Friday, June 29, 2012

Bryan Fischer: I Never Said I Didn't Believe in SOCIAL Darwininsm!

Reader Bob was kind enough to call our attention to this timely column by radio rant show host Bryan Fischer, who -- just this once! -- puts aside his usual anti-gay crusade to solve the problem of rising health care costs.  (I don't want to give away the ending, but it involves you making a series of spectacularly stupid and ultimately fatal choices, beginning with your decision to read a column by Bryan Fischer.)
Bryan Fischer: Bringing down health care costs so easy a caveman could do it.
Well, first off, it appears that Bryan has confused those politically correct Neanderthals offended by the use of troglodyte stereotypes to sell car insurance, with the lizards and domestic fowl which act as spokesmodels for life insurance companies.


Oetzi the Ice Age Mummy says, "In my day, we didn't have government mandated health care, and yet somehow I managed to climb nine thousand feet into the Alps, despite arthritis and a bad case of whipworm.  In fact, I used to be an adventurer like yourself, until I took an arrow in the knee."
If we want to bring down the cost of health care, it’s easy. What we lack is not the way but the will.

The way is simple.
The simplest solution is usually the correct one, and the nice part is, Occam's Razor can also be used to lance boils, shave off cancerous moles, and perform other money-saving forms of self-surgery!
First, eliminate the federal requirement that hospitals have to treat any patient who shows up. That’s the place to begin.
Well, if that's the solution, then we'll probably have to begin outside, since we'll need to clear a space where we can stack the bodies of untreated coronary and gunshot victims like cordwood.  I suggest we mark off a section of the parking lot with traffic cones (there'll be fewer visitors anyway) or maybe tear out those shrubs near the ER entrance.
Get government out of telling hospitals who they have to do business with.
Maybe this whole business model is flawed to begin with, and instead of dealing with sick people, hospitals should be doing business with Fiberglass insulation manufacturers, or novelty gearshift knob wholesalers.
There is simply no way to control the cost of health care if hospitals are obligated to provide healthcare to all regardless of their ability to pay.
It's Economics 101.  Taking a commodity and making it rare and something that only the rich can afford is the best way to drive down prices.
How long would a mechanic last if he was required to fix every automobile anybody brought to his shop, regardless of ability to pay? He’d be broke and out of business in a week, and pretty soon there would be no mechanics for anybody. We’d all be riding bikes to work.
Is the mechanic tax exempt, like a non-profit hospital?  Does he accept automobiles on Medicare or Medicaid?  Do our car insurance premiums go up if he performs an emergency water pump replacement on an indigent 1977 AMC Gremlin?  And if mechanics are treating cars like people, does that mean doctors get to start treating patients like cars?  ("I'm afraid your father has a faulty heart valve.  Now, we can replace it, and you might get a few more years out of him, but between the parts and labor, you're better off junking him for the scrap value.")
People need medical care, you will say. Right. People need to eat, too. How long would a grocer stay in business if he was required to offer food to everyone who walked in the door regardless of their ability to pay? He’d be broke in a week, and then nobody would have food.
Or the government could issue Food Stamps, thereby permitting poor people to feed their children, while simultaneously allowing Mr. Drucker to maintain his quaint corner grocery and continue to live the Hooterville Dream.

But I think I see where you're heading with this Bryan, and I have to admit, between the starvation and the withholding of medical care, you may have finally solved the problem of our permanent underclass.

There was no such emergency room law prior to the one Ronald Reagan - yes, that smaller government, government-is-not-the solution Ronald Reagan - signed in 1986. For the first 200 years of our life as a republic, hospitals through charity and charitable donations offered health care to the neediest among us, and did so without anybody having to order them to do it.
It's baffling that Congress would go to the trouble of drafting and passing a law -- let alone that Reagan of all people would sign it -- to solve a problem that didn't exist.  But then, I felt the same way about the Clean Water Act, since for the first 200 years of our republic, polluting industries were scrupulous about saving their noxious effluent in Mason jars in the basement, much like Howard Hughes' bowel movements.

Anyway, I don't remember anybody worrying about doctor bills prior to 1986, although that could just be the result of this untreated head injury.
Most hospitals were started by Christians or Christian organizations, and will find a way to offer care to the indigent whether the federal government is standing over them with a cudgel or not.
I always thought Community Health Systems, Inc. was a huge, for-profit corporation, but apparently it's an order of Carmelite nuns who rebranded.
The American people, because of the spirit of Christianity, are the most generous people on earth, which they prove time after time when disasters hit anywhere in the world. Let’s not insult our own people by saying they are not generous and compassionate enough to help the needy with medical care.
So if you need a couple thousand dollars to get that abscess taken care of before you die of blood poisoning, just organize a telethon for yourself, or persuade Bob Geldolf to write a song about you.
Health insurance should be for emergencies, not routine maintenance. We don’t expect auto insurance to cover oil changes and tire rotations.
And that analogy would work brilliantly, if people were born with warranties.  ("I'm sorry, Bill.  If we'd detected your cancer earlier, we could have done something, but now, well...it's 25 Years or 25,000 Miles and you're 26 and a half.  Your parents should've bought the Extended Warranty when you were zygote.")
 It’s there for accidents. And so health insurance should not be there for checkups but for major events.
This may come as a blow to insurance companies, who often prefer to pay for mammograms rather than mastectomies, and prescription birth control rather than pregnancies, because they're cheaper, but if we're going to make Bryan's plan work, we're all going to have share the pain.
If people paid out of pocket for all medical expenses up to a high deductible, they’d be much more careful about their use of medical services and they’d take better care of themselves in the meantime. The cost of medical services would come down as health care providers lowered prices to attract business.
Having a heart attack?  Master the Art of the Deal and meet the Hospital's fee schedule with a low-ball counteroffer, then watch 'em sweat!

In the meantime, I look forward to the day when Big Pharma, desperate for business, is forced to open the equivalent of those "day old" bakery outlets, where they'll sell stale and expired medication at marked down prices.
Consumers would have an incentive to take good care of their own health and use medical services sparingly, because every dollar they save they get to keep.
Well, "keep" in the sense that it'll go right into your health savings account.  "Sorry, son, I wanted to save for your college education, but I had to put that money away in case I needed a hip replacement.  But don't be mad -- the joke's on me, right, since the bank just failed.  Oh well, good thing I never had to do that Sophie's Choice thing like your uncle Jim did, when both his kids were in a car accident and he could only afford to save one.  I know that was a tough decision, but I still think he shouldn't have done it with a coin flip.  At least, not in the Gift Shop."
Right now, employees using employer-provided insurance have zero incentive to reduce the use of medical services. In fact, the incentive, perversely, is the other direction. Employees who make healthy lifestyle choices and rarely need medical care wind up with nothing to show for it, other than higher premiums to pay for other employees who don’t look after themselves.
No offense, Bryan, but wages are stagnant in this country, and if my employer isn't giving me a raise this year, then I'm gonna take it out in free colonoscopies.
Third, get rid of all government-mandated coverage requirements.
Honestly, you can probably get five, maybe six uses out of a good hypodermic needle before it's too dull to break the skin.
A huge driver of the cost of insurance is that government regulators, including Benito Obama with MussoliniCare
...have a policy of hanging all patients upside down by their heels, which is pricy, although admittedly effective for lower back problems and gout.
...require insurance companies to cover a host of treatments, whether the consumer has any interest in them or not. 
 Many people are under the misimpression that insurance companies routinely attempt to breach their contract with policyholders by denying coverage, because it pays off financially -- sick people often being too sick to fight back.  In truth, it's because insurers are the only entities in the health care industry who are willing to stand up and defend your leisure time hobbies and interests.  Sure, some doctor might think you need "emergency surgery" to repair your "ruptured femoral artery," but what if your insurance agent realized, during the ten minutes you spent together in his cubicle while you signed the paperwork, that your interests and aptitudes really ran more toward getting a pressure bandage and a quick trip in a wheelchair back to the loading zone?
 Let’s allow insurance companies to offer a range of packages and allow consumers, cafeteria style, to decide what kind of coverage they want.
Hey, we still can't do this with our cable channels, even though giving up ESPN or the Game Show Network isn't nearly as likely to kill you.
If they will never resort to acupuncture, why should they be forced to pay for it?
Exactly.  I'm pretty confident I can predict, with 100% accuracy, what kind of accidents and diseases I'm going to suffer, and the only thing I need to insurance against is having my soft palate impaled on a scale model of a church steeple, like Timothy Dalton in Hot Fuzz.
Highly paid lobbyists get state regulators to mandate coverage for all sorts of things, whether it’s psychiatric care or chiropractic care, that many consumers would not purchase if the choice was left up to them. 
I'd recommend that Bryan consider checking the "psychiatric care" box on his insurance coverage menu, but as D.Sidhe has pointed out in the past, there's a difference between being an asshole and being crazy, and like the common cold, there is no cure for being an asshole.
Let’s get employers out of the health-care-providing business and let them give the money they spend on premiums to their employees in the form of raises.
Or to themselves in the form of bonuses. Either way, it'll be a glorious blow to Big Chiropractic.
I flat out guarantee you that employees who are spending their own money will be more frugal about the choice of insurance products than their employers are.
Hell, I have insurance, of a sorts, through Mary, and I've still been putting off back surgery for the past three years because we can't make the deductible.  But imagine how much for frugal I could be, with the right disincentives!
If ObamaCare is shot down by the Supreme Court, as it certainly should be, the possibility of major health care reform will be sitting right in front of us. We can preserve the status quo, which nobody likes or should like, or we can make reforms that will reduce costs and improve access to health care for every American for decades to come. It will be time to choose. Let’s choose wisely.
I'm sure Bryan has heard the bad news by now, and, considering his passion for the subject, is undoubtedly taking it hard.  I'd like to help, and considered buying him a box of tissues (the nice soft ones, with Vitamin E and aloe), but alas, I also expected the Supreme Court to overrule the Affordable Care Act, so most of my money is tied up in Burial Insurance, and there are substantial penalties for early withdrawal.

