Saturday, December 31, 2011

Have a Paranormal New Year!

Here's Keith, with a little story about the World's Worst Sex Tape.

Paranormal Activity
86 min., color, 2009
Director & screenwriter: Oren Peli
From Reuters, Oct 14, 2011:

San Diego, which has been touted as having one of the best climates in the United States, is also the luckiest, according to a new ranking ...

To determine the most charmed towns the magazine analyzed data about cities with the most lottery and sweepstake winners, the most hole-in-ones on the golf course, the fewest lighting strikes, the least deaths from falling objects, and the lowest debt due to playing the lottery and race betting.

San Diego's multiple jackpot winners, its low lightning strike count, and its low number of lightning-related injuries and deaths helped push it to the top.
It took the statisticians from Men’s Health Magazine, rated highly for mathematical prowess, to concoct this index of “luck” and I’m happy they’ve set a new standard. A Steinway “D” model falls from a ninth floor apartment and no one is injured. Golf balls get where they’re intended. Lightning strikes, but strikes only the “Bad 7-11” and not the “Good 7-11.” And if you have a lotto number or a horse you really like --- bet that bad boy to win, win, win!

However, the quants at Men’s Health didn’t consider the metric of “Demonic Possession” which upon inclusion tarnishes San Diego’s luck in the most unpleasant manner possible. And if you are perhaps twenty-something with nothing to do all day but sit around with your thumb up your ass, then the heartbreak of demon possession becomes all too clear.

Meet Micah and Katie. They are the people who live next door. They are exceptionally nondescript, neither handsome nor unattractive.
Micah is a day-trader who must be doing very well, because he has purchased the latest Sony pro HD camera. (He’s so excited about the HD-cam he accidentally throws away the owner’s manual and can’t operate the thing properly.)

Katie does something, we don’t know what.

Micah: “Hi Katie. How was your day?”

Katie: “I just cashed in my scratch-off lottery ticket and won $1500.”

M: “I had a great day too. Was playing golf, then it started raining, but lightning struck dumb Jeff instead of me. So I bought this nifty camera.”

K: “Micah, there was something unusual at the 7-11 when I cashed in the ticket. I felt like something was reaching out for me. Something trying to grab my leg.”

M: “That was good luck reaching out for you, baby-doll. Here, let’s retire to the Ethan Allen suite and I’ll set up my camera to record our very lucky sex.”

K: “Micah, does all the Target kitchenware rattle at night? I mean, I hear all the pots and pans making noise even upstairs. I may have the receipts. Should we return them? I don’t like self-animating kitchenware.”

M: “That’s odd, Katie. I spilled dishwashing detergent on the floor last night, and this morning there were weird cloven footprints all over! Do you think it could be the Easter Bunny?”

K: “I don’t know Micah. Perhaps we ought to call a kitchen appliance expert.”

Indeed. And rest assured, Dr. Maytag arrives on a house call. “I just love San Diego,” he says, “I should visit more often. A Steinway grand piano dropped outside of my parking space, but hit another vehicle instead. I sure feel lucky.”

K: “Dr. Maytag, our appliances make strange noises at night. Is there anything you can do to help? I can’t stand it anymore.”

DM: “Katie, I understand your concern. But after a cursory examination of your kitchen, your appliances originate from “Whirlpool” so I’m afraid I can’t help you at this time. However, I have an associate, a “Whirlpool” specialist, located in LA. Here’s his number. Call him right away. Whatever is wrong with your dishwasher and refrigerator ... they need to be destroyed!”

M: “Can’t we just haul them out onto the street and have sanitation take them away?”

DM: “No. Absolutely not. Your appliances are cursed. They will come back for you. You have to perform disposal in the most professional way. Bye-Bye. I’m leaving a little early to get in a race or two at Del Mar. There’s a forty-to-one long shot I like.”

Katie and Micah retire to the Ethan Allen suite, where the Sony HD-cam is mounted on a tripod ready to record their every nocturnal spasm. Sex is out of the question because of the accursed appliances downstairs. So much noise.

The next day sleep-deprived Micah reviews the video footage but can’t find a money shot to post on his Facebook page.

M: “Katie. Come look at this!”

K: “What? Can’t you see I’m busy packing up this “Wearever” shit to return to Target?”

M: “Katie. The bedroom door moved. It moved all by itself.”

K: “That’s odd. Today my bowels moved ... all by themselves!”

Night after night, Katie and Micah suffer the same intolerable noise and confusion. And each morning after Micah reviews his HD-cam footage to reveal the bedroom door does, in fact, open and shut by itself. Katie insists on calling Dr. Whirlpool but Micah resists. “I can figure all this out. I have an internet connection. And a Ouija Board”

M: “Katie, where did you get those bruises? And your hands are burned. You need to go to the Emergency Room.”

K: “Micah, the refrigerator door opened by itself and hit me in the thigh. And then the dishwasher started by itself and I tried to save the Wedgwood. By the way, I’ve had this problem all my life. My family’s house burned down. The fire department said it was the clothes dryer.”

M: “Do you want to go to the hospital?”

K: “No, Micah, I’m perfectly content to stay here and sleep under the cold glare of your Sony HD-cam. I have another scratch-lottery ticket to cash tomorrow.”

So ends our adventure with the lucky but hapless youngsters. What can we learn from their experience? First, when your kitchen appliances go “evil” on you, pick up the first blunt instrument you have and smash them to pieces. It’s a very satisfying experience if I may say so.

Secondly, if your partner has previously experienced evil appliances and hasn’t told you, watch the hell out.

Finally, think twice before throwing away the “Extended Warranty” card that might be included with the owner’s manual. You might need it someday.
"I'm Midnight, and I disapprove of this movie."

Happy New Year to all.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Gentlemen Prefer Pythons

First, I'd like to thank everyone again for the many kind donations to the WO'C Beg-a-Thon -- you guys made it possible for us to survive a very ugly and desperate time, and we're sincerely grateful.

But while most every cent went for debt service, after the hospital and vet bills were paid we did put aside a little money to buy a Christmas present for the cats.  So in the spirit of those "Your Tax Dollars at Work" signs that are always posted alongside a public works project, and are supposed to make you feel better about creeping along at five miles per hour until the flagman waves you past the orange cones, here's where a fraction of your generosity went:

Riley and Moondoggie's Scratching Post as of December 24:
Just in case you've ever wondered why, in every murder in which mutilation plays a part -- from Jack the Ripper to the Black Dahlia -- the first suspect is always a cat.

And the Christmas Day Scratching Post:
"It's a Christmas miracle...!"

Wo'C Staffer Keith also went all out this year, as seen below, in his brief, Linus-like essay on the true meaning of Christmas.

By Keith:

Santa can tell you, every boy and girl wants a nice, plush, cuddly eight-foot snake under their tree. I copped one.
 "A Bob Clampett car-toooo-OOON!"

 Dorothy: Were you doing anything you wouldn't want Mr. Esmond to see?

 Lorelei: Why, no -- My goodness, yes!

 Dorothy: What?

 Lorelei: He was telling me about South Africa. lt's dangerous. Full of snakes called pythons. lt seems a python can grab a goat ... and kill it by squeezing it to death.

 Dorothy: Get to the point.

 Lorelei: That's all.

 Dorothy: What's incriminating about that?

 Lorelei: Well, Piggie was being the python, and l was a goat.

 Dorothy: Oh, Lorelei!
 Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not So Cold Case

You may remember the shooting that took place in the streets of Hollywood on December 9th.  It occurred fairly close to our home, although the gunfire we heard that day came not from a jilted loon attempting to commit suicide-by-cop, but from the nearby set of Gangster Squad.  Nevertheless, our roving correspondent Chris Vosburg was nearly an eyewitness, and only escaped being in the wrong place at the wrong time because he couldn't resist taking in the 10 AM rerun of Perry Mason before embarking on his errands.

Well, Chris returned to the scene of the crime to do a little forensics work, and filed this follow-up report.  The story you are about to see is true.  The names haven't been changed because I'm too lazy:

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my Perry Mason habit spared me from the shoot-’em-up on Vine St, and speculated idly at the time that you might find a few pockmarks in the Bank of America masonry as a result. I finally made it up to the bank last Friday, and, while waiting for a bus south afterward, I had a look around the bus stop at the southwest corner of Sunset and Vine:

That’s the Bank of America building behind the bus shelter; didn’t see any dings in the BofA itself, but did see this, in the eighth-inch-thick perforated steel backing of the bus shelter itself:
 Another shot from the opposite angle:
It’s hard to see in the photos (especially when you’re using a cheap cellcam like I’ve got), but that dimple is clearly the result of a small heavy projectile traveling at high speed, and the fact that it hasn’t rusted up yet makes it fairly recent, so I’m inclined to conclude that yep, Tyler Brehme put one of his bullets into the bus shelter.
I don’t mean to make a big drama out of this, but whew: had someone been seated on the center of the bench in the bus shelter, it woulda hit ‘em square in the chest.

