Thursday, March 29, 2007

E. Fuddy Busts A Scawy Move, Dept.


imprison karl rove now

Ha ha! Looks like someone's been dipping his brush in the tar bucket!

Good ol' Karl "Fitty Cent...Per Millisecond Is What This Fucking Bloodbath In Iraq Is Costing American Taxpayers" Rove.

He's such a Good Sport, he got up on stage at the recent Radio-Television Correspondents Association Dinner and participated in a "rap" song with improv comics Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood. And he danced. By which I mean, he flailed his arms and hopped on one leg. Sort of a back-of-the-short-bus performance, if you will.

But hey, this is the one occasion each year when the poor, retarded man for whom he works will face the assembled media and refer in anything approaching unflattering terms to his performance in the most important job in the Western Hemisphere. So, sure, ol' Karl "the macrocephalic cunt" Rove can act the fool for a few minutes.

I can't help but feel, however, that the Rover might be more-appropriately-clad in an orange jumpsuit and that he might be more-profitably-employed making small rocks out of big rocks.

Ha ha! Who cares? If everyone in this benighted administration who deserved incarceration for his or her misdeeds were actually doing time, who'd be filling the booths at the Prime Rib and Capital Grille and Charlie Palmer and The Caucus Room? Ha ha!

Y'know, I loves me the Radio-Television Correspondents Association Dinner. It's like watching a performance of the prisoners orchestra at Auschwitz: everybody knows there's nothing but death, destruction, and degradation around them but, for one night, music is the food of love.
"...and we'll throw in the Garden Weasel at no extra cost!", Dept.

The Secret Teachers ::: Official Web Site of The Secret Movie

Your sobsister is occasionally daunted.


Sometimes I run across something that is so fundamentally absurd, so spectacularly egregious, so manifestly felonious that words--my faithful friends--desert me and I'm left squawking and flapping my arms as I shuffle around the kitchen alarming the dog just a little.

Such is The Secret on DVD.

What is The Secret? Well, it'll cost you thirty-four dollars and ninety-five cents American to find out. But I can give you a wee bit of a hint as to what it entails.

To quote from the DVD cover:

The Secret has traveled through reach you

I mean, according to the scam artists great Australian thinkers behind this production--some of the finest minds in the Antipodes, from what I understand--Plato knew The Secret. Maybe. So did Beethoven. Probably. And, yeah, the Buddha. In all likelihood.

But forget those old-school dudes. For a limited time--and operators are literally on tenterhooks even as you read this--you can purchase The Secret on DVD and learn from a new generation of sages and masters of, well, you know, The Secret? Who, you may ask, are these New Illuminati?

How about "Bob Proctor", a man "widely regarded as one of the living masters and teachers of The Secret"? He wrote...I'm sorry, he is the "best-selling author" of You Were Born Rich, a piece of information my own parents selfishly forget to share with me.

Impressed? Well, how about "Marie Diamond", an "internationally known Feng Shui Master" who "created Diamond Feng bridge the Law of attraction in your environment". And that ain't hay, cousin!

Then there's "Dr. John Demartini D.C. BSC", a "philospher and chiropractor". Two vocations I know I always associate. Like "Republican congressman" and "fetish gear expert".

Blinded by the brilliance yet? Try "Bill Harris", "creator of Holosync mind transforming audio technology" which I'd initially hoped was the same as the holodeck on the Enterprise because I have been waiting years, literally years, to visit a simulation of the pleasure planet Risa. But no, sadly. Holosync is only "the most powerful personal growth and mind development tool on Earth". Or, to quote from satisfied customer Michelle Simons (oh, where's "Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee, New Jersey" when you need him?), "You told me I'd meditate like a Zen monk, literally at the touch of a button, and it's true! This is like meditation on steroids!" Yow!! Push-button exxxtreme utter detachment from self?! Sign me the right the fuck up, cowboy!

There are so many more, I could start a blog just to extol their virtues and Money Miracles™. "Neale Donald Walsch", a "modern day spiritual messenger". "John Gray PH.D.", the creepily-animatronic author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. "Jack Canfield", co-creator of the you-can't-afford-Paxil?-read-this-instead paperback/mousepad/T-shirt franchise Chicken Soup for the Soul®. "Michael Beckwith", a "nonaligned, trans-religious progressive" and, yes, "visionary".

So many forward-thinking, consciousness-raising, life-empowering men and women with only two things in common: mastery of The Secret and a fervent desire to part you from your money.