 All in all, an elegant solution, Bryan...but as usual, Mystery Science Theater 3000 got there first.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kyle-Anne Has a Freak-Out Up to Ten Years Later.

Hey guys, it's our old friend, Kyle-Anne Shiver (last seen here, giving Newt Gingrich a papal dispensation for adultery, and predicting he'd make a huge splash and zoom head-first into the White House like a kid on a Slip 'n Slide, assuming the kid was an ossified Troll doll, and the vinyl runner was lubricated with the effusions of female voters made moist by a genteel but dashing Southern cavalier who knows how to accept a parking lot hummer in a courtly fashion).

Today Kyle-Anne is getting estimates on America repairs, so let's listen in on her conversation with the Service Manager, then maybe enjoy a complimentary Styrofoam cup of overbrewed Yuban, and see if Judge Judy's on in the waiting room.
Is This Republic Worth Saving?
Now that Kyle-Anne has some free time, after her column was dropped by Creators Syndicate, I'm glad to see that she's bringing back the old "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" feature from the Ladies Home Journal, except with bitterness and tricorn hats.
There's been a great deal of talk lately on the likely demise of this Grand Republic of ours.
In fact, I was talking about it just yesterday with the clerk at the OTB (I took Collapse of the American Experiment in Self-Government to win, but bet the Grand Republic would cover the spread).
Very wise and scholarly Americans have taken to opining publicly on the dire state of things, all asking the basic question, "Can this Republic be saved"?
As long as we're reporting the opinions of mythical creatures, I'd like to know if the Loch Ness Monster agrees with Louisiana private schools that her existence debunks the theory of evolution, and if Sasquatch has volunteered a contrary opinion.
Some historians have compared our current plight to that of the Roman Empire in its fall-apart days.
Specifically, Edward Gibbon in his History of the Decline and Fall-Apart of the Roman Empire.
 Some Hollywood doomsayers point to the end date of the Mayan calendar: 2012.
But did we listen?  No.  For in Matthew Mark 6:4 we read:

"And Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country."
And Justus, that is Joseph, who is called Barshabbâ said, "Dost thou mean thyself, Lord?"
And Jesus said unto him, "Actually, no, I was just talking about Roland Emmerich."
Biblical prophecy experts see an apocalyptic climax forming.
That's what she said.  They also see a low-pressure system forming, so the Five Day Forecast calls for gusty winds and showers tapering off toward the weekend.
Sociologists study the decline in marriage, the tsunami of out-of-wedlock childbirth, the failed public education system, the rising disparity between rich and poor and come to the conclusion that without desperate measures, America cannot sustain herself.
Our Strategic Marriage Reserve is almost depleted, and with the panic buying of licenses and long lines forming at Vegas wedding chapels, local government officials and ordained Elvis impersonators are considering going back to that odd-even license plate system.  Worse still, insurance rates in California skyrocketed after the last major Pacific Rim earthquake, when low lying coastal regions were devastated by a massive rogue wave of Pampers-wearing bastards (even in places like Indonesia, where recovery is underway, you can still see the high baby mark on many of the buildings).
 Demographers point to drastically declined birth rates in every outpost of Western Civilization and remind us that demography is destiny; without new citizens civilization itself is unsustainable.
How do we combine a tsunami of out-of-wedlock childbirths with a drastic decline in birth rates?  Who cares?  All you need to know is that we're passing the savings on to you!  (Okay, okay, before the FDA gets on our back, we'll disclose that for the purposes of this bitchfest, declining white births are considered a social pathology, while increasing minority births are a natural disaster -- so the Secret Ingredient is Racism!  But don't tell the kids it's good for them.)
 Meanwhile, political polarization grows more and more heated and less restrained.
Kyle-Anne, we've had our differences, but I do appreciate your willingness to show restraint, lower the partisan temperature, and strive for a more calm and evenhanded approach.
 Things seem to be reaching fever pitch here at home while communists and Islamofascists join forces for war games in the Middle East.
And they never let poor America play in any communist/Islamofascist games -- now Uncle Sam knows how Rudolph felt.  This leaves us with only two possible responses: we can deploy overwhelming air power, or a peppy Gene Autry ballad.
Wise watchers see an ominous similarity between pre-WWII economic conditions and rising totalitarian political systems, warning that what happened then could be about to repeat itself -- this time, with nuclear weapons.
Instead of sending billions of Euros to Greece, the German Central Bank will send V-2 rockets tipped with Heisenberg-built atomic bombs.  Personally, I can't see it, but who am I to argue with brainy voyeurs?
In short, this looks scary as hell, foreboding in the extreme, and it would surely take a ninny of historic imbecility not to at least be quite angst-ridden over the future.

So, can this Republic be saved?

Well, of course, it can.
I have to admit, I wasn't expecting Kyle-Anne to join the Ninnies of Historic Imbecility for a Non-Angst-Ridden Future, but maybe they've got one of those spiffy K-cup coffee makers in the Break Room, or their Ladies Auxiliary is really active in League Bowling.
The real question for every American citizen ought to be: Is this Republic worth saving?
Well, it's got sentimental value, but when you add up all the parts and labor, you're probably better off just leasing a new 2012 Oligarchy. 
If the vast majority of us do not answer that question in the affirmative --with all the guts and gusto we've got -- then there isn't one chance in hell that this Republic can be saved.
And we'll slide into anarchy, knowing in our hearts that we didn't drink all the Schlitz we were capable of.

Kyle-Anne will now interrupt her Socratic dialogue on the viability of our system of Constitutional governance in order to have an acid flashback.
You see him -- whether you want to or not -- just about every single day on television, on the internet, standing at the teleprompter, jiving on late-night comedy hours, delivering his lines in the Rose Garden, yucking it up with brainless movie stars, leaking national security secrets, pontificating on his final-4 basketball picks, spinning tall tales about his "roots" narrative, throwing coming-out parties, juking onstage with Paul McCartney, playing golf, golf, golf, and more golf.
Bob Hope?  Billy Graham?  Sam Snead?
You've seen him at the Vineyard. You've seen him in the surf in Hawaii.
Bruce the Shark?  Kam Fong as Chin Ho?
You've seen him in flip-flops, sipping Slurpees, playing ping-pong on the Continent. You've seen him bowing to dictators and chatting it up with banana-republic warlords. You've seen him giving the "President of Cool" wink, nod and shout-out to adoring groupies. You've seen him on The View, yak-yak-ing with Whoopi and Barbara. You've seen him on Oprah. You've seen him singing the praises of Solyndra, even as owners prepare to shut it down and laugh all the way to the bank with your millions.
Waldo?  Is it Waldo?... No?  Carmen Sandiego?  The Travelocity Gnome?
You've see him in all his "Choom Gang" glory announcing this or that czar's plan (You thought he devised the plans? It's the czars stupid!) to ignore the rule of law and unilaterally bypass democratically-passed statutes.
Haile Selassie!
You've seen him pretending to get Bin Laden all by himself. You've seen this president pivot to jobs so many times that your head is spinning. You've seen him role-play a chief executive claiming executive privilege to cover for his Department of Injustice.
Art Fleming?  Art Linkletter?  Art Metrano?
And this now-going-on-four-long-years spectacle of an Eddie Haskell presidency is what it looks like, my fellow Americans -- wait for it -- when a Grand Republic does not want to save itself. This is what it looks like when a going-on-250-year-old Republic decides to elect a celebrity B.S. artist pretending to be a statesman.
Jerry Mathers?  Mike Lookinland?  That kid from The Courtship of Eddie's Father?
This governance by a committee of nitwits deemed czars, with an actor playing the role of Commander in Chief/Chief Executive of the U.S.A., is nothing but a poseur-presidency for the cosmic-joke record books.  You couldn't make a movie out of it because this truth is too strange to pass the "suspension of disbelief" test for good fiction.
No, doy, now I really feel stupid.  (Sigh)  Okay, let's flip over all the cards..
And there is not a single American who was eligible to vote in 2008, who does not bear at least some of the blame for it.
Oh, I can intuit what you patriotic, conservative, McCain/Palin voters are thinking right this minute.