Scott adds:  On the other hand, if we didn't make a big drama  out of everything in this town, TNT and Lifetime would be showing 24 hours of test patterns.  So I'm going to imagine Chris wrapping up by saying, "Looks like it's lucky that someone...(PUTS ON SUNGLASSES, STARES INTO THE DISTANCE)...sat this one out."

YYEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH !*

*thanks to Bogie for the reminder to properly close my David Caruso tags.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dr. Mike: The Bitch is Back in Town

In keeping with tradition I went to the mall today to return the two polyester dress shirts from my aunt, and the Deluxe Barbeque Tool Set (which I was actually kind of sorry to return, as it contained "a basting brush, a grill brush, a spatula, fork, heat-resistant tongs, and 8 corn holders," but  sadly, that's 2 fewer corn holders than I need.  We're serious about our corn-holding here, and I don't want any of my guests to be stuck wrestling bare-handed with a greasy cob), and I exchanged them all for a new column from Professor Dr. Mike Adams.

This week Dr. Mike writes fanfic to PETA, in which he imagines -- lovingly, and in great detail -- kicking a dog.

Liberal Hypocrisy is a Female Dog

What fresh hypocrisy is this?  Actually, it's the same old story: Dr. Professor Mike is ticked off that PETA devotes its resources and energies toward a ban on animal testing, rather than breaking into fertility clinics and freeing frozen embryos.  You may remember when he planned to celebrate his 45th birthday by trepanning kittens on the steps of the Women's Resource Center, thereby demonstrating that feminism is gross, or vivisection is cool, or -- I'm not actually sure what his point was, but I'm pretty sure he should have just gone to Chuck E. Cheese.

This week he's laid another of his elaborate traps, in which he plans to ensnare PETA in a web of email.  Let's watch:
Dear PETA: I have a neighbor who is being extremely rough with his Golden Retriever. He kicks the dog with the side of his foot whenever she is in his way. The dog weighs about 80 pounds and is not likely to be seriously harmed by the kicking. However, the dog is pregnant. Is this animal abuse? Would you recommend reporting this to the police?
Mike Adams
I think we can all see where this is going.  Dr. Mike has painstakingly dug a Malay tiger trap and baited it with puppy fetuses.  Now all he needs is for the luckless PETA volunteer in charge of answering crank emails to wander across its fragile covering of twigs and leaves...
Mike, thank you so much for reporting this to us! Is there any change [sic] at all of sneaking some footage of this? How hard does he kick her? Also, could you give me the name and address of the owner, and can you tell me what her living conditions are like- does she live inside, outside, chained, is she fed properly, etc? Please be assured that we take your anonymity very seriously.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing back from you!
Rachel, PETA
Crap!  She's focusing on the made-up guy kicking the imaginary dog, not the potential impact on the imaginary unborn dogs.  C'mon, lady, step in the trap already!
Dear Rachel: Thanks for getting back to me. I am not prepared (morally or technologically) to surreptitiously film my neighbor. He is not kicking the animal very hard. It would not be an issue but for the pregnancy of the animal. 
Get it, Rachel?
She lives outside, is unchained, and appears to be fed properly. As an armed citizen, I am wholly unconcerned with the issue of anonymity.
Wow, I can hear Rachel hitting the Delete button from here.
I am more concerned with wasting my time with the authorities as I just don’t know whether there is a crime to report. The litter appears to be at risk, not the mother. I wonder whether the owner is even liable if any of those unborn puppies is either stillborn or deformed. I honestly don’t know the answer. Any help you can provide is appreciated.
Mike
You see, Rachel, if you care about animal cruelty, then you are morally obligated to consider abortion the equivalent of abusing a dog.  So if you're okay with beating a dog hard enough to cause a spontaneous abortion, but not hard enough to hurt it (which would require a very precise and surgical application of abuse -- I would recommend practicing first on a stuffed animal), then you clearly see no problem with kicking a pregnant woman until she miscarries.

Of course, kicking anybody, pregnant or not, is already a crime, as is animal cruelty.  And a woman can consent to both pregnancy and abortion, while a dog cannot.  In fact, it's legal to artificially inseminate a bitch, or a cow, or any domestic animal for breeding purposes, whether they're in the mood or not, which may be the root of Dr. Mike's drive to force women and dogs to share legal rights, since he hasn't had much luck fathering a child the normal way.

Anyhow, Rachel didn't fall for Mike's Judas zygote, so he's forced to shift from dialogue into his usual supervillain monologue.
Dear Rachel: Moments after I wrote you, I received an email from PETA containing the following passage, which is relevant to my inquiry: “We speak up for, among others, rabbits and foxes who are skinned alive for the fur trade, chickens and cows who suffer hellish conditions on factory farms just to end up on someone's dinner plate, and the dogs who should be treated as part of the family (emphasis mine) but are relegated to a lonely life on the end of a chain. PETA is the voice for animals who have none (emphasis also mine).”

It appears that PETA does not draw a moral distinction between dogs and humans.
Because PETA also insists that Grandma not be chained in the yard, skinned alive for her leathery hide, or eaten by the rest of the family.
Therefore, in answering the question of whether the dog’s unborn puppies are protected, we must look to the alternatives available to us if the neighbor had been striking his pregnant wife. 
So if Dr. Mike, armed citizen, saw his neighbor beating a pregnant woman, he would immediately run to the computer and email a group of animal rights lobbyists for advice.
There are three distinct possibilities:
1. Dr. Mike is an asshole

2.  Dr. Mike is an asshole and a rectum, combined together for one low price like a Hardee's Meal Deal.

3.  Dr. Mike is actually an entire prolapsed sigmoid colon, which is writhing and dancing sinuously while a Sri Lankan fakir charms it with a flute.
    Or, there's always Dr. Mike's guesses:
    1. The unborn has no legal protection whatsoever.
    Obviously not true, as any Professor of Criminology would know, so we can scratch that one...
    2.  The unborn has legal protection contingent upon its mother’s intention to carry it to term.
    Well, a pregnant woman has legal protections, which supersede a fetus.  Even Rick Santorum agrees with that (for his wife, anyway.  The rest of you bitches can curl up and die.)
    3.  The unborn has legal protection regardless of its mother’s intention to carry it to term.
    It's called "damnapping," in which the kid holds it's mother's body hostage.  Although it's only a crime in 15 states, damnapping becomes a federal offense if the fetus forces the pregnant woman to cross state lines.
    Obviously, the third possibility is precluded by the ruling in Roe v. Wade. According to that ruling, the unborn baby human is not given absolute protection. According to PETA’s stated position of dog/human equality, the unborn puppy must also lack absolute protection.
    This becomes crucial when we remember that Marbury v. Madison established the system of "checks and balances" we know so well today, dividing the powers of government between the executive, the judiciary, the legislative branch, and PETA.
     PETA cannot say that the puppy does have absolute protection without elevating animal rights above human rights.
    And I'm sure PETA members wriggle in this logical cleft stick all day long, when they're not liberating white rats or posing naked for anti-fur campaigns.  Anyway, Mike goes on and on, chasing the tail of his hypothetical argument until he decides that "PETA must somehow over-turn Roe v. Wade," while John Roberts, Sam Alito, and Clarence Thomas loiter outside Lincoln Center, waiting to throw red paint on dowagers emerging from the opera.
    I know many women who have had an abortion and regretted the decision later. 
    And if you believe that, Dr. Mike would like to introduce you to his neighbor, the pregnant dog-kicker.
    Some have partially assuaged that guilt by going on to have children.
    So if your mom had an abortion at any point in her life before you were born, no matter how much she may say you were wanted and planned for, and no matter how much she may say she loves you, you're a Guilt Baby, and it's your job in life to make eternal amends to your saintly aborted sibling.
    I hope that PETA will not locate women who have had abortions and hand their children coloring books with pictures of aborted babies. 
    Unless Elizabeth Arden starts shaving fetus butts and painting them with rouge.
     The words “Your mommy is a murderer” would be especially harmful to children who have lost a sibling to abortion.
    I don't know -- it would have made my mom sound a lot cooler, actually.  But I think Dr. Mike's belief that kids whose mothers had abortions are traumatized, and suffer survivor's guilt, betrays a certain naivete about child psychology.  First of all, how would they know?  My mom was careful to speak in Pig Latin around me when she was discussing Peyton Place with the neighbor lady, I kinda doubt she'd bring up her abortion while passing the Brussels sprouts.  Second, kids are solipsists, and knowing that your mother carried you to term, but aborted a potential competitor means you win the Sibling Rivalry by default.  Third, young children aren't the most empathetic types, and are most likely to react to an aborted fetus by saying, "Better you than me."
     We must remember that children are just as valuable as dogs.
    Yeah?  Try getting a team of babies to pull your sled in the Iditarod.   Try training a 6-month old to go poop in the yard.  Try deterring thieves by putting a "Beware of Baby" sign on your junkyard fence.
    It should be our guiding principle as we work together. The evolution of a grate organization depends on it.
    And yet, no matter how hard they try, they'll never be as grating as you, Dr. Mike.

