end run brought to you by ok soda
  April 14, 2007
The Waverly Interns (...Sigh)

Commissioned by and produced for vanityfair.com, featuring noted monologist Mike Daisey, for starters. (No Graydon Carter whatsoever.)

  October 26, 2005
EXCLUSIVE! The indictments are in, and the wait is over!

After a long day of nervous waiting -- complete with capricious salivating and nail-biting -- by political pundits, the media and bloggers far and wide, "Plamegate" Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, we have just learned, has returned from the federal courthouse with four, count 'em, four indictments in tow. And, suffice it to say, this goes straight to the very top of the U.S. government...

plame_indictments_hadley.jpg White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley

A real wild card, the inclusion of Hadley in the mix...While he worked alongside Condoleezza Rice during the build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, as well as during the White House's planning stages in 2001 and 2002, few longtime observers of the Fitzgerald investigation had ever really pegged Hadley as having much to do with the leaking of Valerie Plame's name to media sources. Though, according to documents, Hadley apparently played a heretofore unknown role in the subsequent cover-up, and has now been indicted for perjury.

plame_indictments_libby.jpg Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby

Libby, of course, had long been speculated to be one of the primary targets of the Fitzgerald investigation, so his indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice pertaining to the cover-up of the Wilson matter will come as no surprise to those who knew all along the degree to which he sought to protect his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, from being tainted by the grand jury's inquest. And, it seems, in sacrificing himself, he succeeded in saving his boss' hide, as Cheney seems to have safely skirted through the investigation unharmed.

plame_indictments_rove.jpg Deputy chief of staff and top presidential political adviser Karl Rove

"Bush's Brain", as he's been called time and again, was, alongside Libby, long determined to be one of the major architects of the White House smear campaign against Ambassador Joseph Wilson. So his indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice also comes as no surprise. Whether or not he will resign later today, and the damage such an action will do to Bush's presidency, remains to be seen.

plame_indictments_comerford.jpg White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford

Finally, the big gun...an indictment for criminal conspiracy in the effort to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative. Though Comerford was only recently hired by First Lady Laura Bush this past August -- a mere two months ago -- anonymous sources within the President's staff have reported that the first female to ever serve as the White House's executive chef had been a longtime problem for the administration. Starting with her efforts to discredit Joseph Wilson for making disparaging comments about the administration's making a deceptively inaccurate link between Iraqi heads of state and the acquisition of Nigerian uranium, sources say that Comerford's name has been revealed on transcripts from journalists Matthew Cooper and Walter Pincus as the primary source of the now infamous leak of Wilson's wife's identity. These sources also add that scribbled within Pincus' notebook were numerous references to "yellow cake" and "flame", which had erroneously been thought to reference Comerford's pastry recipes and sautee methodology.

When asked for comment by reporters covering the case moments ago, Comerford was weeping and defiant as she made her way through the White House's front gate, stammering, "I don't know what's going on...I don't know what I did wrong! I did nothing wrong!"

Sources had no comment on her strongly-worded denials.

Posted at 5:06 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  October 18, 2005
low culture: What Happened? (A Long, Interminable History)
by Modesty Blaise
Special to The Bizarro-Times Picayune

low Expectations: Jean-Paul Tremblay, left; Matt Haber (A/K/A, Guy Cimbalo), right. (The editors requested a photo of the creators of low culture to accompany this article and received this one.)

Walking down the streets of New York's Greenwich Village, Jean-Paul Tremblay goes almost entirely unnoticed. Passersby young and old—and youngish and oldish, as well—walk by him, all but unaware that within their midst is a celebrity, albeit a celebrity of a wired, self-selecting, long tail-chasing, niche-y, early 21st century sort. Nobody knows that Tremblay, who is 29 but looks more like an undernourished 15 year-old street urchin in need of a haircut, a cup of soup, and a hug, is a bona fide celebrity of blogging: A blogebrity.

Then again, they may be walking by because he's merely a B-List blogebrity.

As he walks the streets, occasionally fielding cell phone calls that make him groan theatrically, he stops for a moment to ponder the new issue of TIME Magazine on the newsstand. The cover shows Secretary of Defense Donald Rumseld wearing a Yankees cap, eating a banana, and listening to iPod. "In the old days, I'd probably run right home and Photoshop that shit and make a post out of it," Tremblay says wearily.

"But now... I can't even figure out the joke. I couldn't even tell you where I'd begin."

