Saturday, December 30, 2006

In Which I Paint Scientologists With More Than One Brush

Greg was kind enough to write the other day, wondering what I have against Scientologists. I'm grateful that he asked, because I'll often forgo nuance for the sake of a cheap gag, and that was definitely the case here. Plus, nuance allows me to up the word count.

The reference I made:

And further apologies to certain right wing/scientologist/hater readers who shall, by their own choice, remain nameless.
Was wholly scurrilous. I've had a an anonymous poster appear a few times on this and other blogs to hurl insults, question my sexuality (I dig chicks, Anonymous) and attempt to make me more miserable than is my natural miserable state. And since the guy is both anonymous and fails to connect his comments to anything I said, I've come to assume he's either someone from a right-wing blog where I said something I didn't like, or he's a Tom Cruise fan because I've made plenty of fun of Tom Cruise. So more likely, the guy (or very angry woman) is right-wing and not Scientologist at all.

Having said that, I AM uneasy about Scientology. More so than about other religions. I'm a skeptic. Just as I find it unlikely that there is a man who will reward you for your good behavior with eternal life and punish you for eternity with fire if you're bad, I think it's silly to adopt a belief system that is said to be centuries old but somehow was never known until a dude who wrote science fiction brought it up in the fifties.

Especially one that is so adamant about punishing outsider scrutiny. And so profitable. It just seems that there are more plausible explanations for it.

Having said that, I'm fully aware that I can be wrong; and whatever works for you, I'm all for. Scientology vexes me but I have no beef against individual Scientologists as long was we're not trying to convert each other. And I've even met Tom Cruise! This was about 10 years ago but he came to my movie theater frequently and seemed like a really nice guy, especially for a mega-star. So if people are stronger and more confident from being Scientologists, let 'em be Scientologists. Or Catholics, or Muslims or whatever. Or combinations thereof. If I meet you at a cocktail party though, let's talk about showbiz.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Recommended Listening (Or If You Have To, Reading)

Just a quick note - iTunes last week put John Hodgman's THE AREAS OF MY EXPERTISE up as a free download, and it's weird as hell. Funny too, but it takes a while to find its unique, rich, strange rhythm. From the list of 700 Hobo Nicknames to a table of interesting trivia about the 51 states (oh, didn't you know there is a 51st state? It's called AR.) it's just great listening. Bonus points for the participation of longtime cohort and Popular Science troubador Jonathan Coulton.

I fear they're charging for it by now, but it's surely worth the money. I may even pay for the book once I'm done with the audio.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Why I Haven't Comitted Suicide

And why I ain't gonna! First, apologies to anyone reading who doesn't have depressive tendencies. And further apologies to certain right wing/scientologist/hater readers who shall, by their own choice, remain nameless.

If you aren't, well, if you aren't either Skot or Anonymous, you've probably googled "suicide" which probably means that like me, you get a little blue around the holidays. I suppose I don't have seasonal affective disorder, because as Skot points out you have to live some place where there are seasons for that to be a problem. Still, my blinding hatred of Christmas surely feeds into the depression I feel around this time of the year; and visa-versa. Perhaps it's a spiral of my own making. In either event, welcome stranger. I feel your pain.

In any event, most Decembers I either go all nihilist (nothing matters!) or withdrawn (see you next Wednesday!) Bonus points for a source for that last reference; further bonus points for an explanation of it. And like a misshapen hideous elf, the thought of suicide will dance through my mind, if only for a second. C'mon, Elfie says. Wouldn't it just be so much easier? For some reason, Elfie is played by James Mason. Memo to self - bring this up at the next session, it could be important.

And every year I consider and reject the idea. This is your bullet point, your takeaway. Note it well:

  • Suicide is for chumps.
Because you kill yourself based on the idea that it's always going to be this bad, and there is no hope for the future. However, you have to be at the lowest ebb of your existence to consider this; it's only logical that your life will get better. It HAS to. So you're basically denying yourself the thing that you claim you need.

It's easier for yours truly because I know that by the middle of January I'll be back to my cheerful, un-soulful self. I have seen the future, and it's NOT like living at the bottom of a dark pit. You, the unknown Googler, are going to have a harder time seeing that; please take my word.

And no matter how bad it looks now, it's going to look better. Only idiots kill themselves. I've got a lot of antipathy towards Catholicism, but at least they had the sense to make suicide a mortal sin. I think a lot of other religions do too, and this makes much more sense that threatening people with hell over breaking dietary laws.

Anyway, my tortured unknown friend, know that it is inevitable that your life will improve. And because it's inevitable, you're obligated to stick around to see it happen.

(And incidentally, I also have antipathy toward the drug companies for renaming tendencies so they sound like treatable illnesses; but if you have a bad elf in your head you might want to consider Welbutrin or Celexa or one of the dozen others. It's the lesser of two evils.)

Okay, now how about the See You Next Wednesday reference. Anyone? Skot, you can answer in private.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Inevitable Icy-cold Hand of the Reaper

Look, I'll miss Gerald Ford. But we all go. You want proof? The guy who wrote his obituary for the Washington Post has been dead himself since last January. Given the way the system works, I fully expected to see his own byline on his obituary, but the credit goes to Adam Bernstein who was alive at the time of publication. Allegedly.

Hat tip to Wonkette, who tips a hat to Matt Drudge. I refuse to tip my hat directly to Matt Drudge, if for no other reason than his superior taste in hats.

You know how it works, right? The newspapers keep obit files on all news makers who are expected to die, so they can have a fully-researched article ready to go. When Frank Sinatra died, it probably freed up a tremendous amount of file space. Bob Hope? Spring cleaning. I bet people found half a dozen earrings at the bottom of drawers when Reagan shuffled off.

Ford was an okay guy, especially when you compare him to the current Republican president. At least he did no serious damage. That's all it takes to look good nowadays.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

There Is No "Xmas" in "Las Vegas"

So the wife and I took the desolate I-15 to Las Vegas for the holiday weekend. For a lotta reasons, since you ask. One, attendance drops in that town as Christmas people prepare for the holidays so there are bargains to be snapped up. We got a room at the Golden Nugget for $29 a night. Two, Vegas is almost completely Xmas free. Sure there are Santa hats here and there, and a few shows throw in token nods to the holidays (no specific holidays, of course) but for the most part it's the second best way to avoid Christmas. The first is a sensory deprivation tank, but that will wrinkle you up something furious if you stay in for a whole weekend.

The Golden Nugget is quite elegant for a downtown hotel. If it were on the strip perhaps they would put in a shopping mall and a showroom or two, but they most they do is provide a single lounge (very nice, BTW), an enormous hunk of gold in a glass case and, out by the pool, a shark tank. Yep, right in the middle of the pool bar. It only makes sense that the closest you'll get to a great white shark is downtown Las Vegas.

Downtown, even with the weird 3-block-long light show over Fremont street, is a depressing experience in the dead of winter. It's more like old Vegas downtown, which means less kids but more of a pervasive evil vibe. It's as if everywhere you walk you are passing through the ghosts of mob bosses. In front of the Orleans (I think it's called that, the whole place is blurring in my over-stimulated mind) a couple of girls in colorful Cajun outfit pass out free beads. They look tired, like crack whores with second jobs. A few doors down, there is another casino with the same girls in black-and-white Cajun outfits doing the same thing. Downtown freaked Mrs. K out enough that we have vowed to never stay there again, bargains or not.

To me, the clearest indication that the holidays were nigh came at the Rio, where they have an hourly Mardi Gras parade with a stage show and overhead floats. The dancers all wore sexy elf costumes instead of their usual Caribbean fare; and it was over-amplified Christmas music. A couple of floats which were built to accommodate 8 dancers had only two.

A lot of shows were dark this weekend, which made choosing much easier. We scored a couple of discount Penn and Teller seats. I've always wanted to see those guys live and they did not disappoint. We also caught 2 lounge acts, Dirk Arthur's Xtreme Magic show at the Trop and Hypnosis Gone Wild! at the Aladdin. I think I've finally maxed out on Magic shows. I spend the whole time watching and thinking, "it's not her real hands" and "he's been out of the box for a minute already; when the cover drops it will probably be the white tiger." I'm almost certain now that I can't be hypnotized, and I don't understand people who can. Next time I'm sticking to music.

For some reason this trip I became fascinated by people in casinos in wheelchairs. What are their stories? Are they in that chair permanently or are they just recuperating? What if they're just lazy? Why can't I get a wheelchair? That bald guy - did the same thing that made him bald put him in the chair? How much has be bet?

I liked the spa at the Nugget. Reminded me of Burke-Williams but with exercise machines.

Because we were downtown, I kept my eyes peeled for the Amazing Colossal Man. He didn't show up, perhaps because it was too cold to be running around in just a diaper; or maybe he couldn't get to that cowboy sign because it's blocked by the Fremont Street Canopy. Good thing too. Until someone knits the Amazing Colossal Sweater we should assume he's staying in a cave somewhere.

For the record, I bet about $6 and won about $7, so I'm finally ahead for a change. I'm going to spend it on stamps!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stale, Weary, Flat, Unprofitable

So I'm prone to what they call SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Basically, I get depressed around December time. Maybe it has to do with Christmas, maybe it's the the solistice, whatever. Right now I hate everybody and I want to stay in bed until January. And I don't even have a cold.

