Thursday, February 28, 2008

More on Everybody's Favorite Diablo

Click on the title above to peruse three hilarious pages of Diablo Cody's next screenplay.

One of the Most Depressing Things Ever

Click on the title above, read post, then thank every god you know that you are not the person who wrote it.

A Serious Evaluation of Vladimir Putin

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

5 Tips for a Healthy Heart

1. Never eat good food.
2. Avoid salt licks.
3. Never fall in love.
4. Exercise a lot--but not too much.
5. Let your partner(s) do all the work in bed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mother Knows Best?

Okay, so the woman my mom wants me to marry looked pretty good the other night, at her work function. All these years, ever since my mom first laid eyes on her, I've been hemming and hawing because I just wasn't sure she was sexy enough to "get my engine going," if you know what I mean. Today, I may have changed my mind. (!!!)

Okay, before I continue, I feel like you should know something about me right off: I have certain standards when it comes to the fairer sex. My future wife, god bless her little marathon-runner's heart, will be so attractive, her beauty will feel like a handicap. Her youthful glow will blind me with every gaze, quarters will be easily deflected by any and every inch of her body, her mere smell will turn me into a slavering monster, grotesque with desire. Yet, for her part, she will feel hideously ugly and, therefore, fawn all over me, unfailingly grateful for my tolerance, my against-all-odds love. And she must also be exceptionally intelligent and cool--tres cool.

So you see what a noteworthy day it is when I can confidently state that I am considering taking a bride. Once my assistant, Thrombosis, is able to interview and examine said candidate--and provided she passes the rigorous 5-point inspection test (1. unit, 2. face, 3. brain, 4. skin, 5. that certain, special something)--we'll have a better idea of where this will lead. For now, please clear your schedules for the rest of the year--there may be a storybook wedding in store for you after all!

[Note: Yes, I am fully aware Ms. Heigl married longtime beau Josh Kelly on Dec.24, 2007. If Jerry Seinfeld can steal a bride on her honeymoon, I shouldn't have any trouble with Josh--hence my cool, calm demeanor.]

Monday, February 25, 2008

And the Diablo Cody Award Goes to...

Diablo Cody, heroine of the 'Sideways'-set, onetime stripper (have you heard this?), and scribe of the predictably quirky, awful movie 'Juno,' has brought home the Oscar hardware, thanks to a PR blitz of a magnitude unseen since the days of Matt Damon & Ben Affleck's 'surprise' victory for 'Good Will Hunting' in 1997. Nothing like the triumph of the underdog to warm the hearts of legions of robotic academy voters.

But who is this Diablo Cody? I mean, we all know she used to strip, because that is somehow...important...but I want to dig a little deeper. Who are her heroes? Who inspires her? Perhaps we can learn something from the biography on her imdbpro page:

"Diablo Cody is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Minnesota to live with her Internet boyfriend, Jonny (now her husband). While there she decided, on a whim, to take up stripping as a hobby of sorts. Meanwhile, she was working in an ad agency.

Within a year she got a promotion at the ad agency, which wore her ragged, and was something she did not particularly care for (it demanded organization, which is something at which she was not very good). Eventually, she quit her day job with Jonny's blessings and began stripping full-time. During the course of about a year she went from Amateur Night, which was her first stripping experience, to a place she refers to in her book as Sheiks, then to Déjà Vu, and so on. She then took up work as a phone-sex operator before returning to stripping.

Shortly thereafter she decided to quit stripping and she and Jonny married. They moved to what she refers to as "the 'burbs, and no one strips unless they're taking a bubble bath." Her stepdaughter was the flower girl in the wedding and, according to Diablo, they are very happy."

Question: doesn't successful screenwriting require organization? Answer: I guess not. I mean, she won an OSCAR! I can see why, what with being able to whip out lines like, "the 'burbs--where no one strips unless they're taking a bubble bath." Gold! Provided you forget the fact that most strippers come from the burbs, and most strip clubs are located in the burbs...

What else can we learn about this fascinating figure, this literary vixen that has the American press under her spell? What previously-unmarketable pet projects will she finally be able to get made, now that her shit has stopped stinking?

Projects in the Works:

1. 'The United States of Tara' (2008)---TV Series---A woman struggles to find a balance between her dissociative identity disorder and raising a dysfunctional family. (Dysfunctional families are so hot right now!) Steven Spielberg created it, boot-strapper Jason Reitman (son of producer/director Ivan Reitman, director of 'Juno') will direct.

