Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Sad Truth About Kingsley Amis

His wikipedia entry is more interesting than his celebrated, supposedly-comic, first novel, Lucky Jim, which I read cover-to-cover yesterday while recovering from the bends after a particularly strenuous deep-sea recovery mission which took me to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

To wit:
Amis was by his own admission and as revealed by his biographers a serial adulterer for much of his life. Not surprisingly, this was one of the main contributory factors in the breakdown of his first marriage. A famous photograph of a sleeping Amis on a Yugoslav beach shows the slogan (written by wife Hilly) on his back "1 Fat Englishman - I fuck anything".

In one of his memoirs, Amis wrote: "Now and then I become conscious of having the reputation of being one of the great drinkers, if not one of the great drunks, of our time". He suggests that this is due to a naive tendency on the part of his readers to apply the behaviour of his characters to himself. This was disingenuous; the fact was that he enjoyed drink, and spent a good deal of his time in pubs. Hilary Rubinstein, who commissioned Lucky Jim, commented: "I doubted whether Jim Dixon would have gone to the pub and drunk ten pints of beer ... I didn't know Kingsley very well, you see. Clive James comments: "All on his own, he had the weekly drinks bill of a whole table at the Garrick Club even before he was elected. After he was, he would get so tight there that he could barely make it to the taxi."

Amis was, however, adamant in his belief that inspiration did not come from a bottle: "Whatever part drink may play in the writer's life, it must play none in his or her work. That this was certainly the case is attested to by Amis's highly disciplined approach to writing. For 'many years', Amis imposed a rigorous daily schedule upon himself in which writing and drinking were strictly segregated. Mornings were devoted to writing with a minimum daily output of 500 words. The drinking would only begin around lunchtime when this output had been achieved. Amis's prodigious output would not have been possible without this kind of self discipline.

Nevertheless, according to Clive James, Amis reached a turning point when his drinking ceased to be social, and became a way of dulling his remorse and regret at his behaviour toward Hilly. "Amis had turned against himself deliberately ... it seems fair to guess that the troubled grandee came to disapprove of his own conduct." His friend Christopher Hitchens said: "The booze got to him in the end, and robbed him of his wit and charm as well as of his health."

I will spare you a selection from his novel, as there is no point in boring you any more than I already have. Perhaps Take A Girl Like You or The Old Devils are better; perhaps I will never find out.


Children: Are They a Good Idea?

Most people would say yes without having to think about it, but these people haven't learned the value of thinking things through before answering a question.

Let's dissect the issue like informed adults, shall we?

- Generally speaking, they're pretty fucking cute
- When everybody else abandons you, they will usually hang around
- They say the darnedest things
- Their love is unconditional, as long as you give them exactly what they want
- Their black-market value is consistently pretty high, which is good to know if you're the kind of chap who's often in a pinch

- They cost a lot of money to maintain
- They cry a lot, steal things, shit themselves, and always want food
- They take up a lot of your time
- They can't take care of themselves when you want to get really drunk and/or spontaneously hop a plane to Ecuador
- They lengthen relationships that are otherwise totally endable
- They always need to be driven around
- They propagate the human race

That last one may seem at first glance like it should be a Pro, but think about this:

If there were no more children, there would be no crying babies on public transportation, 15-year-old girls wouldn't dominate the entertainment marketplace, every movie could be rated NC17, more husbands could buy sports cars with a clear conscience, single women in their late twenties could stop freaking out, everybody would either get way more sleep or party every night, pedophilia would be eliminated, adults would have more disposable income, assholes would become a finite resource, and nobody would need to worry about global warming, overpopulation, or being a role model.

It's sounding better already, isn't it? At the same time, maybe we'd better sleep on this one before we do anything rash...


Friday, December 25, 2009

Jesus Wants Revenge

Most Christians believe that Jesus died for our sins, that he heroically took whatever violence Pilot had to offer if not with a wry smile, at least without a tear.

What if Pilot just had a great PR team and this is not the case? I mean, none of us were there. Nobody we know was there. As far as we know, the world is only about 100 years old and everything from ancient artifacts to pyramids to the moon landing was faked by Hollywood effects personnel hired by Halliburton to confuse/mollify us.

What if Jesus was pissed off, felt betrayed by his only friends, tricked by his father, and desperately did not want to die, begged for his life like a sniveling Nancyboy, even offered his soul to the devil for one more day running through the long grass along the river at sunset?

