Thursday, September 27, 2007

ABCNews plays "Adventure With Clip Art"... and loses

I feel bad for the photo editor for most major websites. Their budget has been slashed to pay for Katie Couric's wardrobe consultant on her trip to Baghdad, they've got some beancounters yelling at them about why they keep wanting to send a guy out to Times Square to get photos when "Times Square looked the same last year!" and no doubt the CEO just wonders why they can't "just Photoshop the goddam thing and save a few bucks?" All saying, the temptation to use clip art or "file footage" must be pretty strong.

That, however, does not excuse the image ABCNews chose to accompany a piece on sexual harassment at the office, which they are calling "Office Sex Harassment: Too PC?" Here's the image:

First question: the article is about sexual harassment in the office. So why did you get three obviously-in-makeup actors portraying old guys sitting on a park bench to be your subjects? That makes NO sense. Second question: what the hell kind of posture is that woman displaying? It's so obvious that they positioned the female in the left hand side of the camera and said "ok, lift up your back leg as if you are walking past these scuzzy and lecherous old horndogs." But it completely fails.

A final note, before I close: if you squint your eyes enough and use your imagination, it's easy to pretend that the woman in this photo is being harassed by a bizarre (yet totally fun, probably) combination of (from left to right) David Cross, Bill Clinton, and Garry Marshall.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Diane Sawyer perfects her "my career officially sucks, as I am interviewing a complete fool" expression

Worst X-ray you will ever see

From time to time especially gruesome x-rays pop up on the net, usually featuring images from someone who fired a couple nails into their foot, or was walking around all day with a butter knife protruding from their skull, or some such. Today's however, is fairly more disgusting, thanks to the magic of 3-D. This dude got a chair leg driven into his face during a...wait for it...nightclub brawl, and, amazingly, lived to tell about it. Check it:

On the plus side, this guy will never, ever lose a "how did you get YOUR scar?" competition. The article about him describes his injury as follows:

The leg of the chair penetrated Mr Fahkri's left eye socket, moved his eyeball to the side and continued into his neck.
How he didn't die remains a mystery, needless to say.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ahmadinejad now qualified to be a senator from Oklahoma

Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today:

Asked about widely documented government abuse of women and homosexuals in his country, Ahmadinejad said, "We don't have homosexuals" in Iran. "I don't know who told you we had it," he said.

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, June, 2006:
"As you see here, and I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during the entire debate, my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship."
So, there you go. Inhofe could be replaced by Ahmadinejad, and it's likely the voters of his state wouldn't notice the difference.

Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks that the only reason we haven't bombed Iran yet is because Bush hasn't figured out how to pronounce "Ahmadinejad"?

The Japanese show Maury how it's done

If you've ever labored under the delusion that Maury Povich has cornered the market on scaring kids straight, think again! Sure, Maury's got the technique down pat, and when you're looking for quality footage of impressively muscled drill sargeants getting in the face of insolent, mouthy teens, he's got your back, jack. But when it comes to taking the act of terrifying misbehaving kids out of their own skins to a new level, we have to turn to the acknowledged masters of crazy television, the Japanese.

Here, they have hit upon a novel strategy. Take an acting-out teen, dress her as a seal, and force her to walk back and forth in front of a polar bear. (While her parents watch the footage and laugh, natch.) Gold.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hey Democrats... here's some helpful strategy for you

Since the Republicans managed to totally pwn you guys, and got half of you to sign on to a resolution calling a bunch of meanies, have any of you contemplated getting General Petraeus himself on the record on this issue? In other words, ask him, "General Petraeus, were you bothered by's advertisement in which they referred to you as "Betray-Us?""

Because, here's the brilliant strategy: he's a tough-as-nails military guy. No way is he going to admit on the record that he was the slightest bit bothered by something that a bunch of long-haired hippies said about him. So he'll go on record saying "No, it didn't bother me." Then, you can use HIS OWN WORDS for your justification as to why you voted down the preposterous resolution. Smart, eh?

However, since half of you (including you, Harry--way to allow that resolution to see the light of day) got totally schooled on this issue, perhaps you can use this kind of thinking the next time the GOP tries to capitalize on a not-even-close-to-peripheral issue to ignore their own failings. (Hint: it will next happen during the 2008 campaign. Try not to act surprised.)

Sometimes you don't need to read beyond the headline...

