a television reality show to perfectly capture the American cultural zeitgeist, except on those all-too common occasions when it actually does, which is frequently. These shows hold a mirror to our own reality (”reality” shows), by reflecting back to us who we are, what we’re doing, what are our shared interests. American Idol is a perfect microcosm of our culture’s pursuit of musical success (a “recording contract”), on which so many of our young, I-want-it-now-mp3-downloading children place so much importance. Then there is Survivor, which glorifies the reveling in the cut-throat world of deserted island back-stabbing in the pursuit of filthy lucre (”dirty money”), in the form of a $1 million prize. This is the type of greed typified by the current Goldman Sachs situation; I’m not sure of the specifics on that, but I know that a greedy win-at-all-costs attitude was the motivating factor.

Then there’s The Apprentice, which might just as well have been called The Show That Precipitated the Whole Bernie Madoff Scandal, since that is basically what it precipitated. Shows on VH1, such as Flavor of Love and Rock of Love teach our young women and girls to become sluts and whores, and even in some cases tramps, in the hopes of spending some time bedding rock and roll celebrities (see American Idol, above). These shows have fostered the current whore culture, where women don’t act like women, they act like whores, with their thongs sticking up over the tops of their low-riding jeans (if indeed they’re wearing any panties at all; very often they’re not, and photographed getting out of their limousines immodestly, on their way to shooting a career-making sex tape). The Real Housewives of series glorifies our consumerist culture by showing what becomes of the women begat by the VH1 shows — shallow, misbegotten old hags whose sole purpose in life seems to be merely to shop for shoes as a way of killing time between “cat fights” and botox injection appointments.
It has some decent laughs in it, I think. I get in a mention of the Krispy Kreme Double Down, and poke some fun at those columns that appear in publications like The New York Times in which the snobby stuck up writer tries to apply his own limited experience to everyone. Anyway.

You can read it all here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bret Michaels: The Coolest Man in America?

Not sure the question mark is necessary in the headline, but I put it in there because I'm not sure that it's really possible to know for certain exactly who is the coolest person in America. But my vote is for musician and reality television star Bret Michaels.

When I was a kid during the late '80s early '90s I was a bit of a stuck up jerk, especially about music. I liked Tom Waits, Steely Dan, Was (Not Was), Boz Scaggs, Alan Parsons Project, ABC, Howard Jones, B-52s, Joe Jackson and, well, that's about it. I still like all of those musicians (although of those, I really only listen to Steely Dan, Joe Jackson, and Was (Not Was) anymore), but I realize now that I was wrong about a lot of things back when I thought I knew everything. I was extremely limited in my musical taste.

For one thing, I hated Poison. Their songs sounded ridiculous to me-- what I heard of them, anyway-- and their look was affected and the only people I knew who listened to their music were the kids who picked on and made fun of me. I let that color my opinion. I once told someone who was rocking out to "Talk Dirty to Me" that "Poison might be the most aptly-named band in history. Their music is poison."

Yes, I really did talk like that when I was a kid. I'd say something semi-clever and then I would step all over it by explaining why it was so clever. Actually, I still do that sometimes.

I didn't realize just how cool this guy really was. I was kind of a jerk.

"Talk Dirty to Me" just sounded stupid. Really, you want to go into the cellar with someone and listen to her "talk dirty to you"? Wha--?

Well, I'm now going to write something that would make my younger self go into conniptions of snobby panic: "Talk Dirty to Me" is f*cking cool song. Yeah, the lyric is about "talking dirty," but we all know what he's really singing about.


Poison's songs can basically be broken down into two categories: songs about having fun, and songs about coitus. Then there are the songs about having fun during coitus. Occasionally they changed it up by singing about love lost, but you can tell, listening to those songs that they're still just having fun.

Can you think of two things that are better than having fun, and coitus?

The songs themselves, that seemed so scandalous at the time, are actually full of the innocence of youth. Look at the chorus for "Talk Dirty to Me":

Cause baby we'll be
At the drive-in
In the old man's Ford
behind the bushes
till I'm screamin' for more
Down the basement
lock the cellar door
And baby
Talk dirty to me

I'm struck now by the charm of that sentiment, and it's not just the reference to "the drive-in" (for those of you under 30: a drive-in was an outdoor movie screening facility in which people sat in their cars and watched a film projected on a screen, the size of which was greater even than most Imax screens today) or the mention of the "old man." It's the purity of purpose. This is a man who knows what he wants-- a woman who wants him. This is the woman who "never acts the way [she] should...and [she] like[s] it."

Two people in love. Or at least, two people engaging in coitus.

Is this the same woman from another of my favorite Poison songs, "Fallen Angel"?

She stepped off the bus out into the city streets
Just a small town girl with her whole life
Packed in a suitcase by her feet

Done with the small town that held no more promise for her, she pursues her dreams in the big city. She does this on her terms, even if the trip is not as easy as she might have expected.

And the work seemed harder
And the days seemed longer
Than she ever thought they'd be

She perseveres, but finds that success isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Just like a lost soul
caught up in the Hollywood scene
All the parties and the limousines

Such a good actress hiding all her pain
Trading her memories for fortune and fame

The man left behind (the man who'd spent that time in the basement "talking dirty"?) wonders what happened to the "girl [he] knew a year ago," but she's gone-- subsumed in the fast Hollywood life she pursued, heedless of the effect it might have on her.

It's hard to believe that the same fate ever might have befallen Bret Michaels. His image, at least that which has been presented in his reality show career, is that of a grounded man serious about his career, but who doesn't really care what anyone else thinks of him. He just wants to have fun.

It was this reality show Bret that I came to admire. Here was a guy having fun, doing exactly what he wanted to do-- meet attractive women and party. He was doing it in the age of ironic detachment, when no one ever admits what they really want. He was doing it at a time when everyone wants to be seen as "cool." At a time when you have to give excuses, there has to be some higher purpose to explain your motives.

And he's always shown respect to his reality co-stars. Who knows where all of those women came from? Who knows what kind of lives they lived before they started competing for a chance to "talk dirty" to him? He doesn't, and he doesn't care. The judgment of those women came from gossip blogs and "The Soup" hosts who were more concerned with making themselves feel better by trying to knock down others, who only wanted to have fun, and engage in the act of coitus.

Bret Michaels never made any commercials about the dangers of "texting while driving." I suspect that Bret Michaels couldn't give less of a shit whether you text while driving or not, as long as you don't crash your car, what's he care? He leads by example, not by lecture. He's having fun, living his life to the fullest, and so should you, damn it.

