Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The War On Christmas Begins Today

The War On Christmas Begins Today

It's may be the end of September, but it doesn't seem to be too early to begin the war on Christmas that Christians love to claim is something Atheist or anyone else who doesn't believe in the silly concept that baby Jesus was born in a desert during winter on that CHRISTmas morning. A holiday I've got problems with it? let me tell you, all of them. Every single last one of them. But a war on one specific one? Nah, that's small fries.

As you will find out in this news piece, they're already claiming that the war on Christmas is on and the battleground is the state where the Alamo had it's last stand.. Texas
Proposal would delete 'Christmas' from 6th grade lesson

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A proposal for new social studies curriculum in Texas public schools removes a mention of Christmas in a sixth-grade lesson, replacing it with a Hindu religious festival, a change that's riled conservatives who say it's another battle in the "war" against the Christian holiday.

"It's outrageous that the war on Christmas continues in our state and in our nation," said Jonathan Saenz, a lobbyist for the conservative Free Market Foundation. "This effort to mislead students about current society is shameful and must be stopped."

The draft proposal being considered by the State Board of Education won't be formally adopted until next May for the 2011-2012 school year. The standards will remain in place for the next decade, dictating what is taught in government, history and other social studies classes in elementary and secondary schools. The standards also will be used to develop state tests and by textbook publishers who develop material for the nation based on their largest market, Texas.

The standards currently instruct sixth-grade students to be able to explain the significance of religious holidays such as the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. The proposal, which is set to be debated during a hearing next week, removes the words Christmas and Rosh Hashanah. Diwali, a Hindu festival, is added.
How dare we try to get students to learn a little bit about religious festivals from cultures other than their own at the expense of giving them the trivially simple assignment of explaining the significance of something from their own culture! How dare we do that!

I wish I could sign up for an actual war on Christmas and other corporate consumerist 'Christian' Holidays. While my girlfriend may not like it, I still don't dig Valentine's Day and Easter? Fuck that Holiday. I'm going to be celebrating a Birthday around Easter. No time for a stupid bunny to steal that thunder.

To be honest, we wouldn't have to start the war on Christmas so early if they wouldn't start Christmas so early. It's not even Halloween and I'm seeing some places pop up with festive cheerful things already.

How the hell could they claim persecution? As a member of the world's largest religion, how can you feel your rights are being trodden upon? I'm curious as to what history these Christians are referring to that makes Christmas their holiday? It's just the standard winter festival, only they attached the birth of Jesus to it, which never made sense because a kid born in the desert just sounds like one frozen dead baby. It's pretty clear that it's the same date as the Roman winter festival

Christians only really started getting heavy recently, just over the last 100 years-plus, basically since Dickens. I guess the whole Ghost thing got to him. In the early colonial days, celebrating Christmas was still illegal in some parts of the BUILT ON CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES U.S., because people would get shitfaced and start tearing shit up. And I don't mean their gift wrapping..

What's funny is this is more or less how it's always been and exactly what happened in the late 19th Century. Christmas had always been secondary to East in the Christian calendar and mostly a holiday to get drunk and party hard. Then in the late 18oo's, the "reason for the season" stuff started, but it was completely different from how it is now.

For proof of this, just look at the most famous example of literature from the era, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. A novel which specifically denounces capitalism and has its protagonist redeem himself by becoming a socialist. I think it's a pretty big slap to the face that there's such a commercial holiday to it now.

Why would they teach Christmas in a history course anyway? High school English classes aren't teaching the bible, although it is an important literary work to the religious type. That has to be some war against Christians as well, right? The bible is the most god awful novel around. They might as well teach John Grisham novels in school.

This is all just another problem caused by trying to create a universal public education system instead of letting parents choose where to send their kids. Oh wait, the universal health care debate isn't this blog.. Sorry, it sort of melts altogether with me.

If I were president, my first act would be to bomb all walmarts with cruise missiles at 6:15AM, Friday after thanksgiving. This would solve so many problems. Such as killing poor people that partake in consumerist holidays when they clearly can't afford them.

I'm only going to be buying my relatives charity donations for Christmas and only asking for books anyway. I'll more than likely be wearing a Dawkins shirt for the entire season for shits and giggles.

Don't even tell me it's a reason for family togetherness. That's the part I hate most about Christmas. It sucks having your family guilt trip you into driving or flying hundreds of miles to see them for a few days when you'd be much happier relaxing at home or going somewhere with someone whose company you actually enjoy and do something fun while everyone else is stuck with their family.

How about if you really cared about your family you just have the same togetherness the rest of the year without having to rely on a commercialized Holiday one day out of the year just so you could check "made awkward small talk with blood relatives" off your list.

One would wonder, if you want to wage war on Christmas, what would be the first step?
1. Kill God
2. ?
3. Did you kill God yet?

Let me tell you what the calendar looks like for that time of year;

Liberal atheist agenda for 12/25

09:00am-War on Christmas
11:00am-War on Kwanzaa
12:30am-Lunch with Janice
01:30pm-War on Chanukkah

It's not like I'm sending Christmas an unending rain of mortar fire, exploding tree shrapnel and manger scene fragments everywhere hitting civilians with cheer. You don't see me slapping some economic sanctions on Christmas first in an attempt to work something out.