No matter how many bananas public officials consume in photos, Tremblay cannot bring himself to post about it. Call him a "no-blognik": Lately, he feels he can't bring himself to blog, which has resulted in a pitiable lack of posts on his site as well as a declining profile among fellow writers of free, ephemeral web content.

"Blogger fatigue is very real, and it very really affects real bloggers," according to Dr. Owen Spielvogel, chair of the American Psychiatric Association's gossip- and media-focused Loud Family Institute. "Anecdotal research indicates it affects 1 in 10 real bloggers in a real way. Really."

I mention "blogger fatigue" to Tremblay as he glances at the cover of Time Out New York, which features Wayne Coyne of the band Flaming Lips also, inexplicably, eating a banana, wearing a Yankees cap, and listening to an iPod.

Tremblay sighs.

An autumnal breeze rustles the trees above us. I can almost see Tremblay's eyes misting up.

Continue reading...
Posted at 4:26 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  October 13, 2005
At least he's not requesting a bathroom break


In this low culture EXCLUSIVE, we asked this young student at Delisle Elementary School in Pass Christian, Miss., to share with us the note that was passed to President Bush this past Tuesday. In greater detail below:


RELATED: 'You are the best governor ever', Guardian NewsBlog, October 11, 2005

Posted at 1:25 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  September 20, 2005
Ask Ben Kunkel

Today's Salon features an insightful, probing piece by Rebecca Traister on the humdrum, sorry state of being a Modern American Woman, and the trouble with dating the contemporary early-adult American male – specifically, how today's women are dissatisfied with this "new breed of man: a man of few interests and no passions; a man whose libido is reduced and whose sense of responsibility nonexistent. These men are commitment-phobic not just about love, but about life. They drink and take drugs, but even their hedonism lacks focus or joy. They exhibit no energy for anyone, any activity, profession or ideology."

Traister sagely acknowledges that writers such as Candace Bushnell et al have explored this subject to death, and, as such, she seeks a new hook: What might Ben Kunkel, the author of Random House's Indecision – this month's literary hotcake amongst the city's subway- and nightstand-reading set – have to contribute to this line of discussion? Of the author and his text's protagonist, she asks, "After I finished Kunkel's novel, I was curious about the man who had so precisely drawn a figure whose initial indifference is so painfully familiar. With Kunkel, I thought I might be able to have a safe, objective conversation about the kind of guy Dwight is as his story begins. How did we get a population of Dwights? Will they ever get better? Why do my friends and I continue to date them?"

But why limit Kunkel to a simple, one-track discussion on dating and relationships? We asked him, this literate, Harvard-trained man-about-town, to help our sullen readers with some of their sundry dilemmas. And boy, did he ever!

Welcome, then, to the first installment of our new, groundbreakingly opinionated, and most important, gentlemanly advice column.


ask_ben_kunkel.gifDear Ben,

I recently left my wife of five years after – for lack of a better way of phrasing it – losing my passion for her. Not falling out of love, mind you...just losing that sense of passion that keeps people together. Lately, however, I have been regretting my decision, and want her back. The problem is, she has taken up reading all sorts of self-help books that seem to discourage exes from reuniting. What should I do?

It can be very difficult dealing with the repercussions of our actions, particularly when it comes to love and the causalities thereof. Do we love for the sake of loving, or do we love merely to stay afloat in this pool of the everyday, the human interactions that define our existence? Hannah Arendt hit it right on the head when she put forth that being female was akin to being imprisoned by one's mind and morality, and that, no matter what we may do to attempt to break free, we – and, it may be said, all of humanity – will forever be subjected to a greater external framework, an ethical morass the likes of which no mere mortal can transcend. Which is why she encouraged her lover, Walter Benjamin, to take his own life. Ever the slattern, she then wound up fucking Heidegger over, too.

Dear Ben,

I recently moved into an elite co-op in Chelsea, and was thrilled to become a part of what felt like a second home, this tightly-knit community of likeminded, intellectually vibrant, book-reading wage-earners. But since settling in last month, I have learned my upstairs neighbor insists on playing his music far too loudly, and usually at moments when I am trying to sleep. I have thought of leaving notes on his door, but am uncertain of what this might do to upset the otherwise tranquil balance of our collective abode. Any ideas?