Yes, it's true. These folks are gonna show you how to ascend to the astral plane of utter fulfillment by lightening the load in your wallet that's keeping you earthbound. But, in the end, you too will join them at the very pinnacle of Enlightenment. How? By learning The Secret which, in the words of "John Assaraf", "...has been passed throughout the ages, traveling through reach you, mankind, and humankind." (Not sure about those three he addressing pets as well?) "The Secret to everything - the secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth; everything you have ever wanted."

I don't know about y'all but I'm going to study The Secret because one of the things I've always wanted, always dreamed of, always desired is to have the head of every shilling, swindling, glad-handing, shit-eating, snake-oil-selling self-help huckster and bunco artist explode in a confetti-burst of bullshit, greed, and malice.

I know The Secret will help me do this. Maybe it'll help you too.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

America, Home of the Left-handed Compliment, Dept.

White House withdraws ambassador nominee - Yahoo! News

Dear Europe,

How are you? I hope you are fine. I am fine too.

You may have noticed that President Bush tried to send a certain "Sam Fox" to serve as ambassador at one of your capitals.

Yes, he only received the nomination because he gave an assload of money to Republican causes and because he gave fifty-thousand simoleons (which is how we used to refer to dollars back in the Old Century) to the "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth" which--and I think you'd agree--is a more-dignified-sounding name than "The Committee to Ream John Kerry's Stanky Butt", the original monicker for this steaming pile of truth-tellers.

And, yes, this Mister Fox is something of a shitwit. When confronted about his willingness to hand over bags of cash to a political hit-squad, he refused to consider his contribution a mistake, saying, "When I'm asked, I just generally give." As I said, a shitwit. But I'm needing to re-do my kitchen and dining room, so I may ask Mr. Fox for a little of that dough-re-mi, given his short pockets, long arms, and apparent unwillingness to ask too many questions.

Anyhoo, let's look at the upside on this issue, Europe: by this nomination, we, as the pre-eminent superpower on this planet, are showing you that we consider our relationship with your countries to be so strong, so enduring, so vital, that we can send the most grossly-unqualified charlatans to represent us in your capitals and still be confident that at their used-car-selling, no-foreign-language-speaking, Bermuda-shorts-wearing worst, they will cause no irreparable harm.

Is that a compliment or what?

So, hats off to you, Belgium! We think so highly of you that we were considering sending you a money-shoveling corporate raider with no experience in foreign affairs whatsoever as ambassador. He was from a place called "Missouri", you know, which is known for being the Entertainment Capital of the Ozarks, which is saying something believe-you-me. And it's also the "Show-Me State". Or the "Show-Me-The-Money State". I can't recall which. But anyway, if the quality of the candidate is inversely proportional to the strength of the bilateral relationship, U.S.-Belgium ties are bulletproof, baby!

Take care and write back soon.

Your friend,

The Sobsister

Monday, March 26, 2007

An Impressionistic Overview of the Live Feed of the 2007 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremonies, Part Two

We start with a montage of vintage performance and interview clips from the Ronettes. Those were some kickin' 'do's on the girls. And that tough-girl-cum-Egyptian mascara, mmm mmm mmm. The performance clips are a tease, however, and raise, in fact, the philosophical question of whether or not these groups should be seen at their peak or in their decline. Most performances I've seen at the R&RHoF Ceremonies reflect the latter, at least for the, ahem, "vintage" groups. (I can't recall if it was the Rascals' or the Lovin' Spoonful performance that featured a lead vocal so desperately beyond anything like Western tonality that, reportedly, the Auto-Tune froze, reset itself, then would only allow users to play "Frogger".)

Keith Richards is then played-on with "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", presumably because the audience's brow would knit itself into a Gordian knot if one of Richards' compositions from Talk Is Cheap were played. He is waggling an unlit cigarette in his mouth--just another martyr on the altar of NYC's smoking ban--and his head has taken on the appearance of a katamari, stray bits of twine and beads and binder rings and keychains dangle from his bandana'd hair. He is, however, The Once And Future Keef and a raconteur par excellence. He launches into a sweet anecdote about meeting the Ronettes backstage in England, 1964. Richards has borrowed Dean Martin's stage persona filtered through a public history of cocaine and heroin addiction: his asides, his comments are always read by his audience in terms of their knowledge of his predilection for intoxication. He finishes his brief introduction and introduces "Veronica Bennett and the Ronettes". This will not be the first time that the surname "Spector" is omitted from the proceedings. Or that Ronnie will dominate the proceedings.