I have to say, most Holidays celebrated in America are boring as fuck. Shit like Dia De Los Muertos and Holi are way cooler than anything we celebrate. Arbor day? Flag day? What a bunch of loser holidays. Dia De Los Muertos: awesome bread, sugar skulls, serious reflection on life and death. Halloween: Free candy to keep our children fat and 'sexy' costumes as an excuse to dress like a slut. Seriously, dress like a slut everyday, I will be the first to tell you that I wont mind. Fuck halloween, Dia De Los Muertos owns

But I guess the American economy would be decimated without Christmas, so a war on Christmas is a WAR ON AMERICA! That's right you non-Christmas celebrating heathens, you're terrorist of the worse kind. All of you!

Holidays are just the government telling you when you can go on a three day bender. I shouldn't have to get permission from big brother to get shit faced for three days. So fuck it, let the war begin. I'm ready to practice a scorched earth sort of strategy. Ho ho Fuckin' Ho!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm The Mother Fuckin' Wizard of Art

I'm The Mother Fuckin' Wizard Of Art

I'm a fan of the arts. Namely because at one point in time I wanted to be an artist. I can come up with some pretty weird shit, just you look at my wallet and see all the defaced dollar bills that I carry. If you've ever received change at a starbucks or CVS and it had some cartoon or comic book character on it, chances are I drew it. But much like anything in life, things change and I stopped dreaming of being an artist and got a real job.

That doesn't prevent me from looking to other artist who are pushing the boundaries of what the medium should handle and take it to new levels. With that I want to introduce to you some amazing art. Some of which I will have to find a print of and hang it up in my place because they are utterly awesome in every way possible.

His name is David Macdowell and well, he's drawn a lot of great paintings. I don't know what else needs to be said but let's soak in some more of his work, why don't we?

His take on pop culture is spot on and a lot of these that play tribute or insert one form of media into another, but either putting different films into different productions or putting a show/movies characters into a classic painting/portrait is something that can put a smile on my face.

And as any child of the 80's, his take on a lot of old movies like Stand By Me and the Molly Ringwald films of the time really do have that nostalgic appeal while also not pandering to simple... ok, yes, he is pandering to my nostalgic nature here. While I didn't enjoy all her films, she is a red head and well, I have a weakness for them.

Plain and simple, this dude is nuts. Absolutely nuts.

And hilariously awesome. I plan on picking up a print or two to eventually hang up because they're utterly awesome in every possible way.. known to human possibility. If you want to see the rest of his work and potentially buy something from him, I'd highly recommend visiting David Macdowell's Deviant Art website.

And to be topical, here's three more paintings he did that hold some special meaning as today is the release date of a newly remastered edition of The Wizard Of Oz. High def, extra features and crisp sounds.. OH MY! So enjoy some of his takes on the wonderful world of Frank Baum

Yes.. simply amazing piece of works.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

I used to do a little segment piece here that would be just me mindlessly ranting on about a picture for a thousand words. In reality it was often more than a thousand words because, as you know, I can ramble on for days. So much like something retro, I'm bringing it back. Especially since it's this picture ripped from the headlines!

'What the hell?', you say? I'll tell you what. It's the family of the Spanish Prime Minister. Yes, my glorious home of origin's prime minister and his daughters. Perhaps Zapatero should tell his daughters to stop following fashion trends from the early 90s. They look like they sleep in caskets.

At first I thought that it was the half-dozen goth march onto Washington. Though I remembered that the only marches that were scheduled were the ten million patriot march and the fifty thousand Muslim march. No goths are scheduled to appear at any of those.

There's an interesting back story to Zapatero's Prime Ministership. In that there is a Spanish law that protects the right of the child to have their own image due to the good work of all the gossip magazines. When Zapatero was trying to be the Prime Minister he asked the Spanish media not to show images of his daughters. So when this photo came out all the Spanish media has been going crazy with the conservative media mocking the two teenagers.

I sort of admire the braveness of the Spanish president taking his half-goth daughters with him to meet Obama. You don't have to dress like Jackie O in a pink dress just because you're a politican's spawn. But it does sort of make the picture look very much fake.

I sort of half expect Obama to make a joke about it.
Obama: - nudge - "Your daughter wears combat boots"

PM: "Que?"

Obama: "It's a riff off an old saying here - your mother wears combat boots."

PM: "Mi Madre non esta violencia - mi Madre es muerte, es con dios."

Obama: "No, no, it's a joke, hey Michelle, help me out here..."

Michelle: - Snort - ...not on your life...

PM: "Que es "riff", que es "joke"?

Obama:...forget it....
But by now it seems that Obama is just going through the motions with his photo oppurtunities. Don't believe me? Take a look at this

Barack Obama's amazingly consistent smile from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Paul Has Been Dead All Along

Paul Has Been Dead All Along

Earlier this month The Beatles remastered disc were released. Oh yeah, and some Beatles rock band game people are playing was also released. I've had enough time to play around with them like a kid on Christmas.. as much as a kid can play with music on Christmas....