Since his Poison days, Michaels hasn't lost that attitude. Look at the way he "introduces" himself in his song "Go That Far":

Please let me introduce myself
I wanna get you off like there's no one else
Hey won't you step inside my brain
I'm your freak show baby
I'm your crazy train

That lyric isn't coated in a layer of irony. There's no confusion or misdirection. He can't come back and say, "Oh, I was misunderstood." He is laying it all out on the line. Bret Michaels knows that people waste a lot of time by "beating around the bush." He's not one of those modern men, afraid of looking foolish by explicitly telling you what he wants. He's not afraid to declare outright that he wants nookie. He wants to have fun. He wants to spend the night with a woman and, yeah, maybe he wants something long-term or maybe just one night but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that and why should anyone else care anyway?

Bret Michaels is confident enough in himself to be completely transparent.

Michaels has transitioned seamlessly from rock star to reality television star, probably the top cable reality star of the 00s. The "Rock of Love" series were three of VH1's top-rated shows and served the dual purposes of keeping him in the public eye long after the fall of "hair metal," and also of allowing him to have fun and meet (and, yeah, sleep with) a lot of attractive women.

I ask again: Can you think of two things that are better than having fun, and coitus?

I can't.

Michaels has had diabetes since he was six. He is serious about that. He has two daughters. He's serious about them. To a certain extent he takes himself seriously, but not so much that he's going to let it stand in the way of what he's really looking for.

Don't need nothin' but a good time
How can I resist
Ain't lookin' for nothin' but a good time
And it don't get better than this

His attitude has carried him through an entertainment career that's lasted almost 30 years, through music and television. All along, he's just looking for a good time, and it shows. It's infectious. It's why he's been able to completely commandeer the latest season of "Celebrity Apprentice." He convinced the other members of his team to call themselves "RockSolid," essentially extending his "Rock of Love" franchise to a fourth season. And on a major network, no less. In last night's episode, he convinced his teammates, Sharon Osborne and Maria Kanellis, to hand out "backstage passes" for an aerobics instruction challenge-- of course Michaels handed out "passes" to the "Rock of Love" contestants he wanted to remain on the show.

Here's a photo of Bret Michaels's Celebrity Apprentice co-star Maria Kanellis. I have a feeling he'd rather I put a picture of her than of him in this spot. He likes the ladies!

Charismatic and eminently likable, he can disarm anyone.

That's one reason it's so upsetting to read of Michaels's current medical problems.
Rock singer and TV reality star Bret Michaels remained in critical condition, but was conscious and talking with slurred speech after suffering a brain hemorrhage, his publicist said on Sunday.

The front man of glam rock band Poison was rushed to an undisclosed hospital on Friday with a severe headache. Doctors diagnosed a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage, or bleeding at the base of his brain stem.

A statement issued on Sunday by publicists for the 47-year-old singer said he was still under 24-hour supervision and in critical condition and that doctors were trying to locate the source of the bleeding.

"Bret is a fighter and we are hopeful that once all is complete, the slurred speech, blurred vision and dizziness etc will be eliminated and all functions will return to normal," the statement added.
I'm looking forward to Michaels's next reality show endeavor, his next album, his next tour. He's the coolest man in America.

Maria Kanellis pic source.
Young Bret pic source.
Wiser Bret pic source.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

RTB: RottenTomatoBot New Installment at Webcomics Nation

I guess I must be serious about this "RTB: RottenTomatoBot" comic, because I went to the trouble to create a second installment. It can be found here. The first panels are below:

It gets even more funny from there!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lindsay Lohan-- Unbankable

TMZ is reporting some very distressing news for troubled party girl and possible Rolex thief Lindsay Lohan-- she's apparently been dumped from her latest film for not being "bankable."
Lindsay Lohan was axed from a movie because she's not "bankable" -- this according a source connected with the production of the flick.

Lindsay was slated to star in "The Other Side," a movie about a grad student working on a deserted island.
A movie about a grad student working on a deserted island sounds awesome! I wonder what kind of work she's doing? It probably has something to do with her thesis. Is she studying the mating habits of some cryptozoological creature that can be found only that island? Or is she using advanced genetic engineering to create new genetically modified food from crops that are found only on that island? Maybe she's studying the effects of being on a deserted island?

Is this photo Ms. Lohan's own meta-commentary on her acting career?

Whatever the specifics, it doesn't sound like a movie so much as a license to print money. Ms. Lohan is seriously missing out, but that isn't the worst part of the story for her. No, the worst part is delivered deadpan in the fifth paragraph of TMZ's story:
The movie also stars Woody Harrelson, Giovanni Ribisi, Dave Matthews and Alanis Morissette.
In a movie with Woody Harrelson, Giovanni Ribisi, Dave Matthews, and Alanis Morissette, it was Lindsay Lohan who was considered the "unbankable" one.


I was going to photoshop up a parody of the poster for the classic film "Unbreakable" by calling it "Unbankable," and putting Lindsay Lohan's face in it. But then I thought, "Damn, that is a lot of trouble to go to for a joke about Lindsay Lohan's movie troubles." Also, I don't want to pile on the poor young woman at this difficult time. Now I'm going to take a nap.

Unbreakable pic source.
Lindsay Lohan pic source.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hot Curvy Voluptuous Woman in Lane Bryant Lingerie Ad Causes Conniptions, Sort of-- Also, South Park!

Lane Bryant, which is a clothing or department store or something, has a new commercial advertising their new "Cacique" line of lingerie. ("Cacique" is French for "yummy.") The commercial can be viewed right here:

Why am I posting this video on my blog? It's because I am outraged by the fact that two networks refused to air it! As Lane Bryant's own blog (!) explains in a post provocatively entitled The Lingerie Commercial FOX and ABC Didn't Want Its Viewers to See:
It appears that ABC and Fox have made the decision to define beauty for you by denying our new, groundbreaking Cacique commercial from airing freely on their networks.
Yeah, those networks want to define beauty for you! By... denying Lane Bryant the opportunity to run their ad "freely"?

Wait, what? That doesn't sound as bad as the headline made it out to be. Let's read on.
ABC refused to show the commercial during “Dancing with the Stars” without restricting our airtime to the final moments of the show. Fox demanded excessive re-edits and rebuffed it three times before relenting to air it during the final 10 minutes of “American Idol,” but only after we threatened to pull the ad buy.
Um, okay. ABC didn't want to run a lingerie ad during the first segments of a dancing competition program that is aimed squarely at middle America. But they would run it during the "final moments." Fox asked for "re-edits" -- for a commercial that was to run on its network -- before finally agreeing to actually run the ad.

I know that plus-sized people are treated unfairly by our culture, our citizens, our government. I've already covered this ground back when I discussed a despicable review by someone called Debbie Schussel of "More to Love" (a show that aired on Fox, by the way).

But isn't it just possible that Lane Bryant is attempting to manufacture outrage in this case? The commercial did get to air. They just didn't get everything they wanted. Like every other advertiser, they had to get permission first. They had to make deals with the networks.