2. 'Jennifer's Body' (2009)---A newly possessed cheerleader turns into a killer who specializes in offing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror? Megan Fox (from 'Transformers;' sucks as an actress; would make a great stripper) stars. Jason Reitman produces, which begs the question: is Jason Reitman her pimp?

3. 'Burlesque' (2009)---[no synopsis available, but something tells me it's about a stripper...] Diablo is co-writing this gem, along with horribly-unsuccessful-but-somehow-still-working writer/director/actor Steve Antin (example: 'Gloria:' Budget=$30million, Gross=$4.1million). She'll also be working with legendary producer Donald DeLine--he of 'Domestic Disturbance,' 'Italian Job,' 'Without A Paddle,' and 'Fool's Gold' infamy, who is currently producing 16 movies for release in 2008-9, including the much-anticipated 'Brazilian Job' (yeah, a sequel to 'Italian Job' Brazil! Crazy!) and a live-action Jetson's movie. How does one person produce 16 movies at once? Easily! He hires overeducated, overworked, underpaid underlings to do all the work for him, while he lounges by the pool at the Chateua Marmont, continuing his unsuccessful quest to bed wannabe starlets.

4. 'Girly Style' (2009)---[no synopsis available] Diablo sold the pitch to Universal, with Mason Novick (Producer-Juno) producing. Mason Novick seems to also have come from nowhere (although I doubt he was ever a stripper, so we won't hear much about him), turned to gold by the Juno touch, to find himself producing 12 films in 2008-2009. Here is a delightful summary of six of those movies, copied from imdbpro:

'Dirty Step Stomp'---A spoof of dance movies, from "classics" such as Footloose and Dirty Dancing, to more contemporary fare, including Stomp the Yard and Step Up.

'Curve'---A woman finds herself in certain danger after she offers a ride to the stranger who helped fix her car. Her situation worsens when the emergency maneuver she pulls finds her trapped in her car in a ravine, with her assailant waiting for her time to run out. (No actors have been attached yet, but 10 brave producers have started cashing checks.)

'Untitled Treasure Hunt Project'---A group of childhood pals reunite in search of a treasure they were unable to find as kids. (Five producers onboard so far for this Big-Chill-meets-Goonies shitfest).

'Y: The Last Man'---A young escape artist and a Capuchin monkey become the only male survivors of a deadly plague that kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome.

'In the Stars'---A fake psychic becomes famous after one of her phony predictions comes true.

'Razorwire'---The script centers on a group of small-time drug dealers who discover that vampires, who also happen to be cops, have been feeding on the disadvantaged people in the ghetto. When the vampire cops start framing them for the murders, the dealers go to war with their new immortal enemies.

[And you ask why the movie business is in trouble? The plot synopses of those six movies are funnier than 99% of the comedies that were released in the last six years...]

In closing (sixth-grade book-report style), I have learned that Diablo Cody will be in our faces for at least the next 2 years. I look forward to hearing many, many more times that she was once a stripper. I have also learned that a lot of people are riding her leopard-print coattails to much fame and fortune, despite lack of talent and/or business acumen, and I am reminded of a famous, unattributed quote: "success has many fathers, and failure is an orphan." I have also also learned that I should avoid the mutliplex like the plague in 2009. The End.

* Tune in next week to hear about what I did on my spring vacation! *

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Yowl of Unresolved Cat Life

I took an eight hour nap today, after an extraordinarily late night, and now lie awake in the middle of the night, acutely conscious, being driven to the point of insanity by the guttural moaning, screeching, and mewling of an alleycat in heat. An alleycat that has dogged me for three accursed years now, disappearing occasionally, randomly (or is it according to some obscure pagan fertility
schedule?), seemingly only to ensure her vocal yearnings will never be so constant as to blend in with my sonic environment and cease to retain their full effect.

In my lonelier moments, as I lie unattended in bed, forced to compare my own sex life to that of cats, specifically to that of the one insatiable cat begging for cat-dick* outside my window, I find the plaintive wailings reverberating through the cement and brick alleyscape unbearably depressing for a host of reasons.