Noise, and music in particular, can be a source of great asymmetric tension. Historically, one may note, Theodor Adorno espoused nothing but the severest disdain for jazz music, or rather, what he termed "jazz music", but which was, in fact, a series of sounds akin to "big band" music, henceforth confusing generations of Marxists and music critics alike. It was his literal reading of this cacophony, the simpleminded focus on aberrant rhythms and layered ideas, that confounded his aesthetic judgment, and led to a great deal of turmoil in his dealings with his onetime partner in the Frankfurt School, Max Horkheimer. Horkheimer really got down with the horns, the clarinet, the vibrato...all of which conveyed an intricate melding of joy and sadness and expedient physicality. This tapestry of the old and new, incidentally, can be found in the recent works of Radiohead.

Benjamin Kunkel grew up in Colorado. He has written for Dissent, The Nation, and the The New York Review of Books, and is a founding editor of n+1 magazine.
Posted at 2:28 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
low culture Exclusive: the Twin Towers Fell Fashionably Early!

The Century 21 Department Store overlooking the wreckage of the World Trade Center at Ground Zero, September 18, 2005. A close-up below:


Not only is Century 21, downtown's pre-eminent bargain-rate clothing store, discounting their prices on designer neckties and Polo boxers, but it seems they've taken to discounting the lives of nearly 2,500 New Yorkers who perished mere yards away from the site of the store's high-quality sale items.

Is there anything remotely funny or clever about "falling" into fashion as we stay the course in Iraq to defend the lives of those who perished that solemn day four years ago, as the city's iconic Twin Towers tumbled mercilessly to their molten demise??

We urge you to boycott Century 21 and abstain from purchasing their fine selection of men's Geoffrey Beene linen shirts.

EARLIER: low culture Exclusive: An Outrage Grows in Brooklyn!!!
low culture Exclusive: The Outrage Continues�'Continuously!!!
low culture Exclusive: The Outrage Gets Outragously Obvious!!!

Posted at 10:34 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  September 14, 2005
Tragedies Come in Threes


This post is dedicated to Jean-Paul Tremblay, who was found dead in his apartment beneath a stack of old Nation magazines, surrounded by anti-Bush paraphernalia. Now you're Photoshopping with Jesus, sweet prince.

Posted at 6:07 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  April 1, 2005
On April Fool's Day, The Whole World (Wide Web) Is A Target
by Sarah Boxer

fools.jpgBloggers, or 'Web loggers,' may not have invented April Fool's Day (that would be Pope Gregory with his conversion to the eponymous Gregorian Calendar in 1582), but as with so many other things, they have taken credit for improving on it.

As the clock struck midnight on April first, several prominent bloggers created puckish, at times almost humorous, stabs at April Fool's content. As you might expect, many were parodies of other websites and the conventions of the medium. "Bloggers are a world onto themselves," said Jeff Jarvis, who runs the website Buzzmachine.com and who actually called this reporter himself assuming she'd be doing this story. "So, of course, they'd parody their world."

Continue reading...
Posted at 7:54 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  March 26, 2005
Outrage! Jets Sold To Pakistan!

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

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

[Thanks to Lamont Cranston for the tip!]

Posted at 2:21 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  March 23, 2005
Real Life Workplace: Deep Inside the CIA

bristow.jpgToday's 'Real Life Workplace' interview is with Agent Jack Bristow, a thirty-five year veteran of the CIA. What sorts of challenges come from working in a high pressure environment where national security is a daily concern?

What's the CIA like on the inside? Read on and find out.

low culture: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, Agent Bristow.
Jack Bristow: It's my pleasure, I'm sure. I am, however, a very busy man, so let's get down to it.

low culture: Sure, sure. So, in case you don't know, low culture is a careers website. We offer information for job hunters, employers, and the like. I'm interested in talking to you about your work.
Jack Bristow: Fine. But know that some things are classified.

low culture: Right. So, you work for the CIA, right?
Jack Bristow: Classified.

low culture: But you previously worked for an organization called SD-6, right?
Jack Bristow: Again, classified. I cannot answer these questions and if you persist in asking them, I'll have to terminate this interview.

low culture: Got it. Okay, so, you, um, you work with your daughter, Sydney, right?
Jack Bristow: Yes, that's true.

low culture: Your daughter is so hot.
Jack Bristow: Pardon me?

low culture: Nothing. So, is it difficult working so closely with a family member?
Jack Bristow: There are challenges inherent in any workplace. Ours is no different. People occasionally don't get along, alliances and relationships shift or breakdown. These things happen.

low culture: Right, but, you had problems with your daughter for a long time, is that correct? Didn't you kill her mom?
Jack Bristow: What? What sort of interview is this? I'm going to have to hang up now unless you refrain from such inappropriate personal questions.