Classic headline from Portland's KATU News website this morning:

Jailed mom expecting 10th child says things will be different this time around.
Oh, I imagine it will be. The first nine were kind of practice kids, but the tenth one is going to be the one that she knocks out of the park. However, I can't help but be reminded of this guy when I read something like that.

"They've got a name for people like you H.I. That name is called 'recidivism.' Repeat OH-fender!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tom Brady takes break from impregnating supermodels to deny that he is a fraud and a cheat

Tom Brady seems to have found a few minutes in his day--those precious free moments when he is not knocking up sundry supermodels/actresses or preening for the latest GQ photo spread--to deny widespread allegations that he has profited from Bill Belichick's Nixonian spying and wiretapping schemes to the tune of 3 Super Bowl victories. Appearing on a Boston radio station, Brady whined

"By no means am I sitting here getting plays and getting defenses and checking plays based on defenses that I'm getting. That's completely absurd," Brady said. "If that was the case, I think that's just ridiculous. You know, I hear other players, based on what I've heard on television, that 'Brady's getting defenses.' I'm saying, 'That's just ridiculous.'
The only benefit to all this negativity being brought down on the cheating Pats is that Sports Illustrated's Peter King must be finding it that much harder to write his weekly "Tom Brady is the best quarterback who has ever lived, and is perhaps the moral equivalent of Ghandi" column. So, if for no other reason, I guess I should be grateful that the Patriots have disgraced themselves as a bunch of jackass losers.

An annotated guide to the medals of General Petraeus

In the post below, I referred to the fauxtrage (that's fake outrage) the conservatives are displaying over the fact that an insolent, snot-nosed kid was mercifully tasered at a campus event with John Kerry. However, there is even more fauxtrage in the air these days over the advertisement that took out in the NY Times recently, in which General David Petraeus was called "General Betray-us." OMG! Some hippies called a general a mean name, which they got by making a clever pun of his last name! This is simply unheard of!

Now, who is General David Petraeus, you may ask? Well, here's how he was described by Republican minority whip Roy Blunt:

a four-star general, a Princeton Ph.D., a recipient of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, and the chief author of the Army’s definitive counterinsurgency manual
Man, that's impressive. I mean, the guy literally wrote the book on how to conduct an effective counterinsurgency. Apparently, however, the man who is able to look death in the eye, who is renowned for his mile-long jogs in the very heart of the insurgency, wilts like a delicate flower when a liberal advocacy group says something mean about him. I mean, heck, this guy can drive an unarmored Humvee through RPG Alley in Baghdad without so much as breaking a sweat, but when the NY Times runs an ad in which someone calls him "Betray-us," well, all bets are off.

With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to present an image of David Petraeus with an annotated guide to a few of his recent medals. After all, when a guy appears before congress wearing what appears to be four square feet of assorted medals and honors, it's hard to keep track of what valorous deed is matched to which piece of hardware. Here, then, is a photo, along with an explanation for some of his most recent medals.

"Bro" shouting student justifiably tasered at Kerry event

The righties are breathless with fauxtrage (that would be fake outrage) today at news that a student who was asking too many questions was tasered at a campus forum with John Kerry at the University of Florida. Here's how the AP described it:

A University of Florida student was Tasered and arrested after trying angrily and repeatedly to ask U.S. Senator John Kerry about the 2004 election and other subjects during a campus forum.


Videos of Monday's incident posted on several Web sites show officers pulling Andrew Meyer, 21, away from the microphone after he asks Kerry about impeaching President Bush and whether he and Bush were both members of the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University.
It's hard to say whether the kid was one of those "heh, I love the Swift Boat Vets, and I'm going to sabotage the nascent political career of John Kerry. OMG! Heh indeedy" types, or if he was a conspiracy-touting indymedia type.

