end run brought to you by ok soda
  May 31, 2005
Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, Vol. 54

Victoria Leigh Tacconelli, left, reacts to receiving her diploma from President Bush, right, as she walks off stage during the United States Naval Academy Graduation and Commissioning Ceremony at the Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Friday, May 27, 2005 in Annapolis, Maryland. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Posted at 10:21 AM in a Grave, Unintentionally Hilarious fashion.
Fantastic Fall

This summer, as we eagerly await the release of yet another crop of comic book movies from the Marvel/DC Comics pipeline, Twentieth Century Fox's upcoming Fantastic Four is looking to be quite a rough-and-tumble tale. Well, at least the trailers make this out to be the case, featuring little more than a series of elaborate, action-packed falls from buildings on the part of the film's heroes and villains.

After all—and most studio executives will agree with us, here—nothing is more thrilling to today's moviegoing audience than a character's being hurled from atop a great height, right? I ask you, can an intriguing sub-plot be thrown from a skyscraper? No. A complex, well-shaded character arc? Can that cling desperately to a window ledge suspended fifty stories above street level? No, of course not.

So, here we are, with the Fantastic Four's fantastic falls:

An unidentified firefighter, on the verge of falling (from a bridge)

Mr. Fantastic, also on the verge of falling, but from a building

The Thing and Doctor Doom, actually falling, also from a building

Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, also falling, also from a building

The film's director, Tim Story: soon to throw himself from the highest building in Hollywood?

Posted at 6:42 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  May 26, 2005
The Middle Eastern Tsunami, or, Buying new Caterpillar bulldozers to repair the damage done by your older Caterpillar bulldozers


From the Associated Press: White House Hopes to Boost Palestinian With Visit and Aid, May 26, 2005:

Bush also announced that United States will direct $50 million for housing and other construction aid to the Palestinian Authority to help Palestinians in Gaza once Israelis leave this August.


The $50 million in new direct aid is part of a $150 million package that Bush is seeking for the Palestinians from Congress. He said the money would help Palestinians settle into Gaza once the Israel withdrawal set for this summer is complete.

"America wants to help," Bush said.

Reacting to the announcement, Palestinian legislator and human rights activist Hanan Ashrawi said the $50 million was just a "modest beginning."

"I'm sure the U.S. is capable of giving greater support not only to Gaza, but to the West Bank," she told The Associated Press.

RELATED: US Senate approves 2005 Israel aid package - Israel will receive $2.2 billion in military aid and $480 million in civilian aid: "Each year, Israel receives the largest share of US foreign aid, which totals $17 billion in the current fiscal year. Egypt is the second largest recipient of aid, with $1.9 billion. Jordan receives $464 million, after the 0.59% deduction. In addition to the annual aid, the US has provided Israel with $9 billion in loan guarantees over three years, or $3 billion a year."

U.S. Financial Aid To Israel: Figures, Facts, and Impact: "Total U.S. aid to Israel is approximately one-third of the American foreign-aid budget, even though Israel comprises just .001 percent of the world's population and already has one of the world's higher per capita incomes."

Posted at 3:32 PM in a Grave fashion.
Hydrogen, huh? This must be that energy initiative I'm half-assedly endorsing that will inevitably fail to knock my old oil cronies from their positions of power

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)


(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Posted at 2:49 PM in a Grave fashion.
The O.C.'s not on tonight? I think I'll go for a swim, then

oc_caleb.jpgThursday evening, 8 o'clock sharp. I used to spend this special time perched atop my loveseat, giddily staring at the television set and mentally preparing to absorb the wonders of West Coast suburban culture as filtered to me via the broadcast networks.

And then summer arrived, and they all abandoned me. Not the networks, I mean...they're still there, doling out quality product week after week. No, I've got a very specific axe to grind. I'm talking about Peter Gallagher. Mischa Barton. Josh Schwartz. Despots of the airwaves, each and every one of them. And Schwartz? He's their tyrannical leader.