On the plus side, Ellen and I are going to drive to Vegas on Friday, and we're staying the weekend until this whole Godforsaken Christmas thing blows over. We return Monday night. I don't know if it will improve my mood, but at least I'll be cranky in the craziest city in the world.

I think Hamlet said it best: "How stale, weary, flat and unprofitable all the uses of this world seem to me." Assuming that's what he said because I'm too unmotivated to look it up. I'll tell you what else, it makes me feel worse to know that the best description of my own state was written 400 years ago, and he's already made money off it. Unless it was Marlowe. Don't get me started.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Heritage Foundation Endorses Taliban!

The Heritage Foundation has published a study called "A Portrait of Family and Religion in America: Key Outcomes for the Common Good." Worth checking out. To summarize:

The study compares a number of social outcomes among four groups of teenagers: (1) those from intact families with frequent religious attendance, (2) those from intact families with low or no religious attendance, (3) those from non-intact families with frequent religious attendance, and (4) those from non-intact families with low or no religious attendance.
As you may imagine, the Foundation believes that teens in "intact families with frequent religious attendance" are less likely to do hard drugs, have premarital sex, and drop out of school.
"Intact families" are defined as families with two biological parents who are married or cohabiting; "non-intact families" are defined as families without two biological parents. For religious participation, "frequent attendance" indicates at least monthly attendance at religious services; "low attendance" indicates less than monthly religious attendance.
In the interests of science, the Foundation skips the most important detail, I think: the money shot. It fails to specify a religion. So presumably, the foundation is more in favor of a nuclear family of Muslim extremists than a single Christian mom, or a mom with a husband overseas fighting Muslim extremists.

Also a household run by lesbian ethics professors is probably not as good a conventional nuclear family, even if it is of church-going alcoholic snake handlers. And if you are married to an abusive sociopath, don't divorce him and marry a nice guy - he's not the biological parent, and it would bad for the kids.

Now a word about MY methodology - I am assuming that, like any study designed to culminate in a press release, the terms of this one were rigged to obtain the results that they wanted. If I am wrong, then I am quibbling with hard scientific fact. I don't know enough about science to judge the helpful pdf they link to so I'm going apply observation of previously observed similar phenomena to this situation to form a hypothesis:

The Heritage Foundation is feeding you a load of crap.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Last Night's Disappointing Holiday Xmas Party

My company had its annual Christmas bash last night, and I was disappointed. It was all very pleasant, and everyone had a good time. That's my least favorite kind of Christmas party.

Understand, I have really high standards. I have been at the two sloppiest, sad, horrid Christmas parties ever. As a guy who feasts on Schadenfreude, I have to tell you last night's party (Ellen said, "everyone you work with is so NICE!") just didn't make the cut.

My first favorite Christmas party was for United Artists in the mid-nineties. The district manager made the tactical mistake of providing an open bar. For whatever reason, people were inclined to drink like fish that night. Everybody aired hidden resentments, there was an awful lot of...

I meant to post this half a month ago, and I just plain forgot to finish.

Let's just say I prefer xmas parties where everyone is drunker than I am, because I get to tease them later. Now fly, post, fly!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Really Brings Me Down The Most

I'm really trying this year. I said to myself this year I'll just finally enjoy the holiday and behave like a normal person. But I find that everything irritates me, or even depresses me mildly. Only mildly! Still, I was going to exchange gifts with Ellen and actually call them Christmas gifts instead of "Krause Day".
I wonder... is it possible that I've played ol' Ebenezer for so long that I can't stop? "I am become Scrooge, destroyer of holiday spirit."
I think I'll watch SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS and see if it cheers me up or just makes it all even worse.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Quick Note To Anonymous

"wow, you're a douchebag. i read a few of your blogs and realized you're an idiot. nice pic fag, take the dildo out of your ass... oh, really cool gel job on the 'do! I think even Ryan Seacrest would laugh his ass off at you. "Keepin' It Real, Yo" holy shit you're a desperate piece of crap aren't you? I still can't stop laughing at your picture... classic"

Yeah, I'm mighty desperate.

So look, "anonymous," my guess is you aren't enraged by my picture as much as you are by my opinions. I could be wrong... even I'm a little uneasy about the hairstyle. But look, why not comment about the opinions. What is it that bothers you? Do you think that all the Muslims want to kill us? Are you mad that I said nasty things about Tom Cruise? (*gasp* OMG, you're not in love with Tom Cruise! Dude, I'm so sorry!) Do you think I sunk the comfirmation of John Bolton? What is it?

Your opinions are valid, and to hide behind both anonymity AND posting to an unrelated topic does you a disservice. Show a little backbone, dude! You're making everyone who thinks like you (however that is) look weak.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Alright Already - A Webcam Pic

So this is what I look like now. Check back next week to see if anything changes.

Welcome Aboard, Hammer

Tom DeLay, who needs no introduction from me, has started his own blog. I cruised on over there right now to see if what I read is true - it was said on Think Progress that DeLay was filtering out all the disagreeable comments. However, this apparently is no longer true, which suggests that DeLay didn't realize there would be some, then learned how much ridicule he would engender by censoring. So kudos, Hammer.

In Which I Describe My New Look

Here in today's media-rich world, on the Internet which is the media-est richest of all media, it seems strange to describe something by you know, describing it. However, I'm at work and I don't have access to a webcam.

The play ended this weekend, and I took the opportunity to ditch my 50's era goatee in favor of a clean-shaven, non-itchy look. Additionally I have, as promised to my lovely wife, re-frosted my hair and I now have a blond cloud over my forehead, augmented by spiky bedhead stylings. So I'm back to looking like a pudgy 14-year-old.

I think I'll follow this up tonight with a picture, if I remember. It's either that or keep writing until I reach a thousand words.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Geopolitics as Barfight

I've been having a lot of comment-section chats with people who insist that yes, all the Muslims want to kill us and therefore we must get them out of the country. So far no one has insisted that we have to kill them all first, in self-defense. So far.

So I've come up with this handy metaphor to explain how I see the world situation. Next time someone tells you we need to bomb Iraq, try this on 'em!

America is a big muscular guy, sitting at a bar. A little guy comes up to him and starts insulting him, calling him a pussy, saying he's going to wipe America out. Now the way I see it, the strong thing to do, the thing that will make that cute waitress want to go home with America, is for him to say, "hey man, I don't want no trouble." America moves to another side of the bar, maybe shoots the little guy a look that says "but I'm not afraid to beat your scrawny ass if you try anything." Then if the little guy tries anything, America is free to kick him around.

If America throws the first punch, he looks scared. Plus since he's so much bigger than the other guy, the rest of the bar is gonna throw in behind that guy because America is obviously dangerous and must be stopped. And the bar is full of little guys.

Right now, a little guy threw the first punch; but America responded by pounding his landlord and then, for no discernable reason, the family that lives next door to the landlord. And we're talking about wailing on a guy who LOOKS like the little guy. America, drink up and go home. You've had enough.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Tolerance Achilles Heel

As much as I'm against prejudice and racial profiling and painting every member of a group with the same brush, I have to admit that cephalopods give me the creeps. Take this for example:

(shudder) Ever since that day at the Monterey marine museum* Aquarium when I spent time in a room where an octopus sat in the center, in his enormous glass tank, pulsating like a giant brain bent on seizing my will and forcing me to perform evil; ever since then I have hated the spongy creatures of the deep known as Octopi.

* I had to go back and re-edit this entry because I could not, for the life of me, remember the word "aquarium." How could that be anything BUT cephalopod mind control?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Whither 007

Finally managed to see CASINO ROYALE last night. Loved it plenty. I will now throw out spoilers like free waffles as I explain what was great and not so great about it. Spoilers... they give away important surprises and plot points. If you want the movie to be a surprise to you, stop reading. I'm being as plain as I can about this. I will ruin the movie for you.

First and foremost, the good folks at Broccoli Inc have finally succeeded in making Bond vulnerable again. He hasn't been since GOLDFINGER. I almost said "making him human," but the interesting thing to me about James Bond is he's really not. He's psychotic. He's a sociopath who has found an acceptable role in society. The biggest reason that Sean Connery made such a splendid Bond isn't his physicality or his acting chops; it's that he understood that the character likes having a license to kill. You never got that from any of the other Bonds, especially Roger Moore, even from my favorite Pierce Brosnan. Even Timothy Dalton (who looked more like the literary Bond than any of them) didn't enjoy killing. He didn't seem to enjoy anything.

Bond is an antihero. He's a criminal. And Daniel Craig, with his opaque blue eyes and inscrutable expressions, is able to draw you in when you need to feel what he feels. But he's also able to keep you out when it gets really ugly.

I like that the movie kept in the most horrific plot point of the novel, Le Chiffre's crude bottomless-wicker-chair torture of Bond. I never thought I'd see the day. Just now, as I write this, I'm wincing. Like the rest of the movie, it's refreshingly low-tech and effective. No ritual introduction of deus ex-machina gadgets! Just a rope, a chair and a scrotum is all you really need to tell this story. And cell phones -- dozens and dozens of cell phones.

What the movie gets wrong, I fear, is the procedural - specifically, the famous stunt set pieces that are a hallmark of the series. What's with the implausible leaping chase through a construction site? Why allow Bond to blow up a foreign embassy? Or rather, why does he still have a job after?

