Humorless Churls

So Terry McAuliffe’s Democratic All-Stars are well on their way to biffing it again on an absolutely winnable Presidential election. Yesterday and today, Drudge has had a picture of a fairly orange-looking John Kerry (think Christina Aguilera in her Day-Glo phase), who apparently had himself a little bit of a tanning session before the upcoming debates.

George Hamilton
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m George Hamilton and I’m running for President!”

Of course, the Republicans are going to give Kerry a little bit of shit about this, because that’s what they generally do with this stuff, and today Second Lady Lynne Cheney did just that. Here’s a Kerry spokesman’s response:

“Is Mrs. Cheney jealous considering how hard it is to get sun in the undisclosed location with her husband Dick? Or is she distracted over how red-in-the-face George Bush should be considering his failed presidency?”

They knew this was coming, they had a couple of days to prepare for it, and this is the best they could come up with? Jesus Fucking Christ, how much lamer could this possibly have sounded? “Yup, got a bit too much sun, but the Senator is fine” is something that a normal person might say if they couldn’t think of anything exciting or clever, and that’d have been just fine, but when most of America says to their friendly local pollsters that they don’t think John Kerry really identifies with or is one of them, this is exactly the kind of garbage they’re talking about. He sounds like Matthew Broderick at his most plaintive in Election, and that’s not going to inspire much confidence.

I guess I should have come to expect this kind of thing from the party that thinks Al Franken is funny–that way, at least I’d avoid feeling this disappointed.

How Does Marla O Do it?

In what should be an article in The Onion but instead appears in the pages of the New York Times, we hear tell of a little girl named Marla, who has exhibited a remarkable talent for exposing the fact that the “art community” is fucking nuts.

You see, Marla is unique among four year olds in that she likes to play with paint and smear it on stuff. And her folks, unique among parents, think their daughter’s paintings are really good. Some portion of the art community is biting. Marla’s paintings, which consist of acrylic paint jubilantly smeared on canvases, are selling lately for $6,000 each. Her paintings carry surprising titles, like “Ornaments”, “Bottom Feeder”, or “Asian Sun.” One can’t help but think that the original titles were probably “I Like Paint” and “This Is For You Daddy”.

Marla's Masterpiece
Marla with her latest work: “Tuition”.

Anthony Brunelli, the owner of an art gallery in New York, is mesmerized with her work. In a piece purchased by one of his friends, he sees “flamenco dancers and their vivid movements on the canvas.” Surely that’s the image the artist was attempting to convey. Said one artist of Marla’s work: “I think her ability is her desire to paint, her excitement and the opportunity to play. There’s a lot of finger-painting in the process.” Well… yeah.

It may all seem a little silly to the uninitiated, but from where I sit, Marla’s place in the circle of life is secure as the cosmic balance preventing the Earth from collapsing into an Anne Geddes singularity.

How does Ali G do it?

If you’ve hung around with me lately I’ve probably talked about Sacha Baron Cohen’s Ali G–I really enjoy his show and think it’s one of the funnier things I’ve ever seen on TV. What I’ve had a hard time understanding is how he gets personalities like Andy Rooney, Pat Buchanan, Sam Donaldson, James A. Baker III, C. Everett Koop, and Boutros-Boutros-Boutros-Boutros Ghali to sit down with him on camera.


Big Up Yourself!

The difference between someone showing up on Ali G versus something like The Daily Show or Real Time with Bill Maher is that the guests appear to have no idea they’re on a comedy, which makes their participation in the interview fascinating. On the one hand, you’ve got guests like Ghali who are obviously taking pains to be patient with this idiot, and on the other, Rooney and others have flown off the handle and stormed out. It’s like one of those reality shows where the viewers are in on the joke but the participants aren’t, but instead of a pack of rapacious gold-digging harpies or washed-up, desparate former celebrities you’ve got a generally accomplished, respected, intelligent pool of patsies.

Here’s a Slate article that throws some light on the subject, which confirms what I was guessing: Cohen’s not going to be able to get away with this for much longer.

Of course, he ought to be able to pull hilarious, outrageous stunts like this off for quite a while just by interacting with your average American.