Over a playback of "Be My Baby", they arrive. Ronnie and sister Estelle in black suits, cousin Nedra Talley, who might not've gotten the memo, dressed in a floor-length gown with an even-longer coat, both in light copper, that make her look like an ornamental Christmas angel I made in grammar school by taking a magazine, tucking the page-corners individually back up to the fold, and spraypainting it, now the angel's skirt and bodice, gold.

Ronnie starts speaking. She sounds like she has a mouthful of ill-fitting dentures. She rambles for a bit, then a speech floats in, stage right. She re-starts, now reading the text. The sound of its opening line "I never thought I'd get here but here I am." as a scripted bit of extemporaneous business forces laughter out of the audience. The speech proceeds to recapitulate bits of what she'd already said before receiving the text. The glowing Nedra seems tight-lipped and unamused by Ronnie's meandering, halting reading. The camera then captures the first page of her speech containing instructions like "(BEAT)" after the opening line and "(SINGS)" before the first line of the 1966 hit "I Can Hear Music", "This is the way I always dreamed it would be." Which she had dutifully sung. And what exactly is that all about? I mean, she's not doing a Beckett monologue, for fuck's sake. A thank-you for Stu Phillips, "our first producer", made all the more pointed by her dramatic throat-clearing and eyebrow-waggling. So, this segment is all about what people know and how good they feel when the object of their knowledge confirms them in their insiderness.

The speech goes on. And on. And on. Thanks to Cher. To Jimi Hendrix. To everyone who ever delivered coffee to the Brill Building. To the guy who invented the stave for musical notation. To everyone who helped her in her solo career. For which, incidentally, she is not being honored tonight. To Jimmy Iovine who hooked her up with Springsteen. This must have been a landmark moment in her life because she starts that sentence three times. The audience laughs indulgently as we all become part of Veronica Bennett's one-woman show. (Behind her, Keef and the two barnacles on the Good Ship Ronnie convene a confab. Possibly on whether or not they could procure curare and a blow gun quickly enough to end Ronnie's speech before midnight.) Cut to an audience reaction shot that shows Proust and Tolstoy both agreeing she's gone a bit wordy. Ronnie thanks Southside Johnny and Miami Steve. Patti Smith gets a shout-out via a not-in-any-way obvious plug for Ronnie's new CD. She continues reading. She thanks those "who've stood by my our side during the last two decades." Decades which seemed short compared to this speech. Her cousin actually stomps her foot and turns away after Ronnie announces she's turning the page. The speech meanders and dawdles and wanders. Names thrown out. Guttural chuckles from Ronnie indicating their importance? unimportance? indebtedness? She finally--thank you Jesus!--winds up by saying "To all my fans, thanks for remembering. It's been a loooong journey getting her but now that I am here, let's rock!"

Her sister makes a three-sentence speech. She seems quite fragile and the Copper Angel floats at her elbow as if to catch or prompt her.

Then Nedra Talley takes the microphone. In marked contrast to her cousin, she is polished, focused, and eloquent. Without a script. She thanks her "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" and features her family down two generations. While her speech is no coruscating display of oratory, it's heartfelt and concise. And she firmly brings the focus back on the honor done to the Ronettes as a group. With no knowledge of these women in a non-performance setting beyond their appearance tonight, I'd have to say that unanaesthetized oral surgery would be preferable to having Ronnie Spector for a roommate. Or a bandmate.

Estelle goes off-stage. Nedra and Ronnie walk toward the main stage. Ronnie--oh, the symbolism; oh, the ironic imagery!--steps on Nedra's coattail. Nedra pulls back, then waves Ronnie forward. An unidentified white girl takes the third mike. No explanation given for Estelle's absence. Paul Shaffer counts it off and the assembled construct a credible facsimile of the Wall of Sound behind "Baby I Love You". Segue into the storm sound effects on "Walking In The Rain". Which time-worn voices and aged bodies and a second generation of musicians still craft into the pocket symphony that it was in 1964. Anton Fig kicks the distinctive drum figure for "Be My Baby". Unfortunately, Ronnie's voice and wind are not equal to the task and so she shies away from the high notes and half-talks the end of lines. Nedra, unflattering outfit and born-again status notwithstanding, shakes it like the tough girl she was on the stage at the Peppermint Lounge. As the song ends, Estelle is hustled on-stage to take her bows.