low culture: Sorry, sorry. So, is it hard working with your daughter when she has to get dressed up in so many different outfits all the time? Does that weird you out?
Jack Bristow: Weird me out?

low culture: You know, do you ever see your daughter done up like a blond Swedish hooker or a Russian astrophysicist and you, like, get wood?
Jack Bristow: Now you listen to me...

low culture: Wait, wait. You misunderstand. I apologize: English is my second language. I'm French Canadian.
Jack Bristow: Really? I was born in Ontario.

low culture: No way! Did that make it hard to get high level CIA clearance?
Jack Bristow: That's classified.

low culture: Oh, right, right. So, your daughter was dating a colleague. Is that strange?
Jack Bristow: Why so many questions about my daughter?

low culture: Have I been asking so many questions about your daughter?
Jack Bristow: Yes, in fact you have.

low culture: Oh, she's just so super hot. What's her email address?
Jack Bristow: Now you listen to me, this is the least professional interview I've ever been subjected to!

low culture: Alright, alright. Is it like yours? I assume it's something like [email protected]. Would that work?
Jack Bristow: This interview is over. I don't even know how you got this number.

low culture: Can you just tell me one last thing? One last thing for all the job hunters, employers, and the like? Please?
Jack Bristow: Fine. One question.

low culture: What does she smell like?
Jack Bristow: Whom?

low culture: Your daughter, Sydney. I kind of imagine she smells like soap, but also a little bit of sweaty b.o.
Jack Bristow: What?

low culture: Clean, sporty girl b.o. like a field hockey player. Not gross b.o. like some sweaty freak.
Jack Bristow: Rest assured, you will be disappeared within 24 hours.
low culture: Hello? Sounds like you're still on the line. Helllllo? Agent Bristow? Jack...? Sydney?

Related: If you have any information on Jack Bristow's daughter (particularly photos), please email low culture. (Within 24 hours at the latest.)

Posted at 9:45 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
Deaf, Dumb and Bald

matlincar.jpgTotally deaf human-person Marlee Matlin deserves to be given the hand gestures for enthusiastic applause and patronizing congratulation upon the news of her appointment to head a new, conservative imprint for Simon & Schuster. Despite Matlin's complete inability to hear, and her limited ability to speak like a normal person, she has not only won a Special Academy Award but also managed to domesticate notorious pussy-hound James Carville. The two have become ubiquitous for their "opposites attract" romance: Carville is the classic Clinton-era liberal while Matlin is completely, defiantly deaf. They both starred in the cult classic K Street and have become poster children for people who have starred in K Street.

Because of Matlin's handicapability, her as yet unnamed imprint will undoubtedly offer its conservative titles in Braille editions. And that presumptive breakthrough, shattering the conservative publishing industry's notorious deaf-glass-ceiling, deserves enthusiastic, visually demonstrative applause.

Posted at 7:17 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  March 22, 2005
TIME for Concern


(I did this one by hand.)

Posted at 3:45 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  March 16, 2005
'Advise and Consent': I can do these things all day long

icon_222.gifNewsflash from the blogosphere! No, not another update on my stance regarding Paul Wolfowitz's nomination to head the World's (most powerful) Bank...Rather, consider this an update on the updates! It may come as no revelation to you, the loyal readers of this column, but it has come to my attention that this sophisticated web technology allows me to publicly pontificate multiple times daily, which is a major improvement over my last column-writing gig, whereby I was limited to weekly musings on Chechnya or socialized medicine or bankruptcy bills.

And as part of this exciting era of the 24-hour news cycle in which we live, it remains vital to understand that news happens constantly, consistently, and continually. As such, it stands to reason that we need quality, real-time analysis of the world's goings-on, right?

With that in mind, then, I continue to point you, the readers, to the smorgasbord of thought and opinion that exists out there on the world wide web. Since having posted my initial musings on Wolfowitz's anticipated ascendancy to the position of Chief Global Bankman, it has come to my attention that other pundits and news-analysts have also posted their thoughts on this matter. I particularly refer you to one Daily Kos, who, though prone to a bit of foul language here and there, seems to have a remarkable grasp of the dynamics of news analysis.

Furthermore, there is a website entitled Instapundit that is also covering this rapidly-breaking news story. Check it out! Our opinions, like a collective dab of potter's clay, await these opportunities to be shaped and re-formed!

Posted at 4:38 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
'Advise and Consent': Banking on the World's Trust

icon_stars_usa.gifGreetings, fellow moneymen! Today is a significant day on the global monetary front...with President Bush's announcement that he was putting forth Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz's name as his choice to head the World Bank. By "putting forth his name", I mean to say, President Bush is pushing for this Wolfowitz fellow to preside over the banking conglomerate, and not merely his "name". That device is a staple of quality writing, rest assured.