Somewhere along the way Bond went from being a spy, someone who lies to you so he can steal your secrets, to a state-sponsored terrorist. Now everyone knows who he is, and he's very good at going to foreign countries and assassinating people and blowing up their property. Not only is it hard to root for a terrorist, it's so implausible a situation that the story can't recover. On the other hand, if you don't include these sequences then it just isn't Bond, old fellow.

My thinking is this: Sony had the rights to this book, which is why they were able to muscle in on the Bond Franchise. If they were smart, they would have started COMPLETELY from scratch. Called the movie Casino Regale, name the character Jim Bande or something. Make him more like John Drake from Secret Agent, a quiet guy who actually protects his cover. Do press telling people, yeah, it's really Bond. Then start a whole string of sequels with the new guy. Maybe in fifteen years have a face-off between Bande and Bond, like Frankenstein Vs. The Mummy. You know who I'd be rooting for.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just One More Quote From NO LEFT TURNS

You gotta savor this one for its sheer snake-eating-its-own-tail quality:
Comment 9 by David Frisk

...From a coldly Machiavellian standpoint, this may make sense for the Democrats. Stigmatization and demonization have worked very well for them, and it’s not hard when you control the entertainment multiplex, the schools and the (significant) media....

Just a tiny bit reminiscent of a Richard Lewis joke I can't get out of my head, in which he describes making love to a woman who cries out, "Oh God... Oh God... THE JEWS CONTROL THE BANKS AND THE MEDIA!"

And by the way, where does this guy get off calling Fox News insignificant? O'Reilly will be furious.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

While I'm On the Subject

Check this out! Man, I've just hopped right into a viper's nest there at No Left Turns.

The Golden Age Of Racism

The other right-wing blog I frequent, NO LEFT TURNS, is having a lively discussion on the subject of Nativism. What is Nativism? Perhaps this comment will illustrate.

An America full of 100,000,000 new immigrants will cease to be America. Are you OK setting back and watching that happen?

This whole thread has surprised me because the site is erudite and intelligent, and usually well-reasoned. Then again, I have to admit that most racism surprises me; especially my own when it rears its occasional head. But this past year, racism is out in the open, flying its freak flag and proudly proclaiming itself to the world. Remember John Gibson on Fox News saying we have to breed, because otherwise the majority of Americans will be Hispanic by 2050? Remember anything Rush Limbaugh has said ever?

By the way, maybe the guy is right. The country has never recovered since the Irish and Jews moved in. Those bastards, with their corned beef hash and their matzoh!
The main issue is the ethno-cultural dissolution of our Country. In that respect, it actually matters little whether they are legal or illegal. We need to send back all the illegals that we can, build a fence, and place a moratorium or seriously limit LEGAL immigration. And the native population needs to have more babies.

This comment, by a guy who calls himself Red, is clearly the cry for help of a guy who believes that the world is white folks versus everyone else. Christopher agrees.
The "war on terror" will not be lost on the battlefield, it will be lost when Muslim immigration rises to the point of dissolving our culture (which is already under serious stress from the ’cultural war’). Progressives/liberals live in a ideal world created in their own minds when it comes to anthropology (’what is man?’) and the ideas of human relations. ...I believe immigration, particularly of a robust belief system like mohammad’s, will test us like never before...

I'm flabbergasted. How do you argue with people like this? As the Muslims thought, the war on terror is against their very religion!

I'm thinking that this is going to be a very unpleasant Century, and it's going to take a lot of reverse momentum to prevent a war-torn dark age. In fact, I'm only partially kidding when I suggest that maybe you should plan to segregate your family, with a couple of shotguns and a barrel of rice and a lot of water, just in case. Or move to another country - just not one that we don't like.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Student Exchange Program Not Always Cool

19 Year Old Polish exchange student Michael Gromek spent a year in America. The first six months, which were as long as he could stand, were with a Christian Fundamentalist family in Winston-Salem. He writes an account of the experience for Der Spiegel Online.

Things began to go wrong as soon as I arrived in my new home in Winston-Salem, where I was to spend my year abroad. For example, every Monday my host family would gather around the kitchen table to talk about sex. My host parents hadn't had sex for the last 17 years because -- so they told me -- they were devoting their lives to God. They also wanted to know whether I drank alcohol. I admitted that I liked beer and wine. They told me I had the devil in my heart.
See, here's the thing about exchange student hosting. They are supposed to learn about their culture, you are supposed to learn about theirs. Behavior like this kinda violates the host/guest equilibrium:
They woke me every Sunday morning at 6:15 a.m., saying 'Michael, it's time to go to church.' I hated that sentence. When I didn't want to go to church one morning, because I had hardly slept, they didn't allow me to have any coffee.
The dude is EUROPEAN, for God's sake! They need coffee more than Seattle residents!

Michael was eventually relocated to a more tolerant host family, where he stayed out the year presumably waking up in a cold sweat fearing he was surrounded by exorcists.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dying is NOT Easy

This weekend the play I'm in had another two performances. Saturday's was poorly attended but we got big laughs, and Sundays we had lots of people (including my in-laws, god help me) but the audience was... quietly appreciative. Especially during the first act. The second act went well because a lot of the plot dominoes that are set up in the first act start falling, but that first hour was deadly.

And I learned a lot. Not about show biz, or audiences. I learned how handy I can be with a metaphor.

During intermission my costar Scott, who has all kinds of acting experience except comedy on stage, was worried that we were doing a bad show. I said, you know what? It's like we are a tango dancer and the audience is our partner. We are actually doing as good a dance as always - but our partner is stiff and doesn't know the steps. We just have to keep dancing as best we can and hope she catches up.

And like I say, she did. I don't know that much about stage plays, but those years of improv taught me that you can be funny even if the audience is made of stone, or some bonded-carbon substance which is as hard as stone, but easier to carve into useful shapes.

Poor Scott though. I'm sure he was thinking of the old quote "Dying is easy - comedy is hard." Having spent a whole first act dying, he's probably re-thinking that position statement.

Monday, November 20, 2006

How The Play Is Going

Pretty good actually.

As you know, I am appearing in a mistaken identity farce for the next few weekends called HERE LIES JEREMY TROY. This is notable because I haven't been on a stage in about 10 years (karaoke doesn't count) and I haven't been in a show where I had to memorize lines in about 20 years. I don't like memorizing lines. It's anxiety-producing. If you get something wrong, or god forbid skip a line, you can not only throw yourself off but also the poor bastard who has to pick up cues from you. I don't mind if the other actors miss their lines because I have so much improv under my belt (oh, THAT'S what that is!) that I welcome the excuse to cover for 'em.

So after 3 months of rehearsal we finally opened this last weekend, doing two matinees to houses which were small and kind, like Mother Teresa. I should explain that we are sharing the space with a show that only plays evenings, another mistaken identity farce called WHO'S WIVES ARE THEY ANYWAY? It only makes sense because the sets are close to identical. The most important thing is to make sure there are plenty of doors to walk in and out of; the rest is gravy.

Who are my fellow actors? Well, the male lead is played by Scott, a very good-looking guy (too good-looking if you ask me, but that's just sour grapes) who up until now had no stage experience. Scott has been amazing. He started out making all the classic mistakes (not playing big enough, acting with his back to the audience... basically just being too realistic) and over the course of rehearsals he's become a farce machine. He's big, he can handle a broad take, he's even acquired comic timing.

Kim, who plays his wife, has plenty of experience - she's even written a show and had it produced there. It seems pretty effortless to Kim. She also has an infectious and uncontrollable laugh, which she kept succumbing to in rehearsal but somehow has completely wrestled to the ground now that we're playing to audiences. Kim knows what she's doing.

Rachel, who plays daffy artist's model Tina Winslow, also has all kinds of acting experience. Tina is further proof that women are perfectly capable of being funny. It annoys me that the high point of the show is a scene with Rachel and Kim that I'm not even in! Damn them! Rachel and I are also sharing our first stage make-out scene. I've seen pictures and it's surprisingly convincing. I gotta admit, it's awful difficult to get your bearings after a kissing scene - it really short-circuits a lot of connections in my brain, especially since she's so damn sexy. Rachel is a squeaky-clean person in real life, so she shapes up as the most ironic casting decision of the show.

Finally Don, who is the Boss Who Comes To Dinner. Don has acted for 20 years. He could do the show in his sleep but chooses not to. More than any one, Don knows how to play the audience like a harp. There is a speech he does toward the end of the show with a punchline that is so bone-crunchingly obvious that I would never believe it could be anything more than a sad anti-climax. Don makes it work. It got laughs at both shows this weekend. Hearty laughs. Don is a tremendous fan of classic comedy, i.e. the Marx Brothers, Abbot And Costello, W.C. Fields. Possibly he would be even funnier in black and white, but it would just be impractical.

And me? I have no idea how I come off. I know I'm responsible for a lot of the show and I haven't noticed dead silence during my scenes, so I'm probably holding up my end. I can't decide whether I mug too much or if I should be mugging more. At least I had the instincts to insert that most reliable of laugh-generators, a spit take, into act one. I'm proud of that. Unfortunately the stage manager (Jeannine, who is ruthlessly efficient and smart as a whip) has chosen Coca-Cola to stand in for coffee. I'd have gone with diet coke. I fear we are making the floorboards pretty sticky.

Finally a word about our director, Marc Del Monte. He's great. The man knows comic timing in a big way. He's very good to actors (this is his first directing job; he acts regularly and even has a regular gig playing a comical rabbi at bar mitzvahs and weddings. La Chaim!) and skilled at saying just enough to draw us out without saying too much. At the first rehearsal he gave us each a dollar, so we could say we are being paid to act in a show. I am a paid actor.