They leave and Shaffer barks out "How about those Ronettes, ladies and gentlemen?! The Ronettes!" Then adds, "Gives me a lot of pleasure to read this note right now. 'I am extremely happy for the Ronettes from the days of 1963 at Gold Star Studios, i wish them all the happiness and good fortune the world has to offer.' And it's signed 'Phil Spector', ladies and gentlemen!" Lukewarm applause greets this single mention of the Ronettes' Svengali and Ronnie's sociopathically-controlling ex-husband, a week before jury selection began in his long-awaited murder trial.

The hall dims as a R&RHoF clips package is screened.
Who Does the Clean'n'Jerk? Who Does the Snatch?, Dept.

two conservative shitwits
One of these two people is advertised as possessing an "11-inch uncut monster cock", the other is a Republican whore.
Which is which is which?
*ha ha!* Trick question, kids: the descriptions are interchangeable!

For those who have not been following the news or for those who don't routinely google "11-inch uncut monster cock", the fellow on the left is Matt Sanchez, a Marine reservist who, by blubbering before the inevitable Hannitys and O'Reillys, had become the far-right's most recent Model Soldier (youxiu shibing for you Sinologists). You see, Li'l Matt had endured heroically the cwuel, cwuel hostility of the left-loving, ivory-tower-scaling, Jesus-hating, jihad-aiding, secular-humanist pencil-necks at Columbia U. who were reported to have "mocked his military service" and "called him names" while he attended that Ivy League bastion of sodomy and liberalism.

Funny I should mention "sodomy" 'cause, of course, it turns out that Corporal Sanchez Had A Past.
I mean, all rightie/loonie/fundies Have A Past.
Otherwise, they wouldn't be rightie/loonie/fundies.
But Li'l Matt's comes illustrated.
Or, to be more accurate, Li'l Matt's cums, illustrated.
For, you see, Matt Sanchez used to be...(*gasp!* *sob!* *choke!*) a Gay Porn Star!

Here at "Tom Bacchus on the Vine" blog, we have a series of flattering snaps of Matt in full and unfurled glory. Ironically, his full and unfurled glory curves to the left. Unless he's in the Southern Hemisphere where it corkscrews.

And here at the "Joe. My. God." blog, we have a nice summary of the story, including interviews with Mr. Monster Cock his own bad self.

What lessons can we draw from this perhaps poetic comeuppance, children?
Well, first of all, yes, if you've worked as a gay porn star or rent boy--and I'm looking right at you, Trent Lott--or hired a gay porn star or rent boy--and I'm still looking right at you, Trent Lott--stay away from a career which involves a high media profile amidst those whited sepulchers who would normally condemn those like you out-of-hand.
Second, if you advertise yourself as possessing an 11-inch uncut monster cock, try to be within three inches of your advertised length. "Internet inches" went out with Hootie & the Blowfish.
And third, if you're going to have your own blog, make the effort to write in a way that doesn't sound like you really, really need to retake Freshman Comp.

All that said, Christ, I hope Ted Haggard never runs into Li'l Matt. He'd pop the stitches on his hard-won heterosexuality like a hernia victim trying to clean'n'jerk a cow.

lei feng comes clean

Thursday, March 22, 2007

14 Sex Moves You've Never Heard Of

"14 Sex Moves You've Never Heard Of

You might want to cover the honey bear's eyes.
All you nooky know-it-alls are in for a treat.
We hunted down totally original, out-of-the-box booty ideas we guarantee you'll love.

I like to look at the cover of Cosmopolitan when I'm in a check-out line at the supermarket.
(Not at Whole Foods, though; there I look at the covers of socially-responsible magazines printed on 100% repurposed bladders of pigs who died natural deaths after leading long, fulfilling lives.)
Last weekend, I scoped the April issue at what used to be called the "social Safeway" here in Choc City on account of a trend the Washington Post imagined some years back of singles mingling in supermarkets.
On its cover, I saw Eva Longoria, a woman who in no way suffers from media overexposure, and she was being partially obscured by a number of fascinating teasers for the magazine's contents.

Like 99 Sex Facts You've Never Heard Before
and Blow His Mind! The Awesome New Sex Prop-and Guess What? It's Probably in Your Purse
and, of course, What He Does When You're Not Around (Make Sure He's Out of Slapping Distance)

Ha ha! Don't those look "fun and fearless"? 'Cause that's what the 'Smo is all about: fun fearless females. Well, "fun" because any woman who spends that much time rooting through her purse to find some fucking thing or another to use as a "sex prop"--and, parenthetically, do I have to hire a Teamster to move a sex prop?--must be a hoot-and-a-half. Literally, a hoot.5. "Fearless" because I figure you have to have brass ovaries to be seen publicly carrying this rag. Might as well wallow in your own filth if you want to repel men only a little more quickly. And "female"...well, because men aren't really burrowing through their glove compartments, tool boxes, and wallets to find "sex props". They generally use their penises. If they're aware of the existence of the clitoris, they may optionally use their fingers. But they're not doing supplementary reading on how to jerry-rig sex toys out of TV remotes. They're just not.