However, in a true example of a news organization burying the lede, we read this later in the piece:
As Kerry tells the audience he will answer the student's "very important question," Meyer yells at the officers to release him, crying out, "Don't Tase me, bro," just before he is shocked by the Taser.
Did you get that? The officers, who most likely were going to lead the guy out of the room peacefully, were forced to send 10,000 righteous volts of electricity surging through his body after he dropped the "Bro" bomb on them. Apparently the student went on to ask them if they had seen the "sick Lacoste polos at Nordstrom," and mentioned his deep and abiding love for Jack Johnson's early work. Suspecting they had mere seconds before the guy popped his collar and tried to slip some GHB in their beer, the campus security officers made a wise decision to deploy the taser.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The US military: proudly outsourcing corpse management services since 2007*

This notice pretty much says it all

NEW! 67 Temp Positions: Personal Effects Specialist (FT Shifts to Aug. 17)

Job Description
Participates as temporary full-time member (Personal Effects Specialist, or Photographer, or Administrative Speciaialist) on a Serco, Inc. team of 96 contract employees working on-site in a fast-paced operational/warehouse environment for the US Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center at the Joint Personal Effects Depot (JPED). Receives, inventories, sorts, cleans, photographs, packages, and ships to family members (next of kin) all personal effects belonging to military service members and others, including defense contractors, who are killed or severely injured worldwide, especially incident to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yeah, seriously, why keep that kind of thing under the protective arm of the US military when it could easily be outsourced to some campaign contributor?

(* I'm not actually sure when this contract started. Could have been earlier than 2007.)

Korea, Iraq, what's the difference?

Word on the street is that our Prez'nit is going to make some sort of comparison between Iraq and the US experience in Korea (which as well all know has brought nothing but peace, forgiveness, and understanding to the Korean peninsula) in his televised speech to the nation this evening.

President Bush is looking at the decades-long U.S. troop presence in South Korea as a model for a future U.S. role in Iraq, senior administration officials said Thursday....

Amid Democratic criticism and Republican concerns that the so-called troop surge has failed to produce national reconciliation at the top levels in Baghdad, the official said the president is expected to argue that grass-roots efforts by Iraqis are "laying the groundwork for national reconciliation" but there is a "long haul and tough work ahead."
Well, which is it? In case master-of-geography Bush hasn't noticed, US troop presence in South Korea hasn't really helped with the whole reconciliation thing. In fact, if you happen to read any well known books about the Kim (Il Sung and Jong Il) regimes in North Korea, you know that the presence of US troops in South Korea has been the one sticking point in talks between the two nations. For years, the North has stipulated that they will only make various concessions (give up their nukes, etc.) if US troops are withdrawn. So I'm not exactly sure this is the model that the President wants to follow.

Not only that, but, hey, this is, like, what, more than 50 years since the "end" of the Korean War! Our troops are still there, yo. And, of course, the "reality on the ground" as they like to say, is completely different in Iraq than in Korea. You don't have two neat countries who hate each other on different sides of a DMZ--you have three various groups (who hate eachother) sprinkled in enclaves throughout the country, each with different levels of penetration in the country's various security services. Really not even close to the same thing. Several years ago, I think we were following the Germany-post-WWII model. Then several months ago Bush told us that Iraq=Vietnam (after saying for years that Iraq was NOTHING like Vietnam). Now it's Korea. Wake me up in several months when headlines blare "Bush says Iraq similar to Grenada, Panama."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

OMG pls pray 4 m3, Br1tn3y i5 teh f4t!11!1!1!11!1eleven1!!

Today the indispensable sources over at the NY Post's PAGE 6 gossip section reveal the reason that Britney Spears appeared at the MTV video award show looking like a 3rd-rate stripper on a 1st-rate bender: she was drunk/hungover, bored, and lazy! Score! (And who said she learned nothing from K-Fed.) Unsurprising as that news is, the most hilarious part of the article was the paper's report of how Britney's antics sent her backup dancers into a text-messaging frenzy:

MTV execs weren't the only ones worried about Spears' impending debacle. Another spy said, "The dancers were texting pals, asking them to pray for them. They were worried."
Sadly, the potency of Las Vegas' famous frozen margaritas dwarfed the Awesome Power of Our Heavenly Creator, at least for the evening. It must be sad to be a backup dancer, forced to watch the so-called star traipsing her way across the stage as sundry celebrities look on with a mixture of shock and dismay, and be confronted with the stark realization that the Lord has forsaken you at such a visible moment. Oh, the fickle finger of fate! Today, noble background dancer, the bell tolls for thee.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Matt Drudge finds his stupidest story yet...BREAKING!1!!11!11

OMG! Noted egg connoisseur/enthusiast Matt Drudge has, thanks to Sean "Slanthead" Hannity, come up with might be his most completely absurd "expose" yet. Are you ready for the surprise that will overwhelm your senses, flooding your capacity for reason and leaving you helpless before his powerful conservative message? Ok, here goes: Al Gore used a private jet! OMG!!! Yes, that's right. I guess the scandal is that "An Inconvenient Truth" and the global warming cannon generally hold that private jets are bad insofar as they fill the upper reaches of the atmosphere with noxious pollutants, despite only ferrying a few rich people around. Seems like a fair point, and it would be better if Gore could use coach or even first class. But, to act as though this is a Huge! Scandal! is taking it a bit too far... though of course this IS Matt Drudge.

