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  December 30, 2004
The O.C. Shall Set You Free

003OC.jpgYou've never seen The O.C., but you're sure it's pretty good. You're gonna watch it tonight, though, since there are two back-to-back episodes.

You need to watch it, especially since your career is in the crapper and your New Year's resolution is to write a decent spec script and land an agent. Maybe then you can move out of Culver Fucking City and get a decent car like a Mini-Cooper or a BMW or, seriously, a Prius, please, a Prius, and maybe finally get a development deal with a major. Then, barring any further complications, get laid without paying for it.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. When you moved to L.A. five years ago, you were bursting with ideas and potential. You were gonna be David E. Kelley, Joss Whedon, and J.J. Abrams combined.

Now, look at you. You're writing questions for a kids' basic cable game show that unwisely has the word "Cyber" in the title. In '98 it seemed like such a great title, what with the web-television convergence plan the 29 year-old producer pitched: now, the website's been dead since 2003 and that 29 year-old producer drives a Boxter and is developing a show with Jon Lovitz for Gavin Palone. (Why won't that fucker not return your goddamn calls?) You still live in a one bedroom—and not even a big one by L.A. standards— and you're not in a union. You can't get a single agent on the phone and most of your friends with deals laugh and say they'll call you when they need a little 'cyber' touch. Assholes. It wasn't your idea: you weren't even part of the show until last year!

That's why tonight's O.C. is so important. You're not gonna just watch, you're gonna study it, figure out what makes it tick and become an instant expert. It'll be like when you pulled all-nighters in school: you'd spend a couple of hours catching up on all the Folk and Myth readings you'd snoozed on while attempting another round of 'Poon submissions, then spend the rest of the night just banging out the paper. And some of them were great! One professor—okay, one adjunct—even suggested you submit your paper on The Family Guy ("In the Family Way: Stewie and Freud's Theories of Early Childhood Sexual Development") to a journal. You could've had a big career in academia, pounding out searing interpretations that turned conventional pop culture 'wisdom' on its head. You might've even gotten to write for the mainstream: Times op-eds, maybe some droll "Shouts and Murmurs" for The New Yorker.

Instead, you're basically rephrasing Trivial Pursuit questions for 9 year-olds. You need to do something better with your life, something more meaningful.

Like writing for The O.C. If you could just watch the show, get a sense for its rhythm, internal logic, and... that third thing the screenwriter of the Justine Bateman film suggested in that Learning Annex class that cost you $400, you can do that. (Where are your notes?)

You need to hitch yourself to this show: It's like this year's Ally McBeal or Popular: It's the show, and only a quality O.C. spec script can change your life—can make your life. You can almost envision your plot already: it'll be something about a foreign exchange student from Sudan and it will address genocide and female genital mutilation. And a love plot. A love triangle. God, this is gonna be so good: your script is going to fully embody the show while simultaneously transcending it! Where's your notepad? This is too good to forget.

After that, it's a top tier agency. Then a good writing gig. Then a side project and movie sale. Then a producer job. Invites to Stuff parties and the "Midsummer Night's Dream" party at the Mansion. Then, who knows? All this from The O.C.! Can you feel it? I can feel it!

Tonight I will watch The O.C.; It better be pretty good.

The O.C. airs Thursday nights at 8PM EST on FOX. Even when they're just reruns.

Earlier: O.C.

Posted at 11:55 AM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
  December 29, 2004
Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, Vol. 43

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Posted at 7:09 PM in a Shallow, Unintentionally Hilarious fashion.
These headline writers have water on the brain

From today's edition of the Los Angeles Times (December 29, 2004):

"Tsunami Death Toll Hits 60,000",
by Richard C. Paddock and Mark Magnier

Tragic news, indeed. But the disaster's influence is also spreading throughout the realm of international news reporting. To wit, there's this example of borderline-tasteless syntax from the very same paper:

"28 Die in Wave of Insurgent Attacks in Iraq",
by Edmund Sanders

Posted at 11:18 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  December 28, 2004
How you, too, can earn a paltry $15 million

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RELATED: "US to Pledge $15 Million for Tsunami Aid", and "Powell: U.S. is not 'stingy' when it comes to aid"

ALSO RELATED: The Cost of the War in Iraq, currently hovering around $200 BILLION FUCKING DOLLARS

ALSO, ALSO RELATED: "Julia Roberts: $20 Million Woman?"

ALSO, ALSO, ALSO RELATED: Fuck you, America.