It's Sunday and well, I have to say that it really doesn't feel like a Sunday for me if I'm not listening to The Beatles sometime during the day. It's the way I grew up with Breakfast with the Beatles and going to the Pasadena flea market. Yeah, that's the ticket. Now that I've had almost a month to play around with the music, as much as one can play with music...

In any event, I have to say, I love the music. It's such a great thing to sit around and listen to the sounds of these remastered disc. As we're only four days away from Halloween, it's time to talk about spooky things.. Well, this isn't so spooky. It's just fact. Paul is dead. He died a long ass time ago. Yup, that was the urban legend long before was ever around to confirm/deny it. The writing was on the wall and to be honest, I suppose I would have swallowed this pill if I was a youth at the time.

How could you not? Or, more to the point, what am I talking about, right? The legend goes that sprinkled in the Beatles music, by chance or deliberately placed, there is clues telling the listeners that in 1966, the original Paul McCartney, while working on Sgt. Pepper stormed out of a recording session after a fight and rode off in an Austin-Healey that he crashed into a lamp post and died. He was replaced with a Paul look/sound alike and the story carried on without anyone noticing.

You may have been curious as to why on the Let It Be album cover it features photos of all the Beatles taken from their rooftop performance except for Paul, who looks like he is in a studio with a red wall behind him. What's the deal there? Did they just not have a photo of his that worked there? It's cause Paul is dead, of course.

Take a look at the Abbey Road cover in detail from your remastered box and Paul really didn't do himself any favors to dispel the rumors of his death by walking out of step of the others and smoking a cigarette. Not to mention walking bare foot. Anyone of those things on their own and you can easily brush them off. But for those that actually bought into him being a doppelganger or replaced, man it must have broken their brains at the time. There isn't enough tin foil in the world to cover one mans head with all those clues stacked against them.

That stuff not enough to convince you? Take the lyrics of multiple Beatles songs. "He didn't notice that the lights had changed". At which point he crashes into a lamp post as you can hear car crash sounds in Revolution 9 and A Day In The Life. He was pronounced dead on a "Wednesday morning at 5 o'clock as they day begins"

A funeral procession was held days later, as was supposedly implied on the Abbey Road album cover by the Beatles' clothing. John dressed in white like a clergyman. Ringo wearing a black suit like an undertaker. Paul in a blue suit without shoes, as a corpse would and George dressed in blue jeans symbolizing a gravedigger.

More than anything, the walrus represents death in many cultures and Paul is the walrus after all. He's the only one on the Magical Mystery Tour cover that is in all black. Doesn't that ring some bells there?Yes. Let's forget the influence of Lewis Carroll's work on John Lennon here and just go along with the idea that Paul is dead.

Never mind "The Walrus and the Carpenter" where they lure youthful, unsuspecting oysters to follow them only so they could eat them. Much the same way Lennon felt about the Beatles' role in popular culture. Their young unsuspecting fans were looking tot he Beatles for answers but Lennon had none to give, so he came to see the Beatles as a con artist. The Walrus regrets playing such a trick on the oysters and he weeps for them. This can be seen as John sings "I'm crying," in I Am The Walrus.

Then again.. I think there's only one person who could solve this mystery of a dead Paul... BATMAN!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Hollywood Hills Are Alive...

The Hollywood Hills Are Alive..

With the sound of music, that is. Today is the annual Sound of Music sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl. It's the more cleaned up version of what Rocky Horror fans partake in over on Santa Monica Blvd.

But unlike those roughens, these hills aren't going to throw it down, yo...

I'm sure there's not going to be much of that going on. But I suppose the bigger question is where does everyone go to eat after? Is there some giant Denny's serving Austrian food? Where does one find a good Apfelstrudel in L.A?

So while you Clliiiiiiimb every mountain to get to your super cheap seats, how about you take all your Faaaaavorite things along with you in a picnic basket? Yeah, this is a quickie post. More like a twitter feed only with video and more than 140 characters of puns. So from me to you- So long, farewell....

Glenn Beck Hits The Boiling Point... Maybe Not

Glenn Beck Hits The Boiling Point... Maybe Not

It's not easy being green. But then again it makes it worse if you're around Glenn Beck. Glenn Beck is pretty crazy. We already established that. So it's to no surprise that he goes out and kills a frog for the sake of illustrating an otherwise silly point...

I'm not sure what he's trying to say here. Perhaps the reality here is that the Pot has grown far too big and we cannot jump out. Cause we are small frogs or something. I dunno. The point was sort of lost on me. Maybe I'm just too small minded or maybe it's just that Glenn Beck is, as proven, fucking crazy.

Come on, Glenn. We all know that killing an animal is not really a smart way to get your point across. Just ask that U.S. soldier who tossed a puppy off a cliff. Unlike that tragic event, this one wasn't so graphic. I mean, the frog wasn't even real. Much like fake republicans and fake democrats, it was a fake frog.