Hannity's website, of course, takes it to an even sillier extreme, claiming that "it's the tape that will change the global warming debate." Really? I guess the fact that Al Gore got on a private jet somehow... means that global warming isn't happening? Not quite sure I get the logic there, but, then again, I don't work for FOX. I get the sense that upon the first airing of this video (on FOX, natch), Greenland's melting glaciers will suddenly surge down the hills, blanketing the slopes under hundreds of feet of ice. Snow will return to Kilamanjaro! The average global temperature will fall by 5 degrees! The information is Just. That. Shocking.

Even better is Hannity's insistence (as I was unlucky enough to hear on his radio show today) that people like Gore need to "lead by example." If Gore wants people to, say, take fewer flights, he needs to get out there and do it himself. Ok, that's fair enough. Yet I wonder what Hannity would say if someone applied the same logic to his support for the Iraq War? The US military is clearly struggling to find qualified recruits, even going so far as to raise the age limit for new recruits, and to drop the educational requirements. Shouldn't Hannity be "leading by example" here? He's a huge supporter of the Iraq War--why not get out in front of this, Sean, and sign up?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Let's be honest: Fred Thompson really looks quite unhealthy and infirm

I'm just going to come right out and say what I know everyone is thinking, but which I believe very few people will say: Fred Thompson looks like he's lived every day over the past four months about ten times each. Like, dude looks OLD. Not "Ronald Reagan, at age 75, was a youthful and vigorous looking man, given his age" old, but "Woah, that guy looks really unhealthy, and, quite frankly, hideously ugly" old. The truth is that Fred has never looked like George Clooney's double, but I don't recall him looking like the double of that freakish wraith from "Tales from the Crypt" before either. Check it out below: I've got one photo of him taken from a TV appearance in March 2007, and one taken from his webcast (whatever, grampa!) yesterday.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Holiday Travel: The good, and the (really) bad

Best part about a trip to D.C. this weekend: Frontier Airlines, which rocked my world. Brand new planes, actually friendly crew, DirecTV (albeit for $5) in the TV mounted to the back of every seat, and fairly comfy accommodations. I can't say enough for Frontier--they did a great job, and this is spoken by someone who HATES to fly. The downside is that you have to fly through Denver for every flight, but if you are making a cross country trip, you should check them out.

The worst part wasn't a "I got in a traffic jam and arrived late for my flight" kind of worst, but rather a "I saw something that spoke volumes to me about the almost literal fall and decline of the United States, so long as we continue to allow moronic cretins the opportunity to inflict their astounding bad taste and dreadful stupidity on the rest of us" kind of worst. It was a t-shirt worn by a woman in the Denver airport, who, I might add, was in the process of screaming at her five kids as they stood in line at McDonald's. And that shirt said "Jesus God 'Er Done." Exactly. I stood their, mouth open, staring at this shirt--it was that horrifying. Not even the lovely Filet-O-Fish sandwich in my hand was enough to calm my nerves. (Although the gin and tonic I inhaled on the next leg of my flight did actually help.)

Question: why is it that the people who feel the need to broadcast their religious affiliation are always the last people who ought to be doing so? There are plenty of peaceful, compassionate religious types out there, so why do I never round the corner at the airport and bump into some kindly Quaker wearing a "I believe in peace and sustainable living" shirt? (The answer to that question, incidentally, is not "because that's a lame shirt and nobody would buy it.") No, it's always some jackass idiot wearing a barely-thought-out rip-off of a slogan from some hick comedian. Do other cultures have this? Are there people in the, say, Islamic world who would contemplate wearing some absurd mis-quotation of the Koran--or, to remain consistent, some Islamic version of a rip-off of the trademark line from some bad comedian in, like, Yemen?-- to make a hilarious point about the strength of their own faith? I doubt it. So we do we? Worst. Superpower. Ever.