What if this whole time Vengeful Jesus has been flying around the world like a mischievous ghost, wearing a white sheet over his head, causing trouble wherever he can, putting evil thoughts in people's heads, and biding his time until the 2000th anniversary of his murder, when he plans to drop the big one on us?

It is just as likely as anything else ever postulated about this chap, you realize. People like to think he is nice and sweet as he beatifically looks down on Earth from the heavens, but people like to think George Bush and Katherine Heigl are sweet--it doesn't make it true.

With the 2000th anniversary of his death looming within reach--in 2030--most of us will live to see this day. Should we be scared? Will this factor into the plot of Roland Emmerich's parting turd, as he prepares to leave this world at the ripe old age of 75?

Roland, if you're reading this right now, swallow an entire bottle of sleeping pills and finish that vodka in the freezer. Because I said so.

If you ignored me and you're still reading this, I've already got the tagline/poster, asshole:

We Should Have Expected It After What We Did

I get five points off the gross of every movie you make from now on and we call it even.


Monday, December 21, 2009

I Can See the Future

And in that future, some punk 5th grader will point his iPhone at the smart kid and an alarm will sound:
Nerd-alert! Nerd-alert!
The smart, awkward kid will turn red in the face. If he's lucky the teacher will come over to intervene, but the punk will immediately shift the blame.
"What? I didn't say it--Google Goggles did! And it's never wrong!"
Of course, it will be a customized Google Goggles, with various messages attached to pictures the punk takes of everybody he knows ("Well, Miranda, I don't know what to tell you, but it says you're the girl who's going to blow me in the back of the bus today..."), but the teacher doesn't need to know that.

What is Google Goggles, you ask? Well, it is this:
The world, like the World Wide Web before it, is about to be hyperlinked. Soon, you may be able to find information about almost any physical object with the click of a smartphone.

This vision, once the stuff of science fiction, took a significant step forward this month when Google unveiled a smartphone application called Goggles. It allows users to search the Web, not by typing or by speaking keywords, but by snapping an image with a cellphone and feeding it into Google’s search engine.

How tall is that mountain on the horizon? Snap and get the answer. Who is the artist behind this painting? Snap and find out. What about that stadium in front of you? Snap and see a schedule of future games there.

Goggles, in essence, offers the promise to bridge the gap between the physical world and the Web.


Although I can certainly see benefits to this application/database, if used to augment a normal education/existence, there is also something disconcerting about it.

Thanks to word processors, hardly anybody knows how to spell these days. Thanks to cell phones, nobody remembers phone numbers or even writes them down. Thanks to GPS, most people have no idea where they are going in their own hometown.

In a few more generations of smart phones, or at least in a few more generations of users, many people will have in their pockets a consistent excuse to never know anything, to retain nothing, to depend on their phone as a replacement brain.

Are we becoming too dependent on technology? Will some evil mastermind slowly fuck over humanity by hacking into the Google database and subtly creating an alternate reality, biding his time before shutting down our outsourced brain and taking over a new world populated by blithering idiots suddenly unable to navigate their own subdivision, call each other, or differentiate between an orange and a hand grenade? Will people in the future see reality like the Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, but none of it will make any sense?

I'd like to say that this is an absurd notion--in league with my daydream that some deviously clever Luddite is behind the emergence of fully-keyless automobiles, as part of a brilliant plan to freeze them all in place one fateful day and show us the error of our ways-- but the annals of history overfloweth with reasons to be wary of evil men bent on world domination, the consolidation of information, and over-dependence on technology.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Meanwhile, I grow more uncomfortable with the realities made possible by the clever and efficient folks at Google.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Dick James

(photo by Goodtime Charlie - Caesar's Palace, LV, NV)


I have finally discovered the link between Lennon/McCartney and Elton John/Bernie Taupin, two of the greatest musical partnerships the world has ever known.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Dick James, courtesy of wikipedia:

Early Life

He was born in the East End of London.

Early days

James sang with North London dance bands in his early teens, and was a regular vocalist at the Cricklewood Palais by the age of seventeen. He joined the Henry Hall band, and made first radio broadcast in 1940. Joining the Army in 1942, after World Was II he continued to sing with top post-war bands, including Geraldo's. Later still, James was also a part time member of The Stargazers, a popular early 1950s vocal group.

He was the singer of the Robin Hood and The Buccaneers theme songs, from British television in the 1950s, and was a friend and associate of renowned record producer George Martin.