From what I saw in that video, nothing comes out of his hands at all. There's no frog in the pot fake or not. Glenn Beck is simply a bad magician all around. But it's ok because people are that gullible. They wont even notice if the water started to boil over and they died... Oooh wait, Now I get what Glenn was trying to say.

Who cares if Glenn said he'd vote for Hillary over McCain, he's still a Republican lapdog. Beck fans don't care about that because he's told them that McCain is basically no better than Teddy Roosevelt and there's nothing that Americans and Republicans hate more than Teddy Fucking Roosevelt, right? Teddy Roosevelt.. Ha! Can you believe that shit?

Can't we just put Glenn Beck into a pot of boiling water?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Your Moment Of Politically Incorrectness

Your Moment Of Politically Incorrectness

Your moment of politically incorrectness for the day comes to us in way of this most awesome music video. Let your ears, much like your land, be raped by this white devil.

If you're one of those crazy Indians, what are you complaining about? Go back to your casino and dry those tears on the quarters of all those middle aged and retirees pension checks you're reaping.

You can't really blame them, their Danish. Danish usually make pretty bad music in general. Very campy. Look at Aqua. Though I have no excuse for this one

Michael Moore - Yeah, I Went There

Michael Moore - Yeah, I Went There

When I was younger I used to read a lot of Moore's books. I enjoyed them. They didn't have as much silliness as his shows and films. But if we're going to talk about anything Michael Moore, let's just get it out of the way already, Yes. he's fat. Are you right wingers happy now?

I can't say I hate Michael Moore. Because I don't. He has some really good ideas regarding what needs to be made into a documentary but his goofy grandstanding and prop comedy is dumb as hell. I remember watching TV Nation and loving it, but the only issue was his handling of some of the material. Clucky the chicken? Stop with that shit. No wonder they don't take you seriously and think your warnings are crazy talk.

I remember watching Roger and Me in my high school econ class years ago and being really depressed for a week or so. Then the next week we discussed it in class again and the only thing the rest of the class remembered was the rabbit lady and I was even more depressed.

In his latest film Capitalism: A Love Story, he takes on corporate America. Which you would expect would draw a lot of attention. He was doing Sicko a while back and look at where we are with our univeral health care discussion. But unlike other Michael Moore films, that attract a lot of negative attention when it comes to his stunts, this one, oddly enough, got a different reaction..

This from the interview caught my attention:
It happened while he and his crew were shooting the climax of the movie, where Michael decides to mark Wall Street as a crime scene, putting up yellow police tape around some of the financial district's towers of power.

While unfurling the tape in front of a "too big to fail" bank, he became aware of a group of New York's finest approaching him. Moore has a long history of dealing with policemen and security guards trying to shut him down, but in this case he knew he was, however temporarily, defacing private property. And his shooting schedule didn't leave room for a detour to the local jail. So, as the lead officer came closer, Moore tried to deflect him, saying: "Just doing a little comedy here, officer. I'll be gone in a minute, and will clean up before I go." The officer looked at him for a moment, then leaned in: "Take all the time you need." He nodded to the bank and said, "These guys wiped out a lot of our Police Pension Funds." The officer turned and slowly headed back to his squad car. Moore wanted to put the moment in his film, but realized it could cost the cop his job, and decided to leave it out. "When they've lost the police," he told me, "you know they're in trouble."
I suppose this really jumped out at me because in the past, it's been really easy to ignore Michael Moore as a fanatic liberal who had no impact outside of circles his ideas already float in. But now I'm a bit surprised because if these cops wont even exercise their just authority to silence him, then how will our union hold together?

I mean, is this what the NYPD is doing instead of busting blacks and Mexicans for decriminalized amounts of pot? Come on NYPD, get off your ass already. I recall in history that pretty much every successful revolution in history has featured at least some form of revolt by the army or its junior officers... Can this be the writing on the wall? Not that there's going to be a revolution in the US anytime soon...

The greater lesson here is you shouldn't fuck the police? Which is troubling because I have been writing a "Fuck the police" blog post for months now and never got around to finish it. I suppose that at the end of the day, most cops are victims. Just like everyone else in the bottom 99%. It's just that cops have the power to make you a victim. I find the irony here a bit too much to handle. Kinda sucks when you're the one taking it, doesn't it?

I mean, he doesn't like what the banks have done because he was personally affected. What a fantastic guy. It's the American way. Only give a shit when it starts effecting you. World War II, 9/11. We turn our eyes away when it's not involving us and don't give a shit about the cause unless it's us being affected.

What's funny is that all the people who are pissed off that banks are failing and companies that are so huge their failure would mean economic disaster, these people are madder than hell about the bailouts because that's socialism. But then you start talking about shoring up regulatory agencies to prevent these same companies from acting in such a way so they won't need a bailout and all of a sudden it's "we don't need big gubbinment getting in the way of the free market."