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    In Memory of a Reasonable Conservative

    The 2011 Jon Swift Memorial Roundup is now up.   Founded by the dryly hilarious and much lamented Jon Swift in 2007, it consists of "The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves."  (Mine was sort of an arbitrary decision, since I waited until the submission deadline had almost passed, and wound up just going with our most highly trafficked post since moving to the new site.  But I'm sure all the other bloggers made thoughtful choices, and only after long, agonizing deliberations.  Or they took payola.  Either way, there's a lot of good stuff there.)

    Many thanks to Batocchio for keeping the legacy alive.

    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    WO'C Annual Holiday Special: Jack Frost

    Ask any ecclesiastical professional, priest, minister, or nun, “What is the most important Christian holiday?” and they will inevitably respond, “Easter, of course,” although the nun might vary things a bit by also attempting to break your knuckles with a ruler. But more than Church favoritism, the Feast of the Resurrection benefits from a far cooler dramatic premise, which a side-by-side comparison makes clear:

    Easter is about zombies.

    Christmas is about a baby shower.

    So Christmas has to work harder to make you like it, getting you drunk on wassail and buying your love with toys. But what if Christmas could combine its best features – gift-giving, twinkling lights, stop motion animation – with the walking dead? How cool would that be? As it turns out, not that cool, really...

    Jack Frost (1998)
    Directer:  Troy Miller
    Writers: Mark Steven Johnson and Steve Bloom & Jonathan Roberts and Jeff Cesario

    We open on The Jack Frost Band playing a holiday gig in the scenic, snow-covered little town of South Park, Colorado. They’re a rising R&B group, comprising a blond Michael Keaton (lead vocals and harmonica), the heavyset nude dancer from The Full Monty (keyboards) and about fifteen other people, most of whom appear to have recently received their AARP discount card. But they've got so much soul that the excess has leeched into the water table, contaminating the local snowmen, and causing a Zuni fetish doll to chase Karen Black around the house.

    Meanwhile, in a cutaway he will later fail to stress on his resume, a baby-faced Paul F. Thompkins (actually, he's so young here he looks fetal-faced) nods along to the band's hard-rockin' cover of "Frosty the Snowman," then points authoritatively at the stage and says, “Yeah!”

    The next day kids pour out of school for Christmas vacation. Suddenly, Michael’s 11-year old son, Charlie, detects the distant but approaching sounds of war: the chatter of machineguns, the whistle of artillery shells. Thrilled that he might, through a clerical error, have been cast in Red Dawn instead of this heartwarming family bullshit, he runs toward the carnage, which turns out to be a bunch of second graders getting pounded in a snowball fight.

    The 7-year olds regard Charlie as a combination of Joan of Arc and Knute Rockne (because like Rockne, Charlie is an exemplar of good sportsmanship, and like Joan he has aural hallucinations), and beg him to end this orgy of wanton slaughter and inappropriate sound effects. Their faith is not misplaced, for Charlie has gleaned wisdom about the ultimate futility of war from Fifth Grade history class, so he parlays with the enemy leader, then sucker punches him in the face with a snowball he hid behind his back. So less Knute Rockne and more Mike Tyson.

    At home, the fridge is covered with Charlie’s crayon drawings which, like the Salvador Dali-designed dream sequences in Spellbound, provide clues to the source of Charlie’s rage and dementia. All the illustrations depict his father in a vehicle, constantly on the move, because he’s a musician and must tour, or because he’s being chased by a crowd that didn’t want to hear one more long, peppy, Blues Traveler-like harmonica solo in the middle of “Silent Night.”

    But Michael is a loving dad, and when he returns in the middle of the night, he startles his child from a sound sleep and forces him to construct a snowman. He’s also a cool dad, because when Charlie suggests their icy golem needs a nose, Michael pretends to hear “hose,” and temporarily grafts on a penis (thereby establishing the movie's the theme, as a snowman's traditional lack of sex organs will provide much imitation humor to come).

    Michael chivvies the boy off to bed, because his wife (played by Kelly Preston, who's pretty hot for a Scientologist) indicated she was in the mood for a full Body Thetan massage. But first, he says the time has come to give his son the harmonica he bought the day Charlie was born, presumably because Charlie has also impregnated some girl. More importantly, the instrument has “magic powers.”

    “When you play that,” Michael assures him, “no matter where I am…I can hear it.” So, sitting on the toilet. Standing in line at the bank. Having sex, reading an eye chart, doing his taxes, Michael will constantly hear a child honking inexpertly on a phantom harmonica. I can only imagine that after awhile, death would come as a sweet release. But let’s not get ahead of the story…)

    The next day, Michael and Full Monty are leaving for a recording session, because apparently the world is clamoring for a dirty, Delta Blues version of “Good King Wenceslas.” Charlie needs his father to teach him the family's secret hockey technique, “the J-Shot," but Michael's in a rush and can't stay, although he does take a moment to tenderly address his son as “butt boy.”

    Now let’s intercut scenes of Michael being a perfectionist as he records his demo album, with shots of Charlie sucking at hockey – missing shots, running into walls, falling over. Then Michael notices the late hour and clutches his face in despair, realizing that he has missed the irreplaceable chance to see his son stink on ice.

    Michael offers to make it up to Kelly and Charlie by taking them to a remote cabin in the woods for Christmas.  There's no phone, video games, or TV, but it does come with a Necromonicron in the bedside table (thank you, Gideons) just in case anybody dies and needs to be reanimated as a snowman.

    Unfortunately just as they're leaving, Record Company executive Ebeneezer Scrooge calls, and offers to sign Michael and his up-and-coming band of pensioners and Early Bird Special patrons. But only if they play a gig at Scrooge's Christmas party in Aspen. Charlie is outraged that the fulfillment of his father’s lifelong dream means that Michael won’t be at the Cabin when the zombies attack, and he snottily returns the Magic Harmonica for a full refund.

    Michael gets halfway to the gig when he decides that he would rather be a good father and husband than a superstar recording artist with a platinum record for his hard-rockin’ version of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” (the official Christmas carol of the Church of Scientology). Having achieved his epiphany, he promptly drives full speed into a wall and dies (proving that it's never a good idea to rush into an epiphany, which is why so far I've mostly just been window shopping and getting some quotes on the internet).

    One Year Later. Charlie gets out of school for Christmas break again, but with his father dead, he doesn’t even feel like sucker-punching a classmate. But that night, Charlie sculpts a disturbing simulacrum of his father out of snow, topping it with Michael's signature porkpie hat, but deliberately leaving off the penis.  Then he crawls into bed with the Magic Harmonica (apparently filched from his father’s corpse) and attempts to summon the devil by blowing into it. Unhappily for us, it works. Michael’s soul possesses the pile of slush and its computer generated features come to a hideous mockery of life.

    The first thing Snow-Dad does is grab for his junk and howl in existential agony. The second thing is curse his son for giving him a cork for a nose instead of the traditional carrot, because now he can't even switch things around in a sexual emergency and wow this thing got Oedipal all of a sudden...

    Still, Michael seems instantly comfortable with his reanimation from the dead (suggesting that there’s no afterlife, else where has he been hanging his porkpie hat for the past year), and when he’s instantly run over by a snowplow, beheaded and gruesomely dismembered, he jauntily dubs his various body parts Ball Two and Ball Three, and makes lame jokes about “separation anxiety.”

    In the Faustian tradition, Charlie immediately regrets his deal with the devil. But like Mephistopheles, Michael commands dark, elemental powers, which he uses to harass Charlie's classmates by beaning them in the face with weaponized slush.

    This sneak attack inspires Charlie’s friends to heave chunks of ice at his head and chase him to a high cliff, then laugh as he falls off the edge and dangles from a tree root. Thanks, Dad.  Glad you're back.

    Snow-Michael saves Charlie with a jump cut, which was a nice gesture but doesn't seem to have done much to shorten the 1 hour and 41 minute running time.  (Oddly, when the movie came out, it was 95 minutes long, so apparently the DVD copy I got was the Restored Sadist's Cut.).