So, in addition to the ancillary effect of slicing ten to twenty points off its readers' IQ, can it be said that reading Cosmo actually acts counter to the stated purpose of the magazine: finding a hott guy whom you can manipulate with 27 CHEEZY SEX TRICKS! until he marries you and you never have to lift a fucking finger ever again?
But only if one were to take the position that possession of one or several issue(s) of the 'Smo, to say nothing of an actual subscription, could be considered prima facie evidence of interpersonal incompatibility, if not of mental incompetence per se.
Does your sobsister take this position?
Well, I've as much as said so in the preceding; to claim otherwise would be disingenuous. And I am nothing if not ingenuous.

So, there you have it: conclusive evidence that reading Cosmopolitan actually reduces your chance of meeting, snaring, and wedding a non-troll before your biological clock says "smell ya later!".

Just another public service of the sobsister broadcasting system.

Oh, and who the fuck is the "honey bear"? Do they mean the translucent plastic bears sold as honey containers? Why would one cover their eyes? Are condiment containers known for their delicate sensibilities? Or are Cosmo editors known for their advanced state of cretinism? Food for thought.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

An Impressionistic Overview of the Live Feed of the 2007 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremonies, Part One

After sitting through the four-hour telecast without benefit of intoxicants of any kind, I'm hard-pressed to reproduce the mood in the ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria where the event was held from the standpoint of the participants. And so, your sobsister can only make observations of the sort a squirrel might make while perched on the branch outside your bedroom window watching you make the angels cry.

We begin in the historical present with Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner memorializing Atlantic record chief and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (hereafter "R&RHoF") founder Ahmet Ertegun. Wenner is closer to growing into the somewhat-less-dissipated-Kris-Kristofferson look for which he's been striving for years. He starts by giving a shout-out to a "Suzan Evans" who apparently retired recently. From which position or organization, we, the non-insider schlemiels, are not told. (Research reveals she had held the position of executive director of the R&RHoF since its inception and was the person who, in response to the Sex Pistols' 2006 letter declining to attend their induction ceremony by indicating that "Next to the SEX PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain", perkily stated, "They're being the outrageous punksters that they are..." Clearly, anyone who can publicly use the word "punksters" in a sentence and not be beaten senseless with bondage pants must be a person of some gravitas in the industry. Ms. Evans, in shiny red and classic forehead-shrouding bangs, offers a fixed tightlipped smile in response to Wenner's acknowledgement that serves to spotlight just how far her lipstick had overshot the natural outlines of her lips. Color inside the lines, Ms. Evans, color inside the lines.)

This completed, Wenner launches into his elegiac speech in memoriam Ertegunis. At the first mention of Ertegun's name, a mild swelling of applause from, by the long camera shot to which we're treated, about a tenth of the audience. Whether this comes from apathy, ignorance, or frontloaded intoxication is hard to know. Cut to the Unsmiling Widow Ertegun. (Mica Ertegun is a world-class designer and from the camera's perspective a woman with a short nose, a very long upper lip, and very dark lipstick on narrow lips which combine to lend her face a striking, hewn quality. Here is a series of photos from an event staged at the Met by Ahmet and Mica Ertegun to celebrate Turkish culture and not the unfortunate tendency of Turks to behead Armenians and persecute the outspoken among their own, an event peopled by the rich and, at the same time, famous, those who can and, in many cases, do have their faces ironed on the thighs of Ukrainian virgins before emerging at dusk to feed. Possibly at the necks of unsuspecting pedestrians. Luminaries of all stripes and facial tautnesses abound. So, you, for example, might stand between Tom Stoppard and Joan Didion and make amusing chit-chat, while I would be over here shoveling canapes into my Whole Foods shopping bag.) Back to Jann who states, "Ahmet was the greatest record man who ever lived. He signed the greatest rhythm-and-blues, jazz, pop, and rock artists of all time." Up in Hyperbole Heaven, John Hammond Sr. armwrestles Ertegun to a draw.

Wenner's speech is punctuated by his lipsmacks. Cottonmouth recognizes neither status nor venue.

