end run brought to you by ok soda
  November 30, 2004
Hack Comedy Writers, Fire Up Your Joan and Melissa Rivers Jokes

"Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya will be feted at a Dec. 11 concert to be hosted by Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey that will air on E!

"Festivities will be held in Oslo the day after the award ceremony, where Maathai will become Africa's first Nobel laureate for her contributions to the environment and women's rights.

"E! has secured exclusive rights to the telecast and will show the two-hour concert Thursday, Dec. 23."

(From, E! to broadcast starry concert for Nobel winner, Variety, Nov. 28, 2004.)

Double hack score for implying that E! will be broadcasting the actual Nobel ceremony. Triple hack score for working in a Scientology joke, an Oprah "You get a Nobel! You get a Nobel!" joke, or a dig at Polyphonic Spree for being not unlike a cult. (Joss Stone joke, optional.)

[via TVTattle]

Posted at 9:51 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Wonder Boy

Don't Say a Word: Douglas let's his breath do the talking, Nov. 30, 2004.

Congratulations to Michael Douglas on his "Walk of Fame" star! You've earned it, big guy.

Now, who's up for pizzas at Spago?

Posted at 6:07 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Entertainment Alert: Orange

Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture: Um, again.

Posted at 5:46 PM in a Grave fashion.
No shit, Sherlock

2004.11.30 19:42:42 Search: query for 'jean sherlock'
2004.11.30 19:42:59 Search: query for 'ratner'
2004.11.30 19:50:01 Search: query for 'jean sherlock'
2004.11.30 19:50:35 Search: query for 'Brett Ratner'
2004.11.30 19:52:07 Search: query for 'Brett Ratner and Jean Sherlock'
2004.11.30 20:00:06 Search: query for 'Brett Ratner'

In case you were wondering, Brett Ratner never did cocaine with Jean Sherlock. Jean Sherlock is a private citizen.

Posted at 5:24 PM in a fashion.
Don't Invite Bush to Your Wedding


While it may be unrealistic to have expected former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal to be anything but partisan when he was asked to write a behind-the-scenes "commentary" on the recent opening of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock earlier this month, some of the various quotes and anecdotes which appear in the resulting piece in the UK's Guardian Observer are, well, rather incriminating in their indictment of the current Bush administration, to say the least.

So, here we are then...reporting from the library's opening ceremonies, Blumenthal puts forth the following top-notch, choice, and oh-so-prime snippets (in that order):

Scene 1, in which the President tips us off to his penchant for reading Ian Fleming spy novels before going to bed at 9pm each night:

Bush appeared distracted, and glanced repeatedly at his watch. When he stopped to gaze at the river, where secret service agents were stationed in boats, the guide said: "Usually, you might see some bass fishermen out there." Bush replied: "A submarine could take this place out."

Scene 2, in which the President reveals his disregard for Israeli politicos not named "Sharon", as well as his adherence to a low-calorie drink diet:

At the private luncheon afterwards, in a heated tent pitched behind the library, Shimon Peres delivered a heartfelt toast to Clinton's perseverance in pursuing the Middle East peace process. Upon entering the tent, Bush, according to an eyewitness, told an aide: "One gulp and we're out of here." He had informed the Clintons he would stay through the lunch, but by the time Peres arose with wine glass in hand the president was gone.

Scene 3, in which the President's chief adviser (née "Brain") shows off his sardonically conservative mindset, all while failing to make anyone laugh (because, frankly, this shit's not that funny, and it's really quite sad that this nation's going to hell, but, hey, who are we to judge, and let's just get on with the Blumenthal documentation, shall we?):

According to two eyewitnesses, Rove had shown keen interest in everything he saw, and asked questions, including about costs, obviously thinking about a future George W Bush library and legacy. "You're not such a scary guy," joked his guide. "Yes, I am," Rove replied. Walking away, he muttered deliberately and loudly: "I change constitutions, I put churches in schools ..."
Posted at 4:03 PM in a Grave fashion.
Bitten by the Humbug

Christmas Time in Ames, Iowa: Leslie Hall and a friend.

Yes, Christmas begins before Thanksgiving. Yes, it's a marketed, commodified celebration of consumption. Yes, the true meaning of the holiday has been forgotten. (Some Jewish kid was born in a barn, or something...) Yes, it's just totally cheesy.

But it's kind of awesome, too. Like, when hardcore heads get into the Christmas spirit and release holiday raps. Remember Run-DMC's "Christmas in Hollis," or Doug E. Fresh, The Treacherous Three, and The Magnificent Force's "X-Mas Rap" in Beat Street, or P. Diddy's "Bad Boy for Life (Santa Gave Me a Lump of Coal, Yo)"? Classics, all.

Add to the hip hop Christmas canon the latest from the Canadian rap 'n' racism bible-approved Iowa-reared MC supergroup, Leslie and The LY's. Watch "Christmas Rap" and prepare to have your planet rocked.

If the Missy Elliott-inflected lyrics don't make you smile, the Flash-meets-Rodney Alan Greenblat video will. And if that doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit, your soul is dead and you embody everything that is wrong with this country, and shame on you.

Posted at 10:23 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Dude, They Stole My Band's Name!

"The International Committee of the Red Cross has charged in confidential reports to the United States government that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba..."
-Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo, by Neil A. Lewis, The New York Times, Nov. 30, 2004.

Not cool, Red Cross. Well, there's always my backup band name: The Motoboys.

Posted at 9:13 AM in a Grave fashion.
Sir Corky Romano... Knockaround Blokes... Mickey Blue Blood!

Today's 'let's git' high concept pitch comes courtesy of Done Deal:

Title: Jersey Dukes
Log Line: A New Jersey mob boss sends a crew over to England to check on his daughter's impending wedding to a royal. The mobsters discover that England is perfect for mob expansion, especially once they are offered help by some dukes and duchesses in need of money to hang on to their country estate.
Writer: Fred Wolf
Agent: UTA
Buyer: Paramount Pictures
Price: High six against low seven figures
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Logged: 11/30/04
More: Pitch. Lorne Michaels will produce.

So, we're looking at James Caan, Jim Broadbent, Kiera Knightley, Vanessa Redgrave, jokes about bad English food, a scene where a New Jersey chef is flown in to make 'gravy' in an old Manor House kitchen, an uptight British dude handling a gun with ease (since he dueled back in Oxford), and a set piece inside Big Ben? Works for me.

Posted at 8:25 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 29, 2004
And he can order all the stationery he wants, as long as it's limited to one box


Buried within a much larger discussion of the reconfiguration of President Bush's second-term economic program, comes this ominous little nugget of semantics regarding future cabinet shake-ups, from "Bush to Change Economic Team", the Washington Post, November 29, 2004:

One senior administration official said Treasury Secretary John W. Snow can stay as long as he wants, provided it is not very long.
Posted at 4:23 PM in a Grave fashion.
An Eye For Trends

One's a Trend: Gwen Stefani on i-D's Dec./Jan. cover...Val Kilmer as Philip in Alexander.

Related: Sammy Davis, Jr.; Murray Wilson.

Posted at 3:00 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Don't Look Back

The Life Aquatic poster... Milton Glaser's Bob Dylan poster.

Gothamist is running a contest to promote Wes Anderson's cruelly under-hyped film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou this week.

What caught my eye immediately was the excellent poster for the film (above left), an obvious homage to Milton Glaser's iconic Bob Dylan poster from 1966 (above, right). Since the Zissou image didn't link, I don't know its provenance, but I was surprised that there was no mention of Dylan or Glaser, since just last week, Gothamist was singing Glaser's praises in a piece about the new New York Magazine logo.

I guess Glaser's just one of those artists whose work is so ubiquitous, it's become wallpaper for the culture. It's like "Happy Birthday to You": Everyone knows that song, but can anyone name its composer? It's a shame, too, since Glaser created so many excellent, memorable designs, like the beloved logo for Grand Union.

Related: "When I went upstairs, my bedroom felt like an overwarm sickroom. The clearest remaining vestige of Tom was the 'Don’t Look Back' poster that he’d taped to a flank of his dresser where Bob Dylan’s psychedelic hair style wouldn’t always be catching my mother’s censorious eye." The Comfort Zone, by Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, Nov. 29, 2004.

Posted at 1:21 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Law & Order: Insurgent Destruction Unit

From the Associated Press: "Iraqi National Guard members arrests petrol black marketeers in Baghdad Monday Nov. 29, 2004. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)"

Posted at 12:59 PM in a Grave fashion.
I want to fuck you like an, umm...wait. How exactly does one fuck an insurgent?

A US marine outside of Fallujah, 2004, as photographed by AFP/Mehdi Fedouach; Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, 1994, as photographed by "Closer" music video director Mark Romanek

Posted at 12:36 PM in a Grave fashion.
low culture Exclusive: The Outrage Continues—Continuously!!!

(Ground) Zero Tact: Another offensive Cingular billboard, Lafayette St. and Astor Pl.

On November 19, this website published a revelation so important, so earth-shattering, our comments database promptly crashed due to the overwhelming feedback we received.

I am referring, of course, to low culture Exclusive: An Outrage Grows in Brooklyn!!!, about Cingular's insensitive Twin Towers-themed billboard on Fourth Avenue and 9th Street in Brooklyn.

Since then, the post has richocheted around the internet, spread like wild fire, grown like kudzu, and just kept going and going like one of those battery-operated toy rabbits.

If our comments were any indication, America was just as outraged by Cingular's billboard as we were:

"so clearly ... the twin towers"
"Advertising is subliminal. They want gut reactions."
"... those are the Twin Towers..."
"...these are obviously ... supposed to be the towers. i think anyone ... can figure that out."
"When the twin towers were still standing, they were the same size, which is why they called them the twin towers..."

And, most damning of all:

"i work for cingular and thought this was hilarious."

Hilarious, huh? Well, apparently Cingular is upping the ante by putting up not one, but several of these offensive billboards on the corner of Lafayette and Astor Place, a few blocks north of the World Trade Center! Yes, it's true: The outrage continues. Worse yet, the representation of the Twin Towers crumbling, falling apart, appears almost exactly where the towers themselves would appear when looking downtown. Out-freakin'-rageous!

