Wednesday, September 30, 2009

See, it's called synergy. You feel so empowered from customizing Kiehl's comic strip that you immediately run out and buy their Sustainable-Growth Super Açaí Brazilian Nose Repair Cream.

Day Twenty

This Week on "So You Think You Can Dance?"

While a panty-less contestant writhes on the ground, male viewers go en pointe.
Adolescent humor is destroying the corporate world. It seems that infantile minds can find fault with every brand name and every corporate logo, and all too often it can spell disaster for a company both in revenue and reputation.

The Business Media In Education Initiative got in a pile of trouble after unveiling their new corporate logo:

They spent a fortune rebranding themselves with this perfectly proper design, but still the inevitable occurred. The logo was discarded and the company publicly shamed after some potty-minded prude pointed out that hidden in this haphazard assemblage of letters is the unmistakable image of a lobster inappropriately touching a two-dicked man.

In England, the Office of Government Commerce had to scrap the logo they'd spent a small fortune on:

It's crisp. It's clean. It's unobtrusive. But after they slapped it on the side of their building, people literally fainted dead away in the street. "Ohmigod!" they screamed. "If you tilt your head to the left, it looks like a snowman jerking off!"

The immediate public outcry resulted in the sign being yanked off the building and the logo being trashed, even before the Society Against the Sexual Exploitation of Snowpersons got involved.

There are many, many more examples of this madness, and added together they make us wonder: Do the captains of industry really have to kowtow to a world of sniggering children whose brains see something dirty where no such thing exists? Sadly, the answer is yes. Just this week, the Wisconsin Tourism Federation had to change its name after being made aware that its acronym WTF was crude internet slang.

It seems that the federation didn't realize there was a more common meaning of WTF until it made headlines on a blog that compiles questionable logos. And once again, a company had to pay a small fortune to a fix a nonexistent error.

Henceforth they'll be known as the Office to Mitigate and Facilitate Getaways, but you know some nit-picking granny's going to find fault with that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Toss in Fudge and Lemonade and you've got four lectures from my high school Biology class.
The Free Republic people seem awfully squeamish for foil-helmeted nut jobs. I registered at their site and posted a simple comment in the Folsom Street Fair thread.

"Come to my website and tell me your thoughts about another parade," I said. In retrospect, though, maybe I shouldn't have added "so I can narrow down exactly down kind of crazy you are." Still, it didn't hold a candle to such pithy bon mots as "San Fagcisco," "San Fransicko," and "San Fags4!tscum," which looks less like an intelligent thought than evidence that somebody's Ripple bottle rolled across their keyboard.

I waited for the comment to clear the moderator, then went back to their website and found this:

Sigh; as usual, I like them even more now that they've had the sense to throw me out. They scream and holler and piss and moan and don't worry for a second about making sense. Freedom! To agree with all of us!

Dudes, that was short but sweet. I honestly wish you well in your political endeavors, if only because I'd love to see an American Constitution with more fine print and asterisks than a Shoot the Monkey & Win an Ipod! ad.

Day Nineteen

The San Francisco Chronicle recently printed a photo essay of the city's annual Folsom Street Fair, and needless to say the right wing jumped on it. Here are some of the more colorful comments from the Free Republic website:

Morgana declares, "folsom street . . . puts the 'filthy disease' in 'ridden queers' . . . . "

VIctoria Delsoul says, "Gosh, if I ever visit [San Francisco], I will make sure to wear some high quality butt armor, with a lock and key."

Freedom_Is_Not_Free says, "I consider these pictures prime advertising for the coming 8.0 earthquake. Good Riddance, West Sodom! Good riddance!"

RetSignman says, "What a sad display of sick human sexual deviancy. These people wallow in the sludge of sexual abhorrence and sickness of the mind. . . . They are to be pitied for their sad delusions that they have been elevated in status by parading their odious desires."

353FMG says, "These pics would make the inhabitants of Sodom and Ghomorrah [sic] blush in embarrassment."

To these folks I pose a challenge. Here in Brooklyn, New York, there's a West Indian parade held every Labor Day. Below are a few representative photos from this year's festivities.

Your challenge? Describe these photos for me. Remember, these people are barely dressed, and -- gosh! -- it sure looks like they're simulating sex in a public place. Feel free to reuse words like "attention whores" and "freaks," and don't forget to generalize with words like "heterosexual" and "black."

C'mon, Morgana, Victoria Delsoul, Freedom_Is_Not_Free, RetSignman, 353FMG. I breathlessly await your wise words.

(Via Joe.My.God)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Last week President Obama appeared on fourteen television shows. One place he refused, though, was Fox News, which he has described as biased.

Fox's Chris Wallace immediately cried foul: The Obama administration is "[t]he biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington," he declared. It's “a badge of honor” that Fox News Sunday is “the only place you won't see Barack Obama on Sunday."