    Anyway, they escape on a toboggan, and suddenly it turns into the climax of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, as the entire Fifth Grade pursues them down the mountain (why the District chose to build an elementary school on the edge of a sheer precipice is something that really ought to be brought up at the next School Board meeting) on snowmobiles, skis, snowboards, and what looks like a rocking horse. Needless to say, most of the children involved in the chase die horrible deaths, but since they were apparently working after school for SPECTRE, they had it coming.

    “You da man!” the icy golem assures his son.

    You da man,” Charlie retorts.

    “No,” Michael says, “I’m da snow man!” Anyone old enough to remember this line from the movie’s trailer will probably also recall it was the moment they decided to add the book Final Exit to their Christmas Wish List.

    Michael spies on his wife through the window, bemoaning his lack of a penis and considering the feasibility of making one of those ice dildos used in BDSM temperature play (I admit, some of this is subtext). Meanwhile, Charlie develops the same obsession with the weather report that Mel Gibson had with conspiracy theories in Conspiracy Theory, or with blow jobs and Jesus in real life.

    Charlie takes Snow-Dad to his secret Ice Cavern (which most 12-year old boys have – hell, I had one and I grew up at the beach), where Michael teaches him important lessons about life, and how not to suck at hockey, while a dark, grim shadow of whimsy hangs over the film.

    Meanwhile, Kelly is worried about her son, because he's taken to hauling a snowman around town in his wagon, while carrying on a bickering, would-be comic dialogue; so Charlie is either psychotic, or he misunderstood his agents and thought he was cast in the Morgan Freeman role in Driving Miss Daisy.

    Kelly’s solution is to browbeat Full Monty into dragging Charlie to “Shiverfest,” the town’s annual salute to hypothermia, where the kid stands outside the Father-Son Snowman-Making Contest looking depressed. Frankly, in Charlie’s place I’d be feeling smug as hell. Yeah, sure, you kids got a live dad, and you can build a crappy snowman together, but can you imbue it with unnatural life? Can you drag a soul from beyond the grave and trap it in a graven image, merely through your dark mastery of the Hohner mouth organ?  I think not.

    Michael goes to watch his son not suck at hockey for once, but somehow being in an ice rink makes him start to melt. Fortunately, the kid Charlie sucker-punched in the opening scene agrees to help him load Michael onto a truck heading for the mountains, because “Snow dad is better than No Dad.” I assume this is one of those Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints billboard slogans that didn’t quite make the final cut.

    Charlie and his undead Dad jump off the truck into a Currier and Ives print, where Michael rolls around in the snow and exults, “My balls are freezing!” Amazingly, they’re within easy walking distance of the family's vacation home. Michael puts Charlie to bed on the couch, kisses him with his weird puppet mouth, then places a creepy call to Kelly, who is – strangely enough – not soothed by the sound of her dead husband’s voice telling her to come find her son at a remote, snow-bound cabin, then abruptly ending the call with a click and a dial tone.

    Kelly takes her time getting there – apparently there was an episode of The Amazing Race on her Tivo she hadn’t seen – but she does arrive just in time to watch Michael die again. On Christmas. That's two years in a row, which has to be some kind of record.

    Everybody tells everybody they love each other, then Michael briefly turns human again so he can croon a heart-rending snippet of a public domain song to Kelly.  Then he dissolves into a whirlwind of snow and ice. But just before he vanishes, Michael says, in a raspy, demonic voice, “I will always hear you...!” So I hope when Kelly eventually takes up with another man she keeps the sex quiet, or she might find coitus interrupted by an angry snowman.

    Talk about blue balls.

    From Mary, Riley, Moondoggie and I...
    Merry Christmas, everyone.

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Chrtistmas Then and Now. And Then Again.

    In Antebellum Hollywood -- that is, back in those gracious, genteel days before the War on Christmas -- the city fathers would really tart the place up.  Illuminated trees were impaled on every lamp post, garlands of tinsel were strung across the street, dripping with stars and snowflakes and mug shots of Santa, like huge and garish charm bracelets, and quaint wooden street signs would officially, if temporarily, change the name of Hollywood Boulevard to "Santa Claus Lane."  Here's a taste of what the place looked like during the Christmas season of 1948:
    And the reverse angle from 1950:
    Recently, the makers of a movie called Gangster Squad dressed up Hollywood Boulevard in its vintage holiday finery for the first time in half a century.  So pardon me while I throw a little stardust in your eyes...
    As you can see, they've recreated the street light tannenbaums and the garlands.  The glass cases outside the Chinese Theater contain lobby cards for She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Red River, so this sequence is probably set in 1949, when John Wayne went through a phase, not unlike Picasso's Blue Period, in which he would only star in films named after primary colors.
    Across the street is a green screen a half block long.  In the 40s and 50s this was the site of such iconic Hollywood night spots as the Seven Seas nightclub, so it will be interesting to see what the CGI artists put in place of the Hooters and the Baja Fresh.
    The recreated trees in front of Grauman's were highly detailed, down to those old fashioned, egg-shaped light bulbs.  But opposite the theater...
    ...they only built half-trees.  I hope I haven't spoiled the illusion for you, and that nobody is having a fit like Sidney Greenstreet at the end of The Maltese Falcon, clawing at their computer screen and wheezing, "Fake!  It's fake!"
    Eventually, they brought out the picture cars, which were driven up and down the block by Teamsters in full period regalia, including fedoras.  Which raises a question that -- as a Golden Age film aficionado -- has always puzzled me:  why the hell did men wear their hats while driving?  I mean, it's not like they were going to get sun stroke in the car.  Was it a rule of the road, like the seatbelt law, or were they all like Indiana Jones, duct-taping the thing to their forehead every morning before leaving the house?
    A Sunbeam Bread truck and an old Pacific Electric Red Car.
    We'll leave you now with this image, courtesy of the Art Department, which reminds us that occasionally, while working the graveyard shift, the Dream Factory turns out a Nightmare.

    Programming Note:  Our Annual Holiday Special features a particularly egregious movie this year, so check back in on Christmas Day and share the hate.

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    MaryC's Holiday Gift Report: Santa's Bringing You Crap for Christmas! Literally!

    It's a familiar conversation, one you've probably overheard dozens of times at the pet store, or while waiting in line to see Santa at the mall:  a little boy or girl wants a puppy for Christmas, and the parents caution the child that "having a dog is a big responsibility.  You'll have to feed it, and walk it, and clean up after it."  Well...this toy isn't for those kids.  This canine simulacrum is apparently intended for a slightly narrower niche: kids who don't particularly want to walk, cuddle, or even play with a puppy, but who really like the sound of that whole "clean up after it" thing.

    In short, this is the perfect toy for the budding coprophiliac in your family.  I give you...Doggie Do.

    To paraphrase Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys:  "Shit just got fake."

    So...Yeah. It's a plastic dog that poops. You feed it, and it poops.  This is actually my least favorite part of pet ownership, but apparently the Fresh Air Fund is sending kids to Fecal Fantasy Camp these days.

    I wonder, is this a gift for people who live in "no pets allowed" buildings, but still yearn to clean up after a defecating dog? Do they roam the sidewalks of their neighborhood, plastic bags in hand, hoping against hope that at least one of their neighbors has thoughtlessly neglected to curb their Akita and collect the steaming pile, so they could swoop down on it like a carrion bird with a fetish so disgusting it makes the other vultures in the flock uncomfortable and faintly nauseated?

    I think, in this case, the only person who could possibly provide an appropriate reaction to this is Dr. Clayton Forrester:

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Jim Henson's Wingnut Babies

    Katie Pavlich is another new face -- to me at least, although she's been micro-blogging at Townhall's The Tipsheet ("Breaking News & Analysis From The Townhall Crew") since at least last February, and has appeared on that Greg Gutfield show on Fox...DeadeyeBrowneye?...whatever it's called.  According to her byline, Katie is News Editor, Townhall, so while she may not be a Big Cheese in the world of online punditry, nor -- judging by her fresh and dewy headshot -- a fine old Mold-Ripened Cheese in the Cal Thomas or Bay Buchanan class -- she is nonetheless a coagulated milk-based product to be reckoned with.  So let's get recking.
    Romney Still Won't Admit Obama is a Socialist
    Time to resort to enhanced interrogation!
    If Barack Obama looks like a socialist
    ...then socialists are tall, handsome dudes with nice pecs.  No wonder they get all the ladies.
     ...walks like a socialist
    ...a skill he learned from Bill Clinton who, during his time at Oxford, interned at the Ministry of Socialist Walks.  Young Clinton was particularly celebrated amongst his fellow Rhodes Scholars for his ability to execute the classic Emmeline Pankhurst with a double reverse Hubert Bland, and finishing off with a half-Laski -- a highly challenging stride that can occasionally result in a rupture.
    ...and talks like a socialist
    ...specifically, George Bernard Shaw, who was also incapable of delivering an epigram without the aid of a teleprompter.  This was a source of some vexation to Shaw, because prior to the development of video technology, speeches were written on player piano rolls, requiring the orator to translate the pattern of punch-holes on the fly.  (Toward the end of his life, however, after addressing the public on countless occasions, Shaw had become so adept at transforming the rapidly scrolling series of perforations into words and sentences that he once boasted, "I don't even see the code anymore," a line which inspired the Wachowskis to write The Matrix.)
    ...he's probably a socialist.
    Oh.  I thought this was going to be one of those "You Might Be a Redneck" jokes.  And I was right.  Zing!  Take that, Katie!
    Between his big spending policies to "stimulate the economy," the government take over of healthcare through ObamaCare, his "spread the wealth around comments," 
    His "not quite knowing how to use quotation marks"...
    his constant class warfare rhetoric and his desire to be more like Europe
    TEACHER:  So, Barry, would you like to be President of the United States some day?