Please, we urge you once again to boycott Catherine Zeta Jones, despite her endorsement of T-Mobile. Boycott her because she married that slimy Michael Douglas! This outrage must be stopped!

Earlier: low culture Exclusive: An Outrage Grows in Brooklyn!!!

Posted at 12:21 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
Isn't That A Clear Conflict of Interest?

High Court to Hear Medical Marijuana Issue.

"Session" to begin promptly at 4:20.

Posted at 10:11 AM in a Shallow fashion.
When Stupid Copy Editors Ruin Your Publicity Stunt, vol. 1

Aerosmith's Tyler Visits Women's Rehab Center

Related: Aerosmith: You Gotta Move DVD, released Nov. 23, 2004.

Posted at 8:01 AM in a Shallow fashion.
World Peace, TK

Actress Julia Roberts has twins

Posted at 7:56 AM in a Shallow fashion.
The New York Times: Obsessed with Vaginas

From The Most Private of Makeovers (Nov. 28, 2004):

As millions of women inject Botox, reshape noses, augment breasts, lift buttocks and suck away unwanted fat, a growing number are now exploring a new frontier, genital plastic surgery. They are tightening vaginal muscles, plumping up or shortening labia, liposuctioning the pubic area and even restoring the hymen, sometimes despite their doctors' skepticism about the need for such cosmetic measures.

From Trying to Avoid 2nd Caesarean, Many Find Choice Isn't Theirs (Nov. 29, 2004):

Women around the country are finding that more and more hospitals that once allowed vaginal birth after Caesarean, or VBAC (commonly pronounced VEE-back), are now banning it and insisting on repeat Caesareans. About 300,000 women a year have repeat Caesareans. The rate of vaginal births in women who have had Caesareans has fallen by more than half, from 28.3 percent in 1996 to 10.6 percent in 2003.

From Wes Anderson's Faithful Diving Team (Nov. 28, 2004):

It is a question that Mr. Anderson, 35, has been fretting about of late. "The only thing I worry about is that I'm going to have my same exact audience that I've had, which I'm lucky to have in the first place," he said, while dissecting a plate of branzino at the same table at Bar Pitti restaurant in New York where he and Mr. Baumbach invented their cranky underwater patriarch.

Posted at 3:05 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 28, 2004
Measure for Measure

Tool Time: TIME, Dec. 6, 2004... Esquire, March 1997.

Posted at 11:18 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Thank Heaven For Little Girls...

... And the dirty old men who love them.

Hucka-Hucka Burning Love: Hu-ka-poo: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps...

New York Magazine helps Daniel Radosh live out his Huckapoo fantasy. I'd read the story, but the D.A.'s office would require me to register myself on some sort of list.

Related: The Four Stages of Huckapoo: Curiosity, love, fixation, protection. Pardon me while I go scrub my soul.

Posted at 10:40 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Comments Are Back, For Now at Least


Posted at 10:20 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Mike Nichols: Look Homeward, Auteur

001nichols.jpgCulture critics across the spectrum agree: Mike Nichols returns to his roots with his latest film, Closer.

But which roots? No one seems closer to agreement:

Mike Nichol's latest movie, 'Closer,' adapted from a play by the British dramatist Patrick Marber, is about four people, arranged in crisscrossing couples, who spend most of two hours slicing one another to bits with witty and vengeful repartee. In this respect it is a lot like his first movie, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,' which in 1966 was adapted from Edward Albee's celebrated play, which to this day remains unequalled in its portrayal of heterosexuality as a form of ritualized verbal blood sport.
(Who's Returning to Virginia Woolf?, by A.O. Scott, The New York Times, Nov. 28, 2004.)


Thirty-three years ago, director Mike Nichols tackled love, sex, betrayal and relationships in a frank and unflinching fashion with 'Carnal Knowledge.' That film, which starred Jack Nicholson, Art Garfunkel, Candice Bergen and Ann-Margret, became a classic for its refusal to sugar-coat emotional tangles and for its utter lack of a sun-drenched, music-swelling happy ending.

With 'Closer,' he returns to this familiar battlefield and finds, well, things haven't gotten rosier over the years.
('Closer' to the Truth, by Andy Cocker, The New York Post, Nov. 28, 2004.)

Personally, I thought it was a return to The Day of the Dolphin.

Posted at 8:15 PM in a Shallow fashion.
The Blurbin' Fool Presents: Thanksgiving at the Movies

As anyone who's been disowned by his family and rejected by even his mail-order bride knows, the only thing to do on Thanksgiving when you're painfully alone is to see a lot of movies. It's so much easier to cry in a dark movie theater, but it's even better to laugh!

Here are my blurbs for this holiday weekend's releases. Messrs. Ebert and Roeper, eat your hearts out:

National Treasure: A national disaster!

Kinsey: Hideous Kinsey!

The Incredibles: Incredibly bad!

Bad Education: You said it, not me!

Alexander: Alexander the So-So!

Finding Neverland: Lose it!

Ray: Gay!

After the Sunset: Ratner scores again! A roller-coaster ride of thrills and laughs: a witty tropical romp that's as cool as a Daiquiri and twice as intoxicating!

Posted at 7:49 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 26, 2004
Please Tell Me I'm Misunderstanding This Photo and They're Not Eating Ham in a Mosque. Please.

U.S. Army 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry soldiers relax near a space heater after a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and ham was delivered to their outpost in Mosul, Iraq Thursday, Nov. 25, 2004. Insurgents rose up this month in Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, during an offensive by U.S. and Iraqi forces in Fallujah. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)

Related: Somebody Tell Lt. Brandon Turner That He's Insane [Under The Same Sun]

Posted at 10:54 AM in a Grave fashion.
Yellow Alert... Orange Alert... Red Alert

The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, co-sponsored by The Department of Homeland Security

Can't make this up: Go here to learn about the DHS's real parade on November 26.

Posted at 10:33 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 24, 2004
The O.C.: Your 'Not Guilty' Pleasure

001gallagher.jpgGod, it's so weird being home for Thanksgiving: sleeping in that narrow little bed, feeling like you have to ask permission to go for a drive like you're a teenager even though you're twenty-nine.

It's even weirder now that you're divorced. Everyone's being all cool and polite about it, which makes it a little easier to be here alone for the first time since high school. Your "funny" uncle hasn't made a single joke about wanting the money for that fondue set he got you and your ex from Crate & Barrel, and even your usually snide little sister hugged you a little longer and asked, "How are you, sis?"

Sure, your mom cut out an article from The Times 'Style' section on "starter marriages" (never mind that the article was printed before your wedding hit the skids last winter in Aspen—has mom been saving it all this time?), and she keeps offering you herbal tea and wanting to talk. You can tolerate it, especially since she paid for your ticket home.

But there's one hour Thursday night when they all better steer clear of you: 8 PM EST, when The O.C. airs.

If any of those fuckers even tries to talk to you during The O.C., you're going to explode in a screaming fit, thrashing about and destroying your father's fancy new stereo and reducing your mother's precious Hummels to dust. For real: no jury in the land would convict a 29 year-old divorcée for killing her entire family on Thanksgiving night if they knew that all she wanted to do was watch The O.C.

Shit. Now you'll need a good lawyer. Not one of those awful public defenders with dandruff and a baggy, hand-me-down Brooks Brothers suit. (Can't you get it tailored—it only costs like forty bucks?) You'll need one of those slick ones who do pro bono work, especially for still pretty women accused of crimes of passion. Maybe he'll even be sexy like Peter Gallagher on The O.C.

After a long, public trial, dutifully covered in People and on CNN ("Whoa, is that Dominick Dunne in the audience of my murder trial?"), you'd be acquitted when your motive is fully explained: Not guilty by reason of O.C.

It'll be hard to put the trial behind you (and, you know, the death of your whole family, including your "funny" uncle), but you've always been remarkably strong. You pride yourself on having only cried at work once—that goddamn toner got all over your skirt, it wasn't your fault—and even when your ex was playing all those sadistic mind games, you never once threw it in his face that you knew it would be a bad idea to marry a Jew. (Situational anti-Semitism: so weak.)

Yes, you are a strong, independent woman, and now that your murder trial is behind you, you will fulfill your destiny by finding a nice man and bearing his children. But there's something you need to do first: you need to go to the video store and buy the DVDs of the last two seasons of The O.C., since you sort of lost track of the show while you were in jail. Today is the first day of the rest of your life, and The O.C. is there for you, unlike those dead jerks in your family. Now, who does a woman have to kill around here to get some service at this fucking Blockbuster?

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.

Posted at 1:00 PM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
Wow, What an Amazing Coincidence!

This press release article alerted us to an insultingly cynical incredible, fortuitous confluence of cross-promotional marketing events:

Donald Trump's fiancee, Melania Knauss, says her appearance on last week's episode of "The Apprentice" has landed her a job modeling Levi's jeans.

"I was on 'The Apprentice' and they saw me and they asked me if I would do the advertising for them and I said, of course," Knauss said on yesterday's episode of "The View."

During last week's "Apprentice," the teams were instructed to create a Levi's catalogue.

-DREAM OF JEANIE, by Michael Starr, The New York Post, Nov. 24, 2004.

So, all it took was a product placement segment on a top-rated show hosted by her "billionaire" fiancé to get the gig? This overnight success story is sure to go down in legend like Lana Turner getting discovered at the Schwab's Soda Counter. It makes us all sick proud.

Related: Post "copy" "editors": It's You've Got Mail, not You Have...

Posted at 9:57 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Mommy's Little Zealot

001prayer.jpgMichelle "Three Cheers for Internment" Malkin, who never fails to make me smile (mostly at the thought that I too can have a syndicated column if I work hard enough at being bigoted and mediocre), has a sweet little Thanksgiving-themed column today called Grace, gratitude and God. (It's my sincere hope that this becomes a perennial holiday column, something along the lines of "Yes, Virginia, there was an Iraq-al Qaida link.")

After an endearing little homily about her four year-old daughter learning to say "grace" before meals, she tells us:

In typical toddler fashion, my daughter is now absolutely fanatical about her new routine. Not only must we say grace before every meal, but also before each snack. And anytime we have a drink. And anytime her baby brother gobbles Cheerios in his car seat. Failure to give thanks to God is met with swift retribution. Our daughter has no qualms about chastising us in public—at restaurants, airports or Starbucks:

"Hey, stop eating! You forgot to say grace!"