My kids think I have a problem. My eldest son, fully-grown and fresh out of culinary school, has scolded me for what he deems an "unhealthy" interest in the goings-on of fictitious characters and/or executive producers and/or series creators. But my son, you see, never understood my focus, my diligence...

How I hate my son for his lack of compassion. How I miss presiding over real family bonding, such as the antics of Ryan Atwood and his nettlesome older brother, or Kirsten Cohen and her Jewish husband.

Sitting here at work, gazing out the window upon the parking lot below...I'm a sour, lonely, bitter old man. To hell with my initial idea of taking laps in the pool; I think I'll sleep in my office tonight.

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

The O.C. used to air on Thursdays at 8PM EST on FOX, but then summer started. It's not yet noon, and my night is already ruined.

Earlier: O.C.-centric entries, wherein we celebrated our joyous embrace of "all things Newport Beach".

Posted at 12:00 PM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
The indiscreet charms of the bourgeoisie


WHICH set of former has-beens-that-never-were returned to the glare of the spotlight earlier this month? WHO reissued their most prominent document of fame and fortune yet, in what is either the ultimate comeback or merely another attempt to cash in on the zeitgeist of bourgeoisie socialism? WHAT makes this sort of bougie urban politicism that far removed from an overriding cultural interest in Jessica Simpson's techniques for obtaining a bikini-worthy body?

Unrelatedly, Maer Roshan's Radar project is out anew this month.

And, hey, you know what? Our tried-and-true "This looks like this, which is like that, which is like this" routine never ends! We'll be here all week.

(with thanks to Adit Nathan)

Posted at 11:25 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  May 25, 2005
Primo Product Placement, Vol. 2: FILA's marketing campaign goes into high gear

A U.S. Marine writes an identification number on the forehead of an Iraqi man detained during a search in Haditha, 220 kilometers (140 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Wednesday, May 25, 2005.


EARLIER: Primo product placement: I'm a pepper, she's a pepper...Wouldn't you like to pepper spray these Muslim savages, too?

Posted at 3:47 PM in a Grave fashion.
  May 23, 2005
Iraq: Winning the War, but Losing the Battles -- again, and again, and again

10 Dead as Car Bomb Tears Apart Baghdad Restaurant, the Los Angeles Times
Car bomb kills 5 at Shi'ite mosque in Iraq, Reuters
Four Car Bombings Kill Dozens Across Iraq, Associated Press

OK, those are some pretty distressing headlines, but...what exactly does a car bombing look like?

Nori Abdul Hussein, 4-years old, lies on a hospital bed in Baghdad's al-Yarmouk hospital after being injured when a car bomb blew up outside the Abul-Fadl Abbas Shiite mosque in Mahmoudiya, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, killing at least 10 people at about the time worshippers would go to a mosque for sunset prayers, in Iraq Monday, May 23, 2005. (AP Photo/Haidar Fatehi)

Posted at 4:18 PM in a Grave fashion.
This Week in Green Muslim Puppetry

U.S. first lady Laura Bush, second right, and Egypt's first Lady Suzanne Mubarak, right, accompanied by unidentified Egyptian official chat with the puppet Nem Nem as they tour the set of Aalam Semsem, or Sesame World, the Egyptian version of the popular American children's show Sesame Street Monday May 23, 2005, in Cairo, Egypt. Mrs Bush was advocating childhood education during her visit to Egypt part of a Middle East tour. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, Pool)

President Bush, right, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, left, walk off stage following their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House, Monday, May 23, 2005, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Posted at 3:56 PM in a Grave fashion.
  May 20, 2005
Now, this was clearly inspired by Newsweek...or was it?

