In which President Bush furiously solicits even more praise from otherwise unsuspecting fans



Beard Hacker: The low culture Guide to Shaving

From, The Five Obstructions, Jørgen Leth, 2003.
Lord Byron once called shaving “A daily plague, which in the aggregate, may average on the whole with parturition.” After looking up that last word, it’s obvious that this Byron fellow probably had no idea how to shave. Had he been lucky enough to live in the era of informative how-to websites such as this one, he could’ve learned in eight simple steps.
Following these eight steps, you’ll be a smarter and closer shaved man than Lord Byron could ever have hoped to be.


Some Jokes Just Write Themselves

Meet the Tuminator, by Barry Wigmore, Daily Mail, March 29, 2005.
Curing Obesity through Sterility: California ‘s Controversial Program Under the Microscope, Pacific Northwest Medical Journal.
Related: Is it April Fool’s Day already?


First Impressions Of Beck’s Guernica

As some have noted, Beck’s latest work, Guernica, is his most mature offering to date. At a time of war, the artist has brought us a wrenching, disturbing work that confronts his fans while pushing his oeuvre into newer, more challenging directions. It’s a breakthrough—and a triumph.
Guernica emerges after Beck’s much-remarked upon ‘Blue Period,’ in which his work wallowed in despair. While sadness was the dominant feeling in his recent work, Guernica‘s prevailing emotion is anger: anger at war, anger at the flaws of his fellow man, anger at the simplistic head-on view of reality. Guernica shows us different sides of man, the various, conflicting dimensions in each of us. All at once. Every character in Guernica is twisting, groping, angling for recognition. As we’re reflected in Guernica, people are complex, frightening, and beautiful beasts.
These are just preliminary thoughts. Fans and historians will be marveling over Guernica for generations. And then it will be covered by callow idiots.


Feed Your Face

You know ’em when you see ’em: The idealists, the dreamers, the home schooled children, and self-proclaimed Messiahs holding handmade signs that say “I need a miracle.” They love to hug, yet their hungry, vacant eyes look a thousand yards past you.
They are, of course, the Not-Deadheads. And they’re coming to a town near you.
The Not-Deadheads may seem freaky, but they’re mostly harmless. They’re just chasing bliss on the tail of Captain Trips, man. Don’t kill their buzz, and they won’t harsh your mellow.


Your Privacy Is Important to Us

schindler-schiavo-parents.jpgDear Mr. and Mrs. Schindler,
As Terri Schiavo’s parents, please accept this humble donation of $500 in support of your battle to keep your beautiful daughter alive. Our thoughts, prayers, and pocketbooks are with you in your time of need, and may God bless you in your support of the sanctity of Life.
Check here if you would like to opt-out of any mass-mailings and direct marketing plans.
RELATED: List of Schiavo Donors Will Be Sold by Direct-Marketing Firm, the New York Times, March 29, 2005
(Thanks to Jeff.)


Lord of the Flies II: Piggy Sacks Jack

The Hunters: Speak Crudely and Carry a Sharp Spear. (via college now live)
Today’s New York Times features a story by Richard W. Stevenson that reads like a sequel to Lord of the Flies, if Piggy had been the shadow chief of the hunter tribe. As Stevenson writes in With Bush Safely Re-elected, Rove Turns Intensity to Policy:

Jack Kemp was causing problems for President Bush’s drive to overhaul Social Security, and it naturally fell to Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s strategist, enforcer and closet policy expert, to take him on.

Mr. Kemp, the 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee and a founder of a conservative advocacy group, was publicly attacking an idea floated by the White House to cut benefits in the retirement system and was rallying support for an alternative approach that, on paper, would be pain free. Mr. Kemp’s statements exposed a split among Republicans and complicated the administration’s efforts to prepare the public for possible benefit cuts.

After a ceremony several months ago in the White House East Room that Mr. Kemp attended, Mr. Rove sought him out, associates of the two men said. But their exchange was less a scolding by Mr. Rove, they said, than an assertive, detailed argument against Mr. Kemp’s favored approach. Mr. Rove, they said, went through a point-by-point critique of the plan and left Mr. Kemp with the message that he considered it unworkable.

This has to be the first time in human history a football star has been tackled by a model U.N. nerd.


Separated At Mirth

Once Were Worriers: Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo in 1999 (via CNN)
Art and Commerce.
The truth about art and commerce is not unlike a certain movie title about cats and dogs: the two don’t always get along. In fact, they rarely ever do. And like animal lovers, sometimes you have to choose which you want in your life more: art or commerce. You can’t have both, unless you want your house torn apart and your life to become a dizzying mess of complications and compromises.
I was reminded of this fact this weekend while reading The New York Times‘ ‘Arts & Leisure’ section, particularly two stories that, while not linked editorially, were nonetheless inverted images of each other. One reflected art (more or less), the other commerce (pretty much intrinsically).


In The Army’s Defense, It Was a Very Strongly Worded Letter

letter.jpgFrom Pentagon Will Not Try 17 G.I.’s Implicated in Prisoners’ Deaths, by Douglas Jehl, The New York Times, March 26, 2005:

Despite recommendations by Army investigators, commanders have decided not to prosecute 17 American soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, according to a new accounting released Friday by the Army.

Investigators had recommended that all 17 soldiers be charged in the cases, according to the accounting by the Army Criminal Investigation Command. The charges included murder, conspiracy and negligent homicide. While none of the 17 will face any prosecution, one received a letter of reprimand and another was discharged after the investigations.

Satirical Shallow

Outrage! Jets Sold To Pakistan!

The already heated debate about the proposal for a new West Side stadium for the New York Jets has reached a new level of outrage and absurdity this week with the stunning news that the Jets are to be sold to Pakistan!

Now, I’m sure that the NFL would like to expand into Central Asia, but it seems like a losing proposition to try to impose, top-down, an American-style football regime in an area of the world that has had no experience with it. On the plus side, Gang Green’s color scheme matches the Pakistani flag rather nicely, so perhaps there’s hope after all.

[Thanks to Lamont Cranston for the tip!]