You're probably thinking in terms of those tacky, childish bumper stickers that read: Don't Blame Me! I voted for the other guy!

And you call yourselves patriots?

Oh, please. That excruciating sound you just heard came from a heavenly realm, where all the millions of Americans who've died to make you free let out one unrestrained, in-perfect-concert, cosmic scream of utter disgust and frustration.
When did the the Heavenly Choir start doing a Philip Glass medley?  Anyway, if you truly respected the sacrifice of these Americans who died to ensure your right to vote, you'd admit it didn't work, and save them from having made a really stupid and futile gesture by putting down that ballot, picking up a gun, and shooting at any suspected Democrats or Independents who approached the polling place.
You want to call yourself an American patriot? Then, speak up now or prepare to perish.

President Barack Obama has the keys to your kingdom only because too many "patriots" sat on your hands and applied duct tape to your mouths in 2008.
The patriots apparently mistook me for Liam Neeson's daughter in Taken.
You went to family gatherings and listened politely to your liberal-ninny wives, daughters, nieces and nephews babble on incessantly about their "Obama crush."
Hey, if you're going to practice polygamy, you've got to allow for a broad spectrum of political opinion in the home -- take it from one who knows. And to be fair, some of the sister-wives are moderate-ninnies.
You paid for junior and junior-ette to go to those liberal indoctrination centers, euphemistically called "colleges," to imbibe the Obama Koolaid and you stood around with your mouths agape while they prepared to cast votes that would all-but-kill your own country. And you said nothing!
Well...not nothing. I did say, "You know, it's not easy these days, putting your kids through liberal indoctrination center, and you'd do your old dad a big favor if you could switch from Kool-Aid to a less expensive powdered drink mix, like Funny Face, or Alba 66."
Instead, you went home, got on your PC, went to some conservative chat-room and let off your steam with your flying fingers. For nothing.
C'mon, give me a little credit -- paysites can cost over 29.95 a month.  And Free Republic is not that easy to masturbate to.
You showed up at dinners and cocktail parties and social gatherings of all kinds
...passing myself off as Sally Quinn.
...with old friends, and allowed them to prattle on about Barack-this and Barack-that -- his alluring dark skin, his preacher-man voice, his GQ look, his exotic, B.S. "narrative," his cool, his posh -- every single thing about him but his sorry-as-good-for-nothing character and empty resume. And what did you say to those 52% about to give this poseur the keys to your kingdom? Nothing!
It was my first key party, and I was too shy to make small talk.
Instead, you put their 'ittle feelings above your freedom and went home to blast out an email of frustration to your favorite conservative columnist. Wow. That's surely the modern equivalent of Paul Revere's courageous ride and crossing the Delaware with dysentery and frost-bitten toes.
If, while sitting at your PC and letting off your steam with your flying fingers, you'd paused long enough to have diarrhea, it would have been a lot more patriotic.
Gotta run now. There's a neighbor lady two doors down who still thinks Barack is cool and that cool makes a country go, and I'm about to clue her in with the most calmly insulting tirade I can conjure -- over coffee.
Yeah, I'd recommend hitting Starbucks on the way, Kyle-Anne; you may be leaning on that doorbell for awhile.
Happy hunting, my fellow Americans.

It's sort of like if the League of Women Voters adopted Charles Whitman as their cartoon mascot.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequently ranting American commoner. And darned proud of it, too.
That's the way, Serfette, loud 'n proud. But once the feudal system has been completely restored, we'll see how much surplus breath you have free for rants when you're crotch-deep in His Lordship's cranberry bog.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Like Father, Like Son? Think About It, Won't You?

By Bill S.

Well, I've had a mostly swell vacation week, and today marks the last day before I head back to the daily grind. Ideally I'd prefer to spend it at the pool, but Friday I got a special surprise of a sunburn so severe that affected areas resemble bubble wrap, that hurts like (insert every profanity in your vocabulary), so I'm a bit soured on even leaving my house at the moment.

Which gives me time to devote to a column I'd originally intended as an extra Father's Day gift -- a look at a holiday-appropriate cinema classic. I didn't get around to it last week, and though the holiday has passed and reviewing it now seems apropos of nothing, I watched the damn thing three times (well, two and a half times) and I don't want that time, and the notes I took down, to go to waste. So sit back, grab a refreshing beverage of your choice, and return with me to the year 1987, to relive that classic examination of father-son relationships, titled, fittingly, Like Father, Like Son.  Here's the poignant trailer:

Or maybe not.  Anyway, Like Father, Like Son was part of a wave of "Body Swap" movies that also included Vice Versa, Dream A Little Dream, and 18 Again!

What distinguishes Like Father, Like Son from the rest of the pack is that it has actually won awards -- two to be exact. It took home the prestigious "Young Artist Award for Best Family Motion Picture-Comedy". The other award went to its star, Kirk Cameron, who took home the Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, in the category "Best Performance by a Younger Actor"*. Having watched this movie three times (well, two and a half times), I will concede it contains Kirk's finest performance. Which is to say, he approaches a degree of competence that could be described as serviceable, for the purpose of the role as written. Sure, Sean Astin, who plays his horndog buddy, is still a better actor, and Micah Grant, as the obnoxious jock, is considerably better looking, but this movie really belongs to its star. I can think of no higher endorsement for it than to declare, "It features Kirk Cameron at his most adequate!"

The script is credited to a Lorne Cameron. I don't know if they're related, but I can tell you the script contains some mild profanity and sexual situations, which makes me think Kirk took this role before he underwent his transformation from blandly inoffensive teen idol to a douchebaggian wackjob who considers a stage kiss an act of marital infidelity.

Our story begins in scenic Death Valley. An old man, whom we later learn is named Earl, staggers through the desert with a badly injured leg, and collapses. A young, bare-chested Navajo discovers him, throws him over his shoulder, and carries him for what appears to be miles and miles, to a remote hut, where an elderly medicine man and a hot young Navajo woman attend to Earl's wounds. Earl cries repeatedly, "My leg! My leg!", which annoys the Medicine man as much as it does us, so he gives Earl a mysterious potion, and, as the young Navajo looks into Earl's eyes, the two of them swap bodies. This allows Earl's leg to heal without him feeling any pain, which is great for him, but surely sucks for the poor shmuck who switched bodies with him. After time, he takes the potion, they lock eyes again, and they return to each other's bodies. Earl is amazed by this whole experience, and the Medicine man gives him a bottle of the potion as a souvenir.

Cut from this to the home of the Hammonds. In an inexplicably dark room, Jack (Dudley Moore), a widowed doctor, is endlessly tutoring his teenaged son Chris (Kirk Cameron) on the human heart. Jack, who attended Oxford at 16, is hoping Chris will follow in his footsteps and become a doctor, but the boy seems disinterested, or maybe that's just his usual facial expression. The next day, in class, Chris tries to give a report on the heart, but his fellow students are as bored as he was, and it doesn't go over well. As he and his buddy Trigger (Sean Astin) exit class, Chris spots Lori, whom he's crushing on. We wonder why he has trouble approaching her, until he observes, "How can she stand to be so close to her own body without feeling herself up?" and we realize she, and probably every other female on the planet, probably finds him utterly repellent. This turns out to be true, as his attempt to invite her to "a concert"(no band name is mentioned at all during this scene) fall flat until her boyfriend, Rick, arrives, acting like a jerk. Thanks to this bit of lucky timing, she decides to accept his invitation to the concert, to make Rick jealous. The fact that Chris asks out a girl who doesn't particularly like him, has a boyfriend, and only accepts to make said boyfriend jealous -- none of which seems to bother him in the slightest -- lend great insight into his character. He is one insufferable little snotwaffle.

Meanwhile, Jack is making his rounds at the hospital, being particularly strict and stuffy with his interns. Jack is in line for a job as chief of staff, and his chances rest on his boss, Dr. Armbruster, a total douchebag who's strict about whether patients have insurance. This doesn't sit well with another doctor, Amy Larkin (Catherine Hicks), who's more concerned with giving everyone the Best Care Possible. Amy is the only likable person in the movie, and we expect a romance to bloom between her and Jack, but that would mean the screenwriter actually cared about the plot. Instead, Jack catches the eye of Arbruster's ridiculously young, hot wife Ginnie (Margeret Colin), who might be able to help Jack get that promotion if he plays his cards right.

While Jack is a dedicated doctor, Chris is grossed out by frog dissections. He's more interested in running, as part of the school's mile relay team, but he clashes with Rick, who's also on the team. He asks why they can't just get along, which is a stupid question considering he hit on Rick's girlfriend (remind me again why we're supposed to like this guy?).

After learning he's gotten a "C" on his latest test, Chris stresses out about how he'll break the news to his dad. Trigger diverts his attention from this by telling him about his Uncle Earl and the "brain transference serum" he brought back with him on his latest visit. Chris is understandably skeptical, until Trigger arrives at the house later with a bit of the serum, which he smuggled out of Earl's room in a small Tabasco Sauce bottle. I don't know where he found a funnel small enough. In any case, he demonstrates the serum's effectiveness by giving some to the Hammond's Calico cat Seymour, and setting him in front of the family dog. Sure enough, the dog starts meowing, the cat chases him upstairs, and the maid wonders what the hell is going on, and we wonder where they found a male Calico cat. Jack arrives home, and Trigger stashes the bottle in the kitchen cabinet, presumably in case the doctor tries to give him a strip search. Chris breaks the news about the low grade, and the father and son erupt into an argument, during which Jack decides it's time to mix a Bloody Mary. He unwittingly grabs the Tabasco Sauce bottle with the serum in it, adds it to the drink and continues arguing with Chris. In mid-debate, they swap brains. This is signified by some really annoying spooky music and the actors reacting with rubbery facial expression of utter confusion. (From this point on, Jack is portrayed by Kirk Cameron, and Chris is played by Dudley Moore) Upon realizing they've swapped bodies, Chris whimpers, "Dad, I'm old" And British, because even though they've swapped bodies, they haven't swapped accents. To be fair, it's unlikely Kirk could imitate a funny Englishman if a gun was put to his head, but, couldn't they at least have TESTED that method?

In any case, Jack is furious, and demands to know how this can be fixed. Trigger tells him Earl's already left but he'll try to track him down. Meanwhile,they'll just have to wait out the next series of contrived plot situations. As Jack remains home, stewing, Chris realizes he has his Dad's credit cards. This inspires him to behave like an idiot. He sneaks out to Trigger's house, awakening his parents, and invites Trigger for a night on the town. The two take off, charging up a storm, buying new clothes, stacks of CD's, and porno magazines, from stores with signs that read "Wow", and "Fun Stuff". Finally they arrive at a bar, where Chris is able to order a martini but Trigger isn't. While his buddy is off trying to hit on women who wouldn't walk across a room to spit on him, Chris runs into Ginnie, who of course, thinks she's talking to Jack. They flirt back and forth, Ginnie asks when she might drop by his house for a more intimate encounter, he leaves an open invitation, and things seem to be going well until Trigger shows up and frightens her away. After spending the rest of the night getting plastered, Chris arrives home, crashes the car in the yard, and then passes out. In the morning, Jack, in his bedroom, and Chris, still in his car, wake up, realize they're still in each other's bodies, and scream. Then Jack finds out what Chris has been up to and grounds him. (We never find out what Trigger's parents think about the fact that their teenaged son took off in the middle of the night with a man in his 40's and came home with a new wardrobe and porno mags. Apparently this sort of thing happens all the time.)

Since Jack can't go to work, what with his idiot son using his body at the moment, he instructs Chris to call in sick and refer patients to another doctor. Meanwhile, he decides to go to school, in the hopes that he'll be sufficiently bright enough to bring his son's grades up. Chris is upset about this and protests loudly. From what we've seen of Chris' social skills, it's hard to imagine Jack could do worse, but in class he winds up droning on endlessly, annoying everybody.

Meanwhile at home, Chris becomes bored just sitting around watching the MTV, and loses track of time, calling into the hospital a half hour later than he was supposed to. After the maid leaves he has the house to himself and blasts the stereo. At that very moment, Armbruster arrives at the house (after all, what else would he need to do in the middle of the day?), and, orders Chris to come to the hospital. Needless to say, he has no idea what he's doing during rounds, and makes an ass of himself at the boardroom meeting where he starts a small fire when he's unable to figure out how to smoke a cigarette (is he supposed to be 17 or 8? Actually, that's a difficult question to answer in this movie). The meeting is nearly over when Amy brings up the insurance issue. Chris sides with Amy, who's impressed by how courage he showed standing up to Armbruster in spite of the fact that this could put his promotion in jeopardy. In one day Chris managed to screw up his father's entire career. Then he nearly kills a patient who's coding, until the interns arrive and cover his sorry ass. He later expresses his gratitude by inviting them out for pizza.

Meanwhile, Jack isn't faring much better in the mile relay, despite his confidence that, "In this body, I can do anything." He comes in dead last, which technically falls under the umbrella of "anything", but doesn't endear him to his teammates. He has a run-in with Rick, who's still steamed at him for macking out with Lori. Jack, unaware that his son made such a douchebag move the previous day, dismisses Rick, and then runs over the kid's foot with his car.

When he arrives home, Chris insists Jack take Lori out on the date, because he doesn't want to spoil his chances of getting a second one, and he thinks the best way of making sure that will happen is to send a complete stranger in his place. This could be a set up for a number of funny situations, if the screenwriter cared about the plot. Instead, when they arrive at the concert (which turns out to be the band Autograph, though it looks like the footage was spliced in afterward), Jack is so eager to leave he winds up dropping her off at 9:30. If this was how he treated girls when he was attending Oxford, it's a wonder he met a woman who was willing to marry him. After dropping Lori off, a jealous Rick arrives and gives him the beatdown that Chris actually deserves.

While Jack is on his disastrous date, Ginnie arrives at the Hammond's house, per the previous invitation. Completely forgetting that he just sent his dad out on a date with a girl he's supposedly crazy about, Chris makes a series of clumsy attempts to get into Ginnie's pants. To get her in the mood, he blasts heavy metal music, offers her a can of beer, and accidentally sets the sofa on fire, then attempts to put it out by pushing it into the pool. Ginnie isn't terribly impressed by this, and leaves.

Jack returns home to find Chris in the shower, fully clothed, whimpering. The two of them are both fed up with being stuck in each other's bodies, and we're fed up with how little the movie did with this premise. Just then, Trigger shows up, with Uncle Earl. It turns out the antidote is derived from a root that can only be found in Death Valley. The four of them hop into a car, driving all night to find it, and Earl mixes the potion. They take it, but nothing changes, so they head back home. On the way, they stop at a gas station, where they stumble upon a woman in labor. Jack calmly takes charge of the situation, and helps deliver the baby. Chris is impressed, and so are we, because he managed in a matter of seconds to clean the baby and heal the umbilical chord wound.

It's been a busy night, but there's a busy day ahead: Chris still has an interview for Northwestern University, and Jack still has a meeting to find out whether he's getting the promotion to chief of staff, and they're still stuck in each other's bodies.

At the hospital, Armbruster informs Chris that his father won't be getting the promotion, which causes Chris to break down into hysterics. This doesn't do much to sway things. Jack meanwhile, arrives at the interview, slips on some water on the floor just outside the office, and knocks the interviewer out of the first-floor window. She seems oddly unfazed by this. As he helps pull her back inside, Jack and Chris switch back to their old bodies. Chris realizes he has to try and save his dad's job, so he bolts from the interview and heads out of the school. Rick shows up, challenging him to another fight. Chris accepts the challenge by punching him in the face and knocking him down a flight of stairs (wait, wasn't he on the first floor), then heads out the door. He and Trigger drive like maniacs to the hospital, totaling the jag but reaching their destination in time for him to show up at the boardroom meeting and deliver an impassioned speech on behalf of his dad, that has absolutely no effect. But Jack, who arrives at the meeting a few seconds later, has decided he doesn't care about the promotion. He and Chris hug, and head out the door -- apparently Jack also doesn't care about the patients he's probably going to leave behind if Armbruster fires him.

Trigger finds the injured Rick on a gurney in one of the hospital corriders, and feeds him some of the body-swap serum. It doesn't occur to him this could be harmful to any random, innocent person Rick could encounter. Fortunately the next person Rick sees is Armbruster, who looks the kid in the eye and asks if he has insurance. At this moment, they switch bodies. From the hospital parking lot, Chris and Jack hear the screams of terror from their respective nemeses (is that the correct plural, and do I even care?), chuckle, and walk off to live happily ever after. Until Chris gets expelled for assaulting a student, and Trigger's parents have Jack arrested for distributing pornography to a minor.

*in case you were wondering, Kirk's competition for the award included Stephen Dorff in The Gate, Andre Gower in The Monster Squad, Corey Haim in The Lost Boys, Joshua Miller in Near Dark, and Scott Curtis in Cameron's Closet. I'm not familiar with that last title, but I bet Chelsea Noble is.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Post-Friday Beast Blogging: The Sex & Violence Edition


Riley:  What?  Oh, I was just thinking about severing your head in your sleep and sticking it on top of the scratching post as a warning to my enemies.  Mostly that guy who comes on Wednesdays with the leaf blower.
Moondoggie:  I know what you're thinking...Burt Reynolds?  The April 1972 Cosmopolitan centerfold?  Yeah, I can see that...

By the way...Turn-Ons:  Long naps, Moist Pounce® Seafood Medley Flavor, and big black pillowy cat ass.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bam Bam Barber Stands Athwart Homosexuals Yelling "Stop!"

Every man has his Moby Dick -- a metaphorical quest for some unattainable goal which, if pursued with an indefatigable and single-minded zeal, will lean to ruination.  In the case of J. Matt "Bam Bam" Barber -- failed pugilist, cashiered insurance adjuster, former Concerned Woman for America, ex-host of a radio talk show (demoted to co-host, otherwise known as "Death by a thousand Mike Douglas Shows") and Associate Dean of a fake college (but unfortunately not the funny one from Community) -- his Moby Dick is actual dick.  In other words, it's less symbolic, but just as vulnerable to shrinkage in cold water.
An open letter to homosexuals
I write this not to professional homosexuals. 
Because Bam Bam is a former boxer, and the last thing he needs is trouble with the AAU.  (Personally, I grew up thinking homosexuality was just a sexual orientation, only realizing it was a potentially lucrative career path when I attended the Senior Class Job Fair in the high school gymnasium, and noticed the "It Pays to Be Gay!" presentation, with its artfully fanned four-color brochures and tasteful booth done up in a palette of muted pastels...)
That is to say, not to members of the well-funded, politically powerful homosexual activist lobby. 
It's a sweet gig, with the sole exception that before going down on a sex partner, the powerful homosexual activist lobbyist is legally obliged to announce, "This sodomy is brought to you by a grant from the Mobil Corporation."
They will mock and reject my words outright. 
Unless we beat them to it.
They will twist and misrepresent what I say to further their own socio-political agenda. That's fine. It's to be expected. It merits little more than a yawn and an eye roll.
You need to do something really unexpected if you want Bam Bam to add in his coveted "two snaps up."
Instead, I write this to my fellow travelers in life — average, ordinary people, male and female, young and old — who happen to call themselves "gay." I write this out of obedience to God.
...who has been sending Matt special messages that can only be read using a Liberty University Secret Decoder Ring, and which command him to "Harass More Homosexuals and Drink More Ovaltine."
It is my hope and prayer that you will consider what I have to say and take it at face value. My intentions are pure and my motives upright.
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood...
 If I can plant the seed of truth in just one person, and that seed begins to sprout, then I consider this letter a success.
Apparently, Bam Bam and the other dudes in the American Family Radio studios were bullshitting during the break, and somewhere between the commercials for mail order gold bullion, crisis seed banks, and tickets for the Yakov Smirnoff Dinner Theater's innovative, fast-casual matinee dining concept, Lunch with Greg Brady ("Barry is very pleased to bring all of his talents together along with his live five piece band and his new multi-media show A BRADY LUNCH at the Yakov Theatre, specially created for Branson audiences.  Barry will not only entertain you but touch your heart." -- but hopefully not your club sandwich or pudding cup -- "A Brady Lunch is truly up close and personal with Barry Williams"), somewhere between all that, Matt apparently bet his engineer that he could impregnate a lesbian.
 I pray that you are that person.
"Lipstick Lesbians preferred.  May consider Soft Butch if tattoos are minimal.  Diesel Dykes need not apply."
What I write may offend you. It may even infuriate you.
It will certainly bore you.
 But I hope it makes you think.
It makes me I should check the bathroom grout for mildew.
 Know this: Your friends have lied to you. Christians do not hate you. We love you intensely.
Is that boiled rabbit I'm smelling...?
 We love you because of who you are, not because of what you do or because of who you think you are.
I just think things are moving a little too fast, here, Matt...
Still, to love someone and to lie to them is to hate them — especially when that lie inevitably leads to a tragic and hopeless end.
Oh oh -- that sounds disturbingly like a song cue.  I'd advise you to leave now, before the lights dim, Bam Bam props up a photo of an Amateur Homosexual and warbles "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It"), just like Judy Garland did to Clark Gable's headshot in Broadway Melody of 1938.
If you have a loved one, blindfolded and running full speed toward cliff's edge, do you not yell, stop!
It depends.  Are they still offering that $100,000 prize on America's Funniest Home Videos?
Would you not run after them, even tackling them if need be to prevent them from plummeting to certain death? 
And would that not be your explanation to the West Hollywood Sheriff's Department deputies when they asked why you were spending your Saturday night tackling men outside Mother Lode?
What would we think of the person who said: "Keep running; all is well."
We'd think they were related to Jim Fixx, and probably a beneficiary.
All is not well, and you know it. 
"Not a single lesbian has answered my ad!"
On this path, "it" decidedly does not "get better."
Amazingly, though, this "column" does manage to "get stupider."
 It only gets worse. You will fall and you will die — perhaps not physical death, straight away — but certainly, an emotional and spiritual death.
I remember when I was about 9 or 10, I was racing my next door neighbor Todd Pickett to the bus stop before school when I tripped on the curb and fell so hard I tore the knees of my jeans and badly skinned my soul.
 Homosexual activists, "progressives," Hollywood, the media, academia and popular culture are telling you to keep running.
They don't care about your spiritual health.  They just care that you have sufficient stamina to make it through an all-night orgy with the cross-country team.
I'm yelling, stop!
And maybe you should, seeing as how Bam Bam isn't in the greatest shape, and he's starting to wheeze.
Your lifestyle — homosexuality — is always and forever, objectively and demonstrably wrong.
And if Bam Bam just happened to be caught in a motel near the airport with a twink, he could say, with all sincerity, that he simply needed a test subject to objectively demonstrate, using geometric logic, that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong.  Also, it was the hustler who stole the strawberries, and hid them in Bam Bam's ass.

Anyway, Pro-Am Homos, at least try another lifestyle.  Like Obsessive-Compulsive Pecksniffery.  Bam Bam is available to mentor you.
It is never good, natural, right or praiseworthy.
Y'know, Bam Bam, I take the laissez-faire approach that anything two consenting adults decide to do in a sexual way is fine, so this is really more of an aesthetic than a moral judgment, but I doubt anything your sweaty carcass gets up to in the bedroom could be described as "praiseworthy."
 If you have "gay pride," you have "sin pride." 
And it's important to show your sin pride this Saturday by wearing your rainbow t-shirt for the big game against Gluttony.
But this reality is manifest beyond the pages of Scripture. Unnatural behaviors beget natural consequences. So-called "homophobia" is not responsible for the fact that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-in-five "gay" men and adolescents in major cities across America have been infected — through bad behavior — with HIV/AIDS.

Sin is responsible.
Usually, when the detective reveals the murderer at the end, it's a bit more surprising and dramatic.  Is it too late to fire Bam Bam and get William Powell for this role?
In almost every category — disease, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide — those who call themselves "gay" live and die with consequences that have nothing gay, in the true sense of the word, about them.

Is this you? Be honest.
It -- it is.   I've had cancer and frequent bouts of depression; never really abused drugs or alcohol, but I did attempt suicide as a teenager.  You're right -- this is me!

Oh wait -- I'm not gay.  Crap!  I hope I haven't thrown off the grading curve.
Scripture admonishes: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). This does not simply mean physical death, but something far worse: spiritual death.

Yes, hell.
So every gay person goes to hell?  The club scene down there must be sick.
I know from which I speak.
Well, that's a refreshing change.
 I am no better than you. I, too, once lived a lifestyle of sexual sin.
Your torrid affair with a tube sock doesn't count.
Not homosexual sin, but sexual sin nonetheless. As a young man I did not treat God's daughters as He intended and, instead, engaged in a lifestyle of selfish womanizing and fornication.
"It's true, I fornicated and womanized the hell out of those women.  Uh, you wouldn't know them -- they're from Canada."
The wages of sin in my life was death — spiritual and emotional death. I was on your same path.
I'll pull over -- feel free to pass.
Still, Christ's gift to me was forgiveness, redemption and life everlasting. My friend, that gift is available to you as well.

Snatch it up. Please.
Um...Insert Comment Here.
During the Awakening 2011 — a national conference held, that year, at Liberty University — I was visiting with a young woman from the hard-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). I liked her. I loved her, in fact, in the way her heavenly Father, Christ Jesus, loves her and has enabled me to love her. I think of her and pray for her often.
"Every time I look at the restraining order. "

In recent years, the SPLC has taken to smearing Christian organizations that defend the biblical sexual ethic as "hate groups." After visiting for a while, I asked this young woman if she really believed that we Christians hate homosexuals. To my surprise she admitted that we do not. "But the things you say are sometimes hateful," she added.

Indeed, truth is hate to those who hate truth.
I always enjoy it when a wingnut channels The Sphinx from Mystery Men:
"To learn my teachings, I must first teach you how to learn...He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions...When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack. " 
The truth is that you have immeasurable value. You are a beautiful, unique, priceless human being. The very Creator of the universe, in the person of Jesus Christ, took such an interest in you that He meticulously wove you together in your mother's womb. He loves you with a love that no human can fully grasp. Still, this is true not because of your so-called "sexual orientation," but, rather, in spite of it.

If Jesus loves you but hates your sexual orientation (sorry, "sexual orientation") maybe he should stop mixing in the gay yarn when he's knitting fetuses.
You are valuable and worthy of love because God created you in His image. If you define your identity based upon sexual temptations and behaviors your Creator has called sin — an "abomination" — then you are not fulfilling the purpose for which He created you. In so doing, you have become the sum total of your sins. 
I've known quite a few gay folks, but whenever I encounter someone who defines a person's identity solely based upon their sexual orientation, it's invariably a straight dude like Bam Bam.  Or, sorry, "straight" dude.
You are in rebellion against God and you know it.
♬ If you're in rebellion and you know it, clap your hands! ♫  Everybody!
He made you to know it.
Well, that seems like a design flaw.  I think Jesus needs to head back to the Yarn Barn for some fresh knitting patterns.
Yes, the activists tell you to take "pride" in your "sexual orientation," but you don't feel pride. You feel ashamed, and so you try, in vain, to numb the shame with more of the very behavior that causes it. You will never fill the void you feel with drugs, alcohol or more sexual acting-out. These things only expand your emptiness.
I would never accuse Matt of projecting, but for some reason this paragraph reminds me of a chunk of extruded plastic I owned as a child...

Christ alone can fill the void.

And He will.
That sounds like a threat.  Or an action movie tagline.  "Feeling hollow?  How 'bout I fill that void...  (COCKS GUN)...with a bullet!"

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day...Or IS It?

By Bill S.
Jack Torrence from The Shining (1980), the Gold Standard for sucky celluloid sperm donors.

Once again, it's Father's Day, and, as I did last year, I've got a batch of Terrible Dads who, one hopes, makes you more grateful for you own (if they don't then, damn, I'm sorry!)

Last year, there was some question in the comments thread over whether or not step-fathers should count. I think they do -- after all, saying they don't would be an insult to the good step-dads (and step-moms) who prove it takes more than a sperm (or egg) to make a parent. (cue that song about stepfathers that always makes me cry:)

Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes...

WORST MOVIE DADS:

Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) in Night of the Hunter (1955) A sexual psychopath who marries widowed mothers and then turns their children into orphans -- so many times, he's apparently lost track. His latest victim is Willa (Shelly Winters). It could be argued that her late husband wasn't such a great dad either -- after all, if he hadn't hidden stolen money in his 4 year old daughter's doll and sworn her and his older son to secrecy, the mess they're in could have been avoided.

Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in the Godfather films. For obvious reasons. Also, Carlo Rizzi (Gianni Russo), as suggested by AnnPW and by my mom. Carlo didn't immediately register with me as a dad, just as a rotten husband. But he did get Connie pregnant, although, as AnnPW noted, "he was, um, prevented from contributing more than a Y chromosome."

Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) in The Omen (1976). Parents deal with the loss of a child in many different ways. Still, accepting a substitute baby for the one who died, without telling anybody, including your wife, might have negative consequences down the line. Especially if the adopted boy is the Antichrist. And you're slow to pick up on that little detail. Until the demonic nanny pushes your wife out a window.

Darth Vader (James Earl Jones), the first three Star Wars films. Faced off his own offspring in battle, lopped off his son's hand, then took that moment to bitch out the kid for never sending him a Fathers Day card or a Pick-Me-Up Bouquet. Wasn't any better to his daughter, whom he held captive as a political prisoner, tortured with a levitating Hoppity-Hop, and later sold as a sex slave to a repulsive monster. (If a woman tells you her dad treated her like a Princess, find out which Princess she means.  If it's Elinor Donahue from Father Knows Best, it's probably safe to book a second date.)

Dwight Hanson (Robert DeNiro) in This Boy's Life. (1993) I wouldn't want him as my dad in this or any other life (suggested by Scott).

Joe St. George (David Strathairn) in Dolores Claiborne (1995). So evil, Dolores (Kathy Bates) is my hero. Except I don't think she let him suffer enough.

Mr. Childers (Robert Duvall) in Sling Blade (1996). Kept his mentally challenged son in a shed, and later handed the boy his prematurely born baby brother to "take care of"(i.e., kill). Can we get a ruling on whether Doyle Hargreaves (Dwight Yoakam) also belongs on the list? Though he might be one of the most loathsome movie villains of the '90's, he never actually marries Frank's mom, and though he's planning to move in, doesn't quite get around to it.

(Scott:  I'd say he was a promising candidate, who was saved from infamy by procrastination.  Which, now that I think of it, probably foils more potential supervillains than James Bond and the Justice League of America combined.)

Glen Whitehouse (James Coburn) in Affliction (1998). His proudest moment as a dad was seeing his son turn into the same abusive asshole who drives people away that he was.

Billy's dad* in An Angel Named Billy (2007). I think we can also include Mark (Robert Lewis Warren), who wasn't creepy and disturbing at all, at least not to the director.
*The character wasn't identified by name in the movie, but looking at the entry in the Internet Movie Database, by process of elimination, I think he's the character identified in the credits as "Steve Houston", in which case he's played by Edgar Allan Poe, Jr., who's done as much for his family's name as Billy Carter did for his.

WORST TV DADS

Al Bundy (Ed O'Neil) on Married...With Children. The exact opposite of Ed's character on Modern Family (see below) in every possible way.
 Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) on Twin Peaks (suggested by Chris Vosburg). I wasn't a viewer of this show, but my vague understanding of it (is there another kind?) suggests to me Chris is right.

Jack Malloy (Geoff Pierson) on Unhappily Ever After. I was hesitant to include this character, because frankly, this show sucked, with a perfect suckiness, more than a sitcom had a right to suck. And the suckiest thing in this suckfest was the dad. Whether he was having imaginary conversations with a stuffed rabbit, going off on a misogynist tirade, or leering at his daughter in a way that suggested something other than paternal affection, Jack always left viewers wanting a shower after every episode.

Robert Layton (Rob Lowe) in the made for TV movie The Christmas Shoes. What a tool.

Javier Delgado (Benjamin Bratt) on Modern Family . We'll let his ex-wife Gloria (Sophia Vergara) explain: "When Manny was six, Javier took him to the petting zoo. I learned later that Petting Zoo was a strip club. A real petting zoo would have been cleaner." (Fortunately, Manny's stepfather, played by Ed O'Neil, is a great dad.)

Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) on Dexter and Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) on Shameless. (both suggested by my mom).

Alas, I don't have premium cable and have not caught up to these on DVD. But, as my mom observed, Frank "never does anything for his family," and, now that Dexter's a dad, he might want to take a different career path.

And, finally, as a special musical treat, I give you:

Julie's dad.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Klavan auf die Kultur

Andrew Klavan (author of Homelanders, the Young Adult book series about amnesiac, karate-choppin' teens taking on the post-9/11 Jihadist threat to America) is the culture critic for Pajamas Media, or whatever they've changed their name to (Feetie Media?  Negligee News?  The Snuggie Sentinel?), and he fears for our future.  Specifically, he's afraid that if we don't encourage racists to speak, we will have nothing but silence, because while everybody is thinking racist thoughts, some people are shy, and need to be brought out of their shells before they can freely smirk to a local TV reporter that Negroes are like locusts.
Racism or Silence? What’s Wrong With This Picture?
These are our sole choices -- no substitutions!  (Okay, one -- you can get a baked potato instead of the pasta salad after 5 PM.)

Basically, Andrew's thesis is identical to Rachel Carson's in Silent Spring, except in his version it's Monsanto and American Cyanamid that are the heroes.
This comes by way of Glenn Beck’s increasingly excellent online news site The Blaze. A local Buffalo man is interviewed after the home of an African immigrant is set on fire by an arsonist. The Buffalo man says the fire is understandable because African-Americans ruin any neighborhood they move into.
Klavan was kind enough to embed the clip, so here you go:  "White Man Speaks Out Against The Detroiting of Buffalo, NY" (He's also disturbed about the Anaheiming of Cucamunga, but that's another news report.)

In case you're having trouble viewing the clip, here's a transcript (I've edited out some of the callow reporter's increasingly flummoxed questions, because they're really all the same question: "Are you aware you're saying this shit on TV?"):

REPORTER:  They're classifying this fire as a potential hate crime.  What do you think about that?

WIFE-BEATER WEARIN' WHITE DUDE:  I think that if people just stayed on their own side of town, their own neighborhood, that things like that wouldn't happen...Every race and color has their own section of Buffalo almost, so, if they just stay on their own side things like this wouldn't happen.  People in these neighborhoods don't want those type of people moving down here and ruining the property value and destroying the neighborhood.  So when things like that happen it shouldn't be such a shock.

REPORTER:  What do you mean by "those types of people."

WBWWD:  (GRIN)  Minorities.  African Americans...They've already wrecked the East Side, why should they come down to the South Side and wreck that neighborhood?...A lot of people feel this way, they just won't say it.

REPORTER:  Why are you coming out and saying these things?

WBWWD:  'Cause I own a home and I've seen what happens when they move into the neighborhood.  Property value goes down.  Kids on the corner.  Crime goes up.  The East Side used to be a beautiful place -- look what they did to that...They just ruin neighborhoods.
 Now before I react, let me reiterate what I’ve said here before. I believe racism as a philosophy is knuckleheaded pseudo-science and moral idiocy. It is the kind of half-smart thinking I expect from leftists
I wonder which half of racism Andrew things is the smart part (and if he advises it to keep that side facing the camera at press availabilities).
and goes entirely against the respect for the individual that is at the heart of conservatism.

That said, what struck me about the video above was not the opinion of the interviewee — who is an honest person on the ground reporting the facts as he sees them — but the reaction of the interviewer from local TV station WIVB-TV. He (sounds like a kid) is clearly shocked by the man’s direct response to his questions and keeps asking, “Don’t you see something wrong with what you’re saying? Mightn’t this be offensive? Isn’t there a bias to your opinion?”
Really? Is that the problem?
Well Andrew, while I agree the Wife-Beater Wearin' White Dude's bigotry is unfeigned, I think the reporter is also genuinely nonplussed, so I'm not sure why it's the sincerity of WBWWD's racism that earns him the moral high ground in your estimation.  (In fact, even Glenn Beck's Blaze calls this interview an "odd case of racial animus" and "a symbol of persistent racist tension in American society," so if you're really determined to pull off this degree of eye-batting disingenuousness, I recommend you first invest in an ivory fan and some pro tips from a 19th Century French courtesan.
This is what the left teaches us. It’s not the actual facts that are a problem — it’s speaking your observations out loud, that’s where the real difficulty lies.
So an African immigrant moves into a majority white area and his home is promptly torched (because arson boosts property values, but the instant your local greengrocer starts stocking plantains, you can kiss your nest egg goodbye), and the "actual facts" of the situation is that if the newcomer didn't want an accelerant splashed around the house and his every worldly possession put to the match, he should have stayed on his "own side of town"?
 This guy may not have the whole story. He may be misinterpreting his observations. We all do that sometimes. But if he isn’t allowed to report honestly what he sees and express his opinions about it, how is anyone ever going to find out what’s happening?
For example, until I watched this clip, I never knew that minorities wreck neighborhoods, nobody ever had the courage to tell me -- and it's not like I don't try to keep up with the news.

On the other hand, if Andrew thinks we'll never be able to "find out what's happening" unless we have ready access to the racist views of blanched dickheads, then I have good news for him: it's called Any Random Comment Thread on the Internet.
 This interviewer is essentially suggesting the man shut up and stop answering his questions.
Actually, the interviewer seems to be suggesting the guy just stop dropping turds from his gob (or alternately, trying to stretch out the interview until a cat comes along and kicks some sand over the pile collecting at their feet).
 He wants his own interviewee to stop relaying his point of view!
Or he doesn't want to be an unfiltered conduit for Stormfront-quality racist bullshit!  But still -- how dare a reporter question his interviewee?
 Maybe instead, this intrepid reporter should — oh, just for instance — listen to the man!
You never know when a rationalization for ethnic cleansing may come in handy.  Nevertheless, I watched that clip a couple of times, and far from filibustering, the reporter is actually and gamely prompting the subject to speak.  What seems to have irked Andrew is that the interviewer isn't solemnly absorbing WBWWD's racist bullshit, but instead trying to lead the conversation toward the more interesting questions of "your neighbor's house was deliberately set on fire -- do you really think the most appropriate response is to drop quotes from the Aryan Nation Page-A-Day Calendar?" and "You do realize that thing behind me is a camera, right?"
 And then maybe check out whether or not his opinion is widespread and whether or not it has any basis in truth.
It's a two minute clip.  WBWWD talked for at least half of it, and if you need even 60 seconds to determine whether or not his opinion ("git off mah land!") has "any basis in truth," Andrew, then may I just say I wouldn't trust you to critique the cultures in Activa yogurt.
I personally believe that poor black (and many poor white) Americans have had their lives degraded by leftist policies and ideas that discourage the formation of complete families, relieve people of the need for industry and self-care, teach them that they are hated and helpless victims of society and undermine their faith in God. 
Pouring gasoline on their front porch is just the first step toward healing these wounds.
 I fear for this guy. I fear he’ll suffer retribution at work and in other ways for speaking directly — I daresay manfully. 
I always thought "suffering retribution manfully" involved a bushy mustache, assless chaps, and a safe word -- so again, thanks to this interview I'm finding out a lot more about what's happening. Certainly more than I ever found out from What's Happening? or even What's Happening, Now?
But the problem is not with him speaking out loud that which, as he says, many others believe, the problem is with a leftist media regime that has schooled even those who don’t agree with them that they are not to say what they see lest they be branded evil.
Or, you know, broadcast on the local news, then put in complete and unedited form on Youtube.  But if anybody brands this guy, it's good to know that he'll take it manfully.
Well, of course. If people start relaying what’s right in front of their eyes, leftism is doomed.
Right, because I'm hard pressed to think of a more credible ambassador for conservative values than this guy.  Still, who am I to argue with the culture critic for Dr. Denton Daily?  I suppose our doom will go something like this...

"Hey look, there's an unreconstructed bigot in a tank top."

 "Well, there goes insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives."

R.I.P., Leftism.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Brighter Brights! Whiter White Trash!

For people who enjoy watching smug, self-adoring nitwits flex their vapidity on television, but find the Kardashians a bit too ethic, I've got some good news.  M. Bouffant and Bill S. were both cruel kind enough to alert me to this trailer from Doug Giles, Pastor of Our Lady of Free HBO and Complimentary In-Room Coffee, who's trying to sell his daughters (again!), this time as reality TV stars.  Of the three of us, only Bill had the stones to actually watch the thing -- I bailed out right about the time faux streetwalker but genuine fame-whore Hannah started lying her As Seen on Youtube ass off about ACORN).

As Bill wrote, "I'm not sure how much there is to say, since the series hasn't aired yet. The show certainly captures Doug's two most enduring traits: his desperation to prove his manhood, and his uncanny ability to be completely out of touch everytime he tries to sound relevent. (He still uses "metrosexual", a word nobody's used in about 10 years.)"
 Doug Giles: The Manly Cure for the Metrosexual.

Of course, it's just a sizzle reel, so in all likelihood there is no series, just another effort by fading bad boy Doug to piggyback on Hannah's rising star.  Although, if the ACORN hoax was going to net her a TV show, you'd think it would have happened in the first golden shower of free publicity that drenched her and...what's his name?...the guy who looks like Ichabod Crane.  I can't remember, but apparently neither can Hannah, as she's been steadily writing him out of the story since her first solo appearance on Fox News.

Anyway, here's Doug's pitch:
Here's my family's answer to the Jersey Shore and the Kardashian BS. The Call of The Giles shows families how to live a powerful and productive adventure laden life without whizzing on God and country. TCOTG features Townhall.com columnist Doug Giles and his wife Mary Margaret, daughter Hannah Giles of the 2009 ACORN undercover sting videos and Regis Giles, NRA columnist and owner of GirlsJustWannaHaveGuns.com. Coming 2012 to a TV set near you. Hold on to your lug nuts. It's time for an overhaul.

Shit just got reality.

Bonus Doug: Sharkmaster and Art Critic

You know that suitable for framing portrait of Andrew Breitbart as a parfit, gentil knyght?  Doug got very excited about it, because as an artist himself, he recognizes the power of painting, sculpture, and preserved corpses to change the way we look at our world.  And a provocative portrait of a dead blowhard is just the kind of fusion of fine art and taxidermy calculated to drive liberals into a snit:

Art is powerful. Through art nations have been swayed toward greatness … and toward Obama. Via the arts souls have been lifted and wars have been waged. There’s no mistaking the mighty leverage art wields on people and lands.
...
From a national standpoint, do you wanna know why folks in Communist nations are depressed and are forced at gunpoint to smile when U.S. cameras are rolling? Well, one reason, aside from the mediocre hell Communism spawns, is their art. It’s hard to feel chipper when the only works of art you behold are giant prints of the inbred dictator and the utilitarian gray block buildings he skimped on so he could have gold toilets in his 90-room mansion.
Okay Doug,  but if you're looking for an antidote to (or parody of) socialist realism, I don't think we need this:
 Portrait of Sir Andrew Knightbart  (1089-1134), entitled, "Who's That Guy With The Big Head?"