    YOUNG OBAMA:  Actually Ma'm, when I grow up, I want to be a continent.

    TEACHER:  North America?

    YOUNG OBAMA:  No, America has too much gun violence and venereal disease.  I was hoping for something with a rational health care system, high speed rail, and more casual toplessness on TV.
     it's fair to say Barack Obama is in fact a socialist. 
    Just as fair as it is to say that you are in fact a "News Editor."
    But, despite all the evidence, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is unwilling for the second time this year, to classify Obamaas such.
    I'm sure he would have, Katie, but there's just no room in the budget for classification purposes after the GOP pushed through the Bush taxonomy cuts.

    You know, I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.  Then just fucking kill yourself now, and avoid the rush.

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Mayor Mike - The Minions Edition

    By Keith:

    World O' Crap's Special New York Correspondent brings us a Miltonian piece on Mayor Mike's fall from The Man on a White Horse (granted, it was really more of a Shetland pony that had been spray flocked a cottony white using left over Christmas technology, and it made the horse kinda puffy and wooly, so Bloomie really looked more like The Man on a White Sheep -- nevertheless, he took a spill).


    City Hall, November 2009, Office of Mike Bloomberg.

    Chief of Staff: “Your Honor, I believe you’ll want to check your Daily Agenda.”

    MB: “It’ll have to wait. I’m shorting a position here. Margin call, you know.”

    COS: “Well, you have to announce a replacement for the School Board Chancellor. Mr. Klein is leaving at the end of the month.”

    MB: “Where’s he going?”

    COS: “To the Carlyle Group. Or Fox News, I forgot which, sir.”

    MB: “Where’s Carly Fiorina? I thought we were doing a phone conference or something.”

    COS: “Ms. Fiorina is unavailable. Something to do with negotiations with the Blackberry people.”

    MB: “Well, who’s that other broad ... you know, the one at Hearst? The VP. Something black.”

    COS: “That would be Ms. Cathie Black, sir. I’ll arrange an interview right away.”

    MB: “Excellent. Whew! Who would think investing in pork bellies could be so volatile. And now I’ll have a cup of tea, and one of those nice cucumber sandwiches you promised me.”

    COS: “Mr. Bloomberg, there were no cucumbers in the market his morning, sir. I went down twice.”

    MB: “ No cucumbers!”

    COS: “No sir, Not even for ready money.”

    So ends one adventure with commodities, and begins another in the commoditization of public education in the nation’s largest school system.

    Readers, may I introduce you to Ms. Cathie Black? She has no degree in education, or higher education, or anything that might involve education. So in this “special” situation, Ms. Black must require a “waiver” from the State of New York to overcome her deficient qualifications. The waiver comes with a rider --- she must be monitored by someone with at least a Masters Degree in Education. Or at least a high school cafeteria worker. Something.

    Here’s Cathie:



    Well, we know she has a fetish for “dog collars” or whatever costume jewelry strikes her fancy. Cathie didn’t last long after the “Sophie’s Choice” line, but the money-shot: “Can we have some birth-control here?” She lasted two weeks, perhaps three.

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    Post-Friday Beast Blogging: The "What's the Matter With Kansas?" Edition

    As you probably heard, the Kansas Tea Party group, Patriot Freedom Alliance, posted a photo of a skunk on its website, with the caption: "The skunk has replaced the eagle as the new symbol for the President.  It is half black, half white, and almost everything it does, stinks."  Naturally, this did not escape the attention of the cats.
    Riley, of course, is also black and white, and has likewise suffered for it, frequently enduring the unwanted attentions of an amorous French skunk who sees only her saddle shoe color scheme.  But she chooses, as always, to remain dignified, and replies to the Hutchinson, Kansas Tea Partiers by flashing her Malcolm X gang sign, just to mess with 'em.
    =
    Moondoggie is also two-toned, although as a Marmalade he is seldom subjected to racial abuse, and only occasionally faces the threat that a thoroughly pissed English football hooligan will attempt to spread him on toast.  As a result, he remains young and innocent, and his response is to crawl into my lap, gaze into my eyes, and ask, "Why are people so mean?"  Then, when I find myself at a loss to answer this guileless and profound query, he immediately follows it up with, "Why aren't you scratching my butt?"

    From the mouths of babes.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    "I Have Been Acquainted With The Night"

    We generally don't note the passing of show folk around here, except in certain, special circumstances -- say, the deceased happened to be someone we'd savaged repeatedly in Better Living Through Bad Movies -- because that's really more the province of Ivan from Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, or the Fabulous Stacia of She Blogged By Night.  But I was genuinely sorry to hear about the passing of ex-moppet Susan Gordon, at age 62.
    Susan, the daughter of independent filmmaker Bert I. Gordon ("Mr. B.I.G."), was an accidental actress; she filled in for an ailing moppet on Gordon's sci-fi cheapie Attack of the Puppet People (1958), and evidently made a splash.  She'd later appear in three more of her father's films, including her last, Picture Mommy Dead (1966), with Don Ameche and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

    But Susan had a very active career beyond the nepotistic embrace of the Notorious B.I.G.  She was  terrific as Danny Kaye's daughter in The Five Pennies, and memorable in the rare heart-warming Twilight Zone episode, "The Fugitive," in which she played a handicapped girl who befriends J. Pat O'Malley's runaway alien.
    In 1959 she played the Natalie Wood role, opposite Ed Wynn, in an NBC remake of Miracle on 34th Street, broadcast live and in color, and went on to guest star in many familiar series of 1960s, including Playhouse 90, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66, Gunsmoke, and 77 Sunset Strip.

    After she outgrew the moppet stage, Susan went to college, lived in Japan for 13 years, got married, became a mother and grandmother, and earned a Masters in Computer Graphics.

    But to us, she will always be Sandy, The Girl Who Knew Too Much, in Bert I. Gordon's Tormented (1960)  It's one of our favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes -- a Halloween perennial around here -- and in tribute, I've put together a brief compilation of her scenes.

    It's not her best performance -- like all of Bert I. Gordon's efforts, it was done quickly and cheaply, and this film perhaps more so than most, since Mr. B.I.G. had sunk a lot of his own money into it -- but in every sequence she does us the enormous courtesy of blowing Richard Carlson off the screen.  And for that, I will always be grateful.

    Rest in peace, Susan.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Ginni Thomas' Profiles in Courage

    If you've been wondering what passive-aggressive drunk-dialer and pillow talk influence-peddler Ginni Thomas has been doing lately, look no further than today's edition of TheDC Morning, where Jim Treacher obligingly flacks for the obliging flack.

    Since she last irritated the public eye by phoning Anita Hill at the crack of dawn and singing "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man" into her answering machine, Mrs. Thomas has not been idle.  It seems that merely being the wife of a Supreme Court justice and a lobbyist for parties with a financial stake in Supreme Court decisions wasn't sufficiently potent to satisfy her conflict of interest jones, so now Ginni's a journalist as well.  The self-described "self-appointed ambassador to the (GOP) freshmen class and an ambassador to the tea party movement,” is now working the Tiger Beat at the Daily Caller, scoring a series of puff piece interviews with the new meat.

    But let's let Jim tell it in his own, apparently easily imitated, style:
    More bad news for Holder -- Yet another Republican is being mean to him by holding him accountable for his actions.  Matthew Boyle reports:

    Freshman Republican Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida told The Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder's "blatant disregard" for the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious and the subpoenas he's been issued is an affront to the American people.  In an interview with TheDC's Ginni Thomas, Southerland said Holder's apparent failure to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas is an exhibition of his "sense of entitlement"--
    Translation:  "Uppity."
    --by acting like his position is his "stake in life" and that he doesn't "owe anyone for that position..."
    Translation:  Holder is an Affirmative Action hire.  Not really sure what the 'stake in life' thing means.  Perhaps it's a local idiom that doesn't translate well to English.
    Southerland added that he thinks Holder is acting like he's personally guaranteed the position of Attorney General of the United States...
    You know how hard it is to fire an affirmative action baby; at the first whiff of a pink slip they get the NAACP involved.
    ...and isn't showing any regard for answering questions the American people have about Operation Fast and Furious.  "When we're elected, we must thank those that put us here," Southerland said.  
    We must also bitch about how a Congressman's salary really isn't all that great:
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau the median household income in 2009 was $49,177, almost $98,000 less than what a member of the House of Representatives makes. But that's apparently not enough for Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.).