Iraqis leaving the al-Jumhuriyah mosque walk over U.S. and Israeli flags, heeding a call by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to paint Israeli and American flags on the ground in front of mosques for people to step on, in the southern town of Basra in Iraq Friday, May 20, 2005. Thousands of followers of a radical Shiite cleric staged protests against the U.S.-led occupation Friday. The protests follow Muqtada al-Sadr's call Wednesday to reject the U.S. occupation of Iraq by painting Israeli and American flags on the ground outside mosques to be stepped on in protest raids against holy places. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

Boulderite Dan Winters at the infamous mural of former President George Bush at the entranceway to Baghdad's 5-star Al-Rasheed Hotel. Not pictured, but right below Bush's face is written, in Arabic and English: "Bush is Criminal"

RELATED: Well, clearly this was all Newsweek's fault, which, way back when, was meant as a ridiculous joke. At least the White House laughed!

Posted at 12:02 PM in a Grave fashion.
If Buchanan Wasn't Against the War Before, He Sure Is Now

Separated at Bulge: Saddam Hussein on the cover of The Sun (via Drudge); Pat Buchanan on the cover of SPY, May 1992.

Posted at 11:26 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
A Majority amongst the Minority

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., center, speaks as black religious leaders look on at a rally in support of Janice Rogers Brown, President Bush's nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, at Russell Park on Capitol Hill Thursday, May 19, 2005 in Washington, D.C.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Wait, wait, that headline above must be wrong...right? How about, "The Minority amongst the Majority"? Or, wait, "A Minority amongst the Minority, alongside the Majority"? Hmm.

Minority leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, center, answers questions at a news conference with members of the Congressional Black Caucus in the Senate Radio-TV Gallery on Capitol Hill, in Washington on Thursday, May 19, 2005.(AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Wait, wait, what's this? God, this is all so confusing. As a reasonal, racially non-biased American — a white person — (though, you know, of course, race doesn't matter to me...), I need to know, once and for all: Who do these mysterious Black People I keep hearing about support?

Posted at 11:06 AM in a Grave fashion.
The delicate art of the "If...Then" statement "exclusive"

dailynews_olympics.jpgToday's New York Daily News cover story touts the boldest of exclusives: "New York's top lawmakers have been warned: Mess around with the West Side Stadium and the Olympics are lost." Meaning, of course, that unless the proposed real-estate grabbing, massively bond-and-taxpayer-funded West Side stadium is erected near Penn Station, there can be no 2012 New York Olympics. (How very sad! New Yorkers have surely been pining for a long-term re-enactment of the hassle that was last fall's 2004 Republican National Convention, right?)

Or, as the Daily News declares in their more appropriately condensed tabloid headline parlance, "NO STADIUM, NO GAMES."

Logic and deductive reasoning? It's, for the time being at least, another Daily News exclusive!

Of course, the rival Post won't take this challenge sitting down. Look for their very own upcoming series of cover-story exclusives, including, but not limited to:


And, of course,


Sigh. It's clearly time to move to Paris, huh?

Posted at 10:15 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  May 19, 2005
Filibuster be damned...There ain't no stopping us now!

President Bush speaks at the Republican National Committee Gala in Washington Tuesday, May 17, 2005. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Posted at 11:31 AM in a Grave fashion.
The Iraq Party: Hollow Point Bullets Galore!

iraq_end.jpgThe celebration of Iraqi democracy's second launch continues. In fact, it's moved into the wacky publicity stunt phase!

Last night, as part of the ongoing launch party for the most expensive, anticipated democratic regime since Tina Brown's revamp of the U.S.S.R., an insurgent lackey escalated the war of words by hurling several bullets at Dr. Ali Hameed, an official from Iraq's Oil Ministry. Dr. Hameed responded by being pronounced dead at 8 AM!

Did somebody say CATFIGHT!!!! Oh, yeah, it's on!

Iraqi Oil Ministry official gunned down [CNN]

Posted at 9:34 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  May 18, 2005
You see, this is how we vote in L.A.