Another badge of honor? You don't have to work at a Honolulu Baskin-Robbins as a teenager because your dad can get you a job with Cronkite.

In what is being called a compromise between church and state, religious institutions in Australia will be allowed to discriminate against people based on their religion, marital status, and sexual orientation.

Churches, schools, social service organizations and hospitals will not have to help, hire or treat homosexuals or single parents, as that "would have undermined the very core of these bodies by preventing them from upholding their beliefs," Australian Christian Lobby director Rob Ward said.

Luckily it's okay to take tax money from these people, according to the New Testament's Gospel According to an Asshole.

Chicago's taxi drivers want to charge people $50 for hurling chunks in their cars.

“If somebody throws up in the back of a cab, it’s no laughing matter to that cabdriver, who now has to take a couple of hours to detail the cab," cabbie George Lutfallah said.

And it can take months to return to that delicate equilibrium between old farts and B. O.

A Chinese woman has gotten married in a wedding dress made entirely of paper.

Sha Sha's dress was made for her by her best friend, a wedding dress designer, and it took almost three months to fabricate. "I felt very grand, and beautiful," Sha Sha said. "It's super comfortable to wear."

Her groom, Mr. Li, agreed she looked beautiful. "We are very happy with the dress," he said, "but I daren't touch her in case I tear it."

For the honeymoon he bought a hole punch.

Day Eighteen

Day Seventeen

Day Sixteen

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day Fifteen

A Florida minister rented an apartment building in a secluded Florida neighborhood to provide housing and counseling for sex offender ex-cons.

As the ex-cons moved in, he sent letters to the existing tenants saying no one under 18 could live in the complex, and now some of the evicted families are suing, claiming this is a violation of fair housing laws.

The kids miss their friends and their schools but mostly all the free candy, the parents said.

While Cho Quong was texting a coworker, his son made a dash for the Rebellious Vagina ride.

Flowers, masturbation, and a burning dick.

Pretty much sums up my first overnight with Pete.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day Fourteen

A nineteen-pound baby was wrestled out of his mother by surgeons yesterday. The baby, delivered by Caesarian section, was said to be the biggest ever born in Indonesia.

Baby's first words? "Waah. Waah. I said fuckin' WAAH!"
Joselito Ortega, a matador in Spain, recently signed a sponsorship deal to make some quick advertising bucks.

In exchange for an undisclosed pile of cash, a Spanish energy drink company called Gay Up embroidered their name on his cape in big red letters.

And after that, oddly, all the bulls charged something fierce.

According to TMZ, this is disgraced beauty pageant contestant Carrie Prejean modeling skimpy Halloween costumes in a desperate attempt to extend her fifteen minutes of fame.

Yeah, like it's appropriate for supposed Christians to dress up like horny arachnids. They're devilish, cold-blooded things who spin webs to trap their prey and frequently devour their partners.

And spiders really aren't that much better.
Iowa Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King says gay marriage is just a building block towards a socialist America.

If there's a push for a socialist society where the foundations of individual rights and liberties are undermined and everybody is thrown together living collectively off one pot of resources earned by everyone, this is one of the goals they have to go to, same sex marriage, because it has to plow through marriage in order to get to their goal. They want public affirmation, they want access to public funds and resources. . . . Not only is it a radical social idea, it is a purely socialist concept in the final analysis.

Doesn't make much sense to me, but I guess it explains Karl Marx's boyfriend Claudio.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Female soldiers in Sweden lodged a formal complaint with the government over their bras.

They claim that because of weak catches, the bras come undone too easily, and are prone to flying open in the heat of combat.

In other news, today Italy attacked Sweden.

Capitalism is slapdash, unfocused, and not particularly funny. Vast portions are as forgettable as a Jessica Simpson record. For every bull's eye he hits, Michael Moore has two near misses and four arrows in the ground.

One confusing section tells us that major corporations buy life insurance on employees without their knowledge. He tells us about a Wal-Mart associate who died, leaving her husband and family distraught but earning Wal-Mart over a hundred thousand dollars. Instead of corporations wanting you to work hard and live long, these days they want you to die, he says.

First, I doubt the corporations see it that way. Second, is he trying to tell us that investing in life insurance can be profitable? If so, doesn't that mean life insurance companies should simply raise their rates?

He also wants us to sympathize with people who lose their homes to foreclosure. He shows us an old Countrywide Funding commercial that told homeowners to treat their homes like banks, withdrawing the equity to spend. People followed these instructions, then found themselves losing their homes.

Two problems with this. One, these people made tens of thousands of dollars on escalating property values, and they took a chunk of this cash from a bank with refinancing. Did they think the banks were just giving money away? And two, is Mr. Moore really complaining that -- gasp! -- TV commercials don't always advise what's best for us?