Posted at 12:31 PM in a Grave fashion.
Super Fun "Building Wreckage and Loss-of-Life" Quiz: Evildoers or Act of God?

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ANSWER: Act of God, as evidenced by the Indonesian survivors' wearing shorts, which implies some sort of divine justice wreaked upon those enjoying good weather right now

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ANSWER: Trick question! Act of God, though manifested in that "terrorists seeking spiritual redemption and/or the annihilation of the West" manner

RELATED: Human tragedy unfolds even further as Czech Supermodel Injured in Tidal Wave, and swimsuit-issue fans collectively wail louder than the deaths of 40,000 people could have ever caused

EARLIER: Super Fun "Military-Incursion Home Destruction" Quiz: Iraq or Palestine? and Super Fun "Ski-Mask-Wearing Iraqis" Quiz: Insurgent or Police Officer?

Posted at 11:53 AM in a Grave fashion.
  December 24, 2004
low culture Exclusive: Christmas at the Rumsfelds'

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O, Christmas Tree: The jolly man with the beard said this man was "a bad guy."

Yes, Don and Joyce Rumsfeld had an absolutely stunning tree this year. And the duck was so juicy, it practically melted in your mouth. The party was a lot less crowded than last year—no Powells, no Tenets, no Ashcrofts, or Keriks—but it was wonderful.

Merry Christmas, everyone! And a happy, healthy New Year!

Posted at 3:04 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 23, 2004
No O.C. Post This Week

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Do try to contain yourself.

Earlier: O.C. junk.

Posted at 7:59 PM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
  December 22, 2004
Man, My Parents So Should Have Hired That Caricaturist For My Bar Mitzvah

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Demonstrators hold posters of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (L) and former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin during a rally in front of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, December 22, 2004. Demonstrators protested against China's policy towards North Korean refugees, who face forced repatriation and severe punishment when they return to their impoverished country. [via Reuters]

Posted at 10:50 PM in a Grave fashion.
Well, He Does Have Experience "Dropping the Ball"

From COLIN GLAD TO DROP NEW YEAR'S BALL, The New York Post, Dec. 22, 2004:

"Secretary of State Colin Powell will return to the city of his birth and drop the famous Waterford Crystal ball in Times Square on New Year's Eve, Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday.

"'Colin Powell is the American dream come true,' Bloomberg said of the Bronx-raised outgoing secretary of state.

"'He's done everything his country has ever asked.'..."

Yes, well, that's been his undoing.

Posted at 8:10 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  December 21, 2004
Does Music Piracy Aid Terrorists?

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Yes. Yes, it does.

OK, OK...you're right. Sorry about that bit of woefully-miscontextualized usage of news photography. If you're a stickler for accuracy in reporting, here's the AP's actual take on the events depicted in the above image:

"An Iraqi policeman checks for compact discs made by terrorist groups with instructions on how to make improvised explosive devices in Baghdad Tuesday Dec. 21 2004.In continuing violence, five American soldiers and an Iraqi civilian were wounded when the Humvee they were traveling in was hit by a car bomb near Hawija, some 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Tuesday.The bloodshed came a day after Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi blamed the upsurge of violence on a campaign by insurgents to foment sectarian civil war as well as derail the legislative elections set for Jan. 30 (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)"

Posted at 4:26 PM in a Grave fashion.
The Curious Incident of the Pulitzer in the Night-Time

Why is the Times so obsessed with autism? It's like they're in their own little world, not looking out, just focusing inward.

Battling Insurers Over Autism Treatment, December 21, 2004, by MILT FREUDENHEIM, appearing in the Business section

How About Not 'Curing' Us, Some Autistics Are Pleading, December 20, 2004, by AMY HARMON, appearing in the Health section

In Autism, New Goal Is Finding It Soon Enough to Fight It, December 14, 2004, by ANAHAD O'CONNOR, appearing in the Health section

For Siblings of the Autistic, a Burdened Youth, December 10, 2004, by JANE GROSS, appearing in the National Desk section

One subject matter. One human interest. Three different sections. Three different weeks. Four different dates. Four different writers.

Posted at 3:50 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  December 20, 2004
This, Of Course, Comes From a Guy Who Got "Gentleman C's" At Yale

"President Bush strongly defended Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today, declaring that the Pentagon chief is doing 'a really fine job'..."
-Bush Defends Rumsfeld, Saying He's Doing 'a Really Fine Job', by David Stout, The New York Times, Dec. 2004.

Related: If you google "gentleman C's", almost all the hits are for Bush. Maybe William Safire or Jesse Sheidlower can give us the full etymology.

