Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sleep, Perchance to Sleep Some More

Sleep and I used to have a solid relationship. I worked one job, day work, got home around 5 or 6, ate dinner, watched TV, then went to bed and got my needed 8 hours. Weekends came along and Sleep would slip me an extra hour or two with a wink and a nod. I never took her for granted and she was always there for me. But 2 years ago I had to take new jobs. I started working second shift with another in the early morning. My relationship with Sleep hasn’t been the same since.

I remember that first night getting off at midnight. I poured myself into the car, exhausted, my muscles heavy with fatigue. Sleep drove me home but she took me the long way, by the lake. When we reached the inlet she opened the door and pushed me out, leaving me for dead in the shallow water.

I survived the bitch’s attack. I wanted to recover and return strong like Clint Eastwood in Fistful of Dollars. I was going to show Sleep I didn’t need her. But all my brave talk couldn’t stand up to the rigors of the hours. It was only a few weeks before I was dreaming of death as if I were in the third act of a Shakespeare tragedy.

I was barely getting 6 hours a night. That’s enough for some people. There are folks who only have a casual, friends-with-benefits relationship with sleep. But I needed a commitment. I needed 8 hours a day. I wasn’t going to call her though, not after what she had done to me.

I tried the usual tricks to stay awake like consuming copious amounts of sugar and caffeine while working at night. All that happened was I gained 15 pounds, started seeing a snow shower of glittering lights everywhere I went and believed I was a small woodland creature named Frisky Fritters.

Sleep taunted me. She knew I was jonesing bad. When I would get home from my second job in the morning I’d see her standing across the street in a French maid’s outfit dusting telephone poles which even in my weakened condition I knew was ridiculous. You don’t dust telephone poles; you give them a nice sheen with a can of Pledge. Come one, I know I was tired but I wasn’t a fool.

The lingerie didn’t work so she’s started calling and leaving messages on my answering machine. They’re sexy entreaties to the wonderland of REM sleep and dreams of 13 inch memory foam mattresses with 1500 count Egyptian cotton sheets and full body pillows. I haven’t answered her siren song yet but her voice is so mellifluous; it envelopes me in a cloud. A soft, white, fluffy, drifting cloud that . . .zzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Out of Context

The big story in the news right now is Shirley Sherrod, an employee of the USDA and an African American, resigning under pressure after Fox News showed a videotape of a speech she made where she seems to admit to showing prejudice against a white family she was supposed to help when they were about to lose their farm. The one problem is Fox edited the video before showing it. If you viewed it in its original form you find out the incident she’s talking about happened over 20 years ago and the whole reason she was telling the story was to illustrate that she realized her feelings were wrong. She changed her mind and did help the white farmers and not only saved their farm for them, but became life-long friends with the now elderly couple.

I was wondering how Fox News would feel if say, MSNBC, showed video about them, only they edited it first to, oh let’s say LIE to the public. I think it would go something life this:

In an interview night time gas bag Sean Hannity says “I’m a Dickensian scholar. Charles Dickens’ writing has guided my life”, but MSNBC airs Sean saying only “I’m a Dick.”

Prime time bag o’ shit Bill O’Reilly had this story to tell: “I was in Vegas recently. You know I’m not an easy sell, but I was knocked off my ass by an amazing show starring a clown with a monkey. There is no doubt this lends clowns new credibility in the industry.” But this is what MSNBC airs on Countdown: “I’m an ass clown with no credibility.”

Let’s say Glenn Beck was doing one of his unfunny comedy routines where he compares everything he doesn’t like or agree with to the Nazis. Instead of showing his performance as he filmed it, MSNBC put on the screen a still picture of Glenn with his arm in the air and behind him they played the soundtrack to an old Nazi propaganda movie with the crowd repeatedly shouting “Sieg heil!”

What if there was a story about the plethora of blond Stepford wives that read the news throughout the day on Fox and one of them is quoted as saying: “We got our jobs because we made Rupert Murdoch see how hard we work.” What if MSNBC re-edited that and broadcast her quote as “We got our jobs because we made Rupert Murdoch hard.”