    During a town hall meeting in Florida on Wednesday, when asked about his pay, the congressman told his constituents that his yearly salary of $174,000 was "not so much" -- especially once you account for the number of hours he works, the fact he had to sever ties with his family's funeral home business upon assuming office, and the heightened danger he faces as a public official.

    "By the way, did I mention? They're shooting at us. There is law-enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?" Southerland told his constituents, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. "If you think this job pays too much, with those kinds of risks and cutting me off from my family business, I'll just tell you: This job don't mean that much to me. I had a good life in Panama City."
    Yep, not only are we failing to adequately compensate Steve for the 2½ days a week he he actually shows up for work, but we're too stingy to offer him combat pay, even though this heroic man, like our brave troops, has seen more than his share of death -- primarily due to his inheriting a string of funeral parlors.

    Anyway, sorry for interrupting.  You were saying, Steve?
    "And, when an elected official appoints someone else, they do owe the American people the appreciation of having that position.  So, I find the blatant disregard of answering subpoenas and the stall tactics -- it is really a slap at the American people."
    That's the problem with Affirmative Action babies -- they're ingrates.  But then, you can't be expected to value something unless you've earned it.

    Southerland was clearly made livid by Holder's testimony -- enough to start blowing his dog-whistle as furiously as the Police Sergeant in The Pirates of Penzance -- but racist code words aside, one must defer to his expert judgment.  As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Southerland has been witness to...Oh, he's not?  He wasn't there, grilling Holder like Perry Mason?  Then why the hell are we listening...Well, yeah, I suppose the opinion of the lowest ranking member of the Subcommittee on Nutrition and Horticulture does provide an unusually fresh perspective.

    Back to Jim:
    Remember:  Eric Holder wants the Daily Caller to stop asking Congressmen for their opinions on Fast and Furious and then publishing their answers.
    Actually, the Daily Caller's disgraced "reporter" phoned the nuttier members of Congress out of the blue and demanded to know if they thought Eric Holder should resign.  A few -- among them some of Congress' dimmest lights -- said yes, reasoning they had a 50/50 chance of getting it right.
    AKA the practice of journalism.
    Yep.  Fourth Estate.  Fifth Beatle.  8th Dimension.  What's the diff?
    He does not like it one bit.
    Wait'll you try serving him Green Eggs 'n' Ham.
    Just try to imagine if an Attorney General had behaved like this during, oh, let's say 2001-2009. 
    Then try to imagine that, while "[e]xplaining his role in the botched firing of federal prosecutors, Gonzales uttered the phrase 'I don't recall' and its variants ('I have no recollection,' 'I have no memory') 64 times," including the immortal formulation, "I don't recall remembering."
    The prevailing media reaction would've been a bit different, don't you think?
    Yes, I think you'd have been defending him.  And defaming any Congressman or -woman who asked him a direct question.

    Let's take a quick peek at Ginni's interview before we go...
    Southerland stands out as a real leader with clear vision and strong faith that is tested regularly in the nation’s capital. [...] The Daily Caller’s Ginni Thomas sat down last week with him to hear what makes him tick.

    In this interview, this Freshman says and sees what many others don’t:
    He should stop huffing the leftover embalming fluid.  
    While America is clearly broke, the Obama Administration is “redistributing our wealth” to other nations, according to Southerland, through the Federal Reserve and the IMF.
    It's too bad Rep. Southerland is already married.  I'd love to set him up on a play date with Dr. Laurie Roth.
    Southerland derides the wealth and “money flowing like honey” around Washington, D.C.’s power centers, evidenced by nine construction cranes visible from the U.S. Capitol. 
    While there are some people who might be cheered by signs of increased economic activity -- especially during a prolonged recession -- Steve sees what many others don't, and to him, Prosperity looks like a dead body.
    He would be hard pressed, he said, to find nine in the entire state of Florida.
    But not all economic news is bleak in the Sunshine State!  Thanks to rising rates of malnutrition and suicide, Happy Days Are Here Again in the mortuary industry.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    He Was Actually Saying "Yoo-Hoo!" to Admiral Ackbar

    You may have heard about the shooting in Hollywood on December 9.  Or maybe you didn't -- it's not exactly an uncommon occurrence in the U.S.  In brief:
    26-year-old Tyler Brehm...angrily stalked the Hollywood streets in front of dozens of witnesses, screaming that he wanted to die and firing seemingly at random at passing drivers, unloading close to 20 rounds from what appeared to be a .40 caliber handgun.

    An off-duty officer working at a movie set and a detective confronted and shot him, police said.

    A truck and another car were struck by bullets, leaving two men with minor injuries — one man with a graze wound and another with cuts from broken glass.
    I mention it only because it happened quite close to where we live, and our friend Chris Vosburg was nearly caught up in the mayhem.  As he wrote at the time he took this photo, he was "out running a few errands and wondering what all the copters were about (found out later). Jeez, glad I was too lazy to swing by my bank" [located at the same intersection where the shooting occurred]. "As Marge Gunderson might say, 'gosh, and it’s such a beautiful day.'"

    Also of note, Pam ("Atlas Shrieks") Geller and her circle of Anti-Caliphate Crusaders have apparently decided the Media is concealing Mr. Brehm's secret Muslim identity, because one eyewitness claims he heard the shooter pause in the midst of shouting things like, "kill me!" and "I'm gonna die" to say "allahu akbar."  Which, if you're trying to attract gunfire from an American police officer, sounds like an efficient way to go about it.

    M Bouffant has more on the story: MuslimMuslin Cover-Up.

    The Wrath of Roth

    UPDATED below.

    Spanning the globe...to bring you the constant variety of Wingnut!  The subject of today's scouting report is Dr. Laurie Roth.  Syndicated talk radio host.  Martial arts action hero.  And the next President of the United States!

    Before we plunge into Laurie's plan for Undoing Obama (there is, as the headline notes, "Such much to undo"), let's verify her bona fides, shall we?  Not that I doubt the good doctor's qualifications, for long experience of RenewAmerican has taught me one infallible rule:  the longer the bio, the nuttier the pundit, and Dr. Roth's resume runs a very promising 200 words.  But we'll just hit the highlights:
    Dr. Laurie Roth — the "Annie Oakley" of the airwaves —
    I assume this means she puts on displays of trick marksmanship for her listeners.  "I'm about to shoot at a playing card that's over 50 yards away!  I'm aiming...I'm squeezing the trigger...  (BANG!)  I just put a bullet right through the eye of the suicide king.  Had he known I was taking a bead on him, he probably would have saved himself the trouble of sticking that sword in his head!  Hahaha.  We'll be back after this message from Goldline..."
    is a nationally-syndicated radio talk-show host. She has hosted successful talk shows on radio stations from Boston to L.A. with no shortage of callers.
    No shortage of gentleman callers, anyway...  [Smooths her frock of yellowed voile, then glides across the room with a bouquet of jonquils].
    Laurie has a Ph.D. in counseling and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. If she can't reason with you, you had better duck before the roundhouse kick sends you flying!
    Happily, if she puts you in the hospital with a broken jaw, she won't charge you for the sessions you miss.
    She is a singer/songwriter with five CD albums to her credit, one track which landed her in Billboard's top 40 ranks and on the cover of Cash Box Magazine. She plays the piano, keyboard, and violin and has a voice that can penetrate your very soul.
    Assuming the kicks and the gunfire don't do the trick.  And what is Cash Box Magazine?  Well, apparently "Cashbox (or Cash Box) magazine was a weekly publication devoted to the music and coin-operated machine industries in the USA which was published from July 1942 to November 16, 1996."
    In 1989, Dr. Roth was voted "Most Likely to be Confused With Alannah Myles From a Distance and in Poor Lighting Conditions," while in 1992 she became the first "Miss Coin-Op Laundry" to hold a Doctorate in Counseling, a record that still stands today.
    Laurie recently announced her candidacy for President of the United States as an independent. Her campaign website is www.laurieroth2012.com