Posted at 10:05 PM in a Grave fashion.
Portraits of Liberation (from an inexhaustible series, natch)

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Posted at 1:45 PM in a Grave fashion.
Exercises in suitable captioning, where "suitable" means "tasteless", which in turn means, "What the fuck were they thinking?"

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More proof that wire-service photo editors have a top-notch sense of humor, at least when it comes to fetuses and acts of depravity: The above image was attached to the latest A.P. wire story about that whole "I killed a woman and cut her unborn baby from her mangled womb" news item from last week.

Seriously. That image right there. Of the suspect maternally holding a fucking chihuahua or some other hirsute little newborn.

Thankfully, they clarify the presence of the dog with their accompanying caption:

This is an undated photo showing Lisa M. Montgomery, a resident of Melvern, Kan. Montgomery was arrested late Friday, Dec. 17, 2004, and charged with kidnapping resulting in death in a case of a woman being murdered and her 8-month-old fetus cut out of her womb. The baby of Bobbie Jo Stinnett was recovered and was reported in good condition on Saturday. (AP Photo/Maryville Daily Forum)

See? Embedded somewhere within those clauses is a full and rational explanation for using this particular photo of the woman. You just have to be one of those university-trained "close readers", perhaps.

Me? I'm just a loving asshole who adores puppy portraits, and fuck if I don't get angry when such cute photos are tainted with the Anne Geddes-esque stigma of dead mothers and shortened pregnancies.

Posted at 1:10 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Because, apparently, Sec. Rumsfeld's usage of an automated-signature device is the single greatest reason to call for his stepping down

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From "Grieving Families Outraged over Rumsfeld Condolence Letters", The Christian Broadcasting Network, December 20, 2004:

A deadly weekend in Iraq could spell more trouble ahead for next month's elections. And the President's defense chief is at the center of controversy, this time over condolence letters to families of military soldiers killed in action.

[...]

But relatives of the deceased soldiers, and even some congressional leaders, are outraged that Rumsfeld used a machine to stamp his signature on more than 1,000 letters that have already been mailed.

And now for the completely unanticipated A.P. followup: "Bush Comes to Rumsfeld's Defense"

Posted at 12:58 PM in a Grave fashion.
  December 19, 2004
Thanks Again to Lynndie England, Charles Graner, et. al. for Giving Everyone Who Hates America the Ultimate Christmas (or "Holiday") Present

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Image War: Cuban anti-American billboard, as seen by AFP in two, views.

Related: All this over Christmas decorations.

Posted at 11:36 PM in a Grave fashion.
  December 17, 2004
Adventures in the Skin Trade, Vol. 2

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Wes Anderson (left) at "The Aviator" premiere and C. Montgomery Burns (right)

Posted at 12:02 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  December 16, 2004
An Exclusive Excerpt from the New Osama bin Laden Tape

OBL.jpgIf it is not too unseemly for a man of my wealth and abundant religious and intellectual gifts to complain, I must say that the hardest part of being on the run in the mountains of Tora Bora is how often I miss my favorite infidel television program, The O.C.

Why are you laughing? Who says that a righteous man, a man who seeks to break the back of the American Satan, cannot enjoy a few laughs once in a while, a little eye candy? I work 24 hours a day to destroy America and the secularist lambs that follow it like, well, like lambs. Can I not take one hour a week to bask in the comforting Southern California glow of The O.C.? Can I not spend a little Osama time in the land of perpetual summer time?

Do you know what I go through just to see the show you infidels take for granted? It must be taped off a secure satellite feed by one of my operatives, and then smuggled inside his rectum as he traverses the unforgiving Afghan terrain to whatever cave or modest safe house I am inhabiting that day. All this, so that I may re-immerse myself in the travails of the Jew Seth Cohen and the Christian Ryan Atwood? (Don't even get me started on Chrismukkah: I love it, but I don't even know which part of that holiday I'd want to destroy first if I had the chance.)

While I enjoy the jihad thing, the best part of my week is watching The O.C. while eating some sugar free SnackWell Cookies which have also been smuggled to my lair in someone's rectum. (What? I do not judge your infidel food—and I saw Supersize Me!)

Now do you understand why I often appear cranky and irritable in the videos I send to Al Jazeera? I am usually mad because my holy soldiers are so often captured or killed by your army as they make their way to me with my tapes! I have missed whole plot arcs—and I would thank you not to tell them to me, I fully intend to see them eventually—and while reading infidel websites like Television Without Pity help, it is just not the same. I want my O.C., and without it, Osama becomes a grumpy Gus!