The speech itself is, by turns, self-serving (you mean you don't care how close Jann Wenner was to Ertegun and his family?), condescending ("The glee, as he (Ertegun) would tell some story based on some prank for the twentieth time, was irresistible."), obsequious, and flat, even when detailing Ertegun's numerous contributions to American culture. The uninspiring prose (doesn't Wenner run, like, you know, a publishing empire? couldn't he have prodded one of his better scribes to pen something that didn't sound like a laundry-list of noble vaguenesses and admirable generalities? one would think that being practickly-Ertegun's-son might've yielded a funny/touching/interesting anecdote or two to flesh out the outline Wenner chalks out in the still air before him) is made even deadlier by Wenner's apparent unfamiliarity with it. He chokes up near the end. Which forces out. The words in. Short, almost disconnected. Phrases. And we segue into the white-serifed-text-on-black-background "In Memoriam" section

I'm not sure who devised this tribute format. Doubtless a cruel man, for it is embarrassingly-close kin to Arthur Godfrey's Applause-Meter. A name and photo are flashed onscreen. The audience responds with greater or lesser applause, cheers, whistles, or, mostly, silence. Which makes for a very clear sense of each person's position in the Pyramid of Posthumous Popularity and Prestige. Example: "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow - no applause. Buck Owens - applause. Syd Barrett - rousing applause and cheers. We close, many unapplauded deceased music industry figures later, with a photo of Ahmet Ertegun. Which gets more of a response this time--now that the audience has been shamed into recognition--but still not "Syd Barrett" applause. Cut to the Unsmiling Widow Ertegun (hard to know whether her stone-facedness--and she bears a not-unflattering resemblance to Buster Keaton--is due to her bereavement or her displeasure at Wenner's boilerplate elegy). Cut to Clive Davis seen calculating how much applause he'll get during his three seconds of "In Memoriam" time. In the background, we see Susan Sarandon, left index finger in ear, on her celly. A little respect, SS. You can wait a few hours to hear if Liberal Splendor won the fifth at Santa Anita.

Then a short bio film about Ertegun narrated by bandleader Paul Shaffer, a man not destined to become famous for his voiceover work. The video itself is informative by what it doesn't say, misleading in what it does. (This is a more revealing interview with Ertegun in Slate.) Several explicit references to his capacity for alcohol. References to which one might wish in eulogizing a Turkish Muslim to soft-pedal. And to his magnetic charisma with women. Pete Townshend even talks about how Ertegun "without any hint of, you know, a sexual thing" could make even a man feel like he was the most important person in the world. (I wonder if ol' Pete has to qualify a lot of statements with that disclaimer since his Troubles.) So...was Ertegun an alcoholic skirt-chaser? Is this what I'm supposed to infer from what I'm being told? Did someone decide that simply extolling the virtues of his professional achievements was insufficient? Were Ertegun's fabled art collection and boldface circle of friends insufficiently sexy? I suppose playing to the R&RHoF one needs to push the whoo!-whoo!-partay-animal button.

Then the first few bars of "For What It's Worth" play-on Stephen Stills who rather peevishly begins by stating that the short film was "a lot to follow, they pretty much used up my speech". Gee, Steve, good thing you weren't quite so easily overawed at Woodstock. That would've sucked, huh? Stills' moist-eyed appearance notwithstanding, he delivers an affecting reminiscence of Ertegun's visit to a Buffalo Springfield recording session. The anecdote, of the sort that Wenner might've been well-advised to include in his own puff pastry, ends on a good, strong line. Unfortunately, Stills decides to continue speaking and descends into a morass of verbiage regarding Ertegun as a "true original", Ertegun as the savior of Black culture in America, Ertegun as an "original", Ertegun among the "frozen chosen at St. Johnny's" (a too-hip-for-the-room reference to Ertegun's college years at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland), and, in summation, Ertegun as a "true original" whose like we shall "never see again in our lifetimes". Applause from the audience, including the Widow Ertegun who remains unamused by these encomia.

Stills then introduces Aretha Franklin. She is helped onto the stage and launches into the first of two numbers in honor of Ertegun, "Don't Play That Song". She is not in good voice this evening. She sounds winded and her upper range is inaccessible. Later, she will allude to some health issue. The band--as usual, an expanded version of Shaffer's "Late Show with David Letterman" house combo--is tight behind her. Their support is needed. That said, this is one tough fucking room. A long shot of the stage shows a bunch of tables laden with leaden middle-aged white men and their consorts, not one of whom appears to be willing to conform to God's original plan for her hair color. Is there a single brunette in the audience? How about a Negro? Short answers: no and unlikely. I can't imagine Ms. Franklin is not disappointed by her failing voice this evening, for, in addition to paying formal tribute to Ertegun, at one point during this first song, she offers an extemporized shout-out to "Ahmet, Jerry (Wexler), Arif (Mardin), Tommy (Dowd)", the men at Atlantic who were so instrumental in shaping and promoting the best albums of her career, two of whom (Ertegun and Mardin) died in 2006. Her usually-sinuous voice is hoarse and coarse. It will not improve during her next number, "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)", although she gamely explores the depths of her range to compensate for losing the diva end. At song's end, she interrupts her adventures in melisma to note that she's "a little husky tonight" and to lead the audience in a toast to Ahmet Ertegun and to his wife, Mica. All very nice. Then she asks the Widow Ertegun or, as she refers to her, "Mica Ahmet Ertegun" to "stand and take a bow so people can see you". Except *whoopsie* Mica Ertegun is already standing. Not a tall woman, apparently. No.

And with that faux pas made, she is escorted from the stage. And the house lights dim for the next segment.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

On Bush’s Trip, a Name Unspoken and a Surprising Phrase - New York Times

An entertaining Notebook featuring vignettes from that poor, retarded man's trip through LatAm, including his absolute refusal to say the C-word (hint: he's the blockhead president of Venezuela whom no-one would give the time of day were he not sitting on 78 billion barrels of gold...Caracas coffee) and Brazilian president Lula's (best known for his 1967 hit, "To Sir, with Love) use of the "G-spot" as a metaphor in describing bilateral relations and how the poor, retarded man kept talking about food: when he was going to eat, what he was about to eat, what he'd just eaten.

The article is topped by a picture of the poor, retarded man joining a "musical performance at a youth community center in São Paulo" wherein he is shown playing what appears to be a of those metal cylindrical shakers. Actually, he looks to be playing the cocktail shaker but we know that couldn't possibly be. At any rate, whatever he's playing, he looks like the slow child who can't quite hack a melodic instrument, so teacher gives him something to do, you know, so he won't feel left out.

All of which brings me to my question regarding the poor, retarded man who leads our country: is he actually as cretinous as his public words and actions might lead a disinterested observer to believe, or is he Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects: halting of speech and step but actually a criminal mastermind?

Is George W. Bush actually Keyser Söze?

Mes chers frères, n'oubliez jamais, quand vous entendrez vanter le progrès des lumières, que la plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas.
-Charles Baudelaire, "Le joueur généreux"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Learning The Difference Between Your "Inside" Voice And Your "Outside" Voice, Dept.

Welp, it looks like that Wacky Ol' Jarhead, Peter Pace, had himself a bit of a rethink on that whole "homosexuals are Satan's advance team" thang and he clarified, after weathering a mild shitstorm, that, "In expressing my support for the current policy (of "don't ask, don't tell), I also offered some personal opinions about moral conduct. I should have focused more on my support of the policy and less on my personal moral views."


But for all my razzing of this lovable lunk, your sobsister recognizes that he is an intelligent, educated, politically-savvy man. Annapolis grad, MBA from George Washington University, participation in professional-level programs at Harvard and Georgetown. Pace has worked his way up the ladder in the field and behind a desk. He's logged many hours in Washington. He is not a stupid or naive man by any stretch.

So, riddle me this, Bat-burger: how does an intelligent, educated, politically-savvy man make such a cack-handed move as to say something so obviously inflammatory not to the Bob Jones University newsletter but to the editorial board of the Chicago Trib?

The answer (insert Gorshin-esque cackles and hoots here): when it's not a cack-handed move at all!

Not to be too conspiracy-minded but I think it is entirely within the realm of reason to imagine the Dark Lord of the White House asking Petey-boy to take one for the team by going out, pinching a turd in the punch bowl, then getting spanked by the LibMedia. But, as we all know from courtroom dramas, what's been said still floats in the air, even after the judge orders that the jury disregard such an inappropriate statement. And so, another winky-dink is flashed to the Embattled Right from their Commander-in-Chief: hey, we think them homos is just as disgustin' as y'all do, so keep the faith, mah brothers an' sisters.

This shit happens all the fucking time. And there is rarely a downside for the transgressor. Will Petey-boy lose his job? No. Will any disciplinary action be taken? Heck no. Will he have scored major points for himself and the administration with the macho-macho men in uniform and the miching-malicho men of the cloth? Mais oui.

God but I love the smell of integrity in the morning!