Via the LA Times: Jose F. Aguilar marks his ballot in a booth on the showroom floor at Robertson Honda in North Hollywood. (Al Seib / LAT)

Also via the LA Times: Voters cast their ballots at Harmon and Son Tire Center in Los Angeles.
(Mark Boster / LAT)

Again, via the LA Times: Richard Anderson, 80, votes amid paintings on display at the Perk U Up cafe, espresso bar and art gallery in North Hollywood. (Al Seib / LAT)

RELATED: "L.A. MAYORAL ELECTION Villaraigosa Landslide: Voter Discontent Helps Propel Challenger to a Historic Victory", Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2005

Posted at 10:44 AM in a Grave fashion.
  May 15, 2005
We'll Safely Assume That the Heroin OD Is On Its Way

Lindsay Lohan at some KIIS-FM event and Janis Joplin in mid-slur

Posted at 11:52 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  May 13, 2005
Meanwhile All Across the Country, Americans Also Salute DeLay


(Above via Yahoo/Reuters; Below via Litlounge)

Posted at 2:51 PM in a Grave fashion.
The Beautiful and the Damned

Mourning Wood: Nine out ten respondents surveyed said they'd sleep with three of the above people. Can you guess which ones? (via Yahoo/Reuters)

Related: "The harrah... The harrah..."

Posted at 2:36 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  May 11, 2005
Well, clearly this was all Newsweek's fault



Afghanistan Sees Worst Anti-U.S. Protests Since Fall of Taliban, the New York Times, May 11, 2005:

Four Afghan protesters were killed and more than 60 were injured today in the eastern city of Jalalabad in the worst anti-American demonstrations Afghanistan has seen in the three years since the fall of the Taliban.


It was the second day of demonstrations by students in Jalalabad who were angered at a report in Newsweek magazine that United States interrogators at the Guantánamo Bay detention center had desecrated the Holy Koran by placing it on toilets, and even in one case, flushing a Koran down the toilet.

Please take this opportunity to join us, and let the editors of Newsweek know how disappointed you are by canceling your subscription.

Posted at 4:14 PM in a Grave fashion.
Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, Vol. 53


Posted at 10:58 AM in a Grave, Unintentionally Hilarious fashion.
  May 10, 2005
low culture Exclusive: Oh, Man, I Can't Believe We're The First Blog That Thought To Make Fun of This Thing!


Have you seen The Huffington Post yet? Isn't it sort of... funny? (Get it!?!)

Posted at 9:36 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  May 6, 2005
Lost in Transatlanticism: the Peace Duke and his Quest for Diplomacy

In anticipation of President Bush's diplomatic trip to the Baltic States this weekend, protesters in Riga, Latvia were out in full force today. Thankfully, these were literate types — you know, real Eastern European, Milan Kundera-reading coffeehouse denizens — and took the opportunity to demonstrate against Bush's arrival using that uniquely untapped Baltic brand of oblique irony.



As you can see above, however, their protestation is so goddamned indirect that, well, the "Engrish"-esque point is nearly lost on an American audience. "Peace Duke?" The idea comes across, but just barely.

Some blunter, coarser suggestions for future demonstrations in Riga:


Russians Out, and Bush, Too

Bush & Kalvitis: Ogres in Arms

FAIR TRADE: We Supply You with Pornstars, You Supply Us with War

RELATED: Google results for "peace duke", which you shouldn't bother clicking, as they're of no help at all

EARLIER: I'm sorry, I don't speak "European"...what exactly are you trying to say, here?

Posted at 10:54 AM in a Grave fashion.
Krisis In Krumpland!


From, Why Is Chappelle's Show at a Halt? Not Because of Drugs, an Aide Says, by Jesse McKinley and Lola Ongunnaike, The New York Times, May 6, 2005:

Representatives of the comedian Dave Chappelle yesterday denied rumors that drugs were involved in the suspension of production of his acclaimed sketch comedy show, 'Chappelle's Show.'
Indeed, some of the internal pressures may have come from the unique style of production employed by 'Chappelle's Show,' in which dozens of comedy sketches, musical numbers and other bits are shot in no particular order and assembled later in the editing room. 'They don't necessarily have a shooting script for a set episode,' said Mr. Labov.