Call me cynical, but I think this whole "controversy" was just a way to help get empty-headed bloggers to write about the Cacique line of lingerie, and how beautiful it looks and how you should probably buy some of it, because it will make you look hhhhhhhoooooottttttt like the woman in the ad.

Ashley Graham is the "plus-sized model" who appeared in the Cacique ad. You can see why the ad was so controversial. Because she's so non-traditionally attractive.

But it's so difficult to work up any real outrage over this when the creators of a television show got death threats (excuse me, death warnings) over the content of said show.
“South Park,” the Comedy Central series, is an animated show that tries its best to push buttons and the boundaries of free speech by mocking every high-profile target in sight, from Hollywood celebrities to religious figures. But its creators may have gotten more than they bargained for with two recent episodes that satirized the Prophet Muhammad — one that elicited an ominous message from an Islamic group based in New York, and one that was censored by the cable network that shows it.
Cognizant that Islam forbids the depiction of its holiest prophet, Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker showed their “South Park” characters agonizing over how to bring Muhammad to their fictional Colorado town. At first the character said to be Muhammad is confined to a U-Haul trailer, and is heard speaking but is not shown. Later in the episode the character is let out of the trailer, dressed in a bear costume.

The next day the “South Park” episode was criticized by the group Revolution Muslim in a post at its Web site, The post, written by a member named Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee, said the episode “outright insulted” the prophet, adding: “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid, and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.”

Mr. van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker and a critic of religions including Islam, was killed by an Islamic militant in Amsterdam in 2004 after he made a film that discussed the abuse of Muslim women in some Islamic societies.
The episode of course did not "outright insult" Muhammad. It merely depicted him. Something that a number of Muslim artists have done over the years.

But it wasn't just the depiction of Muhammad that was censored by Comedy Central. It was any mention of his name.
Producers of "South Park" said Thursday that Comedy Central removed a speech about intimidation and fear from their show after a radical Muslim group warned that they could be killed for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

It came during about 35 seconds of dialogue between the cartoon characters of Kyle, Jesus Christ and Santa Claus that was bleeped out.

"It wasn't some meta-joke on our part," producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone said. Comedy Central declined to comment.
Satirical animated TV show "South Park" beeped out the words Prophet Muhammad and plastered its Wednesday episode with the word "CENSORED" after being issued a grim warning by a U.S. Muslim group.
The irreverent comedy show on Comedy Central also substituted a controversial image seen last week of the Prophet Muhammad in a bear outfit with one of Santa Claus in the same costume.

People need to not respond to "offense" with violence, or the threat of violence. For crying out loud, it's not like South Park put a fat woman in lingerie.

Watch out for that fat woman!

Bonus: Jon Stewart of The Daily Show makes some decent points here:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
South Park Death Threats
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Ashley Graham pic source.
South Park pic source.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Five Greatest Environmental-Themed Films of All Time

In honor of James Cameron releasing his film Avatar on Earth Day this year, I have been inspired to compile my own list of the five greatest environmental-themed films of all time.

Tree Friends: Trees are our second most precious resource, after children, but children are humans and humans are ruining the environment. So trees are our most precious resource. Tree Friends is the story of two trees who happen to be friends. They live in perfect harmony with one another, for the most part. It is a tale of forgiveness and sharing.

Polish Alarm Clock: In these troubling times, it's vitally important that we learn to live together with our animal friends. In harmony. Polish Alarm Clock, which was I believe made in Poland in 1967 by an obscure Polish animator (as if there's any other kind of Polish animator!) tells the story of a man who lives in harmony with his animal brothers. It is both moving and powerful.

Ricky's Cat in Save Room for Dessert: It's vitally important that we learn not to waste anything. All of our resources are precious resources, and limited. That is why the message of this film is so important. It encourages the viewer to eat everything in his bowl, because great sacrifices were made to ensure that whatever you're eating made it to your table. Powerful film.

Bed Shittin' Rich: This is a film about shitting in your bed.

Stumpy Claus Christmas Special: In this film, the character of Stumpy Claus teaches a little girl a valuable lesson about making the most of the resources you've already got, and of wasting nothing, not even waste. A moving, powerful film.

Can I just tell you how moving and powerful I think these films are? They really are, and I hope you agree. Why not show how much you appreciate the earth by watching each one of these films? Twice.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One Should Never Make Major Life Decisions Just Because "The Children" Want You To

Children are irritating little burdens who pick things up off the ground and put them in their mouths. They have exceptionally poor decision making skills and are easily manipulable. At best they stink and at worst they are venal. "The children" are not the future because if they were then the future would suck ass, hard. Children grow up, and supposedly become adults, although now we've got a bunch of adults who were told all their lives that they were "the future," and "our most precious resource" and now those "adults" act like characters from Will Ferrell movies.

We're all screwed, is what I'm saying. Just take a look around you.

It's not even really "the childrens'" fault. After all, they're children. They need adult supervision. They need to be molded properly into decent human beings (children don't become human until their teenaged years) who can make real decisions about their own lives. They do not need to be told that their opinions matter about anything, ever, until they've grown up and gotten the hell out of their parents' house.

Which leads me to the news that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are contemplating getting married-- because their children want them to. According to OK! magazine, the two superstars are going to ruin their perfect relationship by making it "legal" because their children are not yet sophisticated enough to understand that people can live together without getting the government involved.
At long last, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have decided to tie the knot. The reason? Because it would mean the world to their kids!

The children, a source says, have been wanting a wedding since they’ve been old enough to understand that their parents are not officially husband and wife. “First it was Maddox, who has begged his parents to tie the knot for years,” the insider says. “Lately, Shiloh and Zahara have been chiming in, and Pax thinks it would just be the coolest thing ever to be a ring bearer.”
"At long last!" As if we've all been waiting anxiously for these two crazy kids to finally stop "living in sin."

Let me tell you, Mr. Pitt and Ms. Jolie have had just about the most perfect lives that any two people can have. And their continuing to live together while openly defying the pressure to "tie the knot" has been an inspiration to people who know that real happiness comes from being with someone you love, not signing some contract and filing jointly on your income taxes.

But for crying out loud if you're going to ruin your perfect set-up can you at least do it because you want to, and not because some small semi-human creature that slobbers and poops his pants wants you to? And, seriously, kids the age of Ms. Jolie's and Mr. Pitt's are not "old enough to understand" all the reasons why two people do or do not get married.

Oh, well, the kid wants to be a ring bearer, so I guess we've gotta go through with it.

That is one spoiled kid.

And this at a time when Tiger Woods and his wife Elin are "100%" getting divorced. And when Sandra Bullock has a "master plan" to divorce her husband, Jesse James.

The only way I would endorse this would be if they entered a polygamist relationship with Lady GaGa. Remember back (in January!) when Ms. Jolie and Ms. GaGa were supposed to have been engaged in a torrid lesbian affair? Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt need to take a stand, for the rest of us.