Switch to publishing

James entered the music publishing business as his singing career tapered off, and in 1963 established Northern Songs Ltd., with Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney, to publish Lennon and McCartney's original songs. (Fellow Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr were also signed to Northern Songs as songwriters, but did not renew their contracts in 1968). James's company, DIck James Music, administered Northern Songs.

What initially began as an amicable working relationship between the Beatles and James disintegrated by the late 1960s; the Beatles considered that James had betrayed and taken advantage of them when he sold Northern Songs in 1969 without offering the band an opportunity to buy control of the publishing company. James profited handsomely from the sale of Northern Songs, but the Beatles never again had the rights to their own songs.

During the 1960s he also handled Billy J. Kramer and Gerry & The Pacemakers.

Later Days

James signed Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin as untried unknowns in 1967, and formed DJM Records in '69. Indeed, all of John's early releases (up to 1976) were issued on the DJM record label. The label also carried Jasper Carrott, RAH Band, and even John Inman.

John formed his own Rocket label in 1976, but in 1982, John was involved in a long court case with James about royalties.


James died of an heart attack in early 1986, at the age of 65.

Dick James, the leftmost of the two dorks in this photo

The guy sounds like he was probably a real asshole, but according to a story that I read once, he got Elton John and Bernie Taupin together via a classified ad, so ya gotta at least give him credit for that oh-so-perfect marriage of poet and musician.

Speaking of Elton John, he may not have handled his balding, age, or gayness as well as he should have and currently resembles a fat, depressed, androgynous penguin, but the guy used to be pretty cool:


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hollers From the Soul of Wikipedia

Who knew the story of Joseph Schlitz was so interesting:

In Milwaukee, Schlitz was hired as a bookkeeper in a tavern brewery owned by August Krug. In 1856, he took over management of the brewery following the death of Krug. Two years after Schlitz married Krug's widow, he changed the name of the brewery to the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.

The company began to succeed after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, when Schlitz donated thousands of barrels of beer to that city, which had lost most of its breweries. He quickly opened a distribution point there, beginning a national expansion. Schlitz built dozens of tied houses in Chicago, most with a concrete relief of the company logo embedded in the brickwork; several of these buildings survive today, including Schuba's Tavern at the corner of Belmont and Southport.

Schlitz died May 7, 1875, when on a return visit to Germany; his ship hit a rock near Land's End, Cornwall, and sank. Control of the corporation passed into the hands of the Uihlein brothers, nephews of founder August Krug. When Anna Maria Krug Schlitz died in 1887, the Uihleins acquired complete ownership of the firm.
I can't say much about the beer--it being a bit below my standards--or their business sense--running the #1 beer in America out of business--but the fellas at Schlitz (who were eventually bought by their Michigan competition, Stroh's, and now owned by bitter cross-town rival Pabst) know a thing or two about hilarious/sexist advertising, eh?


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chuck Norris Doesn't Run Wild...

Chuck Norris gets bitch-slapped by the eloquent Chris Kelly and probably doesn't even understand it:

Chuck Norris Says Obama Wants Mary to Abort Jesus

It's a well-known fact that Chuck Norris could kick the shit out of the Council of Ephesus, so when he has somehting to say about the Blessed Virgin Mary, I, for one, listen:

Lastly, as we near the eve of another Christmas, I wonder: What would have happened if Mother Mary had been covered by Obamacare? What if that young, poor and uninsured teenage woman had been provided the federal funds (via Obamacare) and facilities (via Planned Parenthood, etc.) to avoid the ridicule, ostracizing, persecution and possible stoning because of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy? Imagine all the great souls who could have been erased from history and the influence of mankind if their parents had been as progressive as Washington's wise men and women! Will Obamacare morph into Herodcare for the unborn?

He makes a powerful case, especially the last part, where health insurance reform leads to the Massacre of the Innocents. I'd get to the threat of Obama repeating the excesses of Herod the Great by pointing out they both like occupying the Middle East, but I understand Chuck's logic, too. Teach a man to fish and you've fed him for a lifetime. Subsidize his co-pay; he will commit genocide.

Here's where I get off board, and where Chuck Norris has made a potentially serious mistake. It's not that his slippery slope argument is sub-moronic. And it's not that he doesn't understand the moral difference between providing access to something -- lets say safe, legal abortion -- and ordering it. (If making something available was the same as doing it yourself, then arms makers would be responsible for gun homicides, and we know that's not true.)

My problem is with his misunderstanding of Mary, Stella Maris, Queen of Heaven, mother of mercy, sweetness and hope, bearer of light, mediator and co-redeemer. He seems to think of her as kind of a clueless, sloppy slut.

You know how women are. Don't get Chuck started.

The Mary in Chuck's example might carry Jesus to term or she might not. What does she care? The only thing that could make her give birth to God is if we make the alternative even more inconvenient.

Now, I enjoy misogyny as much as the next guy. I was in a fraternity. So Chuck Norris can imply whatever he wants about theoretical women in general, and how they'll have all the abortions they possibly can, if they're just lying around. And what rankles me isn't that -- to get at women in general -- he's taking a casual dump on the Mother of Our Savior. What bothers me is that Chuck Norris is a board member of the National COuncil on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools and he understands the Bible like a turtle humping a shoe.

You can't use Mary as an example of a woman considering an abortion, because the Mary that could make the mistake of aborting our Savior wouldn't be Mary. And if she weren't Mary, Theotokos, immaculate treasure of virginity, spiritual paradise of the second Adam, then Jesus wouldn't be Jesus. She'd just be a woman, and he'd be a lunatic. It's an analogy that isn't just ignorant; it's actually blasphemous.

The nature of Mary, her threefold perfection -- disposition, sanctification and ends -- of which the second perfection excels the first and the third the second, is evidence of the divinity of Jesus. You simply can't use her in abortion hypotheticals, because then she'd just be some yutz.

You can't ask "What if Mary chose wrong?" It's like saying, "Imagine you're Superman, but you don't have any superpowers." Or, "What if you were invisible, but everyone could see you." It doesn't work as an example. It cancels itself out.

Mary, Conqueror of Sin, workshop of the union of Christ's two natures, marketplace of the saving exchange, bridal chamber in which the Word was wedded to the flesh, was incapable of making a mistake.

Which, by the way, is not the same as not having a choice.

She has no place, even anecdotally, in this debate. Here case is by definition atypical. Even Chuck Norris should be able to process that.

There's got to be a simpler way to insult women and deprive them of their reproductive rights.

If you want to put the Bible in schools but you think Mary might have aborted Jesus, if she didn't have to pay for it, you don't get to talk anymore. You are disinvited from an opinion on theology. You don't get to put toilet paper in the boys' room.

You're not a Christian. You're just an asshole. We get that a lot.

[the link to the original Huffington Post column, reprinted here in full]


What a Shame--She Was So Old and Full of Despair

That wasn't exercise HRH Obama was doing by moonlight in the swamp outside DC at four o'clock this morning--that was good ole-fashioned body-burying.


Yes--it appears that the White House desperately needs a new event planner, after snafus number one and two this past month resulted in the last one (wait for it...NOW!) never being seen again, crammed into an airtight 55-gallon drum ten feet under the ground, a hundred staggers from the big tree with the snake on it, already deader than the Pope's discolored, diseased excuse for a penis.

Water under the bridge. It so happens, Monsieur Obama et al, that event planning is one of my specialties--any interest in hiring the best?

I promise nobody not on the official list will get inside your house--or you'll have the balls of the guy(s) who fucked-up sitting atop your Threat Matrix the next morning, along with a glass of fresh-squeezed real California orange juice (not from concentrate, untouched by non-Hispanic hands until it cascades down your bourgeois throat) and a NYTimes crossword puzzle with all the hard ones already filled-in so people who go through your trash will think you're really smart. And we'll have some totally funky music playing at all times, to get you in the mood and keep you there, as well as a dirt-cheap-but-lifepartner-loyal bartender/shoeshiner/masseuse/Sherpa/ottoman to make everything okay always.

Much like the increasingly-creepy Men's Wearhouse dude...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shrimp Rules

Overheard in my brain earlier tonight:

"That was too gross. I've finally chosen my side of the fence--I think it should be illegal to fry shrimp."

"What? Why?" She says ignorantly, while wearing an unfortunate sweater and smelling badly.

"Because it tastes like high-calorie, deep-fried, buttered bread crumbs and when I order shrimp, I want to taste fresh, delicious shrimp, not something worse than frozen fish sticks. And no tax-paying (throw the rest in the fire and dance around it while drinking Cuban rum and failing to convince the last two local Homecoming Queens to check out the upholstery in the backseat of my fully-restored-by-somebody-I-hired GTO) citizen should be allowed the option of eating that shit."

"Kiss me, Roderick..."

Especially fond of the parenthetical segment of my last ejaculation, she melted into my arms like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter on a delightfully pockmarked ear of Indian corn roasting over the space heater in your low-rent-but-tastefully-decorated-if-never-even-dusted-and-kinda-grimy-Flatbush-third-floor-walk-up-Nevada-whorehouse of an apartment. It was totally radical.

Meanwhile, I stared--unblinking--into the clogged pores on the nose of a termite on the left posterior heel of her soft-coated schnitzel hound, who was sitting just across the room, in the darkened doorway to my sanctuary, and my eyes grew more dangerous with each passing breath.

Anything was possible.


Will YOU Be My Facebook Friend?

This just in from the trenches:

Judges and lawyers in Florida can no longer be Facebook friends.

In a recent opinion, the state’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee decided it was time to set limits on judicial behavior online. When judges “friend” lawyers who may appear before them, the committee said, it creates the appearance of a conflict of interest, since it “reasonably conveys to others the impression that these lawyer ‘friends’ are in a special position to influence the judge.”

In practice, of course, actual friends and Facebook friends can be as different as leather and pleather, and the committee did recognize that online friends were not the same as friends in the traditional sense. A minority of the panel would have allowed Facebook friendship, which it characterized as more like “a contact or acquaintance” without conveying the notion of “feelings of affection or personal regard.”
Aside from the author's outright theft of my famous "leather and pleather" analogy, this article makes me smile in the same way as I did when Congress weighed in on the baseball steroid scandal and when the media thought we needed to know that Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger is his wife's "hero in the bedroom."

All are prime examples of people's time wasted for no good reason. Who gives a shit if judges are Facebook friends with lawyers? Is it not more important to make sure that judges and lawyers are honest? Why not spend time policing the actual problem of undue influence, rather than merely pay lip service to the task by taking time away from real cases to dictate people's Facebook friends?

Meanwhile, to all you judges and lawyers out there, I am truly sorry that, as a result of this senseless decision, people all over the world will now have a skewed perception of your coolness.

When the hot girl from high school (now fat with kids) cruises the net late at night, looking up potential gold mines with a Virginia Slim Menthol 100 pressed firmly between her lips, she will laugh derisively when she sees you only have 32 friends, 28 of whom are members of your extended family) and write some cruel post on your wall like "Some things never change, dweeb-o! LOL!" and it will hurt you more than anybody will ever know.

Look on the bright side, though, Judge Dweebo--you could always exact revenge via a groundbreaking legal decision that limits the number of Facebook friends to 32 systemwide. Or maybe the entire legal community will quietly retreat into the dark Filipino underworld that is Friendster and nobody will notice?



This Ego Best Be Gettin' Checked


I'm surprised she didn't give herself "Special Thanks" while she was at it. Why not, right? I hear the more credits you give yourself, the better your chance is to 'make it' in Hollywood.
"Oh, wow--it says here you were both Casting Director and Casting Coordinator on a 17-minute short film that nobody will ever see or should ever see. That's very impressive--how do you feel about writing/producing/assistant-producing/directing/assistant-directing/craft-servicing/wardrobe-assisting/PAing Spiderman 5? We're really looking for a fresh voice in the series, preferably somebody with a ton of experience doing every job on set and in post-production, since we don't have much of a budget..."

"OMG! That's so perfect! I knew I would make it in Hollywood if I never lost sight of who I am as an artist/handyman/egomaniac. I'll start crocheting a Spiderman costume tonight--I can totally see it in my head and it is going to be beautiful. "
Okay, okay, hold the phone--maybe I'm selling The Swim Team Renaissance woman Amber Crosby too short here. Let's read the synopsis--maybe the movie's awesome, right?
In her early twenties, Mona finds herself living in the tiny town of Belvedere with no direction and nothing to do. Her days consist of long, boring hours gazing out her window at the barren landscape, lying to her mother about how busy her life is, visiting the small market down the road and avoiding eye contact with the three elderly people who run it, Elizabeth, Kelda and Jack Jack, the only other people within miles.

While visiting the market one afternoon Mona overhears the three elderly shop owners arguing about how they have never learned to swim and complaining that there isn't even a suitable body of water anywhere near the town of Belvedere. Speaking to them for the first time, Mona claims that she can teach them and they don't even need a body of water. Using three large bowls, a kitchen floor and a lot of imagination the swim lessons begin. As Elizabeth, Kelda and Jack Jack eagerly follow Mona's every direction they become lithe, agile swimmers, young again in the waters of their minds.

These weekly swim lessons give Mona direction and she, too, is transformed, becoming a strong, purposeful coach. Later in life, when Mona again finds herself without direction, wandering through the empty rooms of her apartment after a painful break-up, the memory of Belvedere comes back to her. She is reminded of her time with Elizabeth, Kelda and Jack Jack and the feeling of swimming without water. Based on the short story by Miranda July, the film reminds us that sometimes it's the things we've forgotten that haven't forgotten us.
Written by George Seamer
Well, I was right--it is very far from awesome. In fact, it sounds even worse than I could have imagined. And I mean that. And I have a great imagination.

And I find it exceedingly odd that Amber Crosby didn't write her own synopsis for imdb--what, that's the only task she's too good for?

What a bitch...


Monday, December 14, 2009

Houston's Mayor Is So Gay

Literally. City Controller Annise Parker is openly gay and she just defeated former City Attorney Gene Locke, an African-American, in a run-off election, to become the mayor-elect of Houston.

Although she received 53% of the vote, the pear-shaped sparkplug in the unflattering wool suit didn't exactly ride in on a wave of popularity--roughly 150,000 votes were cast in a city of over 2 million people.

Is this because most Texans would rather sit this one out than have to choose between a black guy and a lesbian? tempting as it is to say 'yes, that makes sense' it appears only 188,000 votes were cast in the initial election, which did feature at least one old white man.

What could be the cause of this low voter turnout in the largest city in Texas, a state whose inhabitants generally pride themselves on being outspoken, if usually on the wrong side of the issue?

Were all the candidates gay? Were they giving out free gun racks at WalMart? Were the American Idol auditions held the same day?

Is Houston a city made up almost entirely of orphaned children? Are the sidewalks paved with licorice and the grass actually spray-painted Big League Chew? Are their schools merely Chuck E. Cheeses in disguise? Did Oliver Twist deliver Parker the votes in exchange for an extra helping of gruel?

Or is the real Houston more like the rest of the country than we non-Texans would care to admit, its residents more aware than ever of how pointless most elections are, considering the fact that pretty much every politician is owned by the same interests and will come to the same end result, if by slightly different paths?

Not including the presidential contests held every four years, we have reached a point of gross disengagement on the part of the electorate, a direct result of our growing disenchantment with our leaders of the last...60 years. We may not have realized it at the time, but we realize it now--all the local, state, and national leaders we elected have all played their part in steering us into this irretrievably-fucked cesspool of modern politics and social/fiscal responsibility.

Whether they allowed lobbyists dictate policy in exchange for campaign money or consultant jobs post-office, or turned a blind eye while the financial industry ran amok, or let Halliburton start an eternal war on terror, our elected officials have consistently chosen business interests over the interests of their constituents, over the interests of the planet we all live on.

Now we have arrived at a place in time where The Machine is too big to fail--the rich want to get even richer, at any cost, and they have enough money to make it happen. They know all they need to do is lie, grease a few dozen palms, have those greased palms spread the lie, and the details will get lost in committee or on page 44E of a newspaper nobody reads.

We, the voters, are guilty of aiding and abetting, by giving these conspirators our votes time and time again. What better way to avoid future blame than failing to cast a vote, right? We'll show them!

Of course, this failure to participate only makes matters worse and will eventually result in some future class-struggle-cum-revolution, but whatever--much like our response to recycling efforts, water and electricity conservation, and pollution control, we don't really care because we'll all be dead by the time the effects are really felt.

Or will we? Who knows--the future is always uncertain (unless you're one of the lucky ones).

One thing that is certain is that selfishly doing whatever you feel like and crossing your fingers that you won't have to personally face the consequences is not as helpful as thinking of the big picture and using those fingers to enact whatever small changes you can in your daily life.

Stop being selfish, become and remain informed, vote wisely, hold people accountable for their actions, and help make the world a better place for all those goddamn children poor people keep having...


For Those of Y'all Who Wanna Suicide-Bomb Some Shit

I can't vouch for the accuracy of this report, but if I were you, I would reconsider your options...


Sunday, December 13, 2009

STOP--Statistics Time

GTC HQ, before the new paint job

We here at Goodtime Charlie HQ are proud to share with you, our loyal readers, the fact that we have reached a new milestone--this month there have been over 1500 unique visitors to the site, despite the fact that we never advertise.