Speaking of professional and intellectual integrity, Albertito Gonzalez looked to be standing about four-foot-two in the NYTimes front-page snap of him. All contrite'n'shit in front of Mother Superior, "Honest, Sister, I din't mean to dip Betty's pigtails in my inkwell, honest!". But that supercilious sack of shit whom we have the honor to call the Attorney General played a classic fuck-you card during his press conference on the latest shitstew to exit the Bush Kitchen: the Passive Impersonal.

"I acknowledge that mistakes were made here."

Well...okay, then. He acknowledges something. That's good. Mistakes were clearly made. So, yeah, in that sense he's correct. I...I guess that's all we really need think about this. Miss Jones, file this whole thing under "kerfuffle".

Ha ha. All joking aside, I hope they nail this little weasel's ass to the Justice Department cafeteria wall. Maybe he can recite the day's specials to the employees, "Ah, yes, well, salisbury steaks were made here. And cream of mushroom soup was prepared. And Jell-O fruit cups were placed in the cold section of the desserts island."

Me, I'm going to redouble my use of the Passive Impersonal in honor of Li'l Prince Albertito-in-a-Can.

"Yes, officer, I acknowledge that cars were parked in a No-Parking zone; can I go now or what?"

THIS JUST IN!! The poor, retarded man who serves as Chief Executive of the United States noted at a news conference in Mexico where this week he is pretending to treat that country's president as anything other than a contractor for short, brown gardeners, that "Mistakes were made"...uh-huh, uh-huh, what else?..."and I'm frankly not happy about them." WHOA!!! The poor, retarded man is kicking this fucking thing up so many notches that Emeril Lagasse couldn't see it if he were perched atop the Hubble Space Telescope.

And he ain't just plain vanilla "unhappy", kits'n'kittens! He's "frankly unhappy". God damn! Well, I hope Albertito has time to bid adieu to his loved ones 'cause he's about to wear some presidential bootmarks in the general vicinity of his derriere...

Ha ha! Heavyhanded sarcasm aside, Li'l Al ain't going nowhere. If you work for the poor, retarded man, the rice bowl isn't just iron, it's bullet-proof besides.

I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pace Won't Apologize for Gay Remark -

Here's a tidbit paraphrased from an AP report in the WashPost:

"Pace Won't Apologize for Gay Remark"

What could that mean? Let's read on...

It appears that in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace had likened homosexuality to adultery and said the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts,'" Pace said. "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way."

Pace said he based his views on his upbringing.

"As an individual, I would not want (acceptance of gay behavior) to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior.'"

Umm...yeah, Peter? Pete? a sidebar, if you will?

Okay, sweetie, listen, I know you're just shootin' from the hip'n'all? but--how I can put this gently and politely?--you sound like a cretinous dick.

First off, you don't get to speak "as an individual". You're Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 'mkay? So, whatever troglodytic, homophobic views you may hold in the deep clutch of your bosom, well, whenever you voice them to a major American newspaper, they become the opinion not of a small-minded bigot who might do well to pop his head out of his ass and blink in the daylight of the 21st century but of the entire armed forces as an organization, you see?

Second of all, I don't really care to know the specifics of your upbringing--although I would guess that being caged and pissed on daily might've comprised a substantial chunk of your Wonder-Years-ages-one-through-twelve--but whatever they may be, it doesn't really matter because you're now the highest-ranking military officer in the country and the principal military advisor to our poor, retarded President. So, really, shouldn't you be acting in a way that promotes the best interests of our nation and not in a way that might reflect that maybe Father Tony back at Our Lady of Bacciagalupe talked his favoritest altar boy into giving him a handjob by telling him that he was about to receive The Most Special Sacrament Of All? And Petey, the best interests of our nation at this moment in our history don't involve turning away or dismissing men and women who actually want to serve our country. Because, Petey?, in case you haven't're running short of warm, healthy bodies to throw at the insurgencies. So, your choice: do you let your upbringing color your decisions or do you try to...I don't know...wake the fuck up to the reality of trying to win a gory war of economic expansion which our leaders had to deceive us to support?

Like I said, your choice, Pete.
Take your time.
Just one more note: you'll probably go to Hell a lot faster for not doing everything possible to save American lives than you would for allowing men and women whom you--that's "you", boldface, upper case--consider "immoral" to serve their country as soldiers.
'Cause truth be told? I'd rather field a platoon of kickass patriotic faggots than a division of shithead priest-gargling bigots.
Oh, I almost forgot: I would really, really soft-pedal the whole "morality/immorality" thing while you're fronting for Dick "my friends call me 'Cthulhu'" Cheney.

Thanks for your time, shug.