As much fun as I'm having, my next show should be a musical, and my next part should be something small and scene-stealing. Maximum benefit, less lines to memorize, wouldn't have to attend all the rehearsals. At my core I'm a very lazy man. I hear they're going to be doing THE SOUND OF MUSIC... maybe I'll try out for Max, the cynical talent agent. Failing that, perhaps I can be a nun. C'mon - if I shave, how could you tell?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Shortage Of Evils

Hearing about the reascension of Trent Lott got me thinking about punditry. Lott, who is a good Republican with some unfortunately quirky racial ideas, presents a problem for Larry Elder, a well-spoken African-American pundit who is also a good Republican. Can you guess what it is?

Why yes, that's exactly right!

I don't agree with everything the left stands for either. We are too often unfair to business, for example. We can be shrill and corrupt. Michael Moore isn't always as funny as he thinks he is. James Carville is probably not human. We insist on listening to all points of view, even the incredibly stupid ones. I'm a Democrat not because I think Democrats are swell, but because they're the lesser of two evils.

And when I'm arguing with conservatives (anonymously in the comments sections of blogs, just in case one of 'em is the guy who sent all that anthrax around) I am sometimes disingenuous because there are only two sides, and I don't want to weaken my own argument. Sometimes I have to defend positions I disagree with, because it's what Democrats support. I'd still rather defend raising property taxes then say, torture and wiretapping. Or Michelle Malkin's pet issue, internment camps.

The obvious problem here is that there are only two evils to choose from here. America would only benefit from a 5 party system. Center, Left, Right and maybe far left and far right; maybe we could call the last 2 left and right surround. And maybe have another center party that just handles a small portion of the important issues. We can call that party ".1".

Incidentally, just by publishing stuff like this, I am an amateur pundit. And I'm willing to go pro! With a little training I could be better on camera than either Robert Novak or Alan Colmes; for one thing I don't appear to be a reanimated zombie. Which reminds me: If Lott doesn't work out, maybe Strom Thurmond would take the gig.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Theatre Of Cruelty

I feel like doing a little trend-spotting. This month has seen the arrival of two movies that have more in common than you might think. BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT OF GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN is a pseudo-documentary in which a bumbling idiot reporter interviews real Americans and coaxes terrible statements out of their unsuspecting mouths. THE BRIDGE is a real documentary about people who committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge, with actual footage of the suicides. Both movies are doing great business, although the real documentary is nothing compared to the fake one.
When my wife skipped work last week to catch the first matinee of Borat, she came back raving about it. Through a combination of phony guilelessness and false assurances that the "documentary" would never be shown in America, Sacha Baron Cohen somehow managed to coax the most horrible statements out of people. Apparently racism, homophobia and a wistful desire to keep slaves still lives on in the American psyche.
It takes a kind of cruel genius to do what Cohen does. Cruel because people spend their lives training themselves to keep some opinions to themselves, or at most express those opinions in whispers to their most trusted friends. Genius because somehow he got people to say this stuff out loud to a total stranger with a camera lens pointed at them.
Sacha Baran Cohen has refused to do interviews as himself, choosing instead to appear as Borat. This indicates that his own private thoughts are of value to him. He's not playing fair. Because of this, I hope the frat boys who are suing 2oth Century Fox win the case. Because they were tricked into making their racist remarks for the record. After all, the movie is making a fortune. They can afford to settle. Not that I would want to hang out with those frat boys - they are a bunch of racists.
THE BRIDGE is similar because it also shows people at their worst, and you can bet no one signed a release before they commited suicide. The last thing these people wanted was for their loved ones to watch them do this. And you can take "the last thing" literally in this case. But the movie also contains interviews with the loved ones and friends of these jumpers, and you learn a lot from them; chiefly that you cannot take responsibility for someone else's self-destruction. That's a very valuable message and you may not go to see it without the sick lure of watching these people fall to their deaths. Callous, but valuable.
And the same can be said for Borat. You can laugh at those horrible Americans and the awful things they say but sooner or later you have to recognize that they sound a lot like you. Potentially Borat could provoke a national dialog along the lines of "why didn't somebody tell me I came off like this?" Does this movie make my hate look big?
So these are movies which are cruel to individuals but offer tough love to society as a whole. Could this be the trend I've been waiting for? I'd like to think that as a nation we are strong enough to take a little valid scolding. Like Jeff Bridges said in TUCKER, it's not the heat, it's the humility.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

You Can Only Steal A Close Election

The Burns/Allen match-up, for example, should be quite a little hotbed for skulduggery. Probably from both sides. Say goodnight, Gracie.
I feel like indulging my inner conspiracy theorist today. If you were able to fix elections, under what circumstances would you not do it? Well, when the narrative doesn't support it. If Republicans had won the house, people simply would not have bought it. Rove often goes too far but this would have been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too far. And Bush was failing to win support for his policies from Republicans - now at least he can blame Democrats for failing. Two years from now the talk will be about those obstructionist moonbat Democrats, and how they're stopping governance. And that will be despite what I expect to be a marathon use of the previously hidden veto pen.
Other thoughts: Rumsfeld resigns? You'd almost think his whole tenure was about politics instead of the good of the troops. Bad signal Rummy! You should have faked a heart attack instead. His replacement should win an easy confirmation because if he doesn't, the back-up is Harriet Meyers.
If Government completely freezes, gridlocks for the next two years, then at least we won't be rocketing straight to hell like we have been. This, then, is progress.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rove Hasn't Got It Any More

Sentenced to death? Hah! In the old days he's have arranged to have Saddam executed this weekend! I suppose he might be saving that one for the weekend before the Presidential elections, but how are they going to time Osama's capture now? Very bad scheduling all around.


I had forgotten how living in the west valley area of Los Angeles deprives me of my desperately-needed supply of celebrity sightings, until last night.
We were all out at Denny's in Hollywood, my castmastes and I. We had just done an improv murder-mystery at The Old Spaghetti Factory on Sunset. Not a bad gig, though it was also a singles party and solving a mystery may not have been on the top of anyone's agenda. Anyway, we went out for Breakfast Slams and what have you. And I spotted this guy in a nearby booth; skinny, bald as an egg, bespectacled. I kept nudging my peeps and whispering "Look! It's Moby!"
After a while I realized that the guy who was sitting in the booth in front of him, unmistakably, was Justin Long, the mac in the I'm A Mac/I'm a PC commercials. And I was excited about this, more so than a real Moby sighting.
On the drive home, I started thinking though - sure a Moby sighting would have been hilarious because Moby famously is careful about what he puts into his body. But Justin Long, who is reaping residual money in a big way... what the hell is he doing at Denny's? It was definitely him but what's the deal Justin - you know Musso & Franks is just down the street. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hidden Scary Discovered in Fun Flash Gimmick

This page is a "tag cloud" composed of words used in presidential speeches. It catalogs all the words used in a given speech and gives weight (bigger typeface) to words used most often. For example, Jimmy Carter has INFLATION featured prominently in speeches he made.
Here's the thing that sends a chill down my spine - next to the presidents names are their terms. GWB's term is listed (2001- ) - no end date! We know the date his term will end! Don't we? Don't we?


I'm just killing myself at WHERE ARE MY KEYS lately. We've agreed to disagree about media bias (I'm saying there is none, though I believe there is a slight conservative bias), but I spent most of the morning defending Keith Olberman's comments on COUNTDOWN the other night. Instead of doing this, writing in my own blog.
If you know any conservatives with easily countered viewpoints, could you please send them over here so I don't have to go outside for my argumentative kicks?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Atheists Not As Screwed As Previously Thought

This morning Wonkette links to an article which provides the only glimmer of hope that a man who doesn't believe in God can have - MANY AMERICANS NOT 'ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN' OF GOD.' For years I have bought into the meme that only 5% shared my faith in the lack of a deity. It's only slightly higher than Apple's market share. And that may be be true, but I hadn't thought of it this way.
While few people are convinced that there is no God, a whopping 42% aren't convinced that there is one. They're more along the lines of, "well, how do I know?" And this is a very sensible position to have. In fact it's more sensible than mine, because I can't back up my position with conclusive evidence.

The poll found that 42 percent of all U.S. adults said they are not "absolutely certain" there is a God, including 15 percent who are "somewhat certain," 11 percent who think there is probably no God and 16 percent who are not sure.

Interestingly among Born Again Christians only 93% are certain there is a God. 7% of those people lack faith, for chrissake! The study also finds that only 1% of people believe that God is female, though 37% believe God has no gender. No one brought up George Burns, unfortunately. Or Eric Clapton.