I trust the president's judgment on this matter, and, more significantly, I approve of his choice. I myself once had the privilege of meeting Paul Wolfowitz eighteen months ago, after he presented a lecture at Harvard University's JFK School of Government on the Bush Administration's decision to invade Iraq and topple that monstrous Saddam Hussein figure. There were a number of liberals in the audience that insisted on asking him many pointed questions regarding ill-advised intelligence briefings and bad military judgments, but he deftly brushed aside their trivial concerns with his proclamations that "Evil is as evil does, and Saddam Hussein was and is an evil man." That shut them up, I'll tell you. In Latin, I would say, this is a case of ad reducto absurdum, or, better yet, corpus christi.

But I digress. After his lecture, I made my way to the nearby Dunkin' Donuts on Eliot Street to sample one of their refreshing Caramel Swirl Lattes, a splendid coffee drink the likes of which I haven't seen outside of Cambridge. As I stood before the counter, clutching this caffeinated treasure in my hands, the clerk began to dole out my change and looked up behind me. I turned, and there he was. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz himself. The architect of the war with Iraq, and Richard Perle's chief partner in Middle Eastern crimesolving. I smiled at him as he made his way to the counter, and, after tugging delicately at the tie around my neck, I noticed I had inadvertently coated my cravat in the gentle white foam of the Latte in my hands.

Rather sheepishly, I addressed him: "Great speech tonight, Mr. Wolfowitz. Really, truly excellent. Remarkable." He, in turn, smiled back at me, and motioned towards the clerk behind the counter. "Don't forget your change, sir," he then said to me, for, in the midst of my excitement at being in the presence of such a mastermind of war and Western imperialism, I had neglected to gather the various coins that the Dunkin' Donuts clerk had been holding out for me to collect.

What an attention to fiscal detail this Wolfowitz fellow had that night! It is for this reason, largely, that I am confident that he will be able to responsibly manage and monitor the world's most significant moneylender and debt creditor. Kudos to you, fine sir, and those that had the courage to nominate you!

Posted at 12:34 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  March 14, 2005
'Advise and Consent': Social Security: Can we really afford this safety net?

icon_dollars.gifGreetings, all, and welcome to my new column for low culture. Since we've already been introduced, I'll just jump right into the fray: we're going to tackle the hot-button issues, here and now!

First and foremost on the lips of pundits on Capitol Hill is the matter of social security: White House aides will have you believe that it's in crisis, and needs to be reformed urgently, while Democratic leaders from across the aisle, such as former vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman, are more temperate about this issue. So, tongues are wagging: what to do about this problem?

In my lecturing days, I used to examine the fallibility of this elaborate system of social-insurance in terms of the following analogy: If your house is on fire, you better get out! The students in my courses, after I would spring this on them with great aplomb, would often look quizzically at one another. The confusion and dismay on their university-trained faces was priceless. And then, of course, an outspoken student would inevitably question my analogy: "Professor Preminger, why would you assume going into the argument that the system is inherently flawed? Is there not room for debate on the solvency of the New Deal's greatest social legacy?"

While I was technically a guest-lecturer and not a full-fledged professor, I wouldn't take issue with the phrasing of their questions, and would instead drop the following pearl of wisdom: Social Security, I'd say while putting down my chalk and tugging delicately at my tie (an act which would often leave white marks across my chest), functions as a system of economic redistribution, whereby payments are guaranteed to those who contribute during the course of their lifetime. And what had we learned from the (then-recent) collapse of Polish and Romanian communism, other than that systems of economic redistribution must ultimately result in a subsequent economic collapse that in turn leads to said nation exporting its teenaged daughters abroad to appear in Western pornographic films? Is this the sort of legacy of social security with which we want to be burdened as Americans?

When making this last point, I would always be sure to peer directly at the various co-eds scattered throughout the lecture hall. I wanted them to understand that their livelihoods as future lawyers, doctors, and housewives were in danger if we didn't open our minds to the prospect of, say, privatizing our support network for the nation's elderly. (Also, I should add as an afterthought, women are perfectly capable of being lab technicians, programmers, and construction foremen, just to be clear. I don't want the low culture ombudsman to be over-inundated with anxious remarks from yippity feminists.)