Let me be truthful with you: I am very ill and the only thing that is keeping me alive at this point is The O.C.. I have been going through the motions of hating America for over a year now (frankly, you can all fuck yourselves, I'm so over you), but what keeps me going is this show, this popular culture phenomenon that we share together.

It's actually quite nice to be a part of something, instead of always being on the outside looking in. I do not know you, but because of The O.C., I feel we could be friends. Maybe we can IM a bit after the show tonight, if you're not too busy? If not, I can come visit you soon at your home.

Actually, I can almost guarantee you that I will be visiting you at your home soon. I hope you have some sugar free SnackWell Cookies. I do love them so.

Actually, I've never seen The O.C.; I'm sure it's pretty good.

The O.C. airs Thursday nights at 8PM EST on FOX.

Earlier: Other thoughts on The O.C

Posted at 3:44 PM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
  December 15, 2004
Meet Your New Model Overlord

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In a complete miscarriage of justice, it's Eva, while anyone in their right mind knows Yaya was robbed.

(And that Adrianne Curry has been such a rousing success.)

Posted at 9:38 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  December 14, 2004
Three Stooges Receive Presidential Medals of Failure

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Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck: Bremer, Franks, and Tenet.

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Posted at 7:26 PM in a Grave fashion.
  December 13, 2004
In the Crosshairs

As part of low culture’s ongoing commitment to taking the fun out of everything, we are proud to present our first (and possibly last (it’s very annoying typing this in)) New York Times crossword puzzle cheat sheet. Impress friends, lovers, or anyone who is actually impressed by this kind of crap.

Continue reading...
Posted at 12:16 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  December 12, 2004
low culture Exclusive: The Outrage Gets Outragously Obvious!!!

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Loud and Clear: They sure look like buildings now.

Ever since low culture first posted about the shocking Cingular billboards that subliminally play upon the collapse of the Twin Towers, numerous websites have commented that we must be out of our minds.

It was a stretch, they argued, to equate the image of cellular phone 'signal bars' with buildings, specifically the Twin Towers. low culture was taking post-9/11 sensitivity to an absurd new height (or low, as it were). low culture isn't funny. Etc.

Yes, it was clearly a stretch. Why on earth would someone think that those signal bars looked like buildings?

Submitted for your approval is an un-retouched Cingular ad that runs in national magazines (above). It sure looks like the ad agency behind it is trying to make a connection between the rigid, parallel signal bars and rigid, parallel buildings.

So, how absurd was the post now? How sensitive? And, tell me, how unfunny? Very: These ads are very, very unfunny.

Earlier: low culture Exclusive: An Outrage Grows in Brooklyn!!!; low culture Exclusive: The Outrage Continues'Continuously!!!

Posted at 10:39 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 10, 2004
"Sic Semper Tyrannis" It Ain't

"You broke up Pantera."

Posted at 2:57 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  December 9, 2004
The O.C.: It's way, way better than getting instant messages about that new red-headed girl that Grant likes

oc_rachelbilson.jpgYou need to set your away message right now because it's almost 8 o'clock and you have to watch The O.C. because it's Thursday and it's on right now. Kelsey says she'll text you later, and next thing you know, you're down in the den, sprawled out alone on the couch, your eyes glued religiously to the sights of Seth Cohen and Marissa Cooper being introduced onscreen as you strain to hear the sounds of Phantom Planet singing plaintively about what is totally your favorite state, and you totally said that to Mr. Roberts last week when he was running through the geography prep quiz in fourth period, and he chuckled because he's so old and doesn't even watch TV, probably.

Whatever, because when they show Summer Roberts on the TV you always cringe! She looks just like your sister Justine, who graduated from law school at Berkeley two years ago, and it was called Boalt, and anyway she is so much older than you, and Mom always rubs that in, because Mom is 57, and Justine is 27, and you were Mom's "surprise" 12 years ago and so you're totally able to stay up later than both Mom and Dad because they go to bed so early. Like, they'll probably be asleep by the time The O.C.'s over. Justine's almost like your Mom anyway, because she always talks about how she was the one who changed your diapers and babysat you when you were a crying infant, and she totally wrote about that in her law school applications, about how that early responsibility had made her a strong leader, and you're so sick of hearing it, but you still love her because she's your sister.