1. Why is it so easy for this cat to unabashedly ask for what it wants, while I find the mating process so fraught with awkwardness, difficulty, and disappointment?
2. Why is it that this cat seems to have so much trouble getting laid, despite its clear intentions? A human female would not have the same problem, should she spread her legs in an alley and shout for all comers to have a go. Maybe she's a really ugly cat?
3. Why can this cat never get enough? Are all cats this horny, or is this cat some sort of rare sex-obsessed feline? And, if so, is there a lucrative black market for these rare animals?
4. Would it be a good thing or a bad thing, for myself as well as for the species, if women behaved like this cat? Would I really care if it was bad for the species but really, really good for me?

The big question on my mind lately, though, is this: how can this cat get away with keeping hundreds of people awake for years? Am I the only one who dreams of leaning out my window with a night-scope-bedecked sniper rifle and putting her out of her/my misery? Are my fellow forced insomniacs so cowed by the threat of PETA-sponsored legal ramifications that they just grin and bear it? Or is this cat simply an expert at hide and seek, or some sort of preternatural master of disguise? ("I heard the cat moaning, but then all I saw was a discarded Fendi handbag, so I moved on...")

Another big question: does this fucking cat ever sleep? The easy answer, supported by years of circumstantial evidence, is 'no.' Or maybe minute-long catnaps throughout the day are all she needs, fittingly. Or maybe this is the real reason she moans and screams: she hasn't slept in three years either.

Regardless, I have no sympathy for this cat for any reason. I am bigger than it, and I will kill it if I get the chance, animal-rights supporters be damned. I'm no Randy Lenz, mind you--he of 'Infinite Jest' cat-stomping infamy--but, all the same, I wouldn't mind it too much if he came 'round my place sometime soon and did his thing.

*I never even thought about cats having dicks. And I now wish the thought had never occured to me, or that I could wash it from my brain. Oh, forgetful mind, don't fail me now!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Only Rich People Can Wear Pajamas Around All Day Long, Even In Public, and Not Pay A Price

I know this because I am not rich and also, not coincidentally, cannot imagine the day I would be able to wear pajamas around and get away with it (let's face it, there are dress codes for burger-flippers).

I'd like to think, even if I temporarily lost my sanity and tried to make the pajamas thing happen, that some long-forgotten kill-pact signed in blood at a dirty fraternity house / cockfighting pitch somewhere in the world would kick in and an overqualified, up-and-coming rent-a-ninja would swoop down from the towering eucalyptus trees and disembowel me, mid-stride, as I peacocked across the henyard, Starbucks-ward, wilfully flaunting my flaunting of convention.

Let's face it, I'd deserve it.

Up Is Down, Down Is Up!?!

A Beagle Won the Coveted Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show!

A beagle!

'The dumbest canine breed ever created in a test tube' has finally won the official approval of the notoriously snobbish, but dutifully just, dog-judgers!

"Despite the popularity of beagles in the U.S., none has ever won the top spot in the 100 year history of the prize."

"The fix is surely in," thought naive young Miami cocaine smuggler and part-time dog breeder Miguel Caliente Ferrari-Caballero. And didn't we all agree? (I mean--come on! A beagle? What Russian mafiosovich tugged those strings to line his pockets?)

But then, only widget minutes later(!), after a bit of off-the-clock surveillance at the nearby Sunset Towers retirement community, risking his life to sniff out the truth for all of us out here in the real world, M. Ferrari-Caballero discovered that the fix most assuredly was NOT in. The brittle puppeteers behind the more media-friendly judging panel had simply become too senile to know the difference between a puppy and a box of rotting cow tongues.

Now, the meat:
What Does This Mean For You, As A Discerning Individual?

The short answer:
Only Time Will Tell

The likely final answer, revealed weeks from now for most, but right now just for you, because I like your face:
Nothing. Life will continue as usual. Time will pass. Slowly, but quickly, once you stop to think about it. You are still a loser. Your job is still a disappointment to you, however secret that evaluation might be. You are still short. You still sweat too much. Your girlfriend is still cheating on you, or trying to. You still don't know what it's like to be a real, live human being. But things can get better--once you embrace the deceptively logical tenets of Scientology...

7 Reasons Dane Cook Should Not Be Invited to Your Notoriously Licentious Leap-Year Party

1. The SUperfinger (aka SU-FI). Yeah, the U is supposed to be capitalized. Yeah, he didn't even invent it, but he DID trademark it...

2. 'Dane Cook Gear' exists.

3. This gear is for sale on his own site; it's not some woefully-misguided/money-laundering Taiwanese operation ignoring a cease-and-desist.

4. 'Danespace: 2.2 million friends'

5. He has the most negative entry I've ever read on wikipedia (yes, even Hitler's is more forgiving)--a freely-changeable website his PR people (as well as himself) have total access to and, therefore, the ability to alter at a moment's notice. They, the 'PR people,' for all their I-went-to-Bard-and-I'm-gonna-be-somebody-someday- even-though-I'm-only-making-$21,000-a-year-and-living-off- my-wealthy-parents-in-a-trendily-dirty-little-Brooklyn-apartment- while-looking-for-a-rich-banker-boyfriend-who's-not-too-geeky gusto, can't seem to keep up with the less-dedicated, but far more numerous, anti-fans that safeguard the authenticity of the Internet for us all. While we sleep.

(Thank you, by the way...).

Here is a lengthy, but warranted, excerpt from said entry:

After the release of his CD/DVD Retaliation, similarities were noticed between Cook's work and material recorded on Louis C.K.'s 2001 album Live in Houston. The bits in question are Louis C.K.'s "Itchy Asshole", "Guy on a Bike", and "Naming Kids". In 2005, Dane Cook performed and released three similar routines on Retaliation. These are "Itchy Asshole", "Struck by a Vehicle," and "My Son Optimus Prime", respectively.

In 2005, on the message boards of comedy web site A Special Thing, C.K. posted a response to his fans who accused Cook of plagiarizing from him writing "Okay, this kid is stealing from me. And making lots of money. Three bits on one CD." Later, C.K. wrote "Just so you know, guys, I'm not going to do anything about this.... I'm not going to court over a bit called 'Itchy Asshole.'" In an interview on the Free Beer & Hot Wings Morning Show in February 2007, C.K. stated that while the jokes are similar, the issue was "overblown" and may stem from a backlash against Cook's popularity. However, C.K. accused Cook of being "bullyish" and litigious towards comedians for having similar material to his despite Cook claiming elsewhere that comedians often have similar material and it is not a big issue to him. C.K. also stated "Too bad the guy [Cook] can't write enough." After much pressure by the hosts for a derogatory statement, C.K. ended the interview by finally adding, "Fuck Dane Cook, he's a cunt."

Comedian Joe Rogan has spoken on many occasions about Cook performing a bit on an episode of Premium Blend that Rogan had developed on I'm Gonna Be Dead Someday (sketch titled "Tigers Fucking"), and claims to have performed the routine earlier in clubs with Cook present.

Less publicized accusations of comedic plagiarism by Cook emerged in September 2006 on Saturday Night Live by Demetri Martin of Daily Show fame. Clips on YouTube show a stand up bit Cook lifted from Martin's These Are Jokes (released September 26, 2006, four days before Cook's SNL appearance), on some trouble buying shoes, where Cook goes as far as using the same incorrect shoe size (size 9) that Martin used.

Rob Sheffield criticized Dane Cook's material in a Rolling Stone article from October 2006, claiming a joke he performed was originally done by Emo Philips.

In addition to such specific claims of plagiarism, numerous commentators have characterized Dane Cook's humor as unfunny, banal, and lacking jokes.

6. Because I heard a few minutes of one of his stand-up routines once and I mistakenly thought it was a send-up of stand-up routines--and not a very good one at that.

7. Because, while admittedly a savvy businessman, he is dumb.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Favorite Valentine's Day Ever

The year was 1980. I was one year old and deeply in love with Susan Lucci... Kiding. The year was 2003. Boston. A cold and dreary winter. A lonely winter. I had just moved there in January with a good friend of mine, Angela, and her friend from college, Laura. We knew noone and, therefore, had decided to give ourselves til Valentine's Day to make enough friends to have a real party, figuring we'd all probably be single then anyway.

We lived in a huge three bedroom apartment on Hancock Street in Porter Square. After several weeks of impoverished laying-around-and-drinking-a-lot, I got the lowest-paying job possible ($19,000/yr!) as a travel agent for STA Travel, answering phones at the National Reservation Center off of Boston Common. Angela found a job as a receptionist at a hair salon AND as a dogwalker, as well as an internship at a local film production company. Laura ended up in childcare.

We invited our new friends who lived across the street, the three nurses that lived upstairs, people from work, random people we met in bars, and friends from school who lived nearby (New Hampshire and New Jersey). We bought a ton of alcohol. I dusted off my favorite records. We were set for the best party in Porter Square history. But it didn't quite end up that way...