So, returning to the point at hand, social security: is this a net that can afford to catch each and everyone of us, or has this system of public subsidies left the roping on this allegorical net dispersed so widely apart that we will all fall through the cracks someday in the not-too-distant future? And what is under this net, but the vast expanse of the Sea of Lonely Death?

That, my friends, lovers, and countrymen, is a pool in which I don't want to go swimming.

Posted at 11:21 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  February 28, 2005
Coming Soon to a Theater Near You


Title: 2 Million Dollar Baby
Log Line: Sequel to the Oscar winning film. A female boxer from the wrong side of the tracks fights her way back from heaven to kill the man who snuffed her out.
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Agent: CAA
Buyer: Warner Bros.
Price: n/a
Genre: spiritual boxing drama
Logged: 2/28/05
More: Clint Eastwood will direct, star, and score. Oscar winners Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman will reprise their roles

Posted at 9:28 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  February 22, 2005
Coming Soon to DSM: Paris Syndrome


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has designated a new psychiatric disorder called Paris Syndrome, named for socialite and Reality TV star Paris Hilton.

Paris Syndrome is characterized by an acute sense of empathy towards Paris Hilton, particularly during times of public scandal and embarrassment.

According to Dr. Owen Spielvogel, chair of APA's gossip- and media-focused Loud Family Institute, "It's natural to feel a sense of guilt and shame at the pleasure one derives from the travails of Ms. Hilton. She's a larger-than-life figure, the subject of mockery and contempt. Paris Syndrome is different than mere guilt, something closer to Stockholm Syndrome. It occurs when the individual's superego overrides the giddy pleasure at Ms. Hilton's failures and the individual begins to identify with her. 'What if my personal life got splashed across the internet? What if people openly wished for my death?' goes the thinking. At that point, Paris Syndrome has set in and psychiatric consultation may be the answer."

The APA estimates that thousands of Americans, most of whom work in the media or as bloggers (web-loggers), may be afflicted with Paris Syndrome. There is no suggested course of treatment for Paris Syndrome at this time, but according to Dr. Spielvogel, "It passes eventually and the so-called 'normal' feelings of Paris Hilton hatred return." He also notes that a related disorder—Paris Hilton Fatigue, first designated by the APA two years ago—often cancels out Paris Syndrome. "Once the individual grows indifferent to Ms. Hilton and her assorted sex tapes, utterances of racial slurs, bruises, and hacked personal communication devices. It's likely that Paris Syndrome has passed."

The APA is the nation's oldest national medical specialty society with more than 35,000 members, all of whom hate Paris Hilton.

Posted at 8:46 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  February 17, 2005
Even a Stopped Clock Is Right Twice a Day

low culture applauds President Bush's nomination of Nicholas Negroponte to serve as intel chief. As founder and director of MIT's Media Lab, Mr. Negroponte has done much to further all forms of digital media. His 1995 tome, Being Digital is a remarkably prescient distillation of the computer revolution. Most recently, he has pursued the development of a laptop computer that would sell for under $100. While Mr. Negroponte's relationship to the intelligence community is as yet unclear, the President's choice deserves accolades.

Posted at 12:41 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  February 13, 2005
low culture Exclusive: Eustace Tilley Speaks

eustace.jpgThere is no getting rid of him. He’s the enigma who came to stay.
- Louis Menand, Mystery Man, The New Yorker, Feb. 14 & 21, 2005.

Enigma my aunt Sally! I am no enigma, I am a man. And since Mr. Menand conveniently forgot to mention a key fact in his little piffle, I must tell you myself: I am still alive.

Of course, I'm not quite as active as I was in the old days: you try donning your top hat and starched collar when you're nearly 100. These days, my monocle is bifocal and instead of examining butterflies up close, I squint intently at my own dark, brown liver spots.

It wasn't always so. Back in the old days, I was quite the playboy! In the '30s, high on all that early New Yorker acclaim (what the limey dame editor of the magazine in its bloated late life would've termed "buzz"), I was everywhere, celebrating the glorious literary life with Joey Mitchell, Bunny Wilson, Dotty Parker, and James "Jiminy Cricket" Thurber.

Oh, the gay times we had! And by 'gay,' I mean it in the old sense of the word: we drank gin distilled in our bathtubs, danced with negro chorus girls, and on occasion, performed oral sex on each other. (We called it 'rhinebecking,' after the quaint little town where Bunny rented a cottage during the summer of '36.)

Continue reading...
Posted at 3:19 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  February 6, 2005
Fuss Budget

From the Idiots What Brung You Enron: 2006 Goverment Budget (via AP)

Line Item: