Grave Unintentionally Hilarious

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)


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?


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.”


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)

OC-centric Shallow

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”.

Shallow Versus

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)


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?


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)


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)


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!