Anyway, this is very good news to me. I was tempted to say "There is a God!" when I read it, but obviously that would have been problematic.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Night Of The Living Dems

Again, I get my best ideas from WHERE ARE MY KEYS, a rightwing blog on Yesterday they posted a link to this article, which cites a study that suggests that dead registered voters tend to be Democrats in a 4-1 ratio. "Perhaps this is why Democrats oppose voter registration cards" the blog snarked. I replied thus:
Democrats oppose the cards because they cost money - they literally force the poor to pay to vote. Hmmmmm, who do the poor generally vote for?
As far as the zombie voting block goes, you probably shouldn't worry about them. It's a pretty small number according to the article, which cites a study performed by the publisher of the article. 77,000 out of 11.7 million! Assuming the ratios are correct, a fifth of that number (about 15,400) will shamble into the the polling place, vote Republican, and eat the brains of volunteers.
The zombie Democrats will take up the slack for black voters who are denied access due to clerical errors, or shortages of polling machines. And don't forget that many zombies this year will be voting on unreliable Diebold machines, which tend to make errors favoring Republican candidates.
Finally that ratio - it doesn't indicate voter fraud, it indicates the registered Democratic dead vs Republican dead, because the numbers were taken from a New York sampling. Registered dead voters in the midwest will skew Republican. In fact, the article states that no incidents of fraud were found in the course of their research. Don't fear the dead. Fear Joe Lieberman. He's crushing your Republican candidate in Vermont!

Monday, October 30, 2006

An American Halloween Tail

This weekend provided an unexpected glimpse into what horror movies are all about. Part of the story involves a plumbing emergency.
About a week ago today one of our toilets started backing up, again. We called a plumbing company, big, name brand, and arranged to have some guys show up on Saturday. We knew it was going to cost at least $800 and probably $2000, because there would be digging involved.
So Saturday morning, about 3 hours late, we got a call from the dispatcher asking if we wouldn't mind rescheduling on Sunday. We insisted that we would, in fact, mind. And an hour later (or half an hour after they said) a couple of men arrived. One scrambled on the roof, to operate the endoscopy camera. It's not really an endoscopy but the term is descriptive enough.
No, it's not scary yet.
So we locked the dogs in our pool area, to keep them from annoying the plumbers and escaping through the side gate.
After a few hours the plumbers told us they were going to have to saw through the concrete outside our bedroom, dig a hole and cut into the pipe, and install a clear-out access point. They would come out at nine on Sunday. It would probably cost 2k.
Still not the scary part. Don't worry, it's coming.
So about 10:45am, the plumbers arrived and started jackhammering our back yard. The dogs, locked in the pool area, were circling around the pool, barking at the neighbors, the usual stuff. Lobo, the dumb-as-a-post shepherd, started digging under the shrubs abutting the garage.
The plumbers stopped. We have a three-inch pipe, not the four-inch that they thought, and they'd need different tools. They'd go to the shop, pick them up (if they were there) and finish up later that day.
Here it comes.
While the plumbers were gone, we let the dogs out from the pool area, and lobo immediately started digging into a hole under the pool steps. It was apparently connected to the hole on the other side of the fence that he had been working earlier. I started hearing little squeals. Lobo kept thrusting his paw deep into the hole.
It was then that I noticed a cute, pink little baby mouse, screaming his tiny pointy head off; wriggling in the dirt just under Lobo. But only for a second, because in the next instant the mouse was trapped within Dogulous' powerful jaws. Still screaming like David "Al" Hedison in THE FLY.
Ellen came out the back door and I managed to divert her attention before she saw Dogulous with a tail and a leg wiggling around the front of her mouth. And before the next little baby mouse met the exact same fate. And the third. It appears that Lobo was pulling them out of the nest and Dogulous was taking care of the spoils. The Living Spoils.
It was like a miniature Darfur.
Look, I know this kind of thing goes on all the time in the back yard, usually at night. I just haven't ever been around to SEE it. Now I can't look Dogulous in her big brown eyes without seeing that tail whipping around, just before sliding down her throat, where the hapless mouse will meet his brothers and sisters just before stomach acids mercifully end their brief marsupial lives. I tell ya, I'm going to need therapy.
Oh, and reportedly the plumbers are finishing up the job this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Weird Medicine

A little further down, more thoughts about Rush Limbaugh and Michael J. Fox, the phony twitching Democrat.

But first, Scott "Dilbert" Adams news. Adams' blog yesterday was about his recovering the ability to speak. About 18 months ago he had succumbed to a rare brain disorder which blocks speech. In Adams' case, he was unable to form words in normal conversation, though he was able to speak publicly. In fact, he was refusing a treatment which would have made it possible to talk to his family because it would have weakened his voice on the lecture circuit. Personally, I'd make that trade in a heartbeat.

Adams discovered out of the blue two days ago that while he couldn't form a sentence out loud, he could RHYME one. And after a few hours of repeating rhymes, he found he was able to talk normally again.

I've heard of "word salad", a condition where you have a real sentence in your head but it comes out of your mouth as complete gibberish - boring fan wilco danish Hilton! But this one is new to me. Anyway, I'm glad you're better Scott.

Back to Limbaugh. He's retracted his original remarks because too many dittoheads called to tell him that Fox IS like that all the time. But what I'm wondering is why was it an issue in the first place? I mean, say you have a debilitating disease. You go on the air and campaign for the candidate who promises to aid the cure of your disease. What the hell difference does it make if you LOOK like you have the disease? If Fox didn't have his problem, and claimed he did, THEN we could talk.

The whole stem cell research thing fascinates me. I heard a conservative talk show host last night say that embryonic stem cells are not a promising technology, and that they're not private funds because no one wants to back a loser; AND that we don't need to because Adult stem cells are extremely effective. Excuse me? Embryonic stem cells will never pay off because Adult stem cells are a miracle cure? I bet the steam engine people said the same thing about internal combustion.

By the way, I haven't read the bible... what did Jesus say against abortion? Because they keep bringing the guy up without quoting him.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An Expected Development

Rush Limbaugh has thrown aside all pretense and is now directly making fun of cripples. It's hard to believe he can bring himself to criticize anything named Fox!

Monday, October 23, 2006

She Just Smiled, And Took Away My Vegemite Sandwich

Vegemite, the appalling vegetable paste beloved of Australians, has just been BANNED for import in the US. If you have a jar of Vegemite, use it sparingly because once you've put the last glop on your morning toast, that's it buddy. May I suggest gravy instead?
Vegemite contains folate, which is only allowed in breads and cereals around these parts. And while almost no one eats it in the absence of bread, that ain't the way the law is written. As far as I know, we have no particular beef with the Australians so I'm calling this one a legitimate ban.
Besides, I've had Vegemite. It's ghastly. By the way, between this and my last post about the sausage, what's up with me and food lately? I'm trying to lose a little weight for play I'm in, where I appear shirtless. I want to build up my upper body and lose fat. Damn, you know what would have been good for that? A vegetable paste. Curse you, USDA!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Per Aspera, Ad Hominum Attack

Keith Olberman, the guy who is on a news network and yet still says things critical of the Bush administration, is getting a bit of bad publicity. The ultra-respectable New York Post reports that an anonymous woman blogged her one-night stand with KO, found him lacking and ultimately had to fake her orgasm. The blog itself is password protected, so unless you know KarmaBites personally you may have to wait for her book, or subscribe to the Post.
The Post also published a story about Olberman's encounter with an anthrax-hoax letter, framing it as a "he stood on a chair and shreiked" tale. Keith Olberman is a sissy! And a dud with the chicks!
My goodness, is that Karl Rove skulking over there in the corner?
Seriously this is Klassic Karl. Every criticism must be addressed, and every valid criticism must be deflected. Effectively win a debate in the primary? Then a rumor must be spread that you have a black love child. Disagree with the conclusion that Iraq is swimming with WMDs? Leak a story that ... well, you know that one, and it's too complicated for me to go into.
This is amateur hour. This is on the level of "those pages SEDUCED Mark Foley!" and "the 9/11 commission had it in for Bush!" It's ridiculous. I'll go further. Even if it is true, so what? I don't know anyone who will be in a situation where they will get to fuck Keith Olberman, so the story means nothing to me. Let's try real debate next time, people.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Big Ol' Hunk O' Meat

Today I am in receipt of a 6-inch summer sausage. The dark red vacuum-packed meat capsule is from Abbyland, a company which somehow forces kids to offer catalog items to their parents' work colleagues in order to raise money. Yes, I bought this sausage. Under no other circumstances would I consider owning this thing, though I have to admit it looks delicious. It has been sitting in my desk drawer all day and I can't stop thinking about it. I'm blogging about it, fer chrissake.
Should I have some? No. It is 150 calories per serving, and 12 grams of fat. This lump of spiced flesh I have in front of me, it contains 6 servings. Almost a thousand calories if I were to eat it all at once. 72 grams of fat. It's 38% sodium and 12% cholesterol. It's astonishing that the thing made it from Wisconsin all the way to California without our collective psychic energy somehow stopping it. Another nail in the coffin of the sixties.
The first three ingredients listed are beef (remember, in sausage that can be any part of the cow), salt and corn syrup solids (sugar). There is a drawing of an American Eagle on the label, though the sausage does not contain eagle. Although let's face it, it just might.
I am going to slice this very thin and eat it over the course of the next year and a half, two peices at a time. If anything interesting happens I'll get back to you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Painting the Loony Right

Following up on my last post about Homosexuality not being "curable", Skot writes: "Most "fundies" DO acknowledge some people are born homosexual."
True enough Skot. Those who don't are a tiny segment of the whole. Tiny and fascinating! For example, Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf, author of a paper called Gay Rights and Politcal Correctness: A Brief History.

When interviewed last week for this article, Schoenewolf stood by his comments on the intellectual inferiority of civil rights movement supporters. "The civil rights movement has from the beginning and today seen itself as good and others are evil, like slave owners are evil," he said.
During the interview, Schoenewolf lambasted civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights. "All such movements are destructive," he said. He also claimed the American Psychological Association, of which he is a member, "has been taken over by extremist gays."