Around 11pm, after much pre-partying with my roommates, my girlfriend, and our old friends from school, I noticed that nobody had arrived. Whatever. Between 11 and midnight, maybe a dozen people wandered in, none of whom I knew. They were all friends of people we invited, not those people themselves, who never bothered to show up. The most notable of these friends-of-friends was "Adele's Friend."

Now, I know he was Adele's friend because he was wearing a large homemade button that identified him as such. He was about 5'5", Indian, and wore a Mr. Rogers-ish sweater vest and bowtie combo. Not sure who Adele was, and painfully aware that this guy was a loser, I hesitated to let him inside when I answered the door. Angela came over and said Adele was a girl she interned with, who wasn't here yet, and that we should let him in.

"Why not? We need SOME people here..."

About half an hour later, I sat on the couch in the record room, in the dark, listening to Daft Punk, drunk, chatting with my friend JJ. Out of nowhere, Adele's Friend (whose name I never got, by the way), perched on the edge of a papasan chair as if in some kind of posture contest, interrupted.

"Excuse me, know I can do parlor tricks."

"What? Like what? Billiards? Darts?"

"Like that game where you go like this..."

He then pantomimed rapidly moving a knife between his fingertips.

"Oh, mumblypeg?" [note: I only knew this name because of a video game from my childhood, about pirates, called "Monkey Island"]


“Well, let’s fucking see it!”

I led a curious entourage out of the record room, down a narrow hallway, and into the kitchen. Now, the kitchen was a totally different scene from the record room--fluorescent lights on full-tilt, people standing around wrapped in shawls, drinking Diet Coke, talking about the differences between cats and dogs and stupid things like that. We marched in there and took over.

I reached into a cupboard and grabbed the biggest knife I had--a large chef's knife that may as well have been a meat cleaver, and presented it to Adele's friend. The cat-and-dog librarian set audibly hushed at the brandishing of said knife and watched this new, dangerous scene raptly.

“Oh, no...I can just use a pen...I wouldn’t want to...scratch your table.”

“JJ--grab a phone book.”

JJ plopped the 4-inch-thick Boston yellowpages on the table and we all stood back to observe. Would he actually do it?

Whether he wanted to or not, Adele's Friend hefted the knife, set down his hand, spread out his fingers, and went to work. He moved the knife with impressive speed, fearlessly plunging it toward his fingers time and time again, increasingly faster, until he suddenly dropped the knife and hid his hand behind his back. I saw a telltale drop of blood on the tip of the blade. The show was over. Adele's Friend turned to me sheepishly.

"Do you have any bandages?"

"I don't think so."

"Duct tape?"

"In the toolbox in the pantry, if I have it..."

The crowd began to melt away, their bloodlust sated. I turned to head back to the record room when my roommate, Laura, who had been holding court in the kitchen, sipping wine, grabbed me by the collar, her face flushed, her mind reeling.


"Nothing. He was playing mumblypeg and he cut himself. It's not bad, though, or he'd say something. He'll be fine."

"He stabbed himself?"

"No--I wouldn't use that word. I think he just cut his thumb."

Laura looked shell-shocked. She released her hold on me and seemed to lose herself in her imagination. Was she perhaps thinking back to the only warning our landlord had given us when we informed her of the party?

"Do whatever you want, as long as nobody gets stabbed."

She actually said that. Turns out, when she and her husband lived in the apartment, before they moved downstairs, they threw a huge party the night before sending their son off to the Navy. At some point, in a haze of alcohol, swords were pulled from the wall and somebody accidentally got stabbed, the paramedics came, the police came, people were caught pissing off the balcony and drinking, no stabbing. Please. Sorry, landlady!

I retreated to the record room, sat back on the couch, and resumed talking to JJ. There was still almost nobody at the party, and very few people there were drinking or having any fun. After a time, Adele’s Friend appeared in the doorway, his thumb and first two fingers duct-taped together in a huge bulbous mass. He tried to make it look natural that he was intentionally keeping the wound above his heart at all times, to lessen the flow of blood.

I watched as he struck awkward pose after awkward pose, acting as if everything was perfectly normal, as if we hadn’t all watched him slice his hand in the kitchen. I turned to the three nurses who lived upstairs, who were somehow all sitting in the papasan chair at the same time--not drinking, of course. Luckily, I guess, since I had to put one of them to work.

“I think one of you should check him out and see if he needs to go to the hospital.”

One of them took him into the bathroom for inspection, and we all eagerly awaited her diagnosis.