We are also proud to say that we remain advertising-free, to the continuing detriment of our bottom line. Not only is it easier to look ourselves in the mirror this way, but we also can't imagine anyone who might want to advertise here, considering the dangerous content, from a boredom/PR standpoint, we say with puffed chests, as if we amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

Regardless of all that mumbo-jumbo, here are some more fun audience statistics, courtesy of Dr. Goodtime:

- The most readers on a single day was 110 on 12/09/09

- Readers come from 76 countries, including one dangerous dude in Iran, who my sources tell me actually steals an internet connection using a sharpened toothbrush pointed SSE, down in his unmarked cell in the middle of the desert, down where we will never find him.

- Much like the red state/blue state map, oddly, most readers in the United States live in California, New York, and Illinois

- Not one person in West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, or Delaware has checked in this month

- The most popular article this month is the Michael Jackson one, which has been viewed by 258 people.

- The most popular month was December, 2008, which, upon recent review, was a pretty awesome month.

- 65% of readers used Firefox as their browser (nerd alert!)

- The only phrases people have typed into Google that resulted in my blog being first on the list are:
- goodtime charlie nothing is sacred (duh-Ed.)
- "real dolls" "face fuck"
- joan rivers is so old
- how people want to escape the present
- 10 stages of romance
- private torture and rape clubs
Well, statistics class is over, students--thank you for reading and please remember to bring me shiny red apples stuffed with gold coins tomorrow morning or you'll all get caned and peed on.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

All This Because Some Rich Dude Felt Guilty About Inventing Dynamite

Huffington Post and the Associated Press dropped some stunning stats the other day, regarding President Obama's trip to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

But first, a bit of interesting info you probably do not know about Alfred Nobel, courtesy of wikipedia:
The erroneous publication in 1888 of a premature obituary of Nobel by a French newspaper, condemning him for his invention of dynamite, is said to have brought about his decision to leave a better legacy after his death. The obituary stated Le marchand de la mort est mort ("The merchant of death is dead") and went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." On 27 November 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Nobel signed his last will and testament and set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality. He died of a stroke on 10 December 1896 at Sanremo, Italy. After taxes and bequests to individuals, Nobel's will gave 31,225,000 Swedish kronor (equivalent to about 1.8 billion kronor or 250 million US dollars in 2008) to fund the prizes.

Huh. Fascinatin'. And now, the larch*:
Despite his being there for only 24 hours, Norway is spending $16 million for security during Obama's visit. The chief of staff of Oslo's police force, John Fredriksen told the AP that the event was "the biggest - and most demanding - security operation in Norway's history."
From the AP:
With all the attention Obama's visit has generated, about 2,500 police officers from all over the Nordic country have deployed to Oslo. The Norwegian military has also contributed support in the form of helicopters and sharpshooters.

Last week, city maintenance crews welded shut over 400 manholes in downtown Oslo, and police said they will remove all downtown trash cans on Wednesday afternoon to eliminate potential hiding places for bombs.[...]

Police and city work crews spent much of this week erecting barricades around Oslo's compact downtown to help control the crowds expected to surge into the capital when Obama arrives.

On Wednesday morning, Norwegian police armed with machine guns guarded the Grand Hotel as hotel workers installed bulletproof glass to protect the president during Thursday evening's procession.

Reminds me of my last state visit in 2003, although I believe I stayed at the Continental. They welded 400 manhole covers shut? I hope the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles weren't down there--or if they were, let's hope they at least had a stockpile of anchovy pizzas to wait out the surprise imprisonment...

*a Monty Python joke I hope at least three of you understood...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fat Friday Vol.2

As the holiday season draws ever-nearer, I feel it is my duty to remind you, among other things, not to eat so much that you become this guy:

Especially if you're on my flight home.

Finding it hard to relate because you're a home-schooled young buck yet to be teased so mercilessly you eat even more, as if that will solve your problem? Go look in the mirror and see if you look like one of these sick little Big Boys:

Midwestern mealtime!

Miami mealtime!

If you do, then trust me--you need to lose weight fast or monsters will eat you first since you are more flavorful than the lean boys in town and, luckily for us non-fatties, monsters are not yet health-conscious enough to discover the importance of a compromise between flavor and calories.

[As soon as they do, we are all as good as dead, since rather than fight back we will all be trying frantically to coerce each other into end-of-the-world sex. We are a sadly predictable species... - Ed.]

On the other hand, please don't get so afraid of becoming fat that you push it to the other extreme and start looking like this equal-but-opposite unsexy beast:

The monsters enjoy eating these guys out of spite.

Fair warning, world...