Despite the embarrassment it sometimes causes, I love her unrepentant zeal. It reminds us not to take for granted our too-infrequent gestures of daily thanksgiving. It reminds us to be humble. Following her lead, we must all bow our heads and fold our hands and shut our eyes and shout a full-throated "Amen!"

Absolutely adorable! (And, Hmmmm... for some reason I'm craving Starbucks.)

I won't make fun of Malkin's red state, red meat, red-baitin' (red shirt wearin') religion, since the rest of the column is all about the evils of Bible-bashing ("[S]nobs of secularism will no doubt disparage such simple-minded expressions of piety..."), but I would like to point out that Malkin is seriously remiss in the way she's raising her child. In fact, she's putting her precious life at risk every single day.

Not once—once!—does Malkin mention teaching her god-thanking offspring to wash her hands before eating. Talk about a breakdown of traditional values: This is tantamount to child abuse!

How can we expect to raise the next generation of good little Christian soldiers if they're brought low by bacterial infections? How can America remain the most powerful, compassionate, and ass-kickingly awesome country in the world if we don't teach the wee little ones to wash their hands before eating? (I happen to know for a fact that in the employee washrooms of sweatshops all over Asia and Guatemala there are "Employees Must Wash Hands" signs: Those are well-trained four year-olds.)

So, Michelle, please tell the little one to lather up those hands before clasping them together in prayer. And don't forget to remind her that immigrants are especially dirty, and that even god cannot protect her if she should accidentally brush against one of those beasts.


Earlier Mal-Content: Why... Is Michelle Malkin the New Jadakiss?

Posted at 9:00 AM in a Shallow fashion.
The Haunting of the President, 2004

The Spirit: "Why won't this damn ghost stop followin' me around?"

One of 1,229.

Earlier: Thanksgiving 2003: The Mourn of Plenty

Posted at 8:27 AM in a Grave fashion.
  November 23, 2004
No Comment(s)

Como se wha?: Well, a few anyway.

Hi, loyal readers who couldn't get the full week off for Thanksgiving. (Or "Thanks-taking," as my friend Sam likes to call it.) We apologize to the three of you who emailed us to say you can't post comments, and the other three of you who noticed, but couldn't be bothered to send us a complaint. (Thanks for that, actually.) Once again, it's something beyond our control, and we're looking into the issue right now. We'd invite you to use our comments area to offer your suggestions, but (ha!) comments don't work.

So, this Thanks-taking, when you sit down to enjoy the cascading bounty of the American horn-of-plenty, say an extra little thanks for all the terrible, hackneyed, totally worthless blogs that never seem to crash or have software problems. God bless them, for we know not why their sites function so well.

Now, excuse us while we throw another small pox blanket over our server.

Posted at 3:21 PM in a Shallow fashion.
At least the media's finally admitting that there's a "Pravda"-like element going on with this whole Iraq thing

As today's Washington Post covers American troops' latest movements into the war-ravaged region surrounding Baghdad, there seems to be a new element of self-doubt and, dare we say it, anti-patriotism creeping into the paper's coverage of the war in Iraq. In other words, that unique sort of "what the fuck is happening here?" angle that we thought only Michael Wolff wasn't afraid to touch! To wit, take notice of the following bit which appears at the outset of "Offensive Launched South of Baghdad", focusing on the second and third paragraphs of the news item by Anthony Shadid:

BAGHDAD, Nov. 23 -- More than 5,000 U.S., British and Iraqi troops launched an offensive Tuesday against a swath of territory south of Baghdad where armed insurgents have roamed through the streets, imposed stringent Islamic law and carried out kidnappings and summary executions at checkpoints along the main roads.

The campaign began with a series of raids this morning in Jabala, a town east of the most restive region, which Iraqis have dubbed the "Triangle of Death." The U.S. military said in a statement that it had detained 32 men believed to be insurgents. In the past three weeks, it said, U.S. and Iraqi forces have arrested nearly 250 insurgents.

The military statements were impossible to confirm independently. The territory, inhabited by a mix of Sunni and Shiite Muslims, has become too dangerous for foreign reporters to visit.

Also impossible to confirm was Post executive editor Leonard Downie's newfound sense of doubt in administration propaganda. Because, as we all know, in March 2003 it was far too dangerous for American news reporters to congregate around independent booksellers and alternate news outlets while engaging in research on reasons as to why the invasion of Iraq may have been a bad idea at the outset...

I mean, responsible journalism? What the fuck is that?

Posted at 2:51 PM in a Grave fashion.
Shaggy Dog Joke

001bachelder.jpgI'll admit right upfront that I have not read all of Chris Bachelder's Lessons in Virtual Tour Photography (since it's 161 pages long and my brain has atrophied to the point where I can only ingest 150-word blog entries, soundbites on VH1 clip shows, and charts in Entertainment Weekly), but from what I've seen, it's some weird, funny shit.

Download the .pdf version from McSweeneys.net and you'll get some great advice like this (from Lesson 5 "How to Have Sex With The Estranged Girlfriend"):

1. Do not, under any circumstances, expect or hope to have sex with The Estranged Girlfriend. You can’t just roll into town without warning in the middle of a weeknight and expect to entwine as in the days of yore. You’re unbelievable. You’re just so fucking unbelievable.

2. Go to the bathroom. Wash your face. Stare at yourself in the mirror. Immediately, and without intent, start thinking about the act of staring at yourself in the mirror. A self-consciousness about staring at yourself. Get so weary.

3. Open the mirror cabinet and look for her pills. Assuage your guilt by imagining the very tight camera shot. There’s no music here, just the soft sounds you make as you explore the contents of the cabinet. You’re not alone and this is not a real transgression. It just looks real. Your job, as an actor, is to make it look convincingly real...

Related: Bear v. Shark: The Novel, also by Chris Bachelder.

Posted at 9:58 AM in a Shallow fashion.
"Welcome to Colombia, May I Take Your Order?"

"I'm Lovin' It": President Bush meets the future outsourced workers for the only jobs left when he leaves office.

Posted at 9:41 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
Sybil War

001sybil.jpg"After enduring a brutally fought election campaign, Americans are optimistic about the next four years under President Bush, but have reservations about central elements of the second-term agenda he presented in defeating Senator John Kerry, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll."
- Americans Show Clear Concerns on Bush Agenda, by Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder, The New York Times, Nov. 23, 2004.

"President Bush is heading into his second term, with his job approval rising to 55 percent, a new poll shows.

"Bush's post-election bounce and growing public support come at a time when 72 percent of Americans say the country is deeply divided, according to the nationwide Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll."
-W. SOARS IN POST-VOTE POLL, Deborah Orin, The New York Post, Nov. 23, 2004.

And they say there's no consensus in this country.

Posted at 8:31 AM in a Grave fashion.
It's Like Capote's Black and White Ball, Only for Losers

001capote.jpgParties don't get more glamorous than this:
Henry Kissinger
Brian "Kato" Kaelin
Geraldo Rivera
Tina Louise
Don King
Donald Trump (Senior and Junior)
Mickey Sherman

"a variety of celebrities of all ilk and importance including Stephen Baldwin, Jaid Barrymore, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and singer Michael Bolton."

And, of course, Roger Friedman.

What, Sylvia Miles had something else that night?

Posted at 7:42 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 22, 2004
Yeah, But You Still Have to Deal with Your Student Loans and Credit Card Payments

Life and Debt (Less of Both, Actually): Finally, they'll be able to own a home.

"The world's leading industrial nations agreed Sunday to cancel 80 percent of the nearly $39 billion debt owed them by Iraq, a critical step in rebuilding the country's devastated economy and an important precedent for its other creditors to follow."
Major Creditors in Accord to Waive 80% of Iraq Debt, by Craig S. Smith, The New York Times, Oct. 22, 2004.

Related: Life and Debt, which is a fantastic film.

Posted at 5:21 PM in a Grave fashion.
A World Gone Mad


Is Beyoncé technically even allowed to appear off-center in photos? Suddenly, nothing makes sense to me anymore.

Posted at 4:41 PM in a Shallow fashion.
I Am Trying to Ape Your Art

The Wilco Book, October 2004... Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, April 2000

Okay, so I should've written about this when the book came out a month ago. I would've, but we were busy trying to avert an electoral disaster. (Lotta good that did. I'm filing that experience along with college and my last two jobs under 'H' for 'Heartbreaking Failures.')

So, let's chalk this up to the science of Amazon recommendations: If you listen to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on your iPod, you might like carrying around Infinite Jest. (And, yes, you might be the coolest fucking person ever. At least in your own mind, man.)

Posted at 12:01 PM in a Shallow fashion.
What's the Worst That Could Happen?

001flies.jpg"NBC's Saturday morning block is getting a new series that plays like a kiddie version of the ABC primetime hit Lost. Discovery Kids on NBC has given the go-ahead to 13 episodes of 29 Down, which chronicles the adventures of a group of kids whose airplane crashes on a deserted island. Shooting in Hawaii, Down will join NBC's Saturday morning lineup—programmed by Discovery Networks—next year."
-Hotline: Latest Hollywood creative coincidence, Boston Herald, Nov. 18, 2004.

[via TVTattle]

Posted at 9:15 AM in a Shallow fashion.

Many Who Voted for 'Values' Still Like Their Television Sin
, by Bill Carter, The New York Times, Nov. 22, 2004

Posted at 8:20 AM in a Grave fashion.
This is Great

But why are they calling it a satire?

Posted at 8:09 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 21, 2004
D.H. Pufnstuf


Posted at 5:13 PM in a Grave fashion.
The New York Post: As Racially Sensitive as They Are Original

The New York Post, Nov. 21, 2004... Paul Rodriguez, 1994

Posted at 5:04 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Chile the Fuck Out

"He's not worth it, man." "C'mon, bro, let's just get another beer and forget about it."

Posted at 4:00 PM in a Grave fashion.
  November 19, 2004
Getting to know you...

Coming Soon: America, meet your 52nd State!

Getting to know all about you.

Related: Iran readies uranium for nuke enrichment - diplomats

Posted at 2:24 PM in a Grave fashion.
Bovs on your Mane

Snoochy Boochy: You can preserve us anytime, baby!