Don't do this! You've both been married before-- and divorced! This is foolishness, you have nothing to prove, especially to your kids.

Please, Ms. Jolie. You're better than this "marriage" thing.

Pic source.

My beautiful duodenum

This morning I had an invasive procedure done, when a doctor shoved a tube with a camera on the end of it down my throat to snap some pics of my beautiful duodenum.*

This is what my duodenum looks like from the inside. At least the first couple of pics. Just had the pictures taken today in the hopes that we can figure out exactly what's causing my abdominal discomfort.

It was pretty nerve-wracking going in. I've never been sedated before, so I was a bit worried about it. Never been hooked up to an IV before, either. Never really had any medical issues.

Apparently I was in pretty rare form when I came out of the sedation. I was waxing poetical on the moving molecules, in their "dance through the infinite" (the ceiling appeared to be moving in an unusual way). I then explained to my companion that the tube had been "shoved into my throat thusly," at which point I made a circle with the thumb and forefinger of my right hand, and then inserted two fingers of my left hand into that circle.

"That looks a little bit dirty," she said.

"All invasive procedures are a little bit dirty," I am supposed to have replied. At this point I explained that, contrary to what the nurses had told me before the endoscopy, I was suffering from no effects of "amnesia," and had a perfect recollection of everything that had happened to me. For instance, I remembered the nurses flirting with me. I remembered the doctor asking my advice on how to maneuver the camera tube through my intestines. I remember that they had to shove another tube into my rectum to provide more light.

Ha, ha.

There was some other stuff, too. When the nurse came in and asked how I was feeling, I said something like, "Jeremy Amplebottom has never felt better!" Then I thanked my companion for being there by referring to her by the wrong name. I was having fun, you see. Then suddenly I had my shirt on and I couldn't remember putting it on.

Oh what a day it's been.

Anyway I was going to write something that would relate this to the current "health care" "debate" that's been going on lately, but I'm suddenly ready to lay down for a few minutes.

*I don't really think my duodenum is all that beautiful-- I only wrote that in case he's reading this. To trick him, the bastard.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baggage: Greatest Show Ever in History?

That question mark in my headline is facetious.

Baggage is the greatest show ever in the history of television! That's right, GSN's new show Baggage has officially replaced I Love Money 2 as the greatest television show of all time. If you missed last night's first episode, don't worry; it apparently airs weeknights at 6:30, so you can watch this greatness every night of the week. And I encourage you to do so.

The premise is basically The Dating Game, except without the wall separating the three possible suitors from the contestant who chooses from among them. And, the three suitors vying for the contestant's affections must reveal embarrassing facts about themselves (their "baggage"). These facts are printed on cards that have been placed in pieces of luggage of varying size. In each of the three rounds, the size of the luggage, and therefore the "baggage," gets larger.

But it's not only the suitors who have "baggage;" the contestant, too, brings his own baggage with him, and once he's made his choice from the three suitors, he must reveal his own baggage-- and he can then be rejected or accepted.

And by the way, it's hosted by reality television pioneer Jerry Springer, the greatest daytime talk show host of all time.

Oh it is wonderful.

In the first episode the first contestant was a man named Steve, whose "baggage," Springer informed us, was either that he was once married to two women at once, he has a tattoo of his ex-wife on his chest, or that he once had a sex with a man.

This is the first episode. First contestant. Thank you, Mr. Springer.

"Jerry Springer Show" host Jerry Springer has another winner on his hands with "Baggage."

His suitors took the stage with their bags, and revealed their own baggage. For the first round it was whatever was hidden in their smallest bag. Julie won't leave the house without makeup. In fact, she has to put on makeup first thing in the morning. Marilee is "obsessed" with professional wrestler "The Rock." Priscilla's breasts are two different sizes.

At this point, Steve asks them questions. He's worried about Julie's makeup baggage because, what if he wants to get up out of bed and hit the hiking trail? Well, she'll need a good half hour to get ready, because she won't go anywhere without putting on makeup. As for Marilee's Rock obsession, will Steve ever be able to measure up to that charismatic heavily-muscled performer. As for Priscilla, Steve wonders what it would be like to play with her breasts.

In the second round, the women sat on the "hot seat," while Springer opened their medium sized bags. This was done randomly, so that Steve couldn't tell which bag belonged to which woman. One bag revealed that its owner shaves her entire face. Another revealed that its owner lives with two men. The third revealed its owner doesn't do anything without consulting her four psychics.

Steve had to decide which of those was a "deal breaker," and send one woman home based on this second bag's revelation. Steve, happily, decided to send home the woman who consulted psychics. He wondered about her ability to make decisions on her own.

And here is where the show attains its greatness. It's a thought-provoking question: What is a deal-breaker for you? Especially once you've met someone, seen what they look like, and had a chance to interact with them. Being a skeptic myself, I wouldn't date anyone who consulted psychics. But, at the same time, the fact that this woman considers this quirk of character to be "baggage" leads me to believe that, at least on some unconscious level, she understands there's something wrong about this, and she needs help. Maybe she could be made to see the error of her thinking, if the right man came along.

Then again, what if the second bag revealed that one of the women consulted psychics, another woman was a politician, and the third woman was a professional sports fan?

My gosh, I would probably want to eliminate them all. But I couldn't. So, which is worse for me?

Like I said, Baggage is thought-provoking.

Anyway the psychic consulter turned out to be Julie, the one who always wears makeup. Steve didn't seem too disappointed to have eliminated her. Next, Mr. Springer took the remaining women and Steve back to the "hot seat" to discuss things. Marilee shaves her face every day to ensure its silky smoothness. Priscilla lives with two men in a large house, and has a totally platonic relationship with them. They're roommates. She also informs Steve that she's into sports.

She presents this not as baggage, but as a positive feature. And again, this provokes thought. What is baggage to some is a feature to others, and vice versa.

In the final round, the women revealed the "baggage" hidden within their largest pieces of luggage. Marilee wants to adopt five kids. Five kids exactly, apparently. Priscilla will not have sex before marriage. But that doesn't mean they still can't do a lot of stuff before then, if you follow. Wink.

One of the bugs of the show, by the way, is that there was a lot of marriage talk. The contestants on this particular episode appeared to be in their 30s-early 40s, but still-- why is Marilee saying she needs "a partner-- you, Steve," to adopt five kids? Why is Priscilla telling Steve that she is "worth the wait" for their wedding night? For crying out loud, do these people already suffer from Flavor of Love Syndrome?

Anyway, Steve, being a typical heterosexual man, decides it's too much to ask for him to wait until marriage to get it on, so he lets Priscilla go, deciding to take his chances on the woman who wants to adopt five kids. He's no doubt thinking, "I'm not marrying any of these women anyway, so what do I care? I'm a typical heterosexual man and I want me some strange now!"