...When we've already got this:

Stalin and the Muses by Komar and Melamid (1982).

Anyway, you were saying?

Seriously, in the Giles Manor I have trophy animals and paintings of trophy animals, African warriors and Native American Indian warriors adorning my walls. Why do I have such a man cave? Well, one reason I have it so designed is we have three women in the house, and I’ve got to do something to offset all the bras and panties strewn everywhere. In addition, these awesome animals and warriors feed my soul. When I gaze at them it makes me feel stupid and weak when I whine like a 12-year-old girl if I don’t get my way.

Being fascinated with butt kicking beasts and people, I was duly impressed when I saw the digital painting that artist David Bugnon (Boo-nyon) did of the late Andrew Breitbart. David absolutely knocked it out of the park with his painting depicting Andrew as the consummate intellectual warrior that he was.
 Of course, as we now know, the painting is actually a screen grab of a video game character, with Breitbart's ill-proportioned noggin Photoshopped onto the shoulders.  Which is too bad, because I was dying to hear more of Doug's thoughts on the power of pickled body parts and lithographed aborigines to protect our manhoods from strewn panties.  I was especially curious to see how he, as an artist, would react to the news that an artist he had championed was guilty of plagiarism.

Unfortunately, the above snippets were all I could recover from Google cache.  When you click on the Page 2 button (Townhall divides all its columns, no matter how short, into separate pages in order to artificially inflate their traffic), I found this.

The man cave was empty and silent as the tomb, without even the word "Croatoan" inscribed on a discarded brassiere.

P.S. Cat pictures below, if that helps any.

Post-Friday Beast Blogging: The Early Edition

It's been a long week...
Moondoggie:  Whew -- I'm drained.  Better plug in and recharge.
Riley:  All your sock are belong to ME!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ellis Washington Tries Alternate History Fiction

If Ellis Washington (see here and here for his most recent personal appearances) were a Playboy Playmate, I'm guessing his Turn-Ons would be "Michael Savage, Natural Law, Prometheus, mis-attributing quotes, and plagiarizing from Wikipedia," while his Turn-Offs would read, "Hitler, Trotsky, Aesop, Oliver Wendell Holmes, the Enlightenment, and actually reading the whole Wikipedia entry before hitting ctrl-c."

But what Ellis really loves is getting facts wrong.  Because it just feels so right. This week he starts slow, opening his column with a juicy quote he attributes to Joseph Goebbels.  It's unsourced, however, and Goebbels is credited with a lot of statements he never actually made, the most famous probably being, "Either these drapes go, or I do!"
German Nazis?  What's the matter, Obama's too fancy to pirate the propaganda techniques pioneered by the homegrown Aryans at Stormfront?   Pah!  He probably drinks imported beer, too.

Anyway, just because something is "Exclusive" doesn't necessarily mean it's "new," or "comes as a frigging shock."  English is a constantly evolving language, and "exclusive" could now also be a term of art used by the journalists of WorldNetDaily to mean "sufficiently repetitive to induce carpal tunnel syndrome."

Okay, so Ellis has set the table with his subtitle and opening quotation -- let's dig into this smorgasbord of National Socialism.
President Obama’s sustained attacks against presidential GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital is a shameless frontal assault against America and her free-market capitalist system, but it has backfired disastrously against Obama. Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker said that Obama’s tactics against private capital were “uncomfortable” and “nauseating.” Nevertheless, just a few hours after telling the truth about Obama’s anti-capitalist demagoguery, Obama’s people yanked his chain and Booker was forced to appear on “Meet the Press” before a surreal hostage-like background and a stressed-out look on his face to recant for daring to tell the truth against messiah Obama.
Well, couple things.  Booker's remarks were made on Meet the Press, while his subsequent clarification, if you want to call it that, was shot in his office and released on Youtube.  But to be fair, the only way Ellis could have known that was if he'd read the article he linked to, and he's really busy right now with his new job as an instructor at the National Paralegal College, an online correspondence school.
Stressed-out Cory Booker appearing before surreal hostage-like background.
Obama’s liberal fascist attacks on Bain Capital and against American capitalism remind me of an earlier more radical time in history when Hitler was running for election as chancellor of Germany in 1932. 
Wait for it...
No, I am not calling Obama a Hitler...
No one is calling Obama a Hitler, until I blow this whistle!
...but I am stating in the most emphatic manner that Obama and the Democratic Party are using Nazi propaganda campaign tactics against Romney and the GOP.
"Okay, maybe I'm calling him a Hitler -- but I'm not calling him the Hitler!"

Anyway, not to be a killjoy, but Hitler ran for President, not chancellor, since the latter was an appointed position in Weimar Germany.  But enough Harry Turtledove-style alternate history -- how about some Rorschach blot analysis?
Out of hundreds of propaganda campaign posters Hitler used to both deify himself and demonize his political foes, I have found two posters that were particularly vile and reprehensible, yet very effective in promoting Hitler’s National Socialist Party (the Nazis). The first one is titled “Arbeit und brot” (work and bread).
Carefully examine the campaign poster above (circa 1932) where the Nazis promised the German people work and bread for voting for Hitler and the Nazi Party. The bottom left side of the poster reads: durch liste 1 (meaning “through list 1″). In other words: Vote list 1, or on the first ballot vote for a straight Nazi Party ticket.
I'm glad I carefully examined the poster -- I never would have noticed that giant 1 otherwise -- and my study has yielded two insights: 1) While Obama may be filching from the Nazis, Hitler clearly infringed the intellectual property of Tammany Hall, and I recommend Boss Tweed sue him under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; and 2) While Ellis may prefer the Republican candidate in each election, he always ticket-splits to avoid giving Goebbels the satisfaction.
This propaganda poster exploited the German people’s desperate need to end the social catastrophe of World War I and the economic hyperinflation of the previous failed government – the Weimar Republic (1919-1933).
It seems to be exploiting the German people's need to be handed barbecue tongs and trowels by neurasthenic arch-conservatives with weirdly elongated arms and veins that would be the envy of any heroin addict.
The diabolical message of this simple but powerful poster portrays the Nazis – descending from from Mount Olympus like Zeus or the Greek gods of antiquity
...or guys who work in the Garden Shop at Home Depot.
 Remember that the word propaganda comes from the Latin verb propagare, meaning “to propagate” “to reproduce” or “to spread from person to person.”
That's why it's considered good form, when out in public, to sneeze or propagandize directly into your elbow.
We must remember that Hitler did not take power by force; he was voted into office using the democratic process and his superior rhetorical skills to convince the people to vote for him.
It's not true, of course -- Hitler lost the 1932 German Presidential election -- but if we just remember it -- and we must! -- it'll become true in our hearts.
Once he tricked the German people to elect him chancellor, they became, in the words of historian Daniel Goldhagen, “Hitler’s willing accomplices.”
But since Hitler was appointed chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg, not elected, they might in this case have taken a bum rap.  (Two rules to the internet, Ellis: Always Trust the Shorter, and Don't Start Skimming the Wiki Entry When It Gets Boring.)
Hitler next quickly suspended the constitution, burned down the German parliament building (the Reichstag), declared martial law and combined the presidency with the chancellorship to become Germany’s absolute dictator, or fuehrer. He then launched World War II and the Holocaust against the Jews.
And you've got to admit, Obama has been following this playbook to the letter.  Just check out Ellis' source proving it -- a  piece from 2009 in which Congressman Paul Broun announced that the "administration was planning to use a pandemic or a natural disaster to implement martial law in the United States."  If only we'd listened...
The second propaganda poster is titled: “BOLSHEVISM [COMMUNISM] WITHOUT THE MASK” and is based on the tried and true deceit where propaganda takes 1 percent of the truth and mixes it with 99 percent lies.
And makes a delicious gravy.
In reality Communists and Jews have nothing in common other than the fact that a few German and Russian Jewish academics, socialists and leftist intellectuals were Communists or Communist sympathizers. [...]
Of course, once Hitler secured power, a few months later he used Machiavellian tactics to torture and murder the Communist and unionist groups by the hundreds of thousands, and in his 1941 invasion of Russia, Hitler killed Communists by the millions...Hitler was free to disenfranchise, torture and murder the Jews by the millions. Who would care? They are just a bunch of dirty Communists.
Wait a second, Ellis.  I thought the Nazis were "liberal fascists," just like Obama.  You're one of the few people left on the Internets who can use that phrase with a straight face; you frequently cite Jonah Goldberg's book as a history text, and take his thesis ("they were socialists!  Because national socialism!") as a given.  Now you're saying the Nazis were right wing extremists opposed to not only to communism, but liberal causes such as trade unionism?

Now I'm the one faced with a crisis in accurate reporting.  Did you actually get something right for once, or did you accidentally get your own bullshit wrong?

This journalism thing is harder than I thought.