Saturday, April 08, 2006


Congressman Delay Recovering from Laundry Mishap
Shirt mislabeled "Machine Wash Cold Gentile"

Native Americans Push Simpler Illegal Immigration Bill
Tribal Leader: "We'll gladly help you pack"

Ancient Scroll: Judas Priest Sought to Undermine Madonna
Papyrus cites Halford: "Bird's all knickers, no pipes"

McCain Reasserts Long-Held Conservative Views
"And you kids turn down that noise you call music"

Schieffer fans boycott Campho-Phenique
Group, including Lady's Auxilary, "Bob-head Dolls," picket CBS, vow to block Couric takeover

Scandal Puts Baseball's Steroid Investigation on Hold
Chairman George Mitchell concedes, "I got on the juice when the 'Contract with America' passed; now I can't get the Flonase monkey off my back"

President Blames Senate Democrats
For immigration bill deadlock, wiretapping controversy, logjam, traffic congestion, shortness of breath, blurred vision, impaired judgment, tornadoes, floods, murrain, pestilence, pustules, internal bleeding, external modem, internets, dysphoria, dyspepsia, sexual side effects, terrell owens of the neck and spine, overwatering, Lyme disease, and runny eggs;

Senator Clinton responds, "Let's hear all the evidence before we agree with the President"

Saturday, April 01, 2006

See It. See It. See It.

"Thank You For Smoking" is evil, and hilarious. I've always felt that the best satire doesn't have to embellish much, just reveal the logic behind a socially or politically ridiculous attitude.

This movie, about a tobacco industry lobbyist, is clever and original. But its fundamental logic comes from the real attitudes and rhetoric from real lobbyists.

Sure, it gets pretty absurd at the end. But you gotta remember, so did Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), who, in addition to writing "Gulliver's Travels," wrote the classic satire "A Modest Proposal," suggesting that people eat their young. The absurdity of this movie is the true-to-life absurdity of our product-placement, stay-on-message world.

The film satirizes not just lobbyists, but the news media, Hollywood, corporate and political interests of many stripes. With characters who are archetypes of our modern advocacy system (the corporate shill, the self-important politician, etc., ), it's the dialogue that sharply slices up our society's foibles, without turning the show into a mere talkfest. Besides, you simply have to see Rob Lowe playing Michael Ovitz.

Christopher Buckley, who wrote the book the film is based on, and Jason Reitman, the director, (and yes, the son of Ivan "Stripes" "Ghostbusters" "Twins" and "Dave" Reitman) clearly understand plenty about how power works in our society, and in this pared down, simple and brash comedy, repeatedly hit the nail on the head. And on the funny bone.

Big Baby (#34, LSU)

When LSU basketball star Glen Davis (a 6'9", 310 pound forward), was a young boy, he was very overweight. At 9 or 10 years old, he used to play football in the 11-13 year-old bracket. He was heavy enough, but clearly not developed enough. He used to get beaten up in practice.
And his coach used to constantly yell at him, "Stop crying, you big baby."

So now his nickname is "Big Baby."

Two questions: 1) Hasn't everyone been insulted? In other words, if your boss is always on your case, will you be nicknaming yourself, "You Stupid Idiot"?
2) Didn't anything else ever happen to the guy? Something unique?

Interesting questions, but I can't take credit for them -- they were sent in by two friends, "I'll Give You Something to Cry About" and "Nice Parking Job, Moron."