But, it's Marilee's turn to decide if Steve's baggage is too much for her. Mr. Springer asks her, of the three possibilities regarding Steve's baggage-- that he was once married to two women at once, that he has his ex-wife tattooed on his chest, or that he once slept with a man-- which would be too much for her?

She decides it would be too much if it turned out that Steve had once had sex with a man. She has a lot of gay friends, she explains, and she doesn't want to have to compete with them, in addition to every woman in the world.

Guess what Steve's baggage was? Go on, I'll wait.

Yep, Steve once had sex with a man.

As he explains, it was college, and he was at a party, got a little drunk, one thing led to another, and, well, he ended up having sex with a man. "Don't tell me you didn't do something crazy like that in college!" he says.

"I did crazy things in college," Mr. Springer says, speaking for every heterosexual man watching, "but never that."

The tables now turned, Marilee informs Steve that she's sorry, but he's got too much baggage.

And again, thoughts are provoked. Women experiment in college all the time, by gently caressing each others' silken skin, as their bodies entwine in the sheets in the small bed of the dorm room, testing with their tongues the limits of their own burgeoning womanhood, gaining new experience while experimenting within the safety and protection of their own first blush of sexuality, opening like a delicate flower.

But two guys together? That's gay.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what they do for episode two-- episode one gave me a lot to think about.

First episode can be viewed here!

Pic source.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dear Genevieve Gorder, What the Hell Have you Done to Yourself? UPDATE: HGTV FORCED GENEVIEVE GORDER TO WEAR HAIR EXTENSIONS FOR THE SHOW!

Way back in the early aughts for whatever reason I fell in love with a television show called "Trading Spaces," in which two sets of neighbors would redecorate one room in each others' homes. The premise (taken from a British show called "Changing Rooms") was fun in itself, but it had other virtues. Almost unbearably perky host Paige Davis was one of those. I suppose I had a bit of a crush on her, but my favorite episodes were those in which Genevieve Gorder would appear as one of the designers that would "help" the couples.

She was nearly as perky as Ms. Davis, but she was much more voluptuous. Plus, she would occasionally wear a thong, and when she bent over to lay the carpet or stroke the paint brush, the thong would peek over the top of her jeans and everything just seemed so right with the world.

Genevieve Gorder potting some plants on Trading Spaces She was a fun designer to watch.

Today, Ms. Gorder is the host of a new program on HGTV called "Battle on the Block." The basic premise is that three neighbors have three days to redesign one room in their own home. They're given something like $10,000 for merchandise and then another $5,000 on top of that, and the use of contractors who work eight-hour days. At the end of it all, the rooms are judged by an "impartial" group of realtors or other "experts," and the couple that's declared the winner gets $10,000.

The show is flawed from the premise, because if I get $15,000 just for showing up, I'm going to drop maybe $1,000 on some lawn furniture at ikea and spend the rest on comic books. While the other couples are spending their time redoing the grout or whatever the hell it is that they do in home "renos," my idea of "home improvement" is to watch a couple of HGTV shows and call it a night. I'm pretty lazy and I suspect I'm not alone in this. That $10,000 prize isn't much incentive when you've already won $15,000.

But even worse than that is Ms. Gorder. What a shock to see her now, as opposed to then. And no, it's not just that she's older. Whoever is doing her hair, makeup, and wardrobe hates her. With her hair teased up and bleached, her tight pants and knee-high boots and her tight black shirts she looks like a heroin-addicted groupie from 1984, who slept with the bass player the night before, forgot she had a show to film that day and rolled out of bed, had a breakfast of coffee and barbiturates, and headed straight to the filming site.

Really terrible. My memories of her are ruined.

Interestingly, I think someone at HGTV recognizes that she looks terrible, because I just did a google search to try to find some pics of her on the show today and I couldn't. All I could find was the official HGTV promotional pic:

She looks pretty good here. This picture was probably taken three years ago. She looks far less healthy now; thinner, with more wiry, sallow hair that looks as if it's been sprayed with some kind of industrial chemical to keep it in place and teased too high, and terrible mismatched clothes.

HGTV, if you know she looks terrible, why are you allowing her to appear on television like that? Wouldn't it be much easier to have her change her wardrobe than to scrub the internet of any photos of her now?

UPDATE 5/9/2010 @7:15 AM PST:

Per "Anonymous" in the comments, I was alerted to Ms. Gorder's facebook page, which displays this photograph, of a shorter-haired Genevieve:

This photo was added November 11, 2009. According to this article on the HGTV website, the show was filming in December 2009.
Do you have a knack for home design? Is there no one on your street that can match your curb appeal? Are you ready, willing and able to compete against your neighbors to see which family on your block can outshine and out-design the other? If so, we're looking for you and your neighbors to compete in the ultimate home design renovation showdown on HGTV's news series, Battle On The Block.

We're looking for families living in the New York City Tri-State area or Florida who are available for filming starting in December 2009.
This means that when filming started, Ms. Gorder had the short, perky, "cute" haircut. Clearly, HGTV forced her to wear hair extensions! And bad ones, at that.

But why?

I have a theory about this, and it's pure speculation but that's what a blog is for. First of all, check out a photo of the very cute and perky host of Ms. Gorder's previous television show, "Trading Spaces"-- Paige Davis:

Notice anything? I mean besides the fact that she's cute and perky and you just want to smother her in kisses?

That's right-- she's got short hair.

As I've previously noted (above), "Battle on the Block" shares a lot in common with "Trading Spaces." There is the element of design, of competition, of hard work over night to transform one room in each family's space. And then there's the presence of Ms. Gorder.

Ms. Gorder, of the long blond hair. It was Ms. Davis who had the short hair.

HGTV is ruining Genevieve Gorder's life and reputation and making her physically unattractive all to ensure that she's not mistaken for Paige Davis her former co-star on another television show with a remarkable similar premise!

To that I say: Grow up, HGTV! Leave Ms. Gorder's hair alone!

Creepy Genevieve Gorder cleavage pics source (probably NSFW).
"Current" Genevieve Gorder pic source.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Megan Hauserman Arrested for DUI-- Is the Bottle Her Only Real Friend?

Megan Hauserman, the star of "Megan Wants a Millionaire," has been arrested for DUI. TMZ (of course) has it:
Hauserman -- whose dating show "Megan Wants a Millionaire" was canceled after one of the contestants, Ryan Jenkins, allegedly killed his wife and then himself -- was busted as she made her way to a strip club where she is currently employed.

Law enforcement tells TMZ cops observed Hauserman in a black 2008 BMW, weaving between lanes. She then accelerated to 75MPH (in a 55MPH zone) so cops pulled her over.