Item: High-End Realtors No Longer Go Anywhere Without Liverwurst in Their Pockets

The gorgeous and supremely-talented Candy Spelling, the useless widow of phenomenally-wealthy television producer Aaron Spelling (who never cheated on her, I swear, or she totally would have left his filthy-rich ass) and mother of never-quite-sexy-enough Tori Spelling, is desperately trying to sell her home in LA.

The asking price? $150 million

Yes, it is ridiculous--but so is the house and so are many of the people who could afford to purchase it. Situated on 4.7 acres of prime real estate in upscale Holmby Hills, the house has over 100 rooms--including one devoted solely to wrapping presents. Jealous?

Televised-Trash Mogul Aaron Spelling

The house was built in 1991--after tearing down the legendary home of the far-cooler Bing Crosby--using the riches Aaron Spelling squeezed out of the working class via such TV shows such as Loveboat, Dynasty, Charlie's Angels, 90210, Melrose Place, and Charmed, among others.

It is the largest house in LA County and the most expensive home in the country. [FYI--My research indicates that this also puts it in a dead heat for the title of Most Expensive Home in the World, since a six-story mansion on Belgrave Square in London is also for sale for $150 million.--Ed.]

The Manor, as seen from my stealth chopper, Goodtime 1

Can you imagine the commission on this bitch? Can you imagine how many realtors want a piece of that solid-gold pie?

Now, under any circumstances, selling a home like this would require some real craftiness--where do you advertise? Whom do you court? How negotiable is the price tag? How many (and what ethnicity/age) prostitutes do you send to the corrupt Russian tycoon in your attempt to persuade him before you give up and move on to the next one?

In the current economic climate, the successful marketing of this monstrosity is tantamount to a work of art.

How does one choose the proper dreamer for such a task? Copious research into the credentials of the best in the business? Haha--you just betrayed your plebeian roots and demonstrate why you belong in the minimum-wage service industry.

The correct answer is that you let your dog smell the prospective agent.

A soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, but probably not the one in question

Courtesy of Huffington Post:

Spelling told The Associated Press that she let her dog Madison, a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, help pick out the best real estate agent for the task. She had her security bring the dog into the room every time she met one of the candidate agents and watched how the dog reacted. If Madison didn't like them, Spelling crossed them off the list.

Prospective buyers won't have to worry about passing such scrutiny, Spelling jokes.

"Not at all," she says.

Ha ha if she would have her dog chose the buyer! That would be ridiculous...

Not that she'll ever answer them, but I have a few questions for Ms. Collagen Repository:
1. What the fuck is a 'soft-coat?'
2. Why is this an important detail when describing your dog?
3. Since the house has been on the market since at least the end of March, have there been any repercussions for Madison's poor taste in realtors?
4. Specifically, have her champagne and caviar rations been reduced?
Should I hear back from her people, you will be the first to know.



Roman Polanski's Gravest Sin

Roman & Robert Evans, back in the day (photo: Goodtime Charlie)

No, it has nothing to do with rape, Daisy-Dukes, or Robert Evans' gloryhole, but something much, much worse:

Jim "I still wish I was my brother, even though he's dead" Belushi

Roman's new movie, The Ghost Writer, was recently picked up for US distribution by Summit Entertainment (yes, they of Twilight/New Moon fame), in an interesting move from a PR standpoint what with him being in jail right now, and also stars Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton, Kim Cattrall, and Olivia Williams.

Here is an exceptionally brief synopsis of the movie, courtesy of imdb:
A ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.
Here is a better synopsis, courtesy of Movieline:
The movie thriller tells the story of a former British Prime Minister, Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), who is holed up on an island off the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. in midwinter, writing his memoirs. When his long-standing aide drowns, a professional ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) is sent out to help him finish the book. The anonymous ghost writer is quickly drawn into a political and sexual intrigue involving Lang’s wife, Ruth (Olivia Williams) and his aide (Kim Cattrall). Hanging over Lang is the threat of a war crimes trial and a mysterious secret from his past that threatens to jeopardize international relations. The cast also includes Jim Belushi, Robert Pugh and Tom Wilkinson. Alexandre Desplat scored the film.
Here's to hoping The Other Belushi plays naught more than a bumbling, farting clown pushed into the ocean after failing to entertain Pierce Brosnan's five-year-old grandson at a birthday party in Martha's Vineyard and never seen again, even in real life.

Perhaps Roman's got it right and it's the role he was born to play? Why second-guess the master behind Chinatown and The Tenant...

Polanski in drag, in his best movie you've probably never seen--The Tenant