While all of these examples would be hilarious, the fact is that doing this would be unethical and an affront to journalism. The problem is that no one at Fox News knows what the words “journalism” or “ethics” mean.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hey, North Iowa Tea Party, Shut the #@$* Up!

The North Iowa Tea Party put a billboard on display in downtown Mason City this week. The point was to say that President Obama is a socialist and socialism is bad (editorial note: no he’s not and not necessarily). The poster displayed 3 photos. Obama is in the middle, flanked by Adolph Hitler and Vladimir Lenin. That’s right, the grunting, huffing, baboons who run the North Iowa Tea Party thought it appropriate for the president of the United States, who so far has done nothing more evil than tell the Republicans to come up with better ideas or shut up, to be compared to a man who murdered 6 million Jews and another that started a revolution that led to deaths of approximately 30 million Russians.

Co-founder Bob Johnson had this to say: "The purpose of the billboard was to draw attention to the socialism. It seems to have been lost in the visuals. The pictures overwhelmed the message.” Translation: “Duhhhh, doy, duhhhhh, I’m a moron. Mommy cuts my food for me because they won’t let me use anything sharp. I think I just pooped. Duhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

There are about 200 members of the North Iowa Idiots Club. How did 200 people this ignorant and hapless find each other? Do they have mixers in Iowa so cross-eyed mouth breathers find each other to rut and breed more small-brained dipshits? “Welcome one and all to the Iowa ‘I’m-a-Dumbass’ Cotillion. Hors d’oeuvres are on the left, room keys on the right. Remember, don’t screw anyone smarter than you, we’re de-evolving here in Iowa. No more thumbs! No more thumbs! No more thumbs!”

Another delicious quote about this story comes from John White, a coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, apparently a separate group of bigoted turds. Mr. White believes “the billboard is offensive and unproductive” but also “I can understand the North Iowa group's perception that Obama is "Hitler-esque”.”

I try to keep these blog posts light and humorous but I am so fucking sick of these Tea Party retards comparing Obama to Hitler I could, to steal a line from Bill Hicks, puke blood.

Adolph Hitler forced his way into power. Obama was chosen in a fair, democratic election. Adolph Hitler murdered 6 million Jews. Let me know when you find Obama’s concentration camps Tea Party boneheads. Hitler invaded Poland, England, France, etc. in an effort to take over the world. Obama’s trying to end the wars we’re in to bring our troops home. Hitler took over the army to use it to suppress any freedom the German people once had. You’re still free to speak the bile that spews from your mouths and carry the guns that prop up your non-existent manhood.

On the billboard under the three photos is the phrase: "Radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive."

Pretty ironic considering that’s exactly what the North Iowa Tea Party is doing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chats with Chumps

Hello and welcome to the first edition of my imaginary talk show Chats with Chumps. Today’s guest is Ben Nelson, Democratic Senator from Nebraska.