Then you watch the footage from the tea party march on Washington and suddenly it's not funny at all. If you'd written a screenplay about all that's gone down in the last eighteen months or so and shopped it around to the major studios in 1992, nobody would have considered it a plausible enough scenario to be worth optioning unless it was written as a spoof or black comedy. Now it's a documentary.

I don't get the hate for Michael Moore fromthe left. The fact that he's fat and often smug has nothing to do with the content of his messages which are mostly entirely appropriate and correct. Yeah, sometimes he panders to the easy sell, but let's look over to the republicans who have been playing dirty pool for some time now. Ann Coulter wouldn't be any less an aborrent monster if she was softspoken and articulate.

What I'm trying to say here is that the right wing is pretty fucking unreasonable. Yes, I know, it's a lot of original insight. I didn't say I was breaking new ground here. I'm just stating my opinion. Which is that I'm looking forward to seeing this film. I'm sure I'll agree with a lot of the opinions expressed by this fatman that both the right and the left seem to have a strange relationship with, but then again, both the right and the left have been doing some pretty strange things lately.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dead Aliens Must Die!

Dead Aliens Must Die!

This passes as news these days. Apparently some brats saw some scary mother fuckin' shit coming at them, and instead of waiting and seeing what it was, they fucked it's shit up with a bunch of rocks...

And hey, the printed press covers this as well. No wonder I decided to not be a journalist.
A mysterious photograph has become the subject of wild internet speculation after a group of teenagers claimed it was a terrifying creature that they beat to death while playing near a cave in Panama.

The rubbery beast was said to have been spotted by a group of teenagers crawling out of a cave as they played in the town of Cerro Azul north of Panama City on Saturday.

To their horror, they claimed it came towards them. Fearing for their safety, they beat it to death with sticks, throwing its body in a pool of water, they told Panama's Telemetro television station.
And this is why we wont have anymore nice aliens come visit us. Thanks Panama. Why must they kill that poor innocent alien? Doesn't everyone enjoy a good 'ol fashioned anal probing every now and then? What is it with the kids of today? Looking at the picture it looks so squishy and lovable. Poor alien was just trying to make friends.

I have to wonder if they took the one ring from it after tossing it in the river. I suppose it would be silly of me not to mention an Eraserhead nod here as it clearly looks like the baby from Eraserhead.

I have to say that the news anchor had to be the worse news anchor I have ever seen, and I worked in some pretty shitty areas that had piss poor local news. She's like a presenter off a university TV Channel. It's presented so badly. REAL NEWS AS IT HAPPENS, CNN! I suppose I can't blame her too much. You try telling the world that some kids killed an alien with rocks and keep a straight face and professional demeanor through it.

If their story is that they'd killed it by throwing rocks at it, they should have also faked some injury markings as well. More than likely just punched a sloth in the face and shaved it, but the internet is going to love this as some cryptozoology bullshit for some time. I love wacky cryptozoological stories like this as it brings out the crazies and also makes the most professional scientist sound like complete whack jobs.

It's estimated that over 50% of the world's living things have yet to be identified. Kinda makes me sad that every single one larger than a small insect will probably be killed out of fear. And that people will automatically scream "ALIENS" and assume it's from another planet. This sounds like it's just some condensed swamp gas collected in a weather balloon that happens to look like a sloth.

All I can really see in this story is 4 possibilities:

-Teens killed a sloth, came back and it looked like this
-Teens killed a bald sloth, came back and took pictures
-Teens found a bald sloth (or threw a dead, hairy sloth into creek, and it went bald), came back and took pictures
-Teens killed a creature that was in fact from another planet and came here to destroy us all. Only it didn't count on our plucky teenagers or our abundance of rocks.

It really fills you with hope for the future that the default response in every story like this is always to first beat the mystery creature to death and then dispose of the body. I feel like some higher power is going to come down and give these children a sort of pep talk.
Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Panamanian children? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment.

I bet you're thinking that sloths aren't dangerous at all. These kids must be monsters for killing or fucking around with a dead sloth. I mean, it has to be a sloth. Well, you should watch your mouth. You may think that Sloths aren't anything. Who the fuck is scared of a sloth? They're slow as hell, what can they do?

You'd be speaking like someone who has never pissed off a full-grown Panamanian sloth. That fucker ripped the canvas top off our humvee from front to back, left god damned dents and scratches in the paint. All because jackass, the squad leader decided to "kick it out of the way" when it was crossing the path too slowly for his liking. I didn't know they could growl. We spent the next few nights scared for our lives as it hunted us slowly, following our trail, waiting for us to go to sleep. What those kids did was nothing short of a David and Goliath story.

It was torn apart by buzzards a day later, that's what the remains ended up looking like. For the kids, not for my fictitious sloth story. That never happened. Though I'm sure if it did, or if I was ever in the case of a slow moving alien sloth was coming after me, I'd punch it in the face and scream "WELCOME TO EARF!" But in reality, Sloths are pretty awesome.