Cough, cough. I mean, well crafted, intelligent joke to justify posting this attractive woman's photo. Cough.

Posted at 12:41 PM in a Shallow fashion.
It's been one year since his split with Uma, and Ethan Hawke's looking quite a bit worse for wear


Posted at 12:23 PM in a Shallow fashion.
low culture Exclusive: An Outrage Grows in Brooklyn!!!

Cingularly Bad Taste: Twin Towers-themed billboard, 4th Avenue and 9th Street Subway Station in Brooklyn

This is outrageous! Outrageously outrageous! In fact, we are outraged!

In a city still reeling from the 9/11 attacks—an event so painful, there isn't a bowl of cereal large enough to drown our sadness—Cingular has decided to put up this tasteless, insensitive billboard on an overpass on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn that shows the burning Twin Towers. This is wrong on so many levels, especially since so many of us New Yorkers were without cellular service on that dark day and could not speak to our friends and family members, regardless of our "whenever minutes" or roll-over plans!

What's worse is that this isn't the first time advertisers have exploited 9/11 to sell a sub-par product. Shouldn't they know better by now?

We urge you to boycott Cingular! Mostly because Catherine Zeta-Jones is incrementally less hot than she used to be. (So, boycott Ocean's 12, too!) This outrage cannot be ignored!

Update: An alert reader and concerned citizen tells us that Ms. Zeta-Jones flaks for T-Mobile, not Cingular. You can run, but you can't hide, Catherine! So, boycott Cingular's non-threatening, pansexual spokescreature, Pit-Pat!

Posted at 11:07 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
Poutin' Powell


"Not even my new U2 Special Edition iPod can make me smile today."

Posted at 9:44 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Hooray for Product Placement!


National Treasure is so hot, you'll need a case of refreshing Aquafina water, from the good people at Pepsi.

Update: Turns out the professional wise-asses at The Onion AV Club made nearly the exact same joke as the above—three days ago. Either those guys saw my post and then built a time machine and went back to steal my idea, or hack minds think alike. We got beat: I guess that's why those dude's have the big first-look deal with Miramax and I'm just here blogging. Oh, well.

Posted at 8:37 AM in a Shallow fashion.
The Single Greatest Album Since The Stones' Sticky Fingers


1. Enter the Wang
2. Bukkake Sunrise
3. Yellow Bile / Desperate Ground
4. Lucky Duck
5. Pipestone Octopus with Horseheart
6. Access of Evil
7. The White Death
8. Invisible Order
9. Horseheart Revolution
10. Pillow of Green Light
11. My Dust Will Be What I Am
12. Hidden From The Hidden Ones
13. Custody's Last Battle / Secret Wars
14. Black Bile
15. Circular And Made of the Earth

Listen to the Master Musicians of Bukkake for yourself.

Posted at 8:30 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Pray for Publicity

The Reverend Billy in The New York Times, Nov. 19, 2004.

Does anyone else think that in another life, this guy would be the best publicist in the business?

Posted at 8:26 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Every Picture Tells a Story

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: Clintons and Co. in Little Rock.

Bill: "First Ken Starr, now this shit... Man, I'd so do Mary... Fucking Arafat. I coulda been a god in the Middle East. Do they have gods in the Middle East?"
Hillary: "Gee, Ted and Mary look nice today... My library is gonna be twice as nice as this crap... A photo op with Dubya: whose bright idea was this?..."
Chelsea: "Three hours at the salon and now this... God, Ted got bald... Would it be really tacky if I Blackberry'd right now..."
George: "Oh, no. Who's that with mom from Elf? Is it that turkey followin' me?... I sure hope there's ice cream after lunch. Condi promised me ice cream... Mandate. Man-date. Yeah, I guess I get it now. It is sorta funny."

Posted at 7:47 AM in a Grave fashion.
  November 18, 2004
No civilian deaths? That's because all the Marines think these people are just laying there, pretending to be dead

As captioned by the AP: "U.S. Marines of the 1st Division pass by dead bodies in the western part of Fallujah, Iraq, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004."

From Several Insurgent Bases Found in Falluja, U.S. General Says, the New York Times, November 18, 2004:

The American death toll from the Falluja operation, which began Nov. 7, now stands at 51, with 425 wounded, General Sattler said, although an unspecified number of the wounded have returned to duty. Eight Iraqi soldiers have died and 43 were wounded, he added.

From 25 to 30 Iraqi civilians were treated for wounds, but there have been no reported Iraqi civilian deaths yet, the general said.

Posted at 5:29 PM in a Grave fashion.
The O.C.: Your One and Only Friend

002oc.jpgYeah, you've kinda lost your edge. You're still listening to that Spin Doctors CD from college and you couldn't tell the difference between The Hives and The Vines if your life depended on it. (And back-channel al Qaeda chatter indicates that millions of Americans' lives may, in fact, depend on knowing the difference between these two bands.)

That's what's so great about The O.C. You can feel cool again, plugged in. When you watch The O.C., you feel like one of the cool kids, instead of a paunchy, weak-kneed loser sliding into a wide, ugly middle age of quiet desperation, which is what you are.

But, man, for that hour The O.C. is on, you're that kid in the front row at the pep rally, applauding for your incredibly cute girlfriend, the head cheerleader. Sometimes your dumb friends make jokes about her being the head cheerleader, but screw 'em, they're just jealous. You guys are a good couple and nothing's gonna come between you. I mean, not until college at least.

College is gonna be great. No parents! No dumb rules or homework! Will you pledge a fraternity? Maybe! Will you finally get to have a threesome? Maybe! Will you make friends for life who will support you, care about you, hook you up with awesome jobs when you graduate? Maybe!

Then again, maybe not. Those guys are so selfish. None of them return your calls and the last time you hung out with them, they made fun of your job, your Today's Man suit, and your studio apartment. Such snobs. Maybe you should call that girl you dated in high school, that cheerleader you dumped freshman year of college when you were sure you'd be getting tons of dorm room nookie.

What, she's married now? To whom? That guy from your fraternity? Goddamnit! Those jerks! Well, there's always The O.C. Now you feel better, don't you, ya fuckin' loser?

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: O.C.D.; Obligatory Pop Culture Entry To Prove We Haven't Become Humorless Prigs.

Posted at 5:06 PM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
They've got the world on a string

European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet tries to get his yo-yo "Around the Third World".

In this week's hottest economic news (though – full disclosure – I'm not Lou Dobbs, and am in no way to be confused with someone of that level of expertise, and nor would I ever recklessly fund a dotcom venture like Space.com), the G20, or so-called "Group of 20", is slated to meet in Berlin on Friday. Here, the world's 20 financial superpowers will gather around flaming piles of cash as they try to cook up ways of explaining to United States representatives that the Bush Administration's unchecked deficit spending is, hmmm, how to put this excessively simply, on the verge of fucking the world up. In a totally bad, unproductive way, I mean, unlike that successful prosecution of the War on Terror™, which, as we all know, made the world more secure. And then Treasury Secretary John Snow will presumably respond, "Fuck if we care."

RELATED: Bruce Almighty, and One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy, by Thomas Frank

Posted at 4:12 PM in a Grave fashion.
I Can All But Guarantee That This Photo (or a worse one) Will Be Used in Tomorrow's Post or Daily News

Howard Stern in Union Square, Nov. 18, 2004.

And the headline will be STERN FACED or SIRIUS EXPRESSION.

001carnac.jpgMmmmmyah. May Burt Reynolds sell you a used bearskin rug. Call me Carnac.

Posted at 3:17 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Grrrr! Secretary No Like Economic Imbalance!

Treasury Secretary John Snow in England, before throwing that little girl with the flowers into the river.

Related: Richard Kiel

Posted at 12:28 PM in a Grave fashion.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Colin Powell, who famously took "conclusive evidence" to the U.N. stating that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, is now claiming that Iran is on the same path.


We're looking forward to a U.N. performance by Condaleeza Rice to convince the world that this time we mean it, for real.

Posted at 9:54 AM in a Grave fashion.
Despite Key Evidence Cited by Alberto Gonzales, The President Pardoned Biscuits the Turkey

Gentle Touch: "If you was in Texas, I'd fry you."

Posted at 9:44 AM in a Grave fashion.
The Source Awards

One of the most desperate tactics a journalist can resort to is using another journalist as a source. It's even more desperate when the journalist used as a source is from the antipodal publication to your own, a publication whose credibility your worthless paper would never endorse were you not in a bad bind and really needed to flesh-out an unformed rehash of a story. But it's really desperate when the journalist you use as a source is funnier and more effortlessly talented than you are, and upstages you with brio.

Take today's New York Post, which features a not-so timely piece on whether or not Oliver Stone's Alexander is too gay. Written by the Post's giddy answer to Walter Monheit, Jr., "Captain" Lou Lumenick, it's called Light in the Sandals. (Get it? That's, like, a joke about fags.)

After a few paragraphs of quoting from the trailer and citing articles previously published in Playboy and Entertainment Weekly (in the biz, we call this sort of shoe leather-preserving reporting "a rounder"), Lumenick gets someone on the horn:

"Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, who has long monitored homosexual behavior in Hollywood films, says they tend to shy away from showing the physical aspects of gay love, especially when major stars are involved.

'This film tries to have it both ways, like Alexander himself,' Musto said."

See, this is the problem with resorting to this sort of lame, lazy journalism. In one well-turned, humorous phrase, Michael Musto steals his equally alliterative interviewer Lou Lumenick's article right out from under him. (I also like how Lumenick makes his source sound like some sort of anthropologist of gay Hollywood, endowed, as it were, with a grant from the N.E.H.)

Lumenick probably sought out Musto for his years of experience dispensing soundbites like that on VH1 and any show that will cover his steep per diem (zip, as it turns out), but if Lumenick were a real journalist, he would've just stolen Musto's joke and called it his own. That's how the pros do it.

Related: More gay Oliver Stone news from today's Post.

Posted at 7:56 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 17, 2004
We Invented the Remix

Mean People Suck: Yeah, we think we're better than this, too.

Posted at 9:46 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, Vol. 42


Posted at 2:30 PM in a Grave, Unintentionally Hilarious fashion.
Southern Fried Gothic

001conroy.jpgDo you like to cry while you eat? Does every flavor you taste remind you of what flawed, complicated people your parents were? Are you a stout Southern gentleman with the temperament of a drill sergeant but the heart of a poet?