CO: Mr. Nelson, recently congress failed to pass an extension of unemployment compensation leaving over 2 million Americans with no source of income to support their families. While this sort of behavior is expected from the Republicans whose attitude toward poor people has always been “suck it”, Democrats have historically supported social programs such as this. You, however, chose to go to the dark side this time. So my question is why are you such an asshole?
BN: I, uh . . . well . . . what?
CO: I mean what was your thinking in denying struggling families the only lifeline they currently have since the administration’s job creation program has failed like a Toyota accelerator?
BN: My thinking was to do what’s best for this country . . .
CO: And you think what’s best is for people to lose their homes and not be able to eat?
BN: Look, many of these people like being on the dole. They’d rather have the government take care of them than work for a living.
CO: Work for a living? You mean like you: making $200,000 a year to sit in meetings, talk on the phone and play golf while utilizing government subsidized health care for yourself and your family for life?
BN: Yes. Wait . . .
CO: What’s the real reason you voted “no” to helping hard working Americans while your body was clothed in a $500 suit and your ass sat in a $2000 leather chair?
BN: It’s our debt. Our deficit is $13 trillion. We can’t keep adding to it, we have to find another way.
CO: One of the ways to reduce the deficit is to kick start the economy. A way to start the economy is to give people money to spend and they receive money to spend by having a gainful job. You’ve provided no jobs and are now helping clueless Republicans take away the only source of income the unemployed have, leaving them with nothing. Explain again how this will lower the deficit?
BN: All I’m saying is that we have to start somewhere. We can’t keep adding to the debt willy-nilly.
CO: But Willy and Nilly can’t find a job. The unemployment check was the only thing keeping them afloat. Now they’re in jeopardy of losing their house and they have no money for food or the medical bills when they go into renal failure.
BN: I’m just trying to do what’s best for the country.
CO: There you have it folks: Ben Nelson believes what’s best for America is for everyone to be living under freeway overpasses and eating beetles out of the dirt.
BN: Now just a minute . . .

Join me next time on Chats with Chumps when we interview Steve Jobs and ask him why everything Apple produces is so cool but costs so damn much.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coming This Fall

The TV season used to run from September through May. There were four networks with original programming so you only had to memorize a few channel numbers to get your viewing schedule planned out. Now every nickel and dime network is creating their own original programs. The “seasons” are only 10 or 12 episodes long and they start and stop at any time throughout the calendar year. With so many new avenues I thought I’d pitch a few ideas of my own to every network on the dial and see if I can get a bite.

Bingo and Bango
—Identical twin cops get re-assigned as each other’s new partner. Bingo is obsessive/compulsive, reading a criminal his Miranda rights as many as 30 times. Bango is bi-polar playing good cop/bad cop all by himself. Watch the fireworks each week as they try to blend their mental illnesses to solve crimes and not piss off their glue sniffing captain.

Scratch MacDougal—written for the David Kelley assembly line of lawyer shows, this one finds lovable curmudgeon Scratch MacDougal taking any case that walks through his door to pay alimony to 7 ex-wives and keep current girlfriend Maxine happy. Watch Scratch prepare paperwork to close on the first house for a young couple while simultaneously defending a schnauzer charged with public urination.

The Babysitter is a Ninja!—A new reality show places a real-life ninja in a duplex living next door to the Hendersons, Barb and Barry, and their two kids. In between fighting agents of the Yakuza, the ninja becomes the children’s babysitter in the hours after school before Barb and Barry get home from work. Which will get to him first: Danny’s flute lessons or the triad’s assassins?

Meet Pain—Ashley Van Lusterberg lives in apartment 6c of an exclusive building. She works in the corporate offices of a tony New York Wall Street firm and dresses in designer clothing even to go to the grocery store. Apartment 6d across the hall is soon rented by The Painhammer, guitarist for death metal band Maggot Infested Intestines. He dresses in black leather and metal studs even just to go to the liquor store. Watch what happens when they fall in love and Ashley has to introduce her new fiancĂ© to her parents.

Diggin’ That Grave—Rafe and Frisbee are gravediggers at the Dream Lawns Memorial Cemetery. At night after a hard day’s work they like to play cards . . . with the corpses! That’s right, it’s network TVs first zombie sitcom. Will Rafe take the pot with his pair of sixes or will Mrs. Goldberg bluff him out of another week’s pay. And the hi-jinks don’t just happen at night. Watch the hilarity as Frisbee tries to keep the bodies from rising from their graves early, in the middle of the Hightower funeral!

Pam and Eggs—Conman Eddie “Eggs” Larson meets Pam “Vavoom” Greer, a hooker with a rack of gold. They join together to fleece the city for all its worth. But soon they also find themselves raising 3 young children they find living in Central Park. Every day is an adventure as Pam and Eddie teach the kids to spot the rubes and the kids teach them what it means to be a family.