Cops say she had bloodshot, watery eyes, a strong odor of alcohol, and slurred speech. She told cops she had been "filming a TV show and was tired." She blew a .102 on her Breathalyzer test and was taken into custody.
There's a lot going on in those three brief paragraphs. First of all, Ms. Hauserman is currently employed at a strip club.

Does she strip there? Does she strip completely naked, or does she, as she was so often photographed, simply strip down to her bra and panties and sort of pretend to be just... about... to... take... her... bottoms... off...

Typical Megan Hauserman pose.

Ms. Hauserman was on no fewer than four reality shows ("Beauty and the Geek," "Rock of Love," "Rock of Love Charm School," and "Megan Wants a Millionaire"). Is "stripper" the best gig she could get?

Maybe. Her best friend Brandi C makes pornography now, so maybe. (And no, I am not knocking pornography. Go for it if that's what you want to do. My point is that Ms. Hauserman has made a lot of television-- can't she get some other work like that?)

Anyway, she's driving a 2008 BMW, so things can't be too bad. Unless, of course, she bought that 2008 BMW new when she was still a VH1 reality star, and now she's having to take stripping jobs to make the payments. Maybe she should trade it in for a '98 Nissan Altima or something.

Also in the second paragraph, she was weaving between lanes, but wasn't pulled over until she accelerated to 75 MPH. So let that be a lesson: If you're in your 2008 BMW and you're driving drunk, don't accelerate to 75 in a 55 zone.

Third paragraph is the most heartening. She claims she was filming a television show. Could this be the new show that Ms. Hauserman was promised by VH1 to "buy her silence"?
"VH1 is giving Megan her own reality show,” a source confirms. When the show was abruptly cancelled “they promised Megan her own show...that’s how they bought her silence.”
Pure, irresponsible speculation on my part, but I wonder if Ms. Hauserman isn't drinking because of the trauma of being the center of a dating show that featured a man who would later (allegedly) murder his wife? Many believe that Ryan Jenkins was the winner of Megan's show, or at least the runner up (so, so close).

Thanks to her contract(s), she can't talk to anyone. VH1 might be keeping her employed just so they can keep her under contract indefinitely (she's filming a show, yet she's also working at a strip club?), so that she cannot speak to anyone, ever, about anything she's been through on any of her shows. Specifically, "Megan Wants a Millionaire."

Not even a therapist.

The bottle is her only consolation.

Her life as she knew it, as she expected it, is over. She's poison now. She could have gone on making reality shows indefinitely, but everything changed when Ryan Jenkins-- a contestant on her show-- (allegedly) killed his wife and then (allegedly) himself. VH1 has "evolved" now. They're doing "classier" shows. As those old "celebreality" programs fade from memory, those contestants who used to make money just for showing up at bars for "personal appearances," or to "DJ," are now having to find other ways to make money.

Think about that.

Megan's show, indirectly, ruined an entire subgenre. Almost brought down an entire network. Her planned revenue stream is gone. She might have been shallow and vacuous, but she had a future that was relatively secure. Coast for the next few years on reality show notoriety, making the odd television or personal appearance, then finally settle down with some wealthy, elderly man who would supply her every need (including, no doubt, a steady diet of younger men to sleep with even as she used her husband's money to purchase them expensive gifts) well into her old age.

In a flash, and thanks to horrible circumstances well beyond her control, she lost it all. And now she's being strung along by the network that enabled her downfall. Stripping is the best she can do, giving any man with a few bucks a look at that body she was saving for just the right rock star or actor.

And all she's got to show for it is a BMW she can't pay for. And a mug shot.

UPDATE 4/20/2010 @3:05 PST: As AJaye points out in the comments, I completely forgot, for some reason, to mention Megan Hauserman's best show, "I Love Money 2." This is a major and unforgivable oversight. You can and should read all about that show here.

Larry King Offers Relationship Advice

Click to embiggen, of course.

Background here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

RTB: RottenTomatoBot takes on the Film Critics Who Didn't Like the Movie "Kick-Ass"

My new post at When Falls the Coliseum is a comic strip in which I took actual comments from the Rotten Tomatoes message boards re: "rotten" reviews of the new movie "Kick-Ass," and attributed them to the exciting new superhero character RTB: RottenTomatoBot! It is awesomely awesome. You can read the first panel below:

From RTB: RottenTomatoBot Takes on the Menace of Film Critics Who Didn't Like the Movie "Kick-Ass"

You can follow the link under the picture to the picasa album, or you can read it all at When Falls the Coliseum here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Poem For My Duodenum

A Poem for My Duodenum

Here's a message for my duodenum
You don't have to be so very meanum;
All I want's a normal existence
Yet you offer such digestive resistance.

I just don't understand you duodenum,
Nastiest organ I've ever seenum.
While I try so hard to get along,
The pain you cause is just so wrong.

Oh my delightful duodenum!
You're so pretty, fun, and leanum!
Now that I've complimented you,
Will you please do what you're supposed to?

Is this the best I can expect, duodenum?
Behaving like a rebellious teenum?
If you don't stop acting like such a pill,
I'll have to cut you out of my will.

A Poem About Lindsay Lohan's Nipple Slips

Did you know that April is national poetry month? No? I don't blame you. Poetry, apparently, needs all the help it can get. But you know what people do know about? Lindsay Lohan nipple slips. I can tell you this for a fact because I get thousands of visitors to this blog who have done google searches for "Lindsay Lohan nipple slip" (or, alternatively, "lindsay lohan nipple slips" or "lindsay lohan nip slip" or "lindsay lohan boobs" or "lindsay lohan breast" or "lindsay lohan nipple" or "nipple slips" or "nip slip" or "celebrity nipple slip"). My hope with this post is to trick those visitors looking for photos of the attractive young Ms. Lohan's nipples into reading an actual poem, in honor of national poetry month.

So, I ripped off Robert Herrick's poem "Upon the Nipples of Julia's Breast," and wrote my own masterpiece.

Upon the Nipple Slip of Lindsay’s Breast
By Ricky Sprague, after Robert Herrick

Have ye beheld (on your computer dear)
A red rose peeking through a fabric sheer?
Think ye she knew (when she was dressing)
Those pink pointies would grant such blessing?
The creamy, freckled skin milk white
Surrounding firm glazed strawberry delight?
Exposed to all with an uncaring blush,
Leading to an internet search gush?
So much like other breasts ‘tis true,
Belonging not to Lindsay, but all of you.

I could devote an entire blog to Ms. Lohan's nipple slips. I could have run dozens if not hundreds of photos here-- but why bother, when you can just do a google search yourself if you're really interested.

It's not just Ms. Lohan who is so careless about letting her nipples slip, by the way. There are plenty of others (link NSFW).

Anyway, is it too much to hope that one day I'll get some visitors to my blog who have done a google search for "poem about nipple slips"?