Have we got a cookbook for you! Introducing, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life.

You'll savor the bitterness of The Great Santini Steak Au Poivre. You'll marvel at The Lords of Discipline Dumplings. And you don't want to miss The Prince of Tides Salmon, salted to taste—just like your tears.

Order now and receive a free canister of My Losing Season seasoning spread, guaranteed to make your meal a mass market masterpiece!

Available now at a train station or airport bookstore near you.

Posted at 1:56 PM in a Shallow fashion.
This year's Pentagon fundraiser: the 2004 "Marines in Iraq" Calendar Boys


Say hello to the lads of November, 2004.

Posted at 11:13 AM in a Grave fashion.
What happens in Fallujah, stays in Fallujah



Look, shit happens when a bunch of young guys roll into a city for the weekend. ("Fallujah, baby!") Sometimes in the heat of the moment, you just go blank, man, and shit happens, all right? But a buddy doesn't videotape it, and he sure as hell doesn't post it on his website: That's guy rule #2. (#1, Bros before hoes.) Remind me not to invite Kevin Sites to my bachelor party next month. ("Mashhad, baby!")

RELATED: US braces for outrage following shooting

Posted at 11:09 AM in a Grave fashion.
Won't You Help, Please?

Never Say Goodbye: Homo sapiens, one of the 15,589 animal species threatened with extinction.

"A total of 15,589 species of animals and plants are threatened with extinction, according to the so-called Red List of endangered species produced by the IUCN World Conservation Union.

"Almost an eighth of birds, a quarter of mammals and a third of amphibians are now classified as either vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered, categories that indicate there is a threat of extinction, the conservation group said in the report on its Web site. Species on the list range from the Bengal tiger to the giant Hispaniolan galliwasp lizard."
-Extinction Threatens 15,589 Animal, Plant Species, IUCN Reports, Bloomberg News, UK.

Posted at 9:46 AM in a Grave fashion.
Their Friend to the North Shows His Support (and Almost Everything Else)

Farmers from Veracruz, Mexico, protest the seizure of their land.

The Naked Cowboy sings songs of freedom for his comrades in Veracruz.

Posted at 9:17 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 16, 2004
Pillow Talk: The First in a 12 Part low culture Series on Linen Innovations—Linenvations, If You Will

Truly, we are in a golden age of anthropomorphic pillows.

Surely you've noticed that the best and brightest minds in the fields of science, design, and, upholstery have dedicated themselves to creating wonderful, almost human pillows the likes of which mankind has never imagined?

Prepare to be dazzled: your head will literally spin at the sight of these amazing pillows. Luckily, it won't be hard to find somewhere to rest it.002pillow.jpg

First, there was the 'Boyfriend Arm's Pillow' (U.S. $80), which is a lot like the classic husband, but requires less commitment and no costly wedding ceremony. This pillow may prove to be a major breakthrough after the draft is implemented and the male population in America and the coalition of the willing (Poland! Don't forget Poland!) drops dramatically. Scientists are already at work on a pillow that can inseminate a woman's eggs. Can half baby pillows be far behind?

001hugs.jpgActually, they already exist. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon have developed an electrical pillow that allows grandparents to 'hug' their grandkids long distance through a series of vibrations and squeezing motions.

This incredible pillow-based innovation permits grandkids to obviate unpleasant grandma kisses and avoid exposure to toxic grandpa odors. It also prevents too-tight grandkid hugs from shattering grandma's brittle bones.

Unfortunately, this pillow also eliminates the silver dollars and hard candies traded as currency in the typical grandparent/grandchild hug transaction. (Hard candy pillows, anyone?)

For overgrown male children who continue to dislike hugging gross female humans with their body hair and heart beats, the latest pillow breakthrough may be of some help.

As recounted by the world wide weirdness curators at bOING bOING, the 'Girlfriend's Lap Pillow,' Japanese scientists have developed perhaps the most important pillow-based innovation of the decade.
Combining the up-with-women design philosophy of A Clockwork Orange's Korova Milkbar with the idealized proportionality of the very best of female drawings by R. Crumb, this pillow is a must-own for men who love comfort, but hate women's revolting upper bodies and blabby mouths. (To say nothing of their hair, which sometimes smells of fruit and can get stuck on the tiles in the shower.) This is the ultimate 'companion' piece for your terrifying subterranean lair where you make girl suits and stand naked before your video camera speculating on what you'd like to do with yourself if anatomy would just let you.

What's next for pillows? The sky's the limit, really. Might we see such innovations as a realistically rendered Diane Lane pillow? Or perhaps a fully articulated Mugatu-shaped pillow that emits a real fur and musk scents that's also edible? I have no idea. I'll leave it to the pillow pros.

The future looks bright. Bright and downy soft. Pull up a pillow and rest your head, won't you?

Posted at 10:46 PM in a Shallow fashion.
And It's Not Even Hump Day Yet

Did Slate, everyone's favorite (temporarily) Microsoft-funded journal of punditry and funditry, stick one of those sex patches to its crimson skin?

How else to explain how horny the site is this week? Check out these heds:

Come Again? A history of the orgasm completely misses the point., by Thomas W. Laqueur (Don't stop...)

The Thinking Man's Guide to Sex: What could be wrong with She Comes First?, by Dan Chiasson (Slower, slower...)

"Let's Get It On"…Again: The remix of Marvin Gaye's classic is better than the original., by David Ritz (Yes, yes, that's good...)

Why Powell Had To Go: And how will Condi fare as his successor?, by Fred Kaplan (Um, less like that...)

The See-Through Times: An internal memo promises to rub out anonymice and other credibility killers., by Jack Shafer (Ah, that's good...)

I don't know about you, but I feel like I need a good, long shower.

Posted at 10:08 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Replace "Tom Wolfe" with "David Brooks" and "Novel" with "Non-Fiction Pop Sociology Tome" and Then Call it a Day

I'll Be Your Mirror: Maya Deren's mirror that reflects nothing.

"It's easy to write a negative review of a Tom Wolfe novel; hundreds of people do it every few years. First, out of the thousands of sociological details Wolfe gets right, you pick out some he gets wrong (thus establishing your superior hipness). You mention that he obsesses over the superficial details of life while you ignore his moral intent (thus hinting at your own superior depth). Then you graciously allow that many of Wolfe's scenes are hilarious, while lamenting that his characters are not fully developed. Then you call it a day."

'Moral Suicide,' à la Wolfe, by David Brooks, The New York Times, Nov. 16, 2004.

Posted at 8:58 AM in a Grave fashion.
Captain Quagmire

Man Sets Fire to Himself Outside White House

And they say this isn't Vietnam, the sequel.

Posted at 8:19 AM in a Grave fashion.
  November 15, 2004
Finally, Her Ship Comes In

A Crude Likeness - oil tanker named for National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Harper's, July 2001

Bush Plans to Tap Rice...

Yeah, in her dreams.

Posted at 7:45 PM in a Grave fashion.
Victory in Fallujah (or, Colin Powell: certain to be remembered fondly by 9-year-old boys worldwide)


War mementos, by way of the Associated Press: "U.S. Army critical care nurse Cpt. Marvetta Walker checks on a 9-year-old Fallujah boy who was wounded in the face and stomach, while at the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq Monday, Nov. 15, 2004. The boy was in critical condition. The hospital has been treating both American wounded as well as civilians from the Fallujah fighting. (AP Photo/John Moore)"

SEE ALSO: "U.S. Planes Bomb Falluja as Rebels Battle On"

Posted at 4:36 PM in a Grave fashion.
Imagery like this seemed so much more acceptable when we were merely waiting for the eruption of Mount St. Helens, rather than a regionwide movement of anti-Americanism


Posted at 3:47 PM in a Grave fashion.
And then they wrote "In Bloom" after seeing tons of stick figures hanging in the woods


In December of 1987, three student musicians disappeared in the woods near Aberdeen, Washington while recording a demo.

One year later their footage was found.

...then released sixteen years later by Geffen Records as "With The Lights Out", a 3CD/DVD box set by Nirvana, after years of disputes between surviving bandmembers and the widow of the deceased frontman.

While it looks as though Kurt Cobain is doing his best Blair Witch impersonation as he stares into the corner (above, in a still taken from previously-unreleased video footage appearing on the accompanying DVD), bear in mind that this was years before the late 90's film phenomenon.

Sometimes it seems like everyone ripped off Kurt.

RELATED: The Blair Witch Project and "Why is Mike standing in the corner at the end of the film?"

Posted at 12:33 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Happy Trailers

White(water) Trash: If your Presidential Library is on cinder blocks, you might be a red neck.

Does anyone else find it just a little bit insensitive that the soon-to-opened Clinton Presidential Center looks like a double-wide trailer?

I mean, yes, Clinton famously came from humble Southern origins, and, sure, his nickname is 'Bubba', and yes, he was sometimes called 'trailer trash,' but this is just mean.

I wonder what our current president's library is gonna look like: How 'bout this?

Then again, this may be more appropriate, since highfalutin' books ain't really his thing after all.

Posted at 12:23 PM in a Grave fashion.
Un-Impacted Colin

Goodbye Yellow Cake Road: The band is totally breaking up

Secretary of State Powell Resigns

He already has a job lined up here.

Posted at 9:50 AM in a Grave fashion.
Oh, Those Values Voters in the Morally Superior Red States


More Unmarried Women Giving Birth In Indiana*

*Not that we think having a child out of wedlock is wrong: That would be mighty un-Christian of us.

Posted at 9:05 AM in a Grave fashion.
Finally, Someone Restores the Democrats' Dignity

Gotta Break a Few Eggs: James Carville, Democratic strategist and splosh enthusiast.

Posted at 8:40 AM in a Grave fashion.
  November 14, 2004
Judging by the syntax of this headline, it seems as though someone at the Times is a little too excited about May 2005


The New York Times, excitedly reporting on American "progress" in the conquering of Fallujah by U.S. forces:

U.S. Armored Forces Blast Their Way Into Rebel Nest in Falluja

RELATED: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back

Posted at 5:19 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Perhaps the Most Important Below-the-Fold New York Times Frontpage Story Ever

These Days, the College Bowl Is Filled With Milk and Cereal, by Lisa W. Foderaro, Nov. 14, 2004.

