Illustration: John Kerry refuels on the campaign trail
Talking Points’ Joshua Micah Marshall has spent the past few days examining the most recent flurry of fluctuating poll results in anticipation of Monday’s Democratic primary in Iowa, and by his measure, one thing seems to have become at least somewhat clear, at least according to Zogby’s polls: John Kerry is, or may very well be, ascending in popularity with Iowa’s voters. And while that last sentence is so incredibly tepid in its support of a position, this hesitancy is important, because, well, we’re dealing with tracking polls, which, of course, haven’t been the most historically accurate source of election data in the past.
Hey, man, John “fucking” Kerry doesn’t give a damn about statistics! He’s riding high on endorsements right now–including one from Iowa’s First Lady, and yesterday’s from former Sen. Bob Kerrey, his similarly-named Vietnam veteran alter-ego, himself a former presidential candidate. Today’s Washington Post features some highlights of Kerry’s speech at a campaign stop yesterday, including this entertaining nugget:
“Do you like the surge?” Kerry hollered Thursday as he piloted his campaign helicopter into Sioux City to whip up his growing legion of supporters. “Do you like the surge? Are you ready to make more and more surge a surprise on Monday?”
Yes, it’s true that we digitally inserted that PowerAde-like sports drink into the accompanying photo, but those lines sampled above are actual quotes.
While Zogby hasn’t yet made their polling data for the elusive 18-24 year-old male demographic available yet, we’re fairly confident that, come Monday, John Kerry will be available in Extreme Lemon Lime, Power Cherry, and Blue Raspberry flavors.
I know the week is almost over and this item is practically four days too late—in blog time, that’s like slapping a “swing culture” cover on your magazine two years late—but I just got around to seeing the cover of this week’s TIME Magazine today. (I don’t read TIME and I haven’t been to my dentist’s to thumb through it in over a year—sue me.)
Anyway, what the hell happened to staid old TIME? Once a bastion of bland, sober news coverage and tepid lifestyle features about Too Much Homework! (insert your own “darn” in that sanitized headline), TIME has suddenly, inexplicably morphed into a porn magazine!
Don’t believe me? Check out this week’s cover package on Love, Sex & Health.
There are features on spicing up your love life (replete with references to Time inc. editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstein‘s wife, Nancy Friday‘s book of erotic fantasies My Secret Garden—available in your mom’s sock drawer, or wherever paperbacks are sold); a piece on pornography (not written, as you might’ve expected, by Joel Stein); and, amazingly, an article on S/M. In the latter, writer John Cloud explains in the typically TIME-esque obvious/patronizing manner—but with a surprisingly decent pun that:
It turns out that you call it “S and M” only if you don’t do it or if you experiment only occasionally with those handcuffs you keep hidden at the back of the nightstand. If, on the other hand, you are seriously involved in the sadomasochistic subculture—if, say, you have attended one or more of the nation’s 90 annual sadomasochistic events (“Beat Me in St. Louis,” for instance) and own not only handcuffs but also a spanking bench, a flogger, some paraffin wax, an unbreakable Pyrex dildo and various other unmentionables—you call it, simply, SM.
Grandmas all over America take note: Only people who don’t do S/M pronounce it with the ‘and.’
Also asked by writer Michael D. Lemonick: Do Gay Couples Have An Edge? Well, not now that they’re in TIME, they don’t.
TIME hasn’t been this edgy since they scooped god’s death in 1966. Steal this magazine from your dentist’s waiting room and stash it under your mattress today.
Tony Shalhoub and Ben Stiller are very, very nervous.
Suddenly, neurosis is hot— v. hot!
How else to explain today’s strange pop culture confluence? The return of USA Network‘s one good show, Monk, starring the insanely brilliant Tony Shalhoub as a detective with O.C.D. and Along Came Polly, starring Ben Stiller as an uptight neat-freak whose world gets turned upside-down (or at least a bit messier) by bra-less free spirit, Jennifer Anastassakis. (I once saw a German video called Along Came Poly, but I assume it’s unrelated.)
I cannot go on enough about how excellent Tony Shalhoub is in everything he does. (He was even good in that execrable waste of celluloid, Life or Something Like It, starring Edward Burns‘ accent and Angelina Jolie‘s big hair.) Shalhoub has personally supplied some of the most quotable lines in the Coen Brothers‘ canon: “Talk to another writer… Jesus, throw a rock in here, you’ll hit one. And do me a favor, Fink: throw it hard.”; “I litigate. I don’t capitulate.” He’s great in small roles in big movies like Men in Black and even better in big roles in small ones like Big Night, but Monk is all his.
Monk is one of those show’s that so good, you can’t believe it made it out of development without the addition of a talking dog or a sassy robot butler. The supporting cast of Monk—Bitty Schram playing Sharona like a grown-up Dead End Kid, Ted Levine (aka, Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs) lurching around as Capt. Stottlemeyer with a world-weary lugubriousness, Jason Gray-Stanford dorking it up as Lt. Randall Disher, Jimmy Olson reborn as a cop—and the sharp writing make Monk (to echo the estimable blurb artistes of TV Guide) the best show you’re not watching. It’s on Friday nights at 10PM EST.
Weirdly, Monk has been compared to a 1998 movie starring Polly‘s Ben Stiller: Zero Effect also about the comic conceit of a detective (Bill Pullman) with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. (An attempted TV version with Alan Cumming had, well, zero effect and never made it past the pilot.)
I don’t know Polly from Adam, but the commercial (and its use of the Bellamy Brothers’ “Let Your Love Flow” accompanying a toilet overflowing with shit) annoys me every time it’s on—which is a lot. Stiller’s done better, he’s done worse. I still like him—especially since he portrays himself as the most conceited Hollywood asshole ever on the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. (Probably a self-parody that hews very close to truth.) Stiller rises above even the worst material, and I’ll always respect him for it.
Monk or Along Came Polly? Watch ’em both—but don’t forget to wash your hands.
I have seen this Sunday’s Bridget Harrison column in The Post and it is about how hard it is to be single when it’s cold.
There will be a clever pun about “ice” (diamonds, specifically rings) and ice (water in its solid form); there will also be a references to “heat” and “sheets.” Oh, and the lead will be “Baby, it’s cold outside.” The headline will be Sex and the Sub-zero Girl.
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929-1968
Instant karma got rocker-cum-animal lover Ted Nugent:
Ted Nugent Injured in Chainsaw Accident
By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER, Associated Press Writer
DETROIT – Ted Nugent was injured on the Texas set of his reality show when a chain saw cut through his leg.
The outspoken rocker, outdoors enthusiast and star of the VH1 series “Surviving Nugent: The Ted Commandments,” required 40 stitches to close the gash in his leg on Sunday, Michelle Clark, a spokeswoman for the cable music channel, said Tuesday.
Animals the world over sigh in relief as they live to see another spring. But what about the children? What.. about… the… children?
And here we thought he was an axe man…
[via TVTattle.com—a great site!]
Matthew McConaughey is hip? When did that happen?
Title: Dirty Little Secret
Log line: The lives of a hip, successful couple are overwhelmed by the arrival of their first child. Tensions build between them as they leave high society to enter the world of baby-proofers, nannies and preschool waiting lists.
Writer: Elisa Bell
Agent: William Morris Agency
Buyer: Paramount Pictures
Genre: Romantic Comedy
More: Loosely inspired by Julie Tilsner’s book Attack of the Toddlers!. j.k. livin’s Matthew McConaughey and Gus Gustawes and Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar will produce. Mark Gustawes will co-produce. Damien Saccani will executive produce. Matthew McConaughey will also star.
(From Done Deal)