The Pen is Mightier Than The Lock

Over the last few weeks, the internet has apparently been buzzing about a vulnerability in Kryptonite and essentially any other lock that uses a circular key. This (video) lock is very similar to the one I use to lock the wheels of my motorcycle.

Or did, until now. Here’s another. This vulnerability probably affects most Kryptonite locks, so it will be interesting to see how much of a blow this is to their business.

Jeff’s Bi-Monthly Post

There has actually been quite a bit of stuff I’ve wanted to post on in the last couple of weeks, but I didn’t since, uh… my entire lower half got blown off a couple of weeks ago in an embarrassing exploding pants-related accident. I mean, I’m better now and everything, but that sort thing can really knock the wind out of one.

Nonetheless, here’s a couple of things I might have written had my Levi’s not jettisoned.

Koko’s Kavity
In early August, supergenius sign-language speaking gorilla Koko started signalling to handlers that she had a toothache that registered somewhere in mid 9.0’s on the gorilla oral Richter scale. Since any sort of gorilla dental procedure has to be rendered under general anesthetic, her keepers thought this might be a fine time to give Koko a complete physical exam – a procedure which took 14 veterinary specialists and included a colonoscopy and a gynecological exam. The results, happily, came back fine.

When asked after the procedure how she was feeling, a groggy Koko signed “Koko say TOOTH hurts – not ass area. Next time, Koko keep pain to Koko. Fuck you guys.”

Synchronized Diving at the Olympics
I had the distinct pleasure of catching NBC’s terrific coverage of the synchronized diving event during the Olympics. The rad part about synchronized diving is that they take a normal sport (that being diving), and add the extra element that someone else has to perform the action simultaneously. I mean, you could do that with any sport (synchronized shotput, synchronized luge, synchronized hurdles), and the result wouldn”t necessarily be less ridiculous.

The scoring criteria for synchronized diving consists of some combination of the difficulty of the dive as well as similarity of the execution. As part of NBC’s crack coverage, they had this pro synchronized diver chick giving commentary that consisted entirely of “Great! That was the same!” or “Oooh. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the same.” It’s the most boolean sport ever.

“Joey”

Deb and I watched the series premiere last night. I’ll be extremely surprised if this show makes it through season 2. It was weak. I like Matt LeBlanc, but he can’t carry something like this by himself, and is it just me, or does the actor portraying his nephew always have this smarmy half-smirk on his face? Look, he’s even got it in his imdb picture.

The funniest thing of the half-hour was the Burger King commercial where the cop called the kids in the van Whopperheads. That was a good one.

Mr. 6 Years

Not getting a lot of back and forth here lately, so I’ll share some thoughts on the presidential campaign:

— The Democrats are retarded

As the Swift Boat Veteran attacks have unfolded over the past month, I have been struck by just how good the Republicans are at this, compared to how really, really bad the Democrats are at this. That the guy who actually took enemy fire in Vietnam just lost 10 points in the polls based largely on his war record is evidence of how truly retarded the Democrats are.

Why didn’t they attack back immediately? Yes, they’d have been accused of dirty politics. Public opinion would be that both campaigns had dropped down into the mud, and they’d be disgusted with the whole thing and probably not turn up to vote. But you can’t give up that ground.

Why didn’t they say “John Kerry honorably defended his country in Vietnam, while George Bush sent someone in his place. Maybe one of these people?” Why didn’t they find the someone who applied to the Texas National Guard and went to Vietnam instead, and ask them how they felt that W’s father’s friend put him in line ahead of them?” Why didn’t they ask these people how their tour of duty went? Because they are retarded, that’s why.

–The Republican National Convention

Watching Dick Cheney’s speech I was struck by two things:

  • This guy is really scary.
  • Scarier still: George W. Bush is just one bad heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Zell Miller: Probably not the best response to Ron Reagan, unless he’s responding with pistols at dawn.

Comedy Central: May have better political reporting than any of the big media outlets.

W and the National Guard

So it turns out that George W. Bush probably still owes the National Guard some time. I think the best way to head off these attacks is to go serve his time. Wouldn’t that be great? He could go do a couple more months in the Texas or Alabama National Guard. I think he’d have to join them on the road in Najaf. Then the press would HAVE to leave him alone.

He could even sell the movie rights.