Portrait of a Woman Revealing her Breasts by Tintoretto pic source.
First Lohan nipple slip pic source.
Second Lindsay Lohan nipple slip pic source.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New When Falls the Coliseum Post -- Health Care Reform

I tackle the difficult topic of the health care reform whatchamacallit thing, here. An ever so brief sampling:
Recently, I was made aware of the fact that the congress passed a health care reform action, of some sort. I don’t know what’s in it, but I don’t feel bad about that, because the people in congress who voted for it also don’t know what’s in it, either.

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

The law promises that people can keep coverage they like, largely unchanged. For members of Congress and their aides, the federal employees health program offers much to like. But, the report says, the men and women who wrote the law may find that the guarantee of stability does not apply to them.

People shouldn’t be expected to know everything about something that is as large as the health care reform whatchamacallit. Did you read your credit card agreement all the way through? No? Then don’t judge.

Those bills are complicated besides, and full of legalese that is written to be deliberately confusing, at least that’s the way it looks to me. And I’m pretty smart. I’ve done some smart stuff before, anyway. It takes smarts to write something like the commentary I’m writing now; at least as much smarts as it takes to pass a health care something-or-other.
From there it goes into planting seeds, Jack and the Beanstalk, and etc. Hilarious!

Did Oprah Winfrey Lie About her Impoverished Past?

The answer to that provocative question is "yes!" according to a new biography by Kitty Kelley entitled Oprah.

As the New York Post says:
Oprah Winfrey embellished her poor upbringing and made up stories about sexual abuse to boost her ratings, her relatives say in Kitty Kelley’s new biography.

Although Winfrey claims she never had any new dresses or dolls, and had to adopt two cockroaches as pets growing up in rural Mississippi, her cousin contends she was actually relatively “spoiled” as a little girl.

“Where Oprah got that nonsense about growing up in filth and roaches I have no idea,” Katherine Carr Esters said. “I’ve confronted her and asked, ‘why do you tell such lies?’ Oprah told me ‘that’s what people want to hear. The truth is boring.’”
That "adopting two cockroaches as pets" sounds so tragic as to be almost comic-- like a parody of childhood impoverishment you might read in Joel S Muttoe. That one sounds kind of suspicious to me, but of course I don't know if the child Oprah Winfrey had pet cockroaches. If true, it's the saddest thing I've ever read.

Well, actually it's probably not the saddest thing I've ever read. I mean, childhood sexual abuse is pretty sad. Making up stories of childhood sexual abuse is despicable, a trivialization of real pain. If Ms. Winfrey did that, then she is despicable.

But of course I have no way of knowing if Ms. Winfrey actually made up stories of abuse, or if she really was abused. I have no way of knowing if she kept two cockroaches as pets. For what it's worth, we do know that one bit of surprising information in the book, that she dated former Entertainment Tonight cohost, current musician and radio host John Tesh, is actually true.
In the new book “Oprah,” author Kitty Kelley claims Tesh and Winfrey moved in together during the 1970s while both were young reporters living and working in Nashville, Tennessee.

"Oprah and I were cub reporters in Nashville nearly 40 years ago and we dated for a short time," Tesh told the paper.
Ms. Kelley's book alleges that they also lived together for a short time, although he apparently didn't confirm that part of the story.

Anyway. Ms. Kelley, the author of the biography, spoke to at least 800 people, so her claims are backed up by at least a few of those. Whether those people are lying, who knows? I certainly don't.

Oprah Winfrey, happier now that she can afford to keep real pets, and not just cockroaches.

Here's what I do know about Ms. Winfrey. She promotes pseudoscience and lies as fact on her show. For one thing, she was a big proponent of an offensive fad called "The Secret," which was a philosophy that basically said that if you get cancer, you did something to deserve it.
The main idea of "The Secret" is that people need only visualize what they want in order to get it -- and the book certainly has created instant wealth, at least for Rhonda Byrne and her partners-in-con. And the marketing idea behind it -- the enlisting of that dream team, in what is essentially a massive, cross-promotional pyramid scheme -- is brilliant. But what really makes "The Secret" more than a variation on an old theme is the involvement of Oprah Winfrey, who lends the whole enterprise more prestige, and, because of that prestige, more venality, than any previous self-help scam. Oprah hasn't just endorsed "The Secret"; she's championed it, put herself at the apex of its pyramid, and helped create a symbiotic economy of New Age quacks that almost puts OPEC to shame.

Why "venality"? Because, with survivors of Auschwitz still alive, Oprah writes this about "The Secret" on her Web site, "the energy you put into the world -- both good and bad -- is exactly what comes back to you. This means you create the circumstances of your life with the choices you make every day." "Venality," because Oprah, in the age of AIDS, is advertising a book that says, "You cannot 'catch' anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought." "Venality," because Oprah, from a studio within walking distance of Chicago's notorious Cabrini Green Projects, pitches a book that says, "The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts."
She also had the author of a piece of bulls hit called The Bible Code on for a full-hour commercial.

The Bible Code supposedly shows that the Bible is full of "secret" messages imparted by god in which the future is revealed. It was pretty thoroughly debunked, even before the author appeared on Ms. Winfrey's show.
The promoters of hidden-message claims say, “How could such amazing coincidences be the product of random chance?” I think the real question should be, “How could such coincidences not be the inevitable product of a huge sequence of trials on a large, essentially random database?”

Once I learned how to navigate in puzzle-space, finding “incredible” predictions became a routine affair. I found “comet,” “Hale,” and “Bopp” linked in KJV Genesis, along with “forty” and “died,” which could be interpreted as an obvious reference to Heaven’s Gate. I found “Trinity,” “Los Alamos,” “atom,” and “bomb” encoded together in Edwards, in a section containing references to “security,” “test,” and “anti-fascist.” And I found “Hitler” linked to “Nazi” dozens of times in several books. When I set out to engineer a “hidden code” link of “code” and “bogus” in KJV Genesis, I was able to produce sixty closely linked pairs. And every single one of these pairs could fit inside a reasonably sized puzzle.

The source of the mysterious “Bible code” has been revealed — it’s homo sapiens.

Now somebody go tell Oprah.
Ms. Winfrey also recently made a deal to produce a television program starring the irritating nude model and filmmaker Jenny McCarthy, who claims to know more about autism than the scientists who have dedicated their lives to its study.
McCarthy's way, however, is one that flies in the face of all credible research on what does and does not cause autism and whether it can be treated. McCarthy claims Evan was healed through a range of experimental and unproved biomedical treatments; even more controversially, she blames the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine for giving her son autism. And yet research conclusively shows that vaccines are safe for children; just last month, the U.K. scientist who had published a study linking the MMR shot to autism was found by a British medical panel to have acted unethically. McCarthy says she does not believe all vaccines are bad — though she swears she will never allow Evan to receive another — nor is she saying you shouldn't vaccinate your child. Her position is more slippery but just as heretical to prevailing medical wisdom: do everything necessary to cure your child, no matter what the doctors tell you.
Ms. McCarthy is the most famous of the anti-vaccine crusaders, whose actions have led to a direct rise in the number of preventable illnesses and death caused by parents refusing to vaccinate their children.