    She just published a book titled The People's President, outlining her stances.
    If you hurry, you can still be the first person to review Dr. Laurie's book on Amazon (actually, you can probably take your time -- Jesus's General hasn't even gotten there yet).  Anyway, on to her column...
    Such much to undo--so little time - Time to separate the REAL Americans from the cowards and posers
    Our very country and freedom have been at stake since the Obama regime took over, backed by progressive leftists transforming us into a Marxist Dictatorship 5 steps at a time. 
    Sounds like the way my sister and I played Monopoly after we lost the rule book.
    Was this the "change" some of you signed up for?
    Actually, I signed up for up for Volleyball and Skills Certificate in Business Software Applications.   Have you got a drop slip handy...?
    For starters, we have seen Obama shred the greatest healthcare system on earth
    Well, it's winter -- he had to make a nest out of something...
    insert hidden and draconian taxes
     Because the more draconian a tax, the less likely you are to notice it.  Most historians agree that Colonial Americans weren't even aware of the Stamp Act or the Tea Tax until four determined young people and a Great Dane rolled onto Boston Common in a psychedelic wagon dubbed the Deus ex Mystery Machina.  And Parliament would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids!
     ...force government-approved health insurance, controls, and fines on nearly all Americans, force salaries on doctors, and impose death panels on our seniors, and he is making us all pay for abortions and the care of illegal aliens.
    Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Dr. Roth, Representative Michele Bachmann is standing just behind her, making that "ca-RAZY" rotating-finger gesture beside her head.
    Those are just some of the cancers inserted all through Obamacare.
    Obamacare is like that dry, tasteless "King Cake" you get at Mardi Gras, except instead of a tiny plastic baby doll, you dig around in it until you find a tumor.
    We have watched Obama fulfill another threat to destroy one of America's historical backbones of energy: coal.
    Now Americans are going out of their way to disappoint Santa Claus, just to fuel their barbecues.
     Now he and his minions announce coal plant closures all over the country in the next 18 months, while hurling draconian regulations at power plants. As planned, thousands more will be out of work, utility rates will go even higher, and we will become more dependent on government and international energy sources.
    That sounds awful!  Still, I love it when a plan comes together.
    We are now, eleven months before the November 2012 election-of-all-elections, surrounded by mountain-high lists of impeachable offenses all aimed at Obama. From illegal wars in Libya, to hiring members of the Muslim Brotherhood who work closely with him and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to suing and threatening his own governors for protecting the safety of their citizens.....on we go. I'm dizzy even trying to sort them all out.
    That much is obvious, Doctor, although I might quibble with your grasp of cause and effect.
    Then there is that teensy-weensy problem that causes most "Republicans," "sound-bite conservatives," "most media," and "the House and the Senate" to run for cover at Olympic speed. This is quite a dazzling feat to watch, since while running they are also hurling endless insults and slander against anyone or any group daring to point out Obama's ineligibility.
    I actually have a bit more respect for these people now.  While Obama just hurls draconian regulations, the rest of the team not only hurl endless insults (which sounds exhausting.  Are there relief hurlers they can bring in from the bullpen if you tear a rotator cuff?), but they have to pitch slander while running the 100 meters in 9.58!
    Then there was his arrogant, bravado moment showing America and the world his middle finger of a long-form birth certificate — forgery and total fraud. This was proven by several examiners and experts within hours of the big press revelation to be a total forgery. This was far from "tin helmet" and racism, but out and out crime and fraud.
    A $25 donation to Dr. Roth's Presidential Campaign will buy a much needed thesaurus.
    There was no one patriotic, honest, or brave enough to shine the light of truth on this constitutional and legal emergency, except the brave and gutsy voices in talk radio and online media journals such as the one you are reading now.
    I have to admit, I'm a little curious about Dr. Roth's radio program now.  I imagine it consists largely of random gunshots, and the sound of splintering wood as she breaks boards with her feet while screaming "Forgery!" and "Total fraud!"
    To bring this never-ending saga to the present
    The "seizing of America" plan moves boldly forward. We saw the Senate betray America and vote to permit our military to arrest and detain Americans without charge, indefinitely. Then we saw, per the revelation of a document revealed to the masses by Alex Jones and noted in my last article, the activation of FEMA camps all over the country. Why? I think we are starting to know why, folks.
    I'm generally not in favor of Nanny State regulations, but frankly, I think these were exactly the kind of injuries the Tin Helmet Laws were designed to prevent.

    UPDATE.  Bill S. writes:
    After reading the latest entry in WOC on wingnut Laurie Roth, I decided to see how much truth there was to the claims about her music background. It probably won't come as too much of a surprise that her albums are now out of print. Amazon offers used copies of her debut album -- which was, indeed reviewed in Billboard -- for as low as a penny. The vinyl's slightly pricier, but that's because it's rarer. In any case, the Billboard entry I found online says the album didn't chart.

    As for the claim that "one track landed her in BILLBOARD'S Top 40 ranks", that's almost true.

    She's never had a hit in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 -- or in the bottom 60 of it, either.

    But she has placed a song on Billboard's Dance Music chart, back in 1993. It lasted for 5 weeks, and peaked at #41.

    But this is the best part: it's a remake of the very racy hit by the Mary Jane Girls, "In My House". Unfortunately I can't find it on YouTube (surprising, considering you can find almost anything there), but I wonder why her bio fails to mention that her one and only almost-hit is a sex-laced song made famous by a girl group named for a slang term for marijuana?
    And written, apparently, by Rick James.  Here's Dr. Roth's rendition of "In My House" (Close Encounter Dub Mix):

    Sadly, it's not a music video and she doesn't really sing much, but you do get to hear her panting quite a bit.

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    "Regrand? He Wrote the Score to 'Umbrellas of Cherbourg,' Right?"

    Our roving Hollywood correspondent Chris Vosburg sent me the following report, along with a rare image documenting the actual Birth of a Neologism.  You almost never witness this sort of thing in the wild:

    Snapped with my cellcam this morning at the Car Wash at Vine and Willoughby...
    A new word for us all, can’t wait ‘til this one makes Merriam-Webster:
    Part I like best about this is wondering if the Banner Shop that knocked it out just didn’t care, or tried to talk the customer out of it, or merely figured that it was a perfectly cromulent word.

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Jim Treacher Wants You to Stop Laughing at Ted Haggard!

    As I've mentioned in the past, I receive a diurnal update from Tucker Carlson's slam book, The Daily Caller, entitled -- idiosyncratic kerning in the original -- TheDC Morning.  In this post, back in July, 2010, I speculated that these emails were the anonymous handiwork of Sean "Jim Treacher" Medlock, because they seemed to epitomize his unique Mad Libs style of humor -- mean girl snottiness, culminating in a blank space where the reader is invited to fill in the punchline.

    Jim appeared at the sound of his name, alá Beetlejuice, and informed us that he does not in fact write TheDC Morning.  Okey doke.  For the past few months, however, the thing has not only maintained the same tone of breezy asininity, it's been carrying his byline, so Jim either misled us about his contribution, which is certainly understandable, or TheDCers pulled off an extraordinarily smooth transition.  Or, possibly, the intern who was aping Jim's style eventually went full Single White Female and assumed his identity, and Jim is chained to a wall somewhere like the Forgotten Prisoner of Castlemare.

    But frankly, after reading the most recent update, I suspect that Jim is well and free and cranking it out:
    4.)  One banana sheikh, comin' right up -- It's important to get your daily allotment of fruits and vegetables, right?  Wellllll...  TheDC's Caroline May reports:

    "According to the Bikya Masr news service, an Islamic cleric in Europe has ordered Muslim women to prevent 'sexual thoughts' by staying away from bananas, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, and other phallic produce.  The unnamed sheikh reportedly advises that if women wanted to eat these kinds of food they would need to be cut into smaller pieces, in private, by a man -- preferably a relative -- because the foods 'resemble the male penis' and could 'make them think of sex...'  Bikya Masr reports that Muslims' online responses have been largely negative, with one Muslim noting that the cleric gives Islam 'a bad name' and another encouraging him to quit his post."

    If you think it's racist or inflammatory to report on this, please shut up about how sexually repressed Christians are.
    Racist?  Inflammatory?  Try hilarious, Jim.  Delightful.  A warm, reassuring reminder that deep down we are all alike, and that fundamentalism is funny, no matter what the culture.

    Treacher seems a bit butt-hurt over all the snickering occasioned by America's greatest renewable resource -- evangelical hypocrisy.  Face it, Jim -- sex is funny.  It makes people act irrationally, and like greed, and the desire to avoid embarrassment, is one of the great engines of farce.

    And there are few things more more risible than the spectacle of some ecclesiastical bureaucrat who decides to suppress the human urge to hump by unleashing his awesome Wonder Twin powers of Freudian Obsession and Utter Cluelessness; or when a clerical functionary (or fundamentalist-fellating politician) sets himself up as a moral exemplar, then gets caught with a Rentboy.  I mean, Jesus reserved some of his harshest rhetoric for hypocrites, but I bet even he thought that shit was funny.