A website that published this quote, run by the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), is now in trouble with African Americans for another great pull quote: "those (slaves) brought to America... were in many ways better off." Just like all those poor people in the Superdome! NARTH has selectively apologized for the opinions expressed in the piece, without going into the civil rights movement. Perhaps the civil rights thing just hasn't been settled yet at their office.
For the record I have no problem with organized religion, which I think does a tremendous amount of good for a great number of people. However, it has been put to some pretty terrible ends by a small number of people, and these people certainly give the whole enterprise a bad name. I'm talking to you, Jerry F. and grand inquisitor T.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Homosexuality Is Not A "Choice"

I don't imagine most people buy the idea put forth by the various fundie groups that you can talk people out of being homosexual. But I think it's fun to argue the point anyway.
First of all, background - there is a certain school of thought that people aren't born attracted to members of their own sex and therefore homosexuality is an irresponsible choice on their part, perhaps because they were enticed by the "homosexual agenda." I know a few homosexuals, and while they are better at putting together a wardrobe than I am, they're certainly not well-organized enough to advance an agenda.
But this argument that homosexuality is a choice, it's a crazy oversimplification which makes no sense. "Hmmmm... I'm not particularly attracted to men, but it might be fun... even though I am risking getting beaten to death by my Texas classmates. Aw what the hell, let's go for it. In fact, I'll keep a clandestine sex life going for years, just because it's such delicious fun." If these guys are such thrillseekers, why not come out of the closet?
The argument the fundies are trying to make, it seems to me, is this: no matter how much you want to sleep with members of your own sex, it's wrong and you mustn't. While this phrasing is consistent with their views, it's a very difficult position to argue from because it implies that you know how it feels. And the next thing you know, you're getting beaten to death in Texas.
And if you badly want to sleep with members of your own sex, then it's not a choice, it's a biological imperative, and fundies don't want to admit that some people are born wanting it. The refusal to admit this forces them in this ridiculous rhetorical position. But acknowledging it... well, I haven't quite worked out why that would be so bad. Basically a couple of Apostles were against man-on-man love, and the quotes got pinned to Jesus. I guess. Not my area of expertise.
It would be great for someone to shake this essay down for me. Am I wrong? How?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why Do I Blog, Anyway?

I was recently asked why I blog, and I'm happy to oblige with a reply. First of all, you'll notice that I framed this as a request to ME instead of it being part of a larger project in which several bloggers will participate. This should give you some idea of where this post is going.
I came to LA in the mid-eighties, to break into showbiz. I had a powerful creative urge then and I wound up writing 11 screenplays in addition to doing improv and trying a career as a video editor. After a while I decided enough was enough. I was losing money on the attempt to break in, and putting all my energy into the life I wanted instead of the real life that I had. I forswore all creative expression.
It lasted about a year.
Here's the thing about blogging - I have to write. And blogging allows me to write with a low impact on my life, while netting me a potential worldwide audience. If that audience is, in fact, half a dozen people, that's still about twice the number who read the screenplays. And if I'm not making money blogging, I'm not losing any either.
So why do I blog? It's all about me, about my needs. The great thing about having the entire globe as your potential audience pool is there are plenty of people out there who might still enjoy it. In the mid-eighties I couldn't have imagined anything this impossibly cool.

TownHall Blogger Equates Disagreement with Censorship

I just came from, where a conservative blogger (wish I knew his name, but he identifies himself as "Madeline's Dad") showed examples of "censorship" from the left. He cites as examples several defaced political signs, a vocal reaction to a Minuteman speech, and YouTube making people register to see an anti-Clinton video because it was flagged "inappropriate."
It creeps me out when the right tries to clamp down on speech that disagrees with them, if for no other reason than if I've got a huge paper trail of disagreeing with the right, therefore could potentially be defined as an "enemy combatant." Sure no one reads any of this crap, but there are search engines.
By the way, he just wrote another post suggesting that the coverage of the Mark Foley sex scandal being massive compared to the Harry Reid real estate scandal, is proof of media bias. Yeah, he's got a point there. I remember how all those Whitewater stories crowded Monica Lewinsky right off the front page!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Turkish Star Trek Knockoff More Fun Than DS9, God Knows

I think this is real - a Turkish knockoff of Star Trek. If it's not, well, whatever.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Republicans Are Impotent, Bill Clinton Not So Much

This is the conclusion that I reach when I reach as I hear John McCain picking up the sad l'il meme that a current disaster is the fault of Bill Clinton: This time it's the North Korean nuclear test.
Bill Clinton wrecked the economy, Bill Clinton let Osama Bin Laden escape, Bill Clinton failed to pass tough pretzel-baking laws which would have prevented the Bush pretzel-choking incident. Republicans are like Biff in BACK TO THE FUTURE, blaming George McFly for not warning him about the blind spot in the car he loaned him, causing him to crash McFly's car and spill beer all over his leisure suit.
What kind of man has six years of unprecedented power, unopposed by the other branches of government, even refusing to obey the laws he himself signs, and yet cannot take responsibility for a single thing that goes wrong on his watch? A man who cannot accomplish anything. I cannot believe that George Bush has stopped drinking, because all he needs to do is have Bill Frist say "he didn't want to drink, but his friends came over." And Michelle Malkin will blame Bill Clinton for not bringing back prohibition.
I'm just kidding. Bill Clinton is the culprit for everything that's bad. The current administration is doing a heckuva job.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ann Coulter Weighs In

The other day, when I was musing about how Ann Coulter was going to respond to the Mark Foley scandal? Well, she says he was a Democrat all along. Coulter isn't doing a Malkin and speaking her own mind here. She's advancing a wierd Republican talking point, which was floated on Fox News on Tuesday when O'Reilly's show labeled him a Democrat in captions.
Of course, Ann isn't being literal. She's making a rhetorical point that Democrats are hypocrites about this. Look at this quote:

This is the very definition of political opportunism. If Republicans had decided to spy on Foley for sending overly friendly e-mails to pages, Democrats would have been screaming about a Republican witch-hunt against gays. But if they don't, they're enabling a sexual predator.
Which is unfortunate for Republicans, because it directly clashes with the other talking point that the Democrats knew about Foley and failed to stop him. In any event, which is worse political opportunism - the side which is accused of not outing their opponent's pedophile until just before the election, or the side which was going to keep him in office indefinitely?
BTW, I just read that Limbaugh is taking the "pages are slutty teases" tack. I'm telling you, Republican men are always the victims, aren't they?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Michelle Malkin: Republican Loose Cannon

I have misjudged Michelle Malkin - when Tony Snow and Matt Drudge stepped up to defend or minimize Foley's creepy ways, I had mused publicly that it was going to be a blast to read Malkin and Coulter on the same subject. Malkin has weighed in with surprisingly humanistic leanings:
Michelle Malkin: Discussion on Foley's IM trail
To put it simply, she's not defending Foley simply because he's Republican, which is very refreshing. She's still on the wrong side of torture and and internment camps (thinks they're FABULOUS) so I don't recommend all her views, but it's nice to know that they are her own and they don't come from the famous talking points memo.
What about you, Ann?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Drudge Says to Leave Poor Mark Foley Alone

I'll explain myself further down, but if you carry Matt Drudge's remarks on his radio show to a logical conclusion, then Monica Lewinsky is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans and should pay millions of dollars in legal fees.
Drudge twisted himself into a veritable pretzel of rationalization this weekend to protect Mark Foley, the Republican congressman who resigned when his creepy email exchanges with teenage male pages went public. Some commentators insist the emails were just misinterpreted; some suggest that they are being released now as an unfair election-year scandal attempt, but only Drudge deflects the blame to where it belongs.

You could say "well Drudge, it's abuse of power, a congressman abusing these impressionable, young 17 year-old beasts, talking about their sex lives with a grown man, on the Internet." Because you have to remember, those of us who have seen some of the transcripts of these nasty instant messages. This was two ways, ladies and gentlemen. These kids were playing Foley for everything he was worth. Oh yeah. Oh, I haven't…they were talking about how many times they'd masturbated, how many times they'd done it with their girlfriends this weekend…all these things and these "innocent children."

Yes, that's right. It's the pages' fault. These tempting, saucy young boys took advantage of the weakness of innocent Mark Foley and seduced him, probably in an attempt to get X-Boxes.
So good news for the left! Bill Clinton is off the hook for the 9/11 attacks! If, as the recent PATH TO 9/11 movie suggested, Mr. C was distracted from the hunt for Osama Bin Laden by the Monica Lewinsky imbroglio, then surely he is not to blame. In fact, he is owed an apology. Monica Lewinsky flew those planes into those buildings. If that makes you uneasy, I'm perfectly happy to put the blame on Linda Tripp instead.
Added note: Surprising how sparingly news organizations use Mark Foley's first name in their stories - so that's why I was calling him John, all right? I kept fighting the urge to use Dennis, a character from MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Adventures at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo

I just got back from Ontario, whose convention center hosted the Podcast and Portable Media Expo. Impressions follow.