I wish I could be even 1/10th as cool as one of those chill sloths. Look at him, completely a ladies man. I suppose the saying slow and steady get all the poontang, right? This act of aggression will not stand.. Though, they're sloths, so it's not like they're going to do anything about it. They're slow as all fuuuuuuck. But still, we shouldn't encourage kids to throw rocks at every single thing as the solution. It clearly isn't the solution to anything. For one dead sloth we should all go out and hug a sloth today. It's the only correct thing to do. Have you've hugged a sloth today?

A Toast To A Loaf of Bread In A Cup

A Toast To A Loaf of Bread In A Cup

Today, September 24th, is the 250th birthday of the Guinness brewery and its famous brews. Now, I really can't tell what the 250th birthday is celebrating. Some places cite that it's the day that it's the 250th Anniversary of Arthur Guinness signing the famous 9,000 year lease at St. James Gate in Dublin. But that was on December 31st of 1759. A little shy of that, aren't we?

Hey, what's a couple of months when talking about 250 years, right? That's a whole lot older than I can ever hope to achieve. So in honor of this festive day when, back 250 years ago, the Irish got wise and decided that they didn't want to pay the extra tax and just roasted their barley.

I have to say, I love Guinness. It's a delicious drink and even though it is considered a meal in a cup or that it's too heavy, the drink has one of the fewest calorie count for any beer. Only 170 calories for a pint. That's lower than just about any other beer. To add to that, because of all the all the things that go into Guinness, it's actually a really good beer to have when you eat as it helps your stomach break down and digest your food. So there's a lot of healthy benefits to drinking. Though if you're driving, maybe you shouldn't be drinking too much.

In accordance to this anniversary to Arthur, the Guinness company will be celebrating in Dublin as well as other places around the world. So at Dublin time 17:59, they will have an official toast to Arthur. Let me do the time difference here and that makes it 12:59 Eastern and so 9:59 West coast time.. Hmm, Are there any bars open at that time of morning anywhere around here? Geez, I don't want to get a drink at that time anyway. Seems awfuly inconvient.

Why can't they extend this? Oh who am I kidding, it's the Irish we're talking about. There's already something in the works to extend this from Thursday all the way till Sunday. Is there any excuse not to celebrate a St. Patty's Day II? Hell, it's roughly about 6-7 months from St. Patty's Day anyway. Might as well make a celebration for it.

Guinness is one o those amazing drinks. It's a benchmark for Dry Irish stouts. You can't compete with it and you might as well not try. There's something about this drink that even with the pitch black dark full headed foam that gets you every time. Some say that you can't get the same drink outside of Dublin. That the Guinness you have there is like no other you've ever had.

I suppose that could be true. You see, Guinness iis served on nitrogen. That's to say it's nitrogenated instead of carbonated. This helps the bubbles be finer and makes it smooth. In the states you have to compensate for the lack of nitrogen in the bottles some how, this is why your Guinness makes a noise when it's empty and you shake it. That's the widget inside. Though that was only invented 50 years ago. So hey, new anniversary for that in itself! God damn, can they stop with it. I have enough anniversaries to worry about as it is.

Though if you really can score some, try the 250th Anniversary stout. It's hoppier and reverts to carbonation as if taking a sip from a pint from way back when. It'll blow your mind. Though I'm sure you wont find any place open at 11am. So while you shouldn't and more likely wont be chugging the liquid loaf in the morning, make it a goal to get a pint of it somewhere sometime during the day. You can even go all out and try the 250th Anniversary Guinness that's floating around a good number of bars. That is if you're able to be bright enough to know where to get it. I know I'll be stopping by some watering hole and getting myself a pint of the stuff. Though, maybe you should also pour some to the curb for dead sloths everywhere... Oh, don't worry, it'll be explained in the next blog.

So with that, let's toast!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Know Your Public Enemy

Know Your Public Enemy

Well DC has done it again, they produced yet another DCUniverse cartoon. Considering how screwed up DC has had their live action films go into production limbo, it's really amazing to see that they're really on top of their game when it comes to the Animated universe. The last time around in the form of a Green Lantern and Wonder Women animated film, I was blown away on how good they were. This time it was a bit more of a tricky situation. You see, I know my Public Enemy and it's Jeph Loeb.

The latest DC Animated film is Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Which is the story taken directly from the Jeph Loeb written Superman/Batman: Public Enemies story arc... Yeah, creative, I know. For someone who left the company to go work for Marvel, it's sure nice of them to treat his book with such regard to bump it up on the list of animated films to be made.

I have to say, Green Lantern: First Flight and Wonder Woman were both way better films than this. But it had a lot of cool moments sprinkled along into it. Not to mention you get Kevin Conroy back doing the voice of Batman and Tim Daly as Superman. Anyone who loved both superheroes Bruce Timm/Dini animated series are going to love this film for getting them back to do the voices of the characters. And yes, you get them back at a cost. That is, you have to pay for it in the form of a Jeph Loeb story.

In case you're wondering, yes, the plot matches the comic pretty much as close as they could get it without actually using some of the more stupid elements from the comic book.. Ok, what am I saying, it's all in there. If you've read the comic you know what you're in for. Well, if you've read any Jeph Loeb story in the last few years you know what you're in for.