    I think the problem is, Treacher is a bit confused between the non-denominational urge to laugh at some bluenose with his pants around his ankles, and telling a Jew Joke.  The former is ludicrous (as witnessed by the reactions of Muslims themselves to the mullah's Prohibitions Against Cheating with the Produce Department), the later is bigotry.  (There is some traditional latitude for intra-group trafficking in ethnic humor, which is why Black people can use the "N" word and Rick Perry can't, Latinos can make jokes that would not be warmly received from the gob of Tom Tancredo, and Americans living in a culture dominated by fundamentalist Christians can feel free to titter when one of them turns up sporting two wetsuits and a dildo.)

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Harry Potter and the Crappy Analogy

    William A. Levinson is new to me, but he's apparently been writing at American Thinker since at least April, bringing his expertise as a Professional Engineer to the culture and political problems of modern America.  And like Father Amorth, he believes there are hidden messages to be found in the Harry Potter canon, although not necessarily from Satan, or your yoga instructor.

    Anyway, let's whet our appetites with a quick squint at his bio:
    William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.
    Okay, now I can't wait to read his insights on YA literature.
    Harry Potter and the Islamization of America

    The success of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series is due largely to the fact that the story contains elements for sophisticated adults as well as teenagers. 
    I suppose children can enjoy the stories on some level too, but most of the people I've seen reading Harry Potter books were sherry-sipping adults wearing boiled shirts and spats.
    The latter can enjoy the magical creatures and battles between wizards, while older readers and viewers can relate to the very real historical events that apparently influenced Rowling's writing. The series' theme is anything but fictional because it happened once and it is happening again.
    Crap, you mean we're going to have to live through the Goblin Rebellions of 1612 again?  I'd better have Jeeves pour us another round of Oloroso.
    Britain's experiences prior to and during the Second World War seem to have influenced Rowling's writing significantly. Her characters believe that the First Wizarding War had ended the menace of Lord Voldemort forever, while the First World War was purportedly the war to end all wars. The First World War also maimed an entire generation of European manhood
    Wow.  Jake Barnes had a lot of company.
    The racial policies of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters make them obvious stand-ins for Hitler and Nazis despite the implications of Godwin's Law.
    Right.  Say, Engineer Levinson, you do realize that Harry Potter is a 4,000 page book series, and not a Usenet thread, right?  Meaning, Godwin's Law doesn't really apply in this case, because I don't think it's actually possible for Jo Rowling to lose an argument she's having with herself.
     (Rowling is in fact on record as saying that she modeled Voldemort with Hitler in mind.)
    Ah, so she's confessed to breaking Godwin's Law.  I'm sure an Auror, or at least a Moderator, will be along shortly to take her into custody.
    The former regard only pure-blooded wizards -- the magical world's counterparts of Aryans -- as equals. A "mudblood," or a wizard with a non-magical parent, is to them an Untermensch (subhuman) whom they are free to abuse or even kill. The movies include Gestapo-like enforcers who bring people in for questioning about their genetic purity, and elimination if they do not meet the standards. The same agenda applies to Muggles or non-magical people.
    That certainly paints an awful picture.  And wouldn't it be ironic if, only a few paragraphs later, you used Rowling's allegory on the horrors of racial profiling to argue that Muslims are inherently violent, dangerous, and a threat to society?  But c'mon...what are the odds of that happening?
    Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge is meanwhile the obvious counterpart of Neville Chamberlain ... Albus Dumbledore, who recognizes Voldemort as a threat from the outset and is ridiculed as a result, is the counterpart of Winston Churchill.
    Despite this obvious comparison, President Obama removed the bust of Albus Dumbledore from the Oval Office.
    The comparison of Voldemort to Hitler can be taken only so far because the First World War was not started by Nazis or even by Imperial Germany.
    There's nothing like watching a Professional Engineer construct an argument.  Well, it's maybe a little like walking in on my 5-year old sister as she was trying to assemble my Mousetrap! game, but otherwise -- sui generis, baby. 
    What is far more important is the parallel between the denial in Rowling's stories, the denial that preceded the Second World War, and today's denial of the menace of Islamization. This makes Harry Potter a good teaching tool for teenagers and young adults. It's a fictional story, but it is also the story of something very real that took place more than 70 years ago as well as things that are happening in the world today.
    So Harry Potter is a fictional version of "Islamization," which is what you'd get if The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was non-fiction?
    Dolores Umbridge is among the more memorable villains of the series. She threatens to punish any student who talks about Voldemort, and she punishes Harry Potter for insisting that he has returned. Umbridge's real-world counterparts abound in European countries, universities, and even the U.S. Government. They punish or ridicule as an "Islamophobe" anybody who depicts militant Islam as a menace to Civilization.
    So Voldemort is Hitler, who was evil because he falsely painted the Jewish people as the enemies of Christian society, and oh, by the way, have you heard the Muslims are out to destroy Civilization?  And all of it, too, not just the game by Sid Meier.
    Danish Member of Parliament Jesper Langaballe [sic] for example pled guilty to hate speech for saying accurately that rape and honor killings are frequent among Muslim families. "Under Danish jurisprudence it is immaterial whether a statement is true or untrue. All that is needed for a conviction is that somebody feels offended."
    Actually, according to Langballe's own apologia, what he said was, "Of course Lars Hedegaard should not have said that there are Muslim fathers who rape their daughters when the truth appears to be that they make due with killing their daughters (the so-called honour killings) and leave it to their uncles to rape them."

    Whether these remarks are criminal under Danish law is something best left to a Danish court (although I will note that while Harry endured daily torture and mutilation rather than retract his statements about Voldemort, Mr. Langballe pre-empted his trial by confessing), I think it's safe to say that Rowling's "Churchill," Albus Dumbledore, would consider them criminally rude.

    The once-respectable Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has meanwhile joined the ranks of politically correct thought police and mind guards. The Daily Prophet denounced Harry Potter as "the boy who lies" for testifying accurately that Voldemort murdered one of Harry's classmates while ADL has similarly denounced Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) as Islamophobes. "The organization, led by Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, warns of the encroachment of Shari'a, or Islamic law, and encourages Muslims to leave what it describes as the 'falsity of Islam.'"
    I'm having a bit of trouble following along here, Engineer Levinson, maybe you can walk me through it.  Hitler made false claims about the Jews (such as "He has never founded any civilization, though he has destroyed civilizations by the hundred") and tried to exterminate them in the interests of Aryan supremacy.  Voldemort and his henchmen also trafficked in lies, and murdered and imprisoned vast numbers of people in the service of some demented notion of racial purity.  They're the Bad Guys, right?

    Spencer and Geller (and Langballe, who said, "Islam and Christianity cannot be reconciled. And they haven't been able to during the 1500 years that Islam has been in existence. I see the religion Islam as a threat to any society where it settles"), claim that Islam is a false religion which seeks to destroy our civilization.  And they're...the Good Guys?  Or am I confusing them with that defunct chain of West Coast consumer electronics stores?
    A phobia is an irrational fear of an imaginary danger. This video from Hamas says "we will annihilate the Jews," speaks of becoming "masters of the world," and later talks about "laying the cornerstone for the ruling of the world by an Islamic leadership." 
    Right, but if just claiming you're going to become "Master of the World" means that it's true, shouldn't we already be ruled by Fu Manchu, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Dr. Clayton Forrester, or Vincent Price?
    "Eat my dust, Hamas!"
    The last ideology that talked about annihilating Jews and ruling the world meant every word it said, and it killed about forty million people (including about seven million of its own in the end) before the civilized world stopped it. 
    And the best proof of this serious, real world, existential threat to the free world is this series of children's books about a Boy and His Wand.
     Voldemort at least had the good sense to conceal his existence as long as possible, and Hitler also pretended to seek peace to put the rest of the world off its guard.
    Yep.  If there's one thing you can say for Hitler -- he was subtle.
    Militant Islam on the other hand makes no secret of its agenda, and it even calls the non-Islamic world the Dar el-Harb: the House of War. When somebody calls you a harbi (enemy), it is generally a good idea to take him at his word and treat him accordingly.
    Point a stick at him and bellow "Expelliarmus!"
    The Harry Potter series also addresses a widespread unwillingness to call the enemy by name. Even Voldemort's enemies usually call him "He Who Must Not Be Named," 
    Because "Ultraman," "Miss Congeniality," and "Master-Blaster" were already taken.
    The Ideology That Must Not Be Named has declared openly its intention to destroy our civilization, freedom, and way of life. It also has a name, and that name is militant Islam.
     Just don't say its name five times into a mirror, or you'll wind up covered in bees.