Somehow, yet again, they've ruled out terrorists.

Posted at 12:30 PM in a Grave fashion.
Russell Jones, 1968-2004

Mr. Courageous: O.D.B. (AKA, Big Baby Jesus, Osiris, Dirt McGirt)

Rapper ODB Dies in Studio

"Number one, I got shot. It made me understand that I do only have one life to live and that it can happen to me. And shit happens when you be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The bullet went through my back and it came out my front. It ruptured my spleen, but it didn't hit no bones or nothing. The doctors don't even know how that happened, so that's all praise due to Allah. It just lets you know that I was meant to be here. And anyway, I wasn't going nowhere because ain't nobody take me off this motherfucker till I'm ready to leave this motherfucker... Hell no. I don't play that dying shit."
(Quoted from The Nutty Confessor, by Rob Marriott, SPIN, circa March 1995.)

Posted at 10:34 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 13, 2004
What Makes Ratner Run?

001ratner.jpgBrett Ratner's talent, such as it is, is bullshit.

The director, whose most recent piece of pandering, formulaic pap, After the Sunset, will probably be number two at the box office this weekend, could comfortably be described as a bullshit artist, or, more charitably, a complete and total bullshit artiste.

If his critics are to be believed (and in this case, they are), his artistry doesn't lie in filmmaking, a craft for which he is frightfully unskilled, yet tenaciously and gainfully employed. Ratner has no particular intuition for camera placement, editing, or working with actors: His films are about as enjoyable as a vigorous session of C.B.T.

What Ratner is good at—what he unquestionably excels at—is bullshit. Take the mini profile of him in Saturday's New York Times 'Arts' section, A Hollywood Early Bloomer, Bringing It All Back Home, by Lola Ogunnaike, which is chockablock with Ratner's bald-faced lies and egomaniacal bullshit.

Continue reading...
Posted at 9:25 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 12, 2004
Coming Soon to an Unmarked Grave (Or a Six-Figure Security Consulting Gig)

Bin Laden expert quits CIA to keep speaking out

Posted at 12:21 PM in a Grave fashion.
Has This Been Optioned for the Movies Yet? It Really Should Be Optioned for the Movies.

Meatball Run?: The lovely Chief Inspector Laura Ciano and her sidekick, Superintendent Vincenzo Bizzarro

"It is not a toy, they swear, but a serious piece of police gear, no matter how many Japanese tourists stood at a highway rest stop here snapping away in awe.

"'It's a responsibility to drive it,' said Chief Inspector Laura Ciano of the Italian highway police.002italy.jpg

"Paolo Mazzini, a highway police commander, said: 'Italian people are not always friendly toward authorities. They are curious, so they accept the ticket more readily.'

"'It's not for fun,' he added.

"Still, Superintendent Vincenzo Bizzarro wore a satisfied look on his face when he gave a reporter, fingers dug into fine leather seats, a small taste of what the force's new Lamborghini Gallardo patrol car can do: nearly 100 miles an hour in just a few seconds, with a row of tollbooths approaching awfully fast..."

From, Whoosh! For Speeders, Speedier Justice, via Lamborghini, by Ian Fisher, The New York Times, Nov. 12, 2004.

Posted at 12:10 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Somehow They Ruled Out Terrorists

001subway.JPG"It wasn't clear if the off-message message was an inside job or the work of a high-tech prankster. A Transit Authority spokesman said the agency was investigating the incident."

"Token booth clerk David Romero, who notified the TA command center of the bogus message, speculated that someone broke into the TA's computer system."
-Ugly Sign Misses the Mark in Subway, by Celeste Katz and Pete Donohue, The New York Daily News, Nov. 12, 2004.

Posted at 9:04 AM in a Shallow fashion.
When To Walk Out on Bridget: or, How To Tell You're Surrounded By Career Women in Their Mid-Twenties

"Don't you dare try to eat mommy's Häagen Dazs, Miss Whiskers!"

You're watching Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and Bridget's love interest, the supportive "human rights lawyer" Mark Darcy (as played by the normally acceptable Colin Firth) utters the following line in the middle of an argument between the two lovebirds:

DARCY: I'm not angry at you, Bridget. I'm disappointed. (He smiles.) Disappointed that I can't go home with you right now.

And the audience collectively coos a unified, "Awwwwwwwwwww..."

Posted at 8:46 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Roger Friedman on Cruise Control (Get It?)

001losinit.jpgRoger Friedman, FOXNews.com's usually spot-on gossip monger (and by 'spot on,' I mean joyfully, hilariously bad, and by 'gossip monger,' I mean Miramax party fixture) has an item on Mission: Impossible 3 today. Since he (or the associate producer who formats his column for the web) phoned the headline in, I thought I'd offer some help.

Here's Friedman's:
Cruise Out of Control on Impossible Mission
Not horrifically bad (FOXNews.com's fishwrap sister publication has ten worse every day), but it's not quite... good enough.

Here are some suggestions:
A Few Not So Good Men Top Gun for a Legend

Minority Report on Cruise's Risky Business

Do Outsiders Have All The Right Moves, or Is Cruise's Vanilla Sky Turning Into Days of Thunder as the Color of Money Taps the Legend to Hit The Firm Cocktails as He's Losin' It?

Yeah, you're welcome.

Posted at 7:46 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 11, 2004
Reuters' photo editors oftentimes pick the perfect images to illustrate their news stories. This is not one of those instances.


From "Clinton Says Arafat Missed the Chance for Peace," Reuters:

"Clinton, who helped broker a Middle East peace plan with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin in 1993, will not attend either his memorial service or his funeral, the former president's office said."

Posted at 12:54 PM in a Grave fashion.

001mischa.jpgAs everyone knows, today is a special day. It's a day when we take a little time to think about the brave people who give their all and pay the ultimate price for us to live better lives.

No, I do not mean the veterans. (Don't you read the right side of this website? We fucking hate the soldiers and we're huge supporters of the insurgents: I have a picture of that dreamy Muqtada al-Sadr hanging in my cubicle.)

I'm talking about The O.C., of course! Today is episode two of The O.C.'s second season, and I, for one, am excited.

I'm so excited about The O.C., I can hardly think of anything else. This past week's news cycle is just a blur to me: Is Yasser Arafat alive or dead? Did someone in Bush's cabinet resign or get fired or something? Honestly, when I get the paper, I just turn to the TV section to see if there's an article on The O.C., like a cool lifestyle piece on people having parties to watch the show, or style pieces on fashion inspired by the wardrobe, or some sort of medical study on how watching The O.C. can clear up your skin. How come no one has written these pieces yet? What are journalists focusing on that's so much more important than The O.C.?

Here's what I like about The O.C.: It's an escape, okay? I can put aside my own life for a little while and immerse myself in the lives of some truly amazing characters. You might find this hard to believe (especially coming from someone who puts his thoughts on the internet for the world to read—sans payment), but I'm happy not to think about myself for a little while.

When I watch The O.C., I almost never think about that mole on my shoulder that's been getting bigger and becoming bumpier, or the fact that skin cancer runs in my family, and I don't have a doctor or health insurance. I don't have to think about the fact that I had to buy new pants one waist size larger than my last, or that the last time I did any exercise was in high school gym class, and even then, I mostly faked stomach aches so I wouldn't have to change in front of all those vicious jocks who'd snap me with towels and call me a "queer." (Me, a queer? I wasn't the one who was walking around half naked, patting my teammates on the butt and saying, "Good game, big guy." I mean, so what if I had a picture of that dreamy Moammar Qaddafi hanging in my locker? I have a soft spot for dynamic, photogenic despots, okay?)

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, The O.C.. I also like that while watching The O.C., I can use my mind to manipulate space and time, opening a portal to an alternate universe better than our own. What? You don't do that?

Continue reading...
Posted at 11:58 AM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
Make the Pain Stop

Hugh Grant Signals End to Acting Career

I don't know if I can take any more bad news.

Posted at 11:02 AM in a Shallow fashion.
No Comment

001smokin.jpgYour Page One photograph of the Marine hit me between the eyes ("Smokin'," Nov. 10).

This guy is all-GI.

That dirty face, the whiskers on his unshaven face, the cut on the bridge of his nose, the dangling cigarette and the 1,000-yard stare in those battle weary eyes tell the story of what's really going on in Fallujah.

His features are reminiscent of the renowned World War II GI that Mattel replicated to make its GI Joe.

Forget about these Pentagon generals with their spotless dress uniforms, spit-shined shoes, $100 haircuts and shiny, manicured nails.

This guy's nails and hands are laced with blood. His sweaty body smells from sleeping in the sand. His breath stinks from eating field rations.

As the winds of November blow across Indiana, I sit comfortably drinking coffee as this guy, and thousands of other GIs, bravely and valiantly battle throughout the filth and stench of these Fallujah neighborhoods.

You are the best, and we think of you in the spirit of Veterans Day.

Earl Beal
Terre Haute, Ind.

Related: Everybody's smokin'.

Posted at 8:56 AM in a Grave fashion.
  November 10, 2004
The Good News: Scientists Have Used Stem Cells to Clone Reagan. The Bad News: He's Gigantic. And a Cannibal.

Hearts, Then Minds: "Mmmmmm.... Daddy's hungry."

Related: Separated by the art director?

Posted at 8:12 AM in a Shallow fashion.
I'm Really Freaking Out Here, Man

Stoned statisticians offer a less biased, more tie-dyed, vision of red state/blue state America.

[via Sully]

Posted at 12:44 AM in a Grave fashion.
  November 9, 2004
His Very First Patriot Act

Later, Ashhole: John, Done

Attorney General and Commerce Secretary Resign From Cabinet

Posted at 6:20 PM in a Grave fashion.
1 Hectare = 1 Vote

After reviewing the election results by county, the Bush administration is looking into amending the U.S. Constitution to apportion votes by hectares rather than utilizing the Electoral College:


If that fails to pass the stringent process for amending the Constitution, variations such as "1 Bible = 1 Vote" will be considered.