Much of this movie will be familiar. I knew the America our parents lived in was dead. I knew about the myth of upward mobility. I knew our country's current reputation is based less on fact than propaganda. I didn't know that FDR proposed a "second Bill of Rights" that guaranteed all Americans a good job, an affordable home, health care and a pension. I didn't know that Europe and Japan have this Bill of Rights. I didn't know Jonas Salk gave the world his polio vaccine free of charge, in stark contrast to health care discoveries today. I didn't know about the leaked Citibank memo that describes America as a "plutonomy," controlled by the rich and threatened by the anarchic, unruly poor. I didn't know our Treasury Department was pretty much run by Goldman Sachs.

If Mr. Moore could organize his thoughts, delve deeper into problems, or find and implicate harder targets with more evidence, he could make a great movie again. Still, Capitalism provides food for thought, evidence for prosecution, and unites us unruly poor with a mandate to either fix the system or tear it down. That's far more of a return on your investment than you'll get from 99% of the movies today.

Repeat: Stripping Grammar Naked

We've got lots of new folks with us these days, so I figure maybe I should show them that occasionally I entertain.


Once in a while, somebody will ask me where I learned to write. Sometimes I tell them about the year I spent under John Rechy at Princeton. Sometimes I tell them about the short-story classes I took with Edmund White, or the sabbatical at that writer's colony off the woodsy coast of Nantucket.

And sometimes I tell them the truth. That I learned everything I know from sitting naked in front of my computer and reading lots and lots of godawful porn.

Experts know the best way to learn what's good is to study what's bad. For instance, I learned how not to cook Mexican food from Taco Bell, what not to wear from Wal-Mart, and how not to have sex with ex-husbands 1, 2 and 4. Desperate to find the very worst in writing, I cruised the sleaziest internet porn sites, searched Google for every four-letter word, and scrutinized every fan-fiction site where Spock and Sulu ever touched.

To save you time, though, and from discovering your belongings heaped on the doorstep by an intolerant boyfriend who knows about Internet Explorer's "History" file, I've compiled the most miserable writing I've found in many hard years of study. If we take a moment to examine these examples and see what mistakes were made, we can use that knowledge to write up some rules that we can use to improve our own work.

(1) "He had nice thick chest hair that covered his entire body."

The first thing we learn is, never eat breakfast while surfing porn sites. Because while chest hair can be reasonably fetching on, say, a chest, when it creeps over to the forehead or the elbows it can make Jim Belushi spew up his Sugar Pops. It doesn't take an expert to realize chest hair is best confined to the upper torso, in much the same manner that toenails should remain in the vicinity of the feet.

(2) "Jim grabbed his ass through his tight shorts and said, ‘I want you bad.'"

From this awkward construction we learn that if there are two or more males in your story, avoid using the word "his." Your dramatic scene will turn farcical if the reader thinks your hero is grabbing his own body parts and expressing his feelings of desire. Similar examples include the following:

-- The stranger wrapped his hungry mouth around his mushroom head.
-- Standing at the side of the bed, Gustavo grabbed his ankles and lifted them high into the air.
-- Slowly Maury worked his lips down to his stomach.

(3) All night long Carl slept, sprawled naked across the bed, and Max approached with anticipation.

What we learn here is, modifiers in the first half of your sentence also apply to the second. We’ve got a scene that’s probably eight hours long, which means Max moves about as slowly as gay rights.

(4) "Brad's endowment was throbbing so hard Joshua thought it'd explode."

The problem here is painfully obvious: Don't frighten your reader with images from Japanese horror movies. You've spent hours conjuring up the perfect picture, then you go and spoil the mood:

-- Chuck's erection grew so hard it could have knocked over Hitler.
-- I'd never seen an ass pounded so relentlessly, and I watch Bill O'Reilly.
-- His equipment, trapped in those thin white shorts, looked like my grandma in her bra.

(5) Max took out Walter's penis and played with it.

Watch out for the words “took out.” While you may assume it’s equivalent to “bared" or "uncovered,” the reader may opt for another meaning, like “to remove from a box.”

(6) I really wanted to have sex with him. After I finished my coffee, I slid over next to him and brought it up.

Here we've got a confusing pronoun -- in this case, the word "it." The writer is hoping he can refer all the way back to his previous sentence, but instead the reader stops at the closest noun, which just happens to be "coffee."

Other regrettable examples are:

-- My wife and I made love on the deck of our pristine white yacht, then I tied her to the pier and went home.
-- Cooper and I took the dog for a walk. I couldn't resist the way his ass swayed back and forth, so I dragged him behind a bush and took him from behind.

(7) "He grabbed hold of his meat and pulled out a condom."

This sentence shows that sometimes there's a weird synergy between different parts of your sentence. Either half of this line is fine by itself, but put the two together and it sounds like a magic trick.

Similar missteps include:

-- I squeezed the bartender's nipple and he refilled my empty glass.
-- Wayne rubbed Raoul's butt until Barbara Eden appeared.

(8) "On my knees, Stephen grabbed my head and guided it toward his groin."

This is what's called a "dangling modifier," because the writer has misplaced a clause. Rather than being turned on, the reader pictures a Cirque du Soleil-style attraction. Re-read your articles searching for sentences like:

-- Covered with mayonnaise, Roger took a bite of his sandwich.
-- Engrossed in the newspaper, his penis lay there quietly.
-- Nearly at orgasm, Puddles the dog trotted in.

Well, we've just barely scratched the surface, but today's lesson has to come to an end. Remember, there are serious side effects to reading too much porn. You start to feel inadequate by constantly comparing yourself to these perfect, unreal images, and your self esteem can suffer as a result.

Honestly, though, I swear to you: usually I can go on for hours.

Day Thirteen

Okay, I'm kidding. But something has obviously gone horribly wrong here. I mean, look at our young Mick Jagger Apple Doll:

And look at the real Day Thirteen MJAD:

See, this is what an apple doll is supposed to look like:

Now, I'll admit I'm no Martha Stewart. I haven't put lipstick or rouge on MJAD, and haven't made it a jaunty little cap or clothes. Still, there's no reason for it to look like the thing that stalked Karen Black in Trilogy of Terror. I mean, it started off looking like a young Mick Jagger.

It should have slowly matured into an old Mick Jagger:

What? Oh. Okay.

Never mind.

I don't know how time is going to treat MJAD, but something tells me one day soon we might get to see him sing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day Twelve

Bill Clinton recently told a presidential historian that a drunk Boris Yeltsin once wandered around the White House clad only in underwear looking for a pizza joint.

This just doesn't make sense. The president of Russia, in his underwear, looking for pizza? He should have been going up to chicks and asking if they wanted to see the head of the Sleeping Giant.

Gawker is real impressed by this story, but I don't get it.

"High-flying MIT nerds shame filthy-rich NASA," they declare. See, NASA spends $20 billion a year to photograph outer space, while a couple MIT students did it for $150. They stuck a cellphone/camera in a styrofoam box, programmed it to take a picture every five seconds, and attached it to a helium balloon. It soared 17 miles before the balloon popped. Here's the footage:

But see, the good thing about NASA is, when they're in charge, nobody's pulverized by a picnic cooler hitting earth at 34,782 miles per hour.

Stylist to the stars Charlie le Mindu. For hair that doesn't just suck: it swallows.

("Charlie le Mindu's hairy creation's at London fashion week" in the Guardian UK.)

Got a Match? Yes!

Thomas Kinkade is indisputably -- nay, copyrightably -- the Painter of Light. Somehow his masterly brushstrokes capture the very sun-dappled ether of whatever he chooses to paint. Why, I'll bet if we listed seven distinctly different parts of the world, and cut out little lifesized swatches from his paintings of those regions, you'd easily be able to match up the pairs. We'll even give you a major hint and tell you what you're looking at.

Obviously, if you own any of these paintings, you really need to drown disqualify yourself.


1. London, with part of Big Ben and Tinker Bell's aura, Tinker Bell And Peter Pan Fly To Neverland

2. Grandstand, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

3. Doorway to a chop suey shop, The Heart of San Francisco

4. Sand, footprint, Footprints in the Sand

5. Window over awning, Rainy Dusk, Paris

6. Reflection of Prince Charming and Cinderella under rose-bedazzled bridge, Cinderella Wishes Upon A Dream

7. The Strip just below the Stratosphere, Viva Las Vegas









ANSWERS: 1(f), 2(b), 3(d), 4(e), 5(c), 6(g), 7(a)

All swatches taken from the Online Gallery at

Monday, September 21, 2009

European dairy farmers, protesting price fixing in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels today, set bales of hay on fire and poured vats of milk onto the ground.

Most Europeans ignored the demonstration, but all the cows who saw it were like, "WHAAA?"

Famous? Hey, I have nearly a degree from a major university, and I've never heard of Mark Summer.
Two months after a plainclothes Minnesota sheriff's deputy fatally shot an unarmed man wearing only swim trunks, family members of the dead man say they're still waiting for an explanation.

About 50 people picketed outside the Le Sueur County Sheriff's Department to pressure investigators to provide answers about Tyler Heilman's death.

Authorities have said Heilman was shot four times by a deputy after the 24-year-old returned from a day of swimming with friends.

Here's how I'd start the eulogy: "The world has lost a kind, generous man who looked like he was packing a pistol in his speedos."

Day Eleven