  1. Lots of free food. There was a lounge, as depicted to the left, where an eternally filled bowl of fresh fruit waited, along with coffee and soda. I quickly realized that to buy a sandwich in the back of the hall would be sheer folly. Additionally you could pick up candy at almost every booth, plus blueberry mini-muffins at one location. And the press room had catered sandwiches. The poorly-guarded press room, heh heh heh.
  2. I met Soccergirl and Ryan! Soccergirl was participating in a live 'cast with Dan Klass and a few others I haven't heard of, and I got the opportunity to introduce myself and admit that Soccergirl had the first podcast I'd ever subscribed to. I didn't add that all my favorite people are women with poor impulse control.
  3. The Boys and Red Bar Radio, who called me over to interview on their show, said I looked like an accountant with a band.
  4. I crossed paths several times with Joanne Colan, the queen of Rocketboom. She is gorgeous in person, and as you can see, there is no way to take a bad picture of her.
  5. If I learned anything, it's this: it is almost impossible to monetize a podcast. But it's really easy to monetize your ability to do a podcast for something else.

Friday, September 29, 2006

For the Record, Re Hannity


Okay, you have our attention!

Since the posting on your site about the Sean Hannity show, we have
received hundreds of emails, phone calls, etc., with your opinions.

To clarify, we didn’t hire Mr. Hannity as a spokesperson and he is not
receiving compensation from GM for this promotion. What we are doing is
running a promotion on his show where Mr. Hannity is featuring three of
our newest products every week and listeners can register to win their
choice of the three vehicles.

As the head of Sales and Marketing for GM, my job is not to create
political controversy but preferably to create interest in our
world-class lineup of vehicles. Looks like we are doing a bit of both
with this promotion.

GM is the biggest advertiser in America and to tell our story we
advertise across a tremendously wide array of media trying to connect
with all Americans irrespective of ethnic, religious or political
affiliations. We just want folks to experience our products.

We want to reach you on the shows you listen to. Below is my email
address. Please let me know the shows where you would like to hear or
see our advertising - perhaps even a similar promotion to the one
currently being run on Hannity. We may already be on many of the
programs that you enjoy. If not, we will sure look at them. Also, if
you are interested in hearing more about any of our new products or our
business turnaround, we will be happy to address that as well.

I appreciate your views and I welcome your suggestions.

Mark LaNeve
GM Vice President Sales and Marketing
Phone number: (313) 665-1357
email address:

Grabbing the Line Before Letterman Gets It

I just read that GM is hiring Sean Hannity to be their spokesman. They just introduced a new feature on all their cars - if you are driving straight down the road, the blinker keeps telling you you're making a far left turn.
Hannity will advertise GM cars - Colmes just signed with Razor scooters.
GM is having a wheel-balance issue, and they need Hannity to convince people that there isn't one.
It's actually a very liberal company... from the head shot, they thought they were hiring Nathan Lane.
GM... making great choices since the early seventies.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

China Used To Be The Most Repressive Place In the World


BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- A Chinese culture ministry official has denounced a university professor who stripped naked in front of students and teachers during an art class, a Chinese newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Mo Xiaoxin, a 56-year-old assistant professor at a university in Changzhou, in eastern Jiangsu province, shocked students by stripping during a lecture on "body art" to emphasize the "power" of the body and to "challenge taboos," the Beijing News said.
"There are no taboos in the field of research, but to do this directly in the course of teaching is obviously not appropriate," the paper quoted Tian Junting, a culture ministry official, as saying.
The lecture was part of a course within a newly established "human body art and culture" research institute -- China's first -- at Jiangsu Teachers University of Technology, the paper said. Mo arranged for four other models, including a man and woman in their 70s or 80s, and a younger couple, to strip naked in front of the class while he lectured, the paper said.
During the nearly hour-long class, Mo also invited students to take their clothes off.
Yes, he was badmouthed by the culture minister. But compare that to this:, FRISCO, Texas -- An award-winning Texas art teacher who was reprimanded after one of her fifth-grade students saw a nude sculpture during a trip to a museum has lost her job.
The school board in Frisco has voted not to renew
Sydney McGee's contract after 28 years. She has been on administrative leave.
The teacher took her students on an approved field trip to a Dallas museum, and now some parents are upset.
The Fisher Elementary School art teacher came under fire last April when she took 89 fifth-graders on a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art. Parents raised concerns over the field trip after their children reported seeing a nude sculpture at the art museum.
The parents had signed permission slips allowing their children to take part in the field trip.
McGee's lawyer said the principal at Fisher Elementary School admonished her after a parent complained that a student had seen nude art.
McGee said the principal had urged her to take the students to the museum.
Now, McGee, who was honored with a Star Teacher Award two years ago, is on paid administrative leave until her contract with the school district expires in March.
Thanks to for the links. So what do you think? They say that economically this will be the century of China, with the yen replacing the dollar as the international currency of note. Don't they deserve it?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Oprah Is Just All Right With Me

I have been thinking about Oprah Winfrey the last couple of days - there are reports that her lawyers insisted that someone take down the OPRAH '08 website that suggested she run for president, and Oprah called them off.
It occurs to me that for a long time, Oprah has been the most powerful woman in the world. God knows she knows how to sell a book. Perhaps one day Hillary Clinton will be more powerful, but she's so controversial that any real power will be blocked by opponents. Oprah, as far as I can tell, has no opponents. Oprah has absolute power.
Except it doesn't seem to have corrupted her at all. You almost never hear of Oprah abusing anyone. There was that shopping story a few months back (Oprah made us open the shop an hour early and then insulted everyone!) but it was such a aberration that you have to assume it was something the shop did. And Oprah has been on the scene forever. After a while stories get out, especially if you've stepped on people.
Beef farmers complain about Oprah's remarks about beef? Oprah meets with them, makes nice and does a week of shows from Texas. And the remarks were TRUE. Oprah pushes a book from a guy who turns out to have made up most of his life story? Oprah apologizes for pushing the book, then makes him come back on the show and apologize for writing it.
The more I think about it, the more I want to BEG Oprah to run for President -- and I don't even know her party affiliation. Whatever it is, I bet she'd be fair. And the first thing she'd do is make George Allen apologize for the racist talk. Then she'd make John Kerry apologize for being so weaselly. Probably the first two years in office would be forced apologies from the House and Senate, and from then on a golden age.
2008 is still two years away, and Oprah doesn't need to raise money. Let's get this party started!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Got Spine?

I think there is no denying that the Chris Wallace/Bill Clinton dustup on Fox News Sunday this last weekend provided raw material enough to satisfy anybody. Fox News got something it could use - footage of Bill Clinton seemingly out of control with anger. They have been running clips of that crazy moonbat Clinton since before the interview even aired.
We the Democrats got what we wanted, the exact same thing. For my part I have been yearning to see Clinton drop the statesmanlike equanimity and fight back. His failure to do that made his book especially disappointing to me. So to see him inside the belly of the beast, punching at the stomach lining and spitting poison as a terrified Chris Wallace attempted to blend with a studio background as black as Rupert Murdoch's heart, was cathartic as hell. I think the former prez prevented that second heart attack.
I cruised on over to NO LEFT TURNS, a polite and intelligent right-wing blog that I frequent, and there was an opinion expressed that Clinton was faking his anger. I love this. Either way. If he wasn't, he had every right to be angry - the terms of the interview allowed for the first part to be about the charity Clinton was pushing, and the second part was to be about anything Fox wanted. It wasn't only an ambush, it was a needless ambush. I think Wallace did it out of force of habit.
If Clinton was faking his anger, even better - he sucker-punched Fox News!
In either event, it signals the arrival of the angry left. We have permission now to call Republicans idiots, to slap them down. We are no longer expected to make excuses for George Allen. We can use "you are a liar" in place of "you must be mistaken." And finally we can gang up on Ann Coulter. Whatever happens, this should mean that Meet The Press (if they book any liberals for a change) should be a lot more interesting for the next few months.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rock & Roll, Epilog

I am an enormous Rupert Holmes fan, but I have to admit that the footage I saw of him once - gamely struggling to appear casual while miming ESCAPE (THE PINA COLADA SONG) on a German music show in the mid-seventies - made tme think that I would never see anything more awkward and painful.
Thanks to Bedazzled, I am proven wrong.
Click on this...
...and enjoy the sad spectacle of Gary Glitter in his prime. Incredibly, he's only a nominally sadder spectacle now that he's up on child molestation charges. You didn't need all that plastic surgery, Gary - you haven't changed a bit in 30 years.

Yeas and Nays: Thursday, Sept. 21 -

Harry Shearer, perennially embittered non-winner of the MacArthur genius grant and host of LeShow, picks up a few extra bucks by penning a very short piece about which politicians most resemble Simpsons characters he plays. Dumb idea, so-so execution.

Yeas and Nays: Thursday, Sept. 21 -

But whatever, Harry is God.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Inside Bill O'Reilly

I'm almost speechless about this interview with Bill O'Reilly. When you read quotes like...

"And Cronkite, to me, was a surprise because I grew up watching him," he said. "I thought he was fair. And then he comes out of the closet as this real radical left guy. And I am going, 'Whoa, Walter, where have you been all these years?'"


"(Dick Cheney's) afraid to come on the program. … For the same reason that Hillary won't," he said. "He is gonna sit in the chair, and I am gonna go, 'Hey.' And he doesn't want that." can't help but be reminded of that time in high school that you first tried to read the lyrics of your favorite band as if they were poetry. Maybe not your favorite band. Maybe it was Paperlace or Redbone or Kiki Dee. Point is, it really doesn't play well on paper.