Posted at 5:24 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
Introducing: The Not Ready For Packaging Players

The Golden Era: Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell...some old people

Five Stars: "Trivial Pursuit SNL Edition is fun. There's over 2000 questions about Saturday Night Live. Don't buy it if you have been watching it for less than 10 years because most of the questions are about old sketches, cast members and characters. The DVD part is a lot of fun because you get clues to the questions, your timed and the game goes a lot faster. If you like Saturday Night Live and you have been watching it for a while you should buy this game."[empahsis, mine]
-Amazon.com user review of Trivial Pursuit: Saturday Night Live Edition
Posted at 3:28 PM in a Shallow fashion.
And fuck if it doesn't look pretty on our computer monitors!

It's dark, and far away, but this appears to be a depiction of some sort of assault on Fallujah.

From Madeleine Bunting's "Screams will not be heard", the Guardian, November 8, 2004:

In an age of instant communication, we will have to wait months, if not years, to hear of what happens inside Falluja in the next few days. The media representation of this war will be from a distance: shots of the city skyline illuminated by the flashes of bomb blasts, the dull crump of explosions. What will be left to our imagination is the terror of children crouching behind mud walls; the agony of those crushed under falling masonry; the frantic efforts to save lives in makeshift operating theatres with no electricity and few supplies. We will be the ones left to fill in the blanks, drawing on the reporting of past wars inflicted on cities such as Sarajevo and Grozny.
Posted at 12:58 PM in a Grave fashion.
Man, Women Are Lazy


But not as lazy as photographers, apparently.

Posted at 11:28 AM in a Shallow fashion.
The view from our new bedroom terrace is wonderful; on a clear day, you can see the ocean! I mean, when we're not being subjected to American bombing raids, that is.

Images of the Iraqi skyline on Tuesday, November 9, 2004, as shot by various AP photographers:





Posted at 11:17 AM in a Grave fashion.
Everyone enjoys making a mess at the toga party on the weekend, but no one likes cleaning it up when you return to work

Saturday, Nov. 6, 2004
US Marines of the 1st Division stage a chariot race reminiscent of the Charlton Heston movie-complete with confiscated Iraqi horses at their base outside Fallujah, Iraq, Saturday, Nov. 6 , 2004. For U.S. Marines tapped to lead an expected attack on insurgent-held Fallujah, the bags have been packed, trucks have been loaded and final letters have been sent, leaving one final task - the 'Ben-Hur.' (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004
Army Nurse supervisor Parrick McAndrew tries to save the life of an American soldier by giving him CPR upon arrival at a military hospital in Baghdad, Iraq Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004 but the soldier died. The soldier was fatally wounded in a Baghdad firefight with insurgents. (AP Photo/John Moore)

Posted at 10:41 AM in a Grave fashion.
I Learned It From Watching You!

001maxim.jpg"The mock petition concludes that without the protection of a government 'endangered' listing, 'man will surely succumb to the ravages of an effeminate, feng shui world gone mad.'


"The premise - that excessive grooming, smoothies and wimpy sports are draining masculinity from men - may deserve to be filed under hyperbole. But the underlying notion is that Maxim affirms certain behaviors in men before offering them to advertisers. As the Mantropy brochure says, 'Monthly doses of Maxim magazine, and strict adherence to the lifestyle outlined in its pages, have proven effective in curing even the worst cases of Mantropy.'"
Maxim Seeks to Portray Itself as Sophisticatedly Macho, by Nat Ives, The New York Times, Nov. 9, 2004


I’ve heard that celebs get rid of under-eye bags with Preparation H. Is it true?

Yep, the over-the-counter yellow goo isn’t just for butt relief anymore. Preparation H has been touted as fishing bait, balm for cocaine-ravaged nostrils, a caulking agent, and, yes, an eye-bag-busting facial cream. Nervous company reps won’t comment on anything except their product’s stated purpose: relieving raging ’roids. But when it comes to getting rid of the droopy Bill Clinton-during-impeachment look, dermatologists agree that Preparation H does the trick. “It tightens facial skin by temporarily constricting blood vessels and shrinking under-eye tissue'the same way it constricts and shrinks rectal blood vessels and tissue,” explains Debra Jaliman, M.D., a clinical instructor in dermatology at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Don’t worry, you won’t do your skin any damage by rubbing it on before an early meeting. But be warned: This stuff has the consistency of rubber cement, and it smells more like feces than flowers. Should you get some in your eye, it’ll burn like hell. Safer, better-smelling eye-bag eliminators: an ice pack, chilled cucumber slices, or a raw steak placed over your closed lids. These things don’t contain any magic ingredients (on the plus side, they won’t attract striped bass, either), but the cold will reduce puffiness, making your mug more presentable without causing you to make an, uh, ass of yourself.

Ask Dr. Maxim, June 2001, Maxim.

Posted at 8:58 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Dating is Fine. Marriage, apparently, is problematic

"Does President Bush have a "mandate" for his second term? You would think that a man closing in on 60 million votes might be in a strong political position, but that's not what many influential liberals and leftists are arguing this week.

"Mandate, schmandate, they say."

- WHAT W WON, John "Norman's Son" Podhoretz, The New York Post, Nov. 9, 2004.

Hey Johnboy, are schmandates frum? (Not that Frum, jagoff.)

Posted at 7:52 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Trendwatch 2004

COPS: GAL'S SICK KID-SEX 'FANTASY... Nicole Kidman in Birth

Posted at 7:37 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 8, 2004
Did Someone Get Paid to Make This Graphic for AFP?


Because if they did, it was too much. Way, way too much.

Related: TIME, April 8, 1966; Esquire , Oct. 1966.

Posted at 9:32 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Baby Steps

"I didn't have to convince him or anything... Without me prompting him, he brought it up," [emphasis, mine] White House communications director Dan Bartlett on the president's press conference last week. (From, President Feels Emboldened, Not Accidental, After Victory, by Elizabeth Bumiller, The New York Times, Nov. 8, 2004.)

"Letting the Child Train Himself
"A very forward, independent, and imitative child would be a good candidate for this method, and self-motivated children (who are also ready) usually train easily.

* Give the child a potty,
* show him what it's for,
* tell him he can use it instead of diapers when he wants to.
* Then wait without prompting or pressure until the child asks to use it, and give help as requested.
* This works nicely for easygoing parents/caregivers who can be patient with what might be a long process, or whose priority is minimizing struggles between themselves and the child." [emphasis, again, mine] (From, Potty Training, Nanny.com)

Posted at 3:38 PM in a Grave fashion.
The liberal media covers the ramifications of last week's election




Posted at 11:56 AM in a Grave fashion.
Getting the Most From Their Advertising Dollar

It's common to place ads in articles or TV shows to reach a target demographic, but this in-line advertisement which is embedded in a story in the Washington Times about a Georgia man who killed himself at the site of the World Trade Center might be a little too targeted:


The President is probably assured of a filibuster-proof Senate after the next mid-term elections if all the Democrats kill themselves, move to Canada, or secede.

Posted at 11:38 AM in a Grave fashion.
President Enrages His Base

Some of His Best Friends: President Bush and Justice Clarence Thomas


Bush may tap Hispanic and black for key jobs, Stormfront White Nationalist Community

Posted at 10:53 AM in a Grave fashion.
Further Thoughts on Wayne Llewellyn, President of Distribution at Paramount

From today’s New York Times:

Wayne Llewellyn, the president of distribution at Paramount, said that the conservative ethos reflected in last week's election results might have hurt [Alfie].

"It could be the mood of the country right now," he said. "It seems to be the result of the election."

But Alfie’s lackluster o.b.o. wasn’t the only thing to come out of this election. A look at some of November 2nd’s lesser publicized consequences:

DVD sales of Farenheit 911 dropped significantly.

The third season of Reno 911? Totally put on hold.

Jonathan Safran Foer’s drunken boast – "I’m so getting out of this fascist country" – now repeated ad infinitum to friends.

David Blaine’s healing powers significantly diminished. Street magic, however, is promised to continue.

I might have, just totally randomly, you know, just hooked up with this other girl, but it totally stopped before, you know… I can’t believe this election.

Syria? That shit’s on.

And remember how I said you should move in with me? It’s just that after this whole election thing, I don’t know if that’s really a great idea. In light of the election.

John Kerry unlikely to become President on January 20. American government largely overrun by crypto-fascist evangelicals.

I’m in love with someone else. Election.

Related: Yes, And the Story of an Old-Fashioned...

Posted at 10:24 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
Yes, And the Story of an Old-Fashioned, Dimwitted Egomaniac Who Tries to Save the World Alone Only to Fail and Realize He Needs the Help of Others Fits Our Mood Perfectly

Mr. Incredible in Fallujah: "Must... save... defenseless... kittens."

"Paramount's "Alfie," a remake of a romantic comedy about a roguish womanizer starring Jude Law, opened to a dismal $6.5 million in more than 2,000 theaters, far below expectations... Wayne Llewellyn, the president of distribution at Paramount, said that the conservative ethos reflected in last week's election results might have hurt the film.

"'It could be the mood of the country right now,' he said. 'It seems to be the result of the election. Maybe they didn't want to see a guy that slept around.'"
Disney and Pixar Score Again as 'The Incredibles' Opens Big, Sharon Waxman, The New York Times, Nov. 8, 2004.

Related: Weekend box office report

Posted at 9:17 AM in a Shallow fashion.
God Is My Second Unit A.D.

Amazing Grace: Mel Gibson sees the light at the Catholics in Media Associates Awards Ceremony, Nov. 7, 2004

Posted at 8:53 AM in a Shallow fashion.
If I Told You You Had a Lovely Body Politic, Would You Hold It Against Me?

Election Night at MCCXXIII: Women are from red states, men are from blue.

Which might explain what's happening next to the TV on the left.

Posted at 8:36 AM in a Grave fashion.
Digital Divide, 2004

Television is red.

The web is blue (last item).

Skywriting, still undecided.

Posted at 8:09 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Got to Admit, It's Getting Better


"They are cheap, easily concealed, small enough to hoist on a shoulder and can shoot a passenger jet out of the sky. And now, it appears, terrorists may have access to another 4,000 of them..."

More missiles for terrorists?
, USA Today, Nov. 7, 2004

Posted at 7:53 AM in a Grave fashion.
  November 6, 2004
Atlas Shrugged


We're all tired. You earned your week off, Frank.