Also Mom keeps saying to be nice to her, too, because Justine is sterile and her uterus doesn't work properly and she can't have children of her own, so raising you comes a close second in her book, that's what Mom says, and you also overheard Justine talking about it with her last year when she visited over Christmas. And that's why Justine has a job at this place called UNICEF where she says they help kids in other countries. Maybe even Mr. Roberts would know where they are? Whatever! You're all about Newport Beach.

Ryan is being such a jerk this week.

The Summer Roberts girl's sweet like your sister too, but Kelsey always tells you every single Friday before homeroom how much she likes Summer on the show, and you're tired of your sister, and also Summer, too. Maybe Summer can't have kids too? Anyway she's too young and she's not going to have babies yet anyway. You hope you can have kids someday, unlike Justine, and you're going to rub it in her face when you do, and she's an old lady. You get bored when they cut to the stories about Sandy and Kirsten, though they seem like a cool Mom and Dad. Marissa is totally your favorite one on The O.C., because she tries so hard, you know? That's really important, you think. And you forgot to put your away message on, and you're still signed on, because you can hear IM's coming in on the computer in the hallway. It's probably just Grant, and you don't even like him anymore anyway. You totally never did, and that was all a big mistake anyway, he doesn't even watch The O.C.

Actually, I've never seen The O.C.: I'm sure it's pretty good.

The O.C. airs at 8PM EST on FOX.

Earlier: Additional OC-centric material...

Posted at 5:32 PM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
Four (More Years) on the Floor

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In the White House's Roosevelt Room earlier this morning, President Bush announced Jim Nicholson, current U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, as his nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. This is the ninth cabinet replacement since Bush's re-election, and as each new cabinet member has been introduced to the media, the announcement game plan's been identical in each instance, as the President peers studiously at his newly-nominated staff members (examined earlier in "Didn't America Vote Against the Gaze?").

Of course, it turns out this "game plan" has been part of a larger "master plan" carefully choreographed by Dan Bartlett and his staff...Here's an exclusive "floor plan" slipped to low culture by a White House operative.

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RELATED: White House Roosevelt Room

Posted at 12:16 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 8, 2004
Just a wild guess, here, but...is this some A.P. photo editor's way of saying "quagmire"?

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From the AP wires: "A U.S. military helicopter lands at Baghdad's heavily protected Green Zone at sunset Tuesday Dec 7 2004. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)"

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From L to R, the posters for the Vietnam-themed Miss Saigon and Apocalypse Now, Redux

Posted at 3:04 PM in a Grave fashion.
And the human collateral fades gently into the background as their leaders take center stage

From the wire services, portraits of military personnel and their civilian bosses, taken Tuesday, December 7, 2004:

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Posted at 11:44 AM in a Grave fashion.
  December 7, 2004
Why Do We Have to Choose?

"For years now, liberals and leftists have been unable to decide whether they dislike George W. Bush because they think he's a doofus or because they think he's evil..."
- DUBYA: A RUTHLESS, ELEGANT PRESIDENT, John "Norman's Son" Podhoretz, The New York Post, Dec. 7, 2004.

Posted at 4:33 PM in a Grave fashion.
We're just as fucking sick of this Ukraine thing as you are, comrade

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Posted at 4:20 PM in a Grave fashion.
They can say that with such confidence, apparently, because the site didn't actually crash

As reported in today's Daily Variety, the "online premiere" of Fahrenheit 9/11, rabble-rousing director Michael Moore's Pixar-animated comedy starring the voices of Tom Hanks and Christina Applegate, drew a meager 89 viewers, according to information released by the briefly-downloadable film's website host. More specifically, "a rep for CinemaNow said 'Fahrenheit 9/11' special, which brought in $885.55 in revenue, was a 'success,' noting that the three-hour window in which it was available was unusual for the Internet."

Damn you, Jack Valenti, for departing us so sadly, and so soon! With you gone, it seems as though the entire motion-picture industry's standards for "success" have waned considerably. Seriously, seriously waned. 800 fucking dollars?

Because it's certainly not as though this CinemaNow website (whatever the hell that may be...I can't even be bothered to link to the fucking thing) likely had a staff of well-paid site producers and designers working days beforehand on this "premiere extravaganza", right? Right?

Posted at 4:05 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Black children love us!

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Posted at 11:18 AM in a Grave fashion.
  December 6, 2004
The Humorous Life of Brian

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Mr. Williams: Not Robin, but almost as Funny.

"There's definitely ways to try and capture that personality without taking away from what is a very serious newscast in very serious times... There are ways to find little moments of absurdity or humor in life and we're going to try and find ways to do that—but, we have to find the right way to do that," " NBC News chief Neal Shapiro
(From, Only When He Laughs, Don Kaplan, The New York Post, Dec. 6, 2004.)

Some suggestions:
-Accompany Iraqi death count reports with "Waw-waw-waaah" horn sound effect from Let's Make a Deal

-Refer to the president as "Cuddles"

-Five Words: Rip Taylor, White House Correspondent

-Swap out hurricane clips with footage from Land of the Lost

-Goodbye, bespoke suits. Hello, tuxedo T-shirt!

-When analyzing reports with Tim Russert, pretend to be all stoned like Cheech and Chong

-End each broadcast with an America's Funniest Home Video-type clip, possibly a "blooper" from the Iraq war or amusing footage of famine-torn nations.

-New theme song by "Weird Al" Yankovic

-Overdub foreign-language speakers with Peanuts-style adult "squawking" voices

-Knock knock jokes. Lots and lots of knock knock jokes

-Get Mo Rocca: Everybody finds that dude hilarious

Posted at 11:04 PM in a Shallow fashion.
The low culture Guide to Jury Duty

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The Jury Pool: Come on in, the justice is fine.

Jury Duty isn't just your civic duty: It can be your civic pleasure as well. With these simple tips, your time in the jury pool can be productive, enjoyable, and above all safe. Failure to follow these suggestions may result in jail time, so be forewarned: What you are about to read could save your life.

-Make sure you haven't eaten for at least twenty minutes before entering the jury pool so as to avoid uncomfortable cramps.

-Similarly, make sure you've drunk something—preferably a strong, alcoholic beverage—before the proceedings begin. It will lend a festive air to the entire affair, which is good, since you will probably want to kill yourself the moment you arrive 'till several weeks later when the details of the case will come back to you in nightmares. (But in your nightmare, the killer will be your dad: Don't ask us, we're not shrinks.)

-Don't bring a book or a magazine unless you want your fellow jurors to think of you as some sort of snob. Furthermore, displaying the ability to read will lead directly to the court officers not selecting you for trial. Best to show up with a lot of photos of your cats or your grandchildren, the better to facilitate conversations with those around you. If you must bring a book, bring a Bible: Everyone loves talking about the Bible with strangers.

-It's easy to get laughs in the jury room. Everyone there is stressed out and wants to be somewhere else: It's a perfect recipe for comedy. When the court officer calls out your name and asks if you are able to serve, be sure to say something funny like, "Ready? I was born fucking ready!" Also, classics play well: If you can get a Whoopee Cushion through security, it's worth putting on the judge's seat. Your fellow jurors will thank you.

-Many people try to get out of jury duty by claiming to be racists. While this is a good strategy, we recommend using it to get out of other things, like childcare payments and doctor's appointments. You shouldn't limit your mock pronouncements of racist ideology just to the courts. Speak them freely (on the subway, at the supermarket) and you'll start to see that you're not the only one who thinks that way. You may even be invited to join some cool secret societies.

-Do not watch the clock. Everyone who's ever gone through high school knows that watching the clock during a boring activity does not make time move faster. (Only meth can do that.) Instead, stare dead into the eyes of the person closest to you. Make a game out of it: How long can you stare at them before they turn away? Now, can you double it?

-This is so simple, it's the easiest to forget: Case out the room for single people of the opposite sex. (If you are gay, you should confine this search to the restrooms, which, as we all know, are hotbeds of municipal butt-sex. If you are a lesbian, you should've already gotten a jury exemption and be seeking a partner at your job at the organic food co-op.) The jury pool is a great pickup scene, mostly because you already have so much in common. You're potentially spending the next two weeks seeing this person every day: that's a perfectly acceptable length of time for a relationship. In fact, it's probably a little too long.

-Finally, if you are selected to be on the jury, you should not pump your fist and gloat. Be respectful to your fellow jury pool members who were not selected since they'll be deprived of all the fun you're about to have. Not everyone gets into this party, but you will set yourself apart by being gracious and serving with all the dignity your buzzed, staring, Whoopee Cushion-having ass can muster. Jury duty is an honor. Don't make us regret living in a Democracy.

Posted at 4:21 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Super Fun "Ski-Mask-Wearing Iraqis" Quiz: Insurgent or Police Officer?

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ANSWER: Insurgent, as evidenced by his being situated near graffiti, which is illegal!


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ANSWER: Policemen, as evidenced by their being surrounded by toys, which are jolly!