A couple minutes later, the examining nurse returned and plopped down in the papasan without saying a word.

“Well? Does he need to go to the hospital?”

“Oh yeah.”

Adele’s Friend returned, holding his injured hand high above his head and using the other to flip through the phone book, looking for ambulance phone numbers. Obviously, I felt sorry for him, but I also knew he’d be alright, just a bit ego-bruised and perhaps superficially scarred. So I didn't feel too bad for laughing when I realized he was looking for help in the very same phonebook he stabbed himself on, just fifteen minutes prior. Something seemed fitting about that.

He said goodnight, apologized for not being better at Mumblypeg, and disappeared. None of us ever saw him again.

By the next morning, when it was painfully clear how lame the party had been the night before, because it never got any better in the wee hours, I had totally forgotten about Adele’s Friend. Suddenly, the memory came flooding back to me and I laughed the hardest I’ve ever laughed in my entire life. Granted, I was stoned, but I found the idea that he went “from zero to hero,” in a matter of an hour, hilarious. He was the biggest loser at a party full of losers; yet because he stabbed himself, he was the only fond memory I would ever have from that party. He was kind of a hero to me--the man that saved Valentine's Day.

The American Male, 1500 Years in the Future

Although the actual date of the fall of the Roman Empire is still passionately debated among a dwindling number of Roman History scholars, it is acceptable to say it was around the year 500AD. In March, I believe. On a Saturday. 1500 years ago. What can we learn from this, you say? Well, luckily I am in lecturing mode. Stay with me here...

For 1000 years or so, the Romans ruled the known world--Europe, Eastern Asia, and Northern Africa. They were ruthless imperialists, cunning businessmen, and persuasive orators. The world was their oyster. Until it wasn't. Until they were beaten down, ignored, and irrelevant. After that fateful Saturday in March, for centuries, the men of Rome stewed in their limestone villas, cobbling exquisite shoes, vintning fine wines, designing the finest dresses, suits, ties, capri pants, etc. They built the finest automobiles in the world. Ditto for bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, hats, espressos, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, apertifs... The only thing they worked harder at than luxury goods was LOVE. They turned love into an art form (Italian Opera is no accident). If everybody's going to ignore them anyway, they figured (they told me), they might as well spend all their time looking good, driving fast, and falling in love. And who can blame them for that bit of logic?

The rest of Europe passed them by without so much as a wave. Germany rose to prominence, Spain, Holland, England, France--hell, even Portugal was on top for a bit. Italians didn't mind, though--they had been there, done that, and now they were content to be ignored and live in the lap of their own hand-made luxury, falling in love a hundred times a day, groping any young woman that passed. Over a 1000 year period, they went from being the best soldiers on Earth to a peaceful band of dilettantes, hanging out in cafes, smoking cigarettes, discussing various love affairs, tickling each other with ostrich feathers while sipping cappuccinos (only before 11am, of course). All this idleness led to a deep appreciation for both the natural world and the man-made world around them which, in turn, led to an exceptionally rich army of painters, sculpters, metalworkers, photographers, and filmmakers.

So, what does this have to do with America? A lot. We have ruled the world for two hundred years now--not in the old-fashioned imperialist sense, but in the newer, more potent cultural-imperialist sense, as well as in the corporate-imperialist sense. The density of our 200 years is fairly comparable to their 1000. Our corporations, our way of life, have taken root in countries all across the globe, almost overnight. Who cares what flag they fly? They eat McDonald's, make copies at Kinko's, and care who Brad Pitt is dating. But we have taken things too far, become too greedy, placed our armies where they don't belong, allowed arrogance to replace common sense. And so our downfall has begun; we are now, believe it or not, in the post-Imperial phase. England and the European Community have risen back to prominence and taken the reigns from us. London is the global center of finance--not New York. Manhattan is being taken over by wealthy Europeans taking advantage of the weak dollar to buy second, third, or fourth homes, which keeps prices high and squeezes out hard-working Americans. Real wages are at the 1950 level. China is the new center of manufacturing. We are a nation of communication consultants, hedge-fund managers, gossip columnists, and burger-flippers. We are not the wealthiest nation on Earth, the strongest nation on Earth, the most populous nation on Earth, the hardest-working nation on Earth; we are a nation in decline, a nation of fading importance; a nation lacking in love.