Posted at 10:40 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Brooks in Paradise

David Brooks lectures his liberal colleagues among the "commentariat" today for fostering simplistic narratives about the slim majority that voted Republican last Tuesday. As Brooks explains, things are more nuanced: "there is an immense diversity of opinion within regions, towns and families," he says, and "the values divide is a complex layering of conflicting views."

So that means that grossly simplified socioeconomic stereotypes are not accurate or useful, and are, in fact, sloppy social analysis used by lazy journalists looking to make a buck? Talk about lowering the scales from our eyes! Thanks for disabusing us of our unsophisticated illusions, Mr. Brooks. Gee, I wonder where we ever got them in the first place...

Posted at 4:32 PM in a Grave fashion.
  November 5, 2004
Team Zissou Meets the PLO

Yasser Arafat, world's biggest Wes Anderson fan, prepares for the Life Aquatic marketing juggernaut.

[With apologies to Radosh who, unbeknownst to me, got there first.]

Posted at 9:46 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Jude Law Is Really Hot

alfie.jpgIs the remake of Alfie any good? Who cares, when you get to salivate over the universally acknowledged eye candy that is Jude Law, rendering film critics woozy with his piercing blue eyes and razor-sharp cheekbones. A sampling:

The movie has only flattering things to say and is driven by images of Law looking never less than scrumptious.
Boston Globe

At any rate, Jude Law provides tasty eye-candy for an hour and a half.
The Guardian

The other ' who shall be known as M2 ' just wanted to see Jude Law's naughty grin and sea-blue eyes, and to appreciate how dazzling he would look in his slim-cut retro suits, and...
Seattle Times

Law seizes the moment -- delivering Alfie's racy monologues to the camera with charm, wit and enough sizzle to melt cold steel.
Rolling Stone

Millions of women would happily watch the aesthetically pleasing Jude Law read the phone book...
New York Post

...Jude Law's beauty and easy charm go a long way to softening the edges...Seducing the audience can't be hard work for Mr. Law. Certainly Mr. Shyer seems besotted by his star, and it's easy to see why...
New York Times

Law, with his elfin grin and just-unkempt-enough-to-be-adorable copper hair, is served up as such a tasty treat of a man that every leggy beauty on the street casts a longing look his way. The new Alfie is so irresistible that he hardly requires contempt.
Entertainment Weekly

This time he's a kinder, gentler (not to mention hotter) superficial, misogynistic, womanizing scoundrel...Perhaps he's simply too pretty on the outside to play someone so ugly on the inside.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Previously: Why Are These Men Smiling?

Posted at 9:06 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Upon Cancellation of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, a Look Back at Its Funniest Moments

That time the Italian guy said something nasty to that black guy and then the black guy said something nasty back to the Italian guy and Colin was all like, "We just tell it like we see it, people."

Posted at 12:03 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  November 4, 2004
I'd like that Iraqi council member "to go", please



Posted at 2:55 PM in a Grave fashion.
Meet your mandate


Posted at 2:03 PM in a Grave fashion.
Expatriation: So hot right now!


Posted at 1:53 PM in a Grave fashion.
"Brain dead" versus "physically dead": it's all just semantics, right?

By way of the Associated Press' breaking coverage of Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat's death-but-not-death, it's come out that:

French television station LCI quoted an anonymous French medical official as saying Arafat was in an "irreversible coma" and "intubated" - a process that usually involves threading a tube down the windpipe to the lungs. The tube is often connected to a life support machine to help the patient breathe.

In other words, "brain dead, but not physically shut down."

Cursed word games! It's much like trying to pick apart the distinction between, say, a "security fence" and an "imprisoning wall".

Posted at 12:12 PM in a Grave fashion.
You're saying it like you mean it (...this time, at least. And it's not like you're a lying cunt, right?)

From Bush Wins Second Term: Kerry Concedes Defeat; Both Speak of Need for Unity, Washington Post, November 4, 2004:

An elated President Bush claimed a reelection victory yesterday after a tumultuous night of vote counting and a gracious concession by challenger John F. Kerry, and he pledged that he would seek to earn the trust of those who did not back him during the long, contentious campaign.

In an explicit appeal to those Americans who voted for Kerry, Bush said: "To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust. A new term is a new opportunity to reach out to the whole nation."

From For Bush and GOP, a Validation, Washington Post, November 3, 2004:

President Bush, his fate for winning a second term still officially uncertain, commanded the popular-vote majority that eluded him in 2000. And in an impressive run of battleground states, he seemed to win validation for a campaign that unabashedly stressed conservative themes and reveled in partisan combat against Democratic nominee John F. Kerry.


Although final judgment is still to come, yesterday's balloting did in several instances validate important elements of the Bush political model. This strategy has been based from the outset of Bush's term on carefully tending to the Republican Party's conservative base, and a governing strategy based more often on trying to vanquish political adversaries rather than split the difference with them.

Posted at 11:25 AM in a Grave fashion.
Obligatory Pop Culture Entry To Prove We Haven't Become Humorless Prigs

001OC.jpgThe O.C. is back! Dude, The O.C. is totally, totally back!

And not a minute too soon. Nothing makes me forget the difficulties of being an adult than watching a bunch of attractive actors play out fantasy scenarios of the awesome teen years I never had. After a long day of commuting to work, being belittled and humiliated by employers, forced into small talk with ignorant coworkers, trips to the ATM to see you have less money than yesterday, skimming magazines and seeing images of a good life you will never be able to attain, and commuting home to your tiny, over-priced hovel for another night with the partner you've settled on, nothing speaks to you like The O.C., baby!

Guys, isn't it so awesome that you can ogle the chicks on the show even though they're underage? It's like an hour-long suspension of all known statutory rape laws. They're so much younger than your wife or girlfriend, and it's a lot safer than talking to girls in AOL chat-rooms or flirting with your daughter's friends. And you can totally masturbate to it if you watch it in your den with the door closed.

And ladies, isn't it so great that you get to be in love with that nerd character, even though when you were in high school, you would've wanted nothing to do with him and probably spent the majority of your day making his life a living hell? But compared to your insensitive, foul-smelling, hairy-backed manchild of a husband or boyfriend, the so-called man who makes love to you with the repetitive, passionless finesse of a Punch Press, that O.C. geek is like prince charming. You even cut his photo out of Entertainment Weekly. You are too cute!

God, when did your life start to suck so bad that the completely fictional lives of imaginary rich kids become the ultimate escape? If you think about, you almost want to cry. You almost want to shoot yourself with a diamond bullet that would tear you apart, shattering the numbing boredom of your life, the endless trips to the gas station, the loading and unloading of the washing machine, the mortgage payments, the judgmental glares of all those people who think they're better than you even though you try your best to be a good person, the microwaved leftovers that are still cold in the middle, that feeling you have after three beers on a Sunday, sitting on the couch not quite drunk but dimly aware that this is it, this is all there is to your life. And you're, what, 32? Jesus.

Yay! The O.C.! Yay!!!

Okay, that was a complete failure. I've never even seen The O.C.. I'm sure it's pretty good.

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

Posted at 10:47 AM in a OC-centric, Shallow fashion.
A nation united, at least in our appreciation for primary colors and coastal schisms


TOTALLY DECONTEXTUALIZED FUN WITH ELECTION MOTIFS: John Edwards and his campaign's "Two Americas" theme

Posted at 10:30 AM in a Grave fashion.
Welcome Back

Four More Years: Powell, Cheney, Bush, Rice, Card, Tenet (resigned), and Rumsfeld

I can't believe we almost lost you guys. It would've been a shame for you all to creep back into the primordial military-industrial ooze from which you came, but luckily for America—and the world!—you kept the band together and the hits will just keep on coming. (POP STAR. That's rich. Why not THE BOSS?)

Here's to another fun-filled term. We promise to keep doing our best if you promise to keep doing your worst.

P.S.: Ladies, have your abortions now. Even if you're not pregnant, have a few while you still can.

Posted at 10:07 AM in a Grave fashion.
We're Back (Like It Matters)


Hi. Hey, how are you? You look really good. Are you working out? Or, wait, it's your hair. It looks great! How did we not notice your haircut? It's so, so great.

Us? We're alright. I mean, we're okay. Actually, we're not so good. You won't believe the week we had. First, our site went down. I know, it's nuts! Right before the election! Some software crap. Or server crap. Or some combination thereof. Messy stuff. Stressful, too.

We're fine now, I think. I mean, we're still coughing up chunks of phlegm the size of walnuts, but we're gonna go back to work and stuff. We'll survive.

Luckily, not much happened in our absence. Oh, that election thing? That's nothing. We're not even thinking about it. These new meds our doctor gave us create a cool, calm feeling inside us that makes this election look like... Well, it looks like everything else right now: sort of hazy, flowing like blue-tinted liquid glass that encircles our awareness of reality and encloses the burning rage and despair we feel deep down in the part of us that's still alive. It's awesome: you gotta get some medication, you won't be sorry.

And we got our hair cut, too! Do we look good? Well, we'll be back to posting shortly, in between cutting ourselves and lighting fires behind our house. It's good to see you. We really love your hair.

Posted at 8:38 AM in a Shallow fashion.
Welcome to the New World You've Created




Have a nice decade.

Posted at 7:59 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!
What "They" Say About "Us"

"Humor so black you're afraid to laugh." - Playboy

"Low Culture gets more mileage out of headlines and photo captions than most blogs get out of endless pages of text." - The Week

"No irony slips past Low Culture." - Daniel Radosh

"what's happened to this site? it used to be one of my favorites. now there are never new posts and when there are it's bloodied and dismembered dead bodies... grave, indeed." - Some Guy Named Tim

"I don't get it." - Some Person Calling Him-/Herself "Cubeoid"

Text Ads, our nod to the Plebes
or, "Fun with Adblockers"

Recent Artifacts

The Archive Office (Front Desk)

Additional Information
Looking for an RSS Feed, or want to syndicate this site? Click here for that purpose.

Some of our older readers may be asking, "Whatever happened to that 'famous' two-column, Shallow and Grave-formatted version of Low Culture?" Rest assured, we've archived that motherfucker here.

This here site, though, was built and crafted by none other than Low Culture Design & Media Mega-Powerhouse HQ.