Also, those elaborate sets and visual effects probably don't help.

Related?: Dave Chapelle [sic]

Posted at 8:42 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Hold tight and buckle up, boys, cos it's time to Praaaaaaaaay!!!


RELATED: Bush Marks National Day of Prayer, the Associated Press

Posted at 7:27 AM in a Grave fashion.
  May 5, 2005
Re-Awakened Firefighter Donald Herbert's Personalized American History (from 1995 to the Present)

Courtesy of New York Times writer James Barron, and his account of brain-injured firefighter Donald Herbert's remarkable recuperation from his decade-long comatose state, we're treated to this handy, pocket-sized, sentence-length compendium of the events of the past ten years in American History (After Sudden Lucidity, Firefighter Is Less Animated, May 5, 2005):


Dr. Ahmed said Mr. Herbert thought that it had been only a couple of months since the accident, not a decade - in which a president was tried for impeachment; e-mail and cellphones became popular; and his hometown football team, the Buffalo Bills, made the playoffs four times.

Clinton's impeachment, technology's growth and proliferation, etc...This seems to cover all the bases, for the most part.

Shit...Wait, wait, something's missing, right? What the fuck else has happened in the past ten years? Maybe George Pataki can help us out here:

"We will never forget the individual lives that were lost, the tremendous personal sacrifices and the countless acts of heroism that will forever mark September 11, 2001 as a day the world changed forever," Governor Pataki said. "Those heroes will be forever in the hearts and minds of people throughout New York State and around the world."

There you have it: Bills quarterback Doug Flutie, forever in our hearts and minds.

Posted at 4:25 PM in a Grave fashion.
Star Wars: Revenge of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern

th-48110_R.jpgPer low culture's reliable sources deep within Skywalker Ranch, there's a good reason Revenge of the Sith is getting such glowing reviews -- Tom Stoppard wrote the script. Producer Rick McCallum insisted Lucas find a ghost writer, and Stoppard was the only writer Lucas wouldn't interfere with.

[Confirmed here]

Posted at 3:26 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Yes, We Tease Her, But We're Not Above Offering Her Some Baby Product Recommendations

Hooked: Lynndie and Carter Allan England, left (via AFP); Ride 'N Stride 2-Way Safety Harness (via Baby Catalog of America).

Posted at 8:13 AM in a Grave fashion.
  May 4, 2005
Primo product placement: I'm a pepper, she's a pepper...Wouldn't you like to pepper spray these Muslim savages, too?

REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell

RELATED: Judge Rejects England's Guilty Plea in Abu Ghraib Case, NPR

EARLIER: Number 2 at the Box Office? "Man on Fire"

Posted at 4:52 PM in a Grave fashion.
  May 2, 2005
More Hard Bodies for Your Monday

Tara Reid's putty-like stomach

via ez board

Screw Cristal, With Oil Prices Through the Roof, This Is Really Decadent

Shakira's "La Tortura"

Massive Attack's "Karmacoma"

Christina Milian's "Dip It Low"

Posted at 2:30 PM in a Shallow fashion.
From Left to Right: Mushrooms, pot, coke, and glue (or, "Jenna Watch, Vol. 3")

President Bush's daughter, Jenna, bottom left, watches the game between the Washington Nationals and New York Mets with unidentified guests at RFK Stadium, Saturday, April 30, 2005, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari)

EARLIER: Jenna Bush and the oh-so-delicate return of the Associated Press' "unidentifiable male friend" and Young Love, Republican Style

Posted at 8:14 AM in a Grave fashion.
George, my son, I know you have it in you to (re)create social security in your image



Posted at 8:04 AM in a Grave 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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