It's literally an hour of Superman and Batman teaming up to beat the living shit out of every DC hero and villain and a little of Michael Bay's Armageddon thrown in for good measure. I thought it was entertaining enough. If I saw this when I was a kid I would have gone fucking nuts. And really, isn't that what the whole purpose of the film was made for? Wont anyone think of the children?

Solomon Grundy, Mongul (what he wants with money? I don't know), Frost Bite, Mr. Freeze, Bansee, Shiva, Nightshade, Grodd, The Secret Six, Suicide Squad, Despro, Vigilante, Chemo, Bane, Giganta, Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold and many many more...

Hell, the battles alone take up a majority of the film. For an hour and six minute film, I have to say that it has about 10 minutes of actual dialogue. The rest is battle after battle with other super heroes. I'm just going to toss it out there. You have Superman battling Shazam!.. though they call him Captain Marvel, and it's pretty intense. Toss in Hawkman and well, if you've read the comic you know how that ends, but it's pretty much a rock 'em, sock'em bout

Yup, the guest list in this film is a who's-who of the DCU. You should expect less depth than your average 30 minute Batman episode and get ready for fights with every single character listed above. When you see Jeph Loeb on the front of a book or production you know that the story is going to be pretty fucking retarded. It has a lot of one liners and the animation, while not true Bruce Timm style, is good enough to remind you of a poor man's Ed McGuinness, the artist of the comic with the same name. Turn your brain off and pretend your watching an animated version of Commando and it's really just entertaining.

You also have CCH Pounder as Amanda Waller.. and to be honest, whenever I read her character in the comics I always pictured CCH Pounder from her role on The Shield to make a perfect Amanda Waller. You have Power Girl making her debut in the DC animated world as well. Though I'm sure someone will correct me on that if I'm wrong. I suppose I just don't remember any time when her massive power girl tits have been soo... talked about in a childrens movie.

Hell, the first opening to the video is a bleeped out The Daily Show segment letting us know what kind of world we're currently in where Lex Luther is now President. Yeah, that's right. President Lex Luther. Which was a pretty interest story arc in the comic books till Jeph Loeb decided to wrap it all up with this story arc and make him crazy again.

This film was pretty mature, all things considered. Even if you have the stupid elements from the book like the giant robo sup/bats at the end. But even in that, you have a 13 year old boy talk about how he's using X-ray glasses to check out Power Girl's tits. Hey, guess what. There's a damn hole in her costume right on the cleavage area. You don't need X-ray vision to look at them.

Over all, it's a decent Superman/Batman animated film. It has all the things that matter in Daly and Conroy. That in itself should sell you on the idea of this alone. If you enjoy random Jeph Loeb style fighting between superheroes, this will be up your alley as well. In the end, it's not as good as Green Lantern and definitely not as good as Wonder Woman. But it's well worth a viewing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Need A Gun? I Know A Guy, Who knows A Guy...

Need A Gun? I Know A Guy, Who knows A Guy...

Nah, I'm just messing with you. I don't know anyone who can get you a gun. You're on your own. But I can give you a hint.. If you want to get something to shoot at things (read: people) then you're going to have to go to the number one seller of weapons 'o' mass pew-pewing: America.
U.S. Increases Its Share of Worldwide Arms Market

WASHINGTON — Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.

The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before.

Italy was a distant second, with $3.7 billion in worldwide weapons sales in 2008, while Russia was third with $3.5 billion in arms sales last year — down considerably from the $10.8 billion in weapons deals signed by Moscow in 2007.

The growth in weapons sales by the United States last year was particularly noticeable against worldwide trends. The value of global arms sales in 2008 was $55.2 billion, a drop of 7.6 percent from 2007 and the lowest total for international weapons agreements since 2005.
The top buyers in the developing world in 2008 were the United Arab Emirates, which signed $9.7 billion in arms deals; Saudi Arabia, which signed $8.7 billion in weapons agreements; and Morocco, with $5.4 billion in arms purchases.

The study uses figures in 2008 dollars, with amounts for previous years adjusted for inflation to give a constant financial measurement.
You hear that? We're number one! Hell fucking yeah.. Hooo-raaah! If you're going to do something, you may as well do it right. How could anyone think this is a good thing? Well, clearly you don't own some lockheed stock. If you did, you'd be dancing in the streets, just like those countries do, shooting their AK's (which more than likely were bought through us).

It does bring up a good question. What's the list of countries who spent a few million on weapons. Someone has to be buying them to make us such a power seller. We can't be selling them to ourselves, now can we? There's also a bit of irony to watching our troops get blown away by our own weapons. If we all had guns, war would never happen, right?

I also wonder if this is all mainly guns/explosives and not a bunch of expensive computer systems, sensors and support packages. You know, all those heavy equipment that tell the guided missiles were to go. Because then we're just padding the numbers. If when we invade the countries we sell the weapons to, isn't it basically the same thing as an older brother saying "Quit hitting yourself! Quit hitting yourself!" while he pummels the shit out of his smaller brother?

I'm a bit surprised that Italy is #2. What do they make besides decent small arms anyway? Spaghetti, Sports cars maybe. But who the hell is buying these small arms like Benelli and Beretta? Pea shooters compared to what we have on the sales floor. Boo-yah! How are you going to kill the mass amount of people with those silly little guns? Come on, Italy, step it up some if you want to be a true death dealer like the good 'ol U.S. of A!

But to be fair, I'm not sure how much death dealing America is really doing compared to the other guys. Yes, we're selling a lot of weapons to our frienemies so they could kill our enemies, but the measure of death we're propagating can't be measured by the dollar figure and it doesn't give full perspective to quantity of weapons and their use. I would venture to guess that the $5 million Bulgaria-Congo arms transfer of the world probably wind up killing more people than the $350 million US-UAE transfer.

Look at it this way, more people have been killed with $120 rifles than $100,000 missiles because most violence in the world consists of poor people killing other poor people and the means to inflict suffering are very very cheap. It may not be very accurate, but you shoot enough bullets through an AK and you're bound to hit someone. Sadly that someone is usually the innocent.

Most of these sales may be for big ticket items. It's countries going to Washington going on spending spree buying shit they could not possibly need to meet nonexistent or at best trumped up threats from Iran. Yes, my tiny desert Emirate needs 300 modern main battle tanks.. It's like going to Best Buy and buy a high end gaming computer to do your taxes.

If there's one thing that is clear from all this and that we need to take to heart, it's that we clearly need to spend more on defense. Look at how many guns and weapons we sell to other countries. We have to stay ahead of them or the terrorist win.. I mean, literally, they win with our toys!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun With Zoom/Enhance : Obama

Fun With Zoom/Enhance : Obama

Today on fun with zoom/enhance we take a look at our President. If ever given the chance to be around the president, let alone in a picture with him, you would think that this would be a time to put on your best face, you may just be in the history books after all. So we get to this picture of Obama

And as odd as it may seem to have him hold a lightsaber while a fencer is standing there, you go along with it. How could you not? It looks like he's about to appoint the star wars kid as lightsaber czar.

It took me a moment to look for the hidden "where's waldo" precious moment in this one. I mean, the fact that he has a lightsaber should be enough to warrant this be a funny picture, but look closer and you'll realize

There we go. The real beauty to this picture. You're standing on the white house lawn and Obama is playing with a lightsaber and what do you go do, Pick your nose? What the hell kind of person are you? Come on, man. Couldn't just wait till you left the most famous unpainted home to do this?

Hee. Just gotta laugh. It's an easy throw away blog, but why the hell not. Comedy gold is being picked here.. or at least something is being picked.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Keeping It Old Fashioned

Keeping It Old Fashioned

You know the old saying about not trying things you see on Television in life? Well, that's a load of shit. Jackass viewers break their arms all the time. Me, on the other hand, we'll, I'm all for mimicking more comforting television indulgence.

Perhaps I've seen one too many episodes of Mad Men, but I've grown to enjoy the taste of an Old Fashion. This drink is said to be the oldest cocktail around. It predates anything else you could ask your bartender for and is the first documented cocktail around. So why not take it old school and try one? It's really good, I must say.

I'm a scotch whiskey drinker mainly, but I've enjoyed my fair share of bourbon in the past. After an episode of Mad Men where Don Draper made one I thought to myself "You know, that looks pretty good" and much like how I decide to try making anything, be it bacon wrapped hot dogs, pulled pork, tuna poke or whatever else I fancy, I looked up a couple of recipes and here's my take on this old drink.

Here's the way I would make it, which is really good and I would recommend anyone try it to really try something new that isn't Jack and Coke. It may take a couple more minutes than pouring two items into a glass, but you'll get a justified reward for doing that work if you're willing to try it.

What you will need is:

4 parts bourbon
1 part soda water
1 dash of bitters (you can get this at any liquor store, one small bottle lasts forever)
2-3 maraschino cherries, depending on taste
1 large glass (to mix the bourbon, Soda water and bitters)
1 small tumbler glass (to serve in)

What you do is you pour the bourbon, soda water, and bitters into a large glass filled half way with ice (Cracked if you can.. and really, to crack ice you simply hit it with the back of the soon) and stir.

Put the cherries at the bottom of the second, smaller glass (flat bottomed tumbler), mash using the back of a spoon so the juice covers the bottom of the glass. You can also toss in orange slices into this if you want. The trick is to make sure you're smashing.. this is called muddling, which you could use a muddler for, but hey, why get more tools dirty?

Pour the mixed bourbon into the tumbler, add an olive, cherry or twist of lemon on top and drink up. The final product shouldn't be sweet but not too bitter either. You should be able to taste the alcohol and a hint of cherry.

It's made this way so it'll be more pleasant to drink than straight bourbon yet wont destroy your taste/palate like an over-sugared drink like daiquiris would. Hence it's the perfect before-dinner cocktail along with the martini.

Hopefully you'll be enjoying this drink soon. I know I'll be making one tonight to catch another episode of Mad Men as well as the start of a new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.