EARLIER: Super Fun "Military-Incursion Home Destruction" Quiz: Iraq or Palestine?

Posted at 12:16 PM in a Grave fashion.
Bulworth meets Bush Worthless

001beatty.jpgThere's an old joke, often attributed to Woody Allen, that goes:
"Q. What would you like to be reincarnated as?" "A. Warren Beatty's finger."

Somehow, I'm guessing whoever said that wouldn't have said it about last night, when Beatty was honored by the Kennedy Center. (Check out Kennedy Center Salutes Six Artists, by John Files in The New York Times for a teeny-tiny photo of those fingers wrapped around Bush's.) Poor, poor Beatty finger.

It's a long, slow slide from Capucine to Julie Christie to Madonna to Annette Bening to... Colin Powell.

A sad one, too. Can a man's finger kill itself?

Posted at 12:10 PM in a Shallow fashion.
This is where we un-ironically invoke the theme song to Team America

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Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Bernard Kerik and President George W. Bush? They're real fucking patriots, you know?

RELATED: "America, Fuck Yeah", from the Team America: World Police Soundtrack, with lyrics by Trey Parker

Posted at 11:46 AM in a Grave fashion.
What you're really hearing is the sound of the U.S. dollar collapsing

zoellick_trade.jpg

Bon voyage! US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, above, can be seen craning his neck to make out the muffled cries of "Help, help!" coming forth from the global marketplace. (Deficits, trade gaps, and subsidies may be awesome party favors, but no one wants their event dampened by a bunch of ne'er-do-well whiners in the back room, right?)

This week, Zoellick sets out to embark on a luxurious five-nation tour of Africa, in which he'll visit Senegal, Benin, Mali, Namibia and Lesotho. In case you're wondering, not one of these nations has been adversely affected by American trading stances or WTO antics. This is because the U.S. economy is ragingly successful right this moment, and we're spreading that good cheer like it's fucking democracy or something.

See you in Najaf, motherfuckers! It's flat-tax time!

RELATED (well, in that it involves 'money', which, apparently, makes the world go round): Dollar Clobbered By Euro Again, Dec. 6, 2004 (CBS/AP)

Posted at 11:26 AM in a Grave fashion.
  December 4, 2004
Catch That Masked Man

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"For the life of me... I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do."
-Tommy Thompson
(U.S. Health Chief, Stepping Down, Issues Warning, by Robert Pear, The New York Times, Dec. 4, 2004.)

Killing Americans through the food supply? Dude, that's their fucking job. Yet another American industry, outsourced, I guess.

Related: Fire up your shitty "Bush ♥s Huckabee jokes now, suckers.

Posted at 5:13 PM in a Grave fashion.
  December 3, 2004
Didn't America Vote Against the Gaze?

Our nation's first "soft focus" president, parading his various cabinet nominations before the media in the White House's Roosevelt room:

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Department of Homeland Security nominee Bernard Kerik, alongside President Bush in the background.

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Secretary of State nominee Condoleeza Rice, with President Bush, again, in the background.

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Yes, there's a trend here: Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzalez, with President Bush in the background.

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Department of Commerce nominee Carlos Gutierrez mixes things up a bit, while nonetheless retaining those sharp-focus good looks.

Posted at 2:35 PM in a Grave fashion.
God, Everyone's Fleeing to Canada Now That Bush Won

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Triumph, The Insult Comic President in Canada

Earlier (And Strikingly Similar Visually): Breaking: Insult Comic Dog Causes Civil War in Canada

Posted at 9:47 AM in a Grave fashion.
  December 2, 2004
The O.C.: Don't even worry about coming out of this closet

oc_tatedonovan.jpgYou're looking good lately. Really nice, even. Those pecs...you're packed tight, man. Nicely chiseled. You're working out, aren't you? Yeah. You are.

It's reassuring to know you can watch The O.C. every Thursday night while you're on the stairmaster at Bally's 24-Hour-Fitness, plugged in to little more than a set of earbuds and, don't you know it, an entire world of opulent gorgeousness. This is the sort of drama you dream about mindlessly as you polish the sweat from your glistening calves. Of course, the television sets lined up next to the one blaring FOX's hottest second-season property may try and distract you with their depictions of a smirking Bill O'Reilly or some aging Matt LeBlanc character study, but you won't be swayed. You understand guys like Tate Donovan, you really do.

He looks a lot like that guy who comes in on Tuesdays. That guy. He lingers around the benches for about thirty minutes. Eyes you as he pulls up his socks around his shins. You're sure he's the most beautiful man you've laid eyes upon...at least at this gym, right? Ha. You know what I'm saying. You're a total pro.