So, gentlemen of the United States, let's get cracking. Let's spend less time at work and more time with our ladies. Let's only appreciate the finer things in life. If you can only afford one pair of shoes, make them Ferragamo--they'll never go out of style and they'll last forever. Make your suit Armani, your ties Gucci. Pick up a Vespa next time your car dies--not only will it help you pull all the ladies, but think of the fuel economy! Over time, directly proportionate to our idleness and irrelevance, we American men will find ways to improve on these items and our own domestic craftsmen will flourish and dominate. Our creative types will become such wilfull dandies that your local cinema will once more become the domain of artists, not businessmen. There WILL be an American Renaissance. History repeats itself, no?

But, Goodtime Charlie, you say, I found a flaw in your comparison--what about all the immigrants? America, unlike Italy, is a nation of immigrants. Doesn't that throw off the whole comparison? No, my child, my adorable little child, it does not. Let us not forget that Italy was a nation of notorious slave-gatherers and, as naturally follows, slave-fuckers. There was a fair amount of diversity up in that peninsula. And, similarly, after 1500 years of mixing and matching Hispanics with Asians with Africans with Whites, perhaps Americans will all be lustrously olive-skinned. How do you think the people of the Mediterranean got that way?

Tom Brady Might Have Lost the Battle, But He Sure Won the War

100 out of 100 men agree--even though he lost the Super Bowl to golden-gened Eli Manning, any man who would rather be in his shoes than those of Tom Brady should be slowly suffocated to death for the good of the species!

Here's why:

Yes, sir...when you come home to that, does it really matter if you brought the hardware?

To save you the trouble, I located a photo of Eli's new sweetie, Abby McGrew:

I'm sure she's very nice.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Don't Know About You, But It Offends Me When People Drink Kittens

Please help stop the madness--donate to Goodtime Charlie immediately!

Goodtime Charlie
c/o Obama for America
P.O. Box 802798
Chicago, IL 60680

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Reason Office Depot Only Stocks Wireless Routers

I went into an Office Depot after work today, looking for a good time. I mean, looking for a router--preferably one that was not wireless, because we didn't need that for our office and those sometimes lead to trouble, with forgotten passwords and such.

The first helpful salesman seemed baffled by the word 'router.' He gave up immediately. "Oh, that's actually more of a technology question--you want to talk to Dennis. Hey, Dennis!"

Dennis broke away from the coworker he had been talking to, strode over, and smiled.

"Hi, how can I help you?"

"Hi, there. I'm looking for a router. But not a wireless one; just a simple splitter for several ethernet cords."

"Right this way. Follow me."

We snaked through several aisles and wound up in front of a huge display of routers that I somehow missed on my three trips around the store earlier.

"This one right here is the bomb, man. The BIG one. Look."

He pointed to a drawing of an apartment building with 'powerful signal' lines radiating from it.

"Okay, yeah, but do you have any routers that AREN'T wireless?"

"Nah, man--everything's wireless. I mean, you know why everything's wireless now, right? So they can keep an eye on the record..."

"Uh-huh. Sure."

So much for the 'technology whiz.' I scan the wall of boxes, searching on my own for a wireless-less router.

But Dennis didn't give up. "I mean, you know--they wanna know where you're at, what you're doin', what websites you're goin' to...everything. Off the record, of course."

I realized Dennis had become visibly nervous. He started looking over his shoulder a lot, looking me over, perhaps aware his crackpot theory might get him into trouble with his manager, aware I might be the type of guy who would turn him in. I didn't want to argue with Dennis, but nor did I want to agree with him. I avoided the issue.

"So...are you sure none of these other ones down here--"

"--You know that was off the record, right?"


I crouched down to look at some boxes on the bottom shelf, hoping Dennis would take his cue to leave. Luckily, another customer interrupted us, holding some kind of shitty-looking plastic-organizer-case-thing, shrink-wrapped.

"Can I open this to see if I like it?"

Dennis laughed. "You'd have to buy it! I mean..." He looked at me for help. I avoided his eyes, leaving him to his fate.

"But how do I know if I like it?" The guy mimed scratching his fingers across the shrink-wrap as he stared at Dennis for permission to do it for real.

Dennis was bewildered. "You can't just open it..."

"I want to buy it. I just need to know if I like it first." The customer was confused as to why this was unacceptable.

Their mutual mystification was too much for Dennis to handle. "Let's go ask my manager..."

They both walked away, thankfully. I can only take so much wisdom in one day.

Who Cares?