Suzanne Somers, mentally counting all that money she's making giving health advice on Oprah Winfrey's show.

And she also had former "Three's Company" star Suzanne Somers on her show to tell her viewers all about her amazing vitamin and bio-identical hormone diet.
"Many people write Suzanne off as a quackadoo," she said. "But she just might be a pioneer." Oprah acknowledged that Somers's claims "have been met with relentless criticism" from doctors. Several times during the show she gave physicians an opportunity to dispute what Somers was saying. But it wasn't quite a fair fight. The doctors who raised these concerns were seated down in the audience and had to wait to be called on. Somers sat onstage next to Oprah, who defended her from attack. "Suzanne swears by bioidenticals and refuses to keep quiet. She'll take on anyone, including any doctor who questions her."

That would be a lot of doctors. Outside Oprah's world, there isn't a raging debate about replacing hormones. Somers "is simply repackaging the old, discredited idea that menopause is some kind of hormone-deficiency disease, and that restoring them will bring back youth," says Dr. Nanette Santoro, director of reproductive endocrinology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and head of the Reproductive Medicine Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center. They just don't need as much once they get past their childbearing years. Unless a woman has significant discomfort from hot flashes—and most women don't—there is little reason to prescribe them. Most women never use them. Hormone therapy can increase a woman's risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and cancer. And despite Somers's claim that her specially made, non-FDA-approved bioidenticals are "natural" and safer, they are actually synthetic, just like conventional hormones and FDA-approved bioidenticals from pharmacies—and there are no conclusive clinical studies showing they are less risky. That's why endocrinologists advise that women take the smallest dose that alleviates symptoms, and use them only as long as they're needed.

"It completely blew me away that Oprah would go to her for advice on this topic," says Cynthia Pearson, the executive director of the nonprofit National Women's Health Network and an authority on hormone therapy. "I have to say, it diminished my respect."
So maybe Ms. Winfrey did make up stories about her past sexual abuse, and about keeping cockroaches as pets. Maybe she didn't. But what we do know about some of the things she's promoted on her show is fairly damning in its own right.

Oprah Winfrey pic source.
Suzanne Somers pic source.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Brand New Video With an Adorable Cat You will Fall in Love With!

A brand new Ricky's Cat video, entitled "Ricky's Cat in Save Room For Dessert!" It is adorable!

And here it is at another site called Funny Animal Videos (sorry, couldn't embed it for some reason)!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Who the Fck is Justin Bieber? Today, at Long Last, I Finally Find Out

I have seen this kid's name at wesmirch and gossip blogs, and he's been a trending topic on twitter a couple of times that I know of, but I do not know exactly who he is. Never bothered to try and find out. Which is why I have decided to click through yahoo's main page story about his dissatisfaction with his People magazine cover.

Here's what yahoo's story says:
Pop sensation Justin Bieber, who was in Washington, D.C. Monday for the White House Easter Egg Roll, showed some teen 'tude this week when his People magazine cover story hit the web. "Dear @peoplemag time i laugh real crazy warn me u r still taking pics," the pop star tweeted. "still appreciate u but let's get on the same page. EXCLUSIVE story and pics in the new issue of @peoplemag. I look crazy as heck on the cover but if u cant laugh at yourself u aint havin fun."
He's a "pop sensation," which I assume means that he is a singer (I kind of thought he was an actor, maybe on a Disney TV show or something), and he has a twitter account.

This is the cover that Justin Bieber was so concerned about. Relax, kid-- you do look a little geeky and awkward, but it's not so bad, and, besides, at least you got your People cover. I'm still waiting on mine.

What's in the People magazine story, the one with the cover that so peeved him? Maybe I can find out more there.
It's been quite a few weeks for Justin Bieber: While most kids his age relaxed on spring break, the 16-year-old chatted with Jay Leno and David Letterman, visited American Idol, rocked the White House Easter Egg Roll and – oh yeah – landed at No. 1 with his album My World 2.0.
There it is. He is a singer with the number one "album" (seriously, are they still called "albums"? not "CDs"? How about "downloads"?) in America, and he has performed for the politicians who currently occupy the white house (for the "easter egg roll"? did that really happen?), and appeared on some popular and semi-popular television programs.

But so far I don't really know all that much. What will I learn from People's cover story?
The singer opens up about his rise from YouTube sensation to pop star and admits that having such a busy schedule hasn't been good for his dating life: "Right now, it's difficult 'cause I'm traveling so much," says the single singer.
I feel for him. He's 16 and still single. Maybe if he stopped traveling so much, he could finally settle down and find himself a good romantic partner.

But the real question is, Is this single 16 year old singing sensation regular?
"I still feel regular," he says. "You know, sometimes it's weird that I go places and I have thousands of people waiting for me, but I always think, 'I'm Justin' "
Being regular is solace for the single 16 year old.

But I still don't know much about him-- that article at People was basically just an advertisement for the full story which I assume can only be read in the printed magazine. I of course am not going to read that thing, unless it's in the doctor's office on my next visit (I need to have the doctor check me periodically to ensure I'm still "regular"), so I guess I'll head over to wikipedia.
Bieber was born in Stratford, Ontario, and was raised by his single mother, Pattie Mallette. He was 12 years old when he entered a local singing competition in Stratford, placing second. He taught himself how to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet. In late 2007, Bieber and his mother began posting videos on YouTube so his family and friends who could not attend his performances could view them, posting his versions of songs by Usher, Chris Brown, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo and more.

Scooter Braun, a former marketing executive of So So Def, saw his videos, and flew Bieber to Atlanta, Georgia, where he met with R&B singer/songwriter Usher. A week later Bieber sang for Usher, who arranged an audition with Antonio L.A. Reid at Island Records, who in turn signed him to Island Records in October 2008. Justin Timberlake was reportedly in the running to sign Bieber, but he eventually signed with Usher. Bieber and his mother then moved to Atlanta, also the home of Usher and Braun, to base his career.
Okay, good for him. He got discovered on YouTube. I'm waiting for the same thing to happen to me. I have a number of amazing and wonderful pieces of animation up there that are just waiting for someone to discover:

Tell me, are mine any worse than his?

Actually, don't answer that.

He's okay I guess. Not my kind of music. He sounds like a very talented 16 year old, and he seems too young to be singing about crying and crying and crying about love. But let's be honest-- his video is no "Stumpy Claus."