Hopefully in a few months you’ll be seeing one or more of these quality shows coming to a network schedule. I’m not picky, any of them will do, even NBC.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Rhyme, A Rhyme, My Kingdom for a Rhyme

I love music and over the past 30 years have expanded my interests to many different styles, but when I was in middle school I listened to only hard rock: Aerosmith, Kiss, Kansas, Foghat, REO Speedwagon, April Wine, AC DC, Ted Nugent, etc. The other day while listening to the radio, I was thinking that no matter how much I still revel in this music you can’t argue they wrote some horrid lyrics.

The song I heard on 98.5 The Peak was Kiss’s highly suggestive “Lick It Up”. Here are the lyrics:

Don't wanna wait 'til you know me better
Let's just be glad for the time together
Life's such a treat and it's time you taste it
There ain't a reason on earth to waste it
It ain't a crime to be good to yourself
Chorus: Lick it up, lick it up, oooh, (it's only right now)
Lick it up, lick it up, ooh yeah
Lick it up, lick it up, oooh, (come on, come on)
Lick it up, lick it up
Don't need to wait for an invitation
You gotta live like you're on vacation
There's something sweet you can't buy with money
lick it up, lick it up It's all you need, so believe me honey
It ain't a crime to be good to yourself
Come on - it's only right now (it's only right now)
Ooh yeah (ooh yeah) ooh yeah (ooh yeah), yeah yeah

chorus repeats

This is God-awful. Basically they came up with a sexual innuendo for a title and then rhymed a few words to create a song. There are 36 words in the chorus and 66% of them are “Lick it Up” and another 3 of them are “ooh”. The bridge is even better: 20 words, 4 of which are “ooh” and 6 are “yeah”. Well done boys. I’m sure the 8 minutes you spent writing this was very profitable.

Ted Nugent is a master of just abysmal lyrics. I could pick any of 2 dozen songs to mock but the one I chose is in honor of my sister. I listened to a lot of Steady Teddy growing up and if I had my stereo turned up loud, my sister was forced to listen as well against her will. There was one song she could never get her head around: “My Love is Like a Tire Iron”:

Oh, baby
it’s a catastrophe what you do to me
But that’s all right honey
I find it rather funny
sympathy is what you want from me
But I got news
You’re gonna lose
My love is like a tire iron
My love is like a tire iron
My love is like a tire iron
and I like it stiff as steel

Look at me
What do you see
A man on the run
A loaded gun
check me out
what I’m all about
I got some news
you don’t want to lose


This is gibberish. There is no point to anything being sung here: no context, no story, nothing but rhyming words. And then he sings the chorus which has nothing to do with the rest of the song nor does it ever explain how the hell love can be like a tire iron. This is one of Ted’s most pointless songs.

Tygers of Pan Tang are a late 70s, early 80s band from England named for something out of fantasy novel. They never made it big but my friend Rob and I always liked them a lot. They played great, simple guitar riffs and sang some of the dumbest lyrics you’ll ever hear, such as these from “Money”.

Walk a mile in my shoes
You won't know what hit you
Wasn't born with a silver spoon
Take no ride on a fat man's tomb
Babe I need the money too
Hey, come over here you
Now I've got money for you
Do you believe that's true?
Now I've got money in the bank
Ah well, that's a prank
And I've got money for two
Do you believe that's true?

Where can I even start? It’s hard to analyze something this bad. This is the epitome of merely rhyming words without trying to have any meaning. If I said Kiss spent 8 minutes on their song, the Tygers couldn’t have used more than 2 to write this mess of unrelated nouns and verbs.

Now that I’m done trashing these songs I will reiterate that I also like all of them. But it’s obviously not for the lyrics. I’m a sucker for a cool guitar riff and at least one finger-dancing solo. While I’m playing my air guitar with the song I’m trying to sing along but usually end up laughing and that’s my challenge to you. Try listening to the lyrics of a Kiss or Ted Nugent song and not guffawing, chortling or at least tittering. That’s a double dog dare.