And Catherine keeps calling you from the car. You just know she'll be home before you, destined to get off early from her freelance gig at Leo Burnett. Why don't you tell her about this guy? This perfect specimen of O.C.-esque beauty laying out in front of you, his arms pushing and pulling on the bars of a free-weight machine, such that you're just positive what he's doing with those lifts could "plug-n-play" nicely with your own frame.

You're glistening, again. Sweating. Excited. And Catherine keeps on fucking calling you, and you just let it go to voicemail. What the fuck, right? Let her bring something back from Koo-Koo-Roo or California Pizza Kitchen for the two of you to eat later that night. The fuck if you care, right? You're all over this guy. All over him. And he's reading you just right.

Time to towel off, then. You nod at each other. It's not even like some obscure code anymore. You know the drill. And he doesn't even bother wrapping himself in a towel as the two of you leave the gym's shower and head to the back lockers. Again, you know the drill. And, fuck, it's a good thing Catherine doesn't, right? God, would your life be over, or what?

And speaking of, you better finish up in here. Hurry. Hurry. Hurry. Right there. Sharp, so sharp. This may or may not be the world's longest commercial break, but you don't want to miss seeing the end result of Marissa's hooking up with the pool boy. Pool boys. So perfect. So very, very right.

Actually, I've never seen The O.C.: I'm sure it's pretty good.

The O.C. airs at 8PM EST on FOX.

Earlier: Obligatory Pop Culture Entry to Prove We Haven't Become Humorless Prigs; O.C.D.; The O.C.: Your One and Only Friend; The O.C.: Your 'Not Guilty' Pleasure.

Posted at 4:44 PM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
Support the ribbon industry

ribbons_supportourtroops.jpg

Posted at 4:19 PM in a Grave fashion.
  December 1, 2004
Great Minds Think Alike (And For Only About Two Minutes Before Slapping Up The First Joke They Come Up With)

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The Heartbreak's Ours: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Dec. 1, 2004.

Earlier: Entertainment Alert: Orange, Nov. 30, 2004.

Posted at 11:07 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Recent Events in the World About Which You or I Care Not, Though They Nonetheless are of Great Import to Someone Somewhere

rumsfeldworldnews.jpg
"Let's just clamp down on this shit, ok?"

Toll in China Mine Explosion Reaches 166

Plane veers off Indonesian runway; 31 die

Typhoon Bears Down on Flood-Hit Philippine Towns

UN Says May Have Spotted Rwandan Troops in Congo

Ukrainian Parliament Votes Out Prime Minister's Government

Holy fuck, that shit's so boring, right? And I don't even know what any of that means, really. Where the fuck in Africa or wherever is this so-called "Indonesia", and why are they flying planes there? While I try to wrap my head around this global primitivism, let me instead focus on this bit of American news (finally!) that came to my attention.

And, yeah, it did most certainly come to my attention because it's American news:

Rumsfeld sued for war crimes over Abu Ghraib

Oh, I totally, totally get this, given I read all the big papers each and every morning...It looks like a consortium of human rights lawyers are trying to bring attention to the various illegalities (mis)used in the Americans' detention of suspects in Iraq. Boy, this shit gets me so angry! I cannot tell you how RILED UP this sort of stuff makes me! And to think we elected this Bush guy for another four years? What is wrong with this country?????

Also: if any alert readers get any more information on what happened with that voting fiasco in Ohio earlier this month, please, please, drop us a line.

Posted at 11:28 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
God, I Miss Clinton

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Snooze: Bush in Canada on Nov. 30, 2004, blah, blah, blah.

It would've been so much easier to make a 'Royal Mounted Police' joke if we still had Bill. Sad.

Posted at 11:21 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Make our "team" part of your "team"
jean-paul tremblayJean-Paul Tremblay written-ed, directed and co-produced a bunch of so-called "comedy" and "video" content, is notoriously competitive, and nonetheless settles for bottom-tier tokenism. Repped by John Herndon at Grape Dope Entertainment. Thrill jockey!
matt haberMatt Haber has written for The New York Times, Esquire, and The New York Observer. He is not allergic to pet dander and can do "ethnic" accents if the part calls for it. He is repped by Candy Addams at Entertainment 4-Every-1. Feeling special?
Guy Cimbalo is so cute! Yes, he is. Who's a cute little Guy? You are, you are! Guy's our very own star of stage and screen and is repped by Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm. Rowr!
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