Your move, Franken.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Paypal Invests in Eternal Life

Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal, is bestowing a $3.5 million gift to the Methuselah Foundation, a research facility which has the goal of curing every age-related disease and thus allowing eternal life. Good idea because it's a much-needed tax deduction. Bad idea because eternal life is just, when you go into it a little, hell on Earth.
All the wisdom in the world isn't going to make you a good enough person to compensate for the space you're taking up. And speaking of space, we'll have to colonize other planets - we're barely able to support ourselves on this one now. And if you think college girls have trouble fending off the advances of lecherous old dudes now, imagine a world which is mostly lecherous old dudes.
Imagine a world without hope - hope that you'll outlive Kevin Costner.
When they develop the cure for aging, and everyone is lined up, I'll be at the beach. Have fun you kids.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Speaking Of Paul Verhoeven

Looking for links in the previous post brought me to an essay about STARSHIP TROOPERS which I had to respond to. I don't think people recognize that TOTAL RECALL mostly takes place in the mind of a man who has had a psychotic break; that ROBOCOP is a spoof of the disconnected emotional state of movie police, that SHOWGIRLS is meant to show what your standard backstage musical would look like if it involved REAL performers. People, you don't get Paul Verhoeven!
But honestly, I cannot for the life of me explain HOLLOW MAN.

Ungrateful Bastards

The first successful penis transplant has failed. The operation was a success - the blood supply was fine and the patient was even urinating normally after only 10 days. The patient was 44 years old and the donor organ was from a 22 year old, and I think we can all agree that that would be every 44-year-old's dream. However, the patient (and his wife) asked that the transplant be removed, finding it too creepy. Probably as creepy as you've found this paragraph.
The Guardian reports that the operation took place in China on a man whose penis had been reduced to a 1 inch stump by an unspecified accident. Left without the ability to urinate, have sexual intercourse, or write a rock musical about the experience, he agreed to the experimental surgery.
It would be difficult to lose a penis but perhaps even more difficult to know that your johnson is at once the thing you most identify with and yet completely alien to you. Mid-life crisis is bad enough without THAT.
Still, if you remember THE HANDS OF ORLOFF you know the potential this situation has for a movie. If you know Paul Verhoeven, please please please talk him out of it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's A Bad Idea To Procrastinate

Anybody who's known me in the last five years knows that when I was a theatre manager, the one thing I said more than anything else was "I hate this job". That's why when they finally kicked me out, I wasn't exactly disappointed. If anything I was disappointed that they didn't just drop me with a severance package instead of keeping me on at that firetrap in Simi Valley.
Anyway, I'm in receipt of THE BOOK OF THE RIO, the multi-volume set of formerly blank books that employees of that single-screen house used to while away their copious free time. I started poking at it this morning, and there, about 5 pages in, all the way from 1984, I recognized my own handwriting:

I gotta get out of this job. I wonder what a shoe salesman makes?

And I made good on it too! It took maybe 20 years more than it should have, but results are results.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

John Hodgman, My Hero

I ran across this interview with John Hodgman, the Daily Show correspondant, former literary editor, Jonathan Coulton co-conspirator, Apple Computer pitchman and author. He is brilliant. The interview barely works, however - it's mostly useful for the links.
Hodgman seems to me one of the few Daily Show correspondants who gets it. He has a perfect deadpan; the laughs come not from how he says it, but from what he says. That is as it should be. It's okay for John Stewart to break character, but the rest of those guys should look at Brian Unger, Vance DeGeneres and Hodgman and learn something. Or Tom Brokaw - he had a perfect deadpan and held it for 30 years. That's devotion to comedy.

Learn to Love Crooks and Liars

Yes it's partisan and yes it has a bias, but you gotta admit that having an easy-to-reference website that cheerfully coughs up the clips of politicians saying the very things they now deny they ever said is extremely useful. Below is just one example, but this happens at least once a week. In fact, flat-out deniability of recorded statements seems to be a Rove strategy - I can't imagine why they're still holding on to it. It would be like Clinton insisting that he told us he'd had sex with that woman.

Crooks and Liars » Jimmy Carter smacks Lieberman–Lieberman’s camp calls him a liar

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Path To 9/11 Is A Nowhere Road

It was gratifying to see that ABC's partisan docudrama, THE PATH TO 9/11, didn't do better than to tie CBS's twice-aired 9/11 documentary, which was hamstrung but some local stations failing to carry it due to dangerous bad language.
However what really comforts me was seeing that both programs were handily beaten by Sunday Night Football on NBC. As Dick Cheney so often says, "I really think we've turned a corner here."

Nice Guys Give Blood Samples

I went in this morning for a blood test (annual checkup, nothing serious) and was struck by my male nurse's comments. He kept telling me what a nice guy I was. And I am a nice guy but it seemed to really stand out to this guy. I'll add that he found my shy vein in a matter of seconds, so I was especially pleased with his work - usually it takes half an hour and four entry points to get blood outta me.
Conclusions one can reach:

  1. People are unpleasant when they give blood.
  2. People are unpleasant when they've been fasting.
  3. People are unpleasant at that hour of the morning.
  4. There is something about this guy that pisses people off.
  5. I'm unusually cheerful because of the raise and the community theatre gig.
  6. Walking to the hospital instead of driving makes me less cranky.
  7. He was coming on to me.
  8. His thick Cuban accent brings out the racist in many people.
  9. I'm grateful to only be bleeding from one area, and it shows.
  10. I'm just nicer than the average person.

Regardless, it's great that the bloodletting was such a nice experience. A week from now when they tell me that my cholesterol is thicker than molasses and my heart must be taken out and reamed with pipe cleaners, I might be a little more unpleasant. Right now I'm riding high.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Runnin' Up That Hill

Dark Meat was difficult this weekend! For some reason it would take all day to download to iTunes, then once it did, I played it back and heard a problem to my horror. A bizarre technical problem resulted in every other song faded down to zero. I had to fix that and re-upload, and I just hope I didn't lose any listeners.
And now I find out that a group I played called rotflmao, which cites Rickie Lee Jones and the Squirrel Nut Zippers as their influences, comprises Rickie Lee Jones and the Squirrel Nut Zippers. I thought that vocalist sounded familiar, but I assumed she was trying to. I had no idea she couldn't help it.
Tonight's Boxoffice podcast was also going to be easier than it is. Since my rehearsals are going to be on Tuesdays, I decided to try recording everything except the TV ratings segment last night, but I didn't have time to write the show at work, so I tried going off the top of my head for the commentary.
Train wreck.
So I'm going to redo the last half of the show tonight and then upload. And we're all richer for it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Me, Giggling Like a Schoolgirl

So for a guy who gave up all showbiz concerns a few years back, I'm doing an awful lot of acting this month.
Tomorrow I'll be appearing at one of Rookie McPherson's Super Singles Parties. This is a much-loved occasional gig of mine, in which I impersonate "Mr. Wrong", a character who chats up the guests in an effort to get them out of their shells. I myself have a shell as thick as a bank vault door, so going to a party and getting to be someone else (with the added bonus that when I go home alone, it's a GOOD thing!) is almost irresistible. Sad anecdote about these parties - the number one complaint I hear at these parties from men is that all the women are over 40, and they wish there were more hotties. From women, the same thing in reverse. Love the one you're with people!
A couple of nights ago I auditioned for a community theatre production of HERE LIES JEREMY TROY, a 3 act bedroom farce being put on by the Conejo Players in Thousand Oaks. I'm in! We open in mid-November. I'm not the lead, but the lead's kooky best friend, the part played by Darrin McGavin in the Broadway production. The text calls for someone 25-35. A couple of weeks ago I tried out for another bedroom farce playing a man 40-45, but my freakishly boyish features thwarted the attempt.
So I'm going to be rehearsing 3 nights a week, out among PEOPLE instead of skulking in my home office. Can't wait to see how THAT works out.
Oh, and I got the raise I asked for at work.
Some weeks are indeed better than others.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hello Kitty Proves My Genius

I was reading this post on Gizmodo, about an exhaust pipe shaped like Hello Kitty. The reviewer admitted to not getting Hello Kitty, and my response surprised even me, so with your permission I will quote myself.

Hello Kitty is a tabula rasa upon which we write our hopes and fears; and you can no more escape her than you can your own shadow. Embrace Hello Kitty!

I admit it may not be me at all, but HK speaking through me. So be it. As long as its not Karoppi. That thing is just nuts.

Kat On A Hot Tin Roof

The very first words I heard when I woke up today were "Katherine Harris has won the Florida Republican primary." Because I was disoriented my first thought was oh no, it's finally happening - they don't care about plausible election stealing any more.
But I've had coffee now and a chance to calm down, and I'm feeling pretty good. First there is a good possibility that she won fairly. After all, we elected Arnold S. for his entertainment value, and Ms. Harris is nothing if not a good show. I had heard she was polling badly, but that may have been against the Democratic challenger, not the Republican.
On the other hand, if she did fix the election, that's great too. Because her side wanted her out! Now she has a couple more months to make Republicans look even worse! Wonkette is sitting in the catbird seat. Between her and Santorum and the President, it should be a cakewalk to clear the entire senate and congress of all Republicans.
Democrats will still find a way to screw this up. I bet nothing changes in the balance of power this November. I wish I could say otherwise but based on the previous ten years there is obviously something fundamentally wrong in this country and it's gonna get worse before it gets better. I'm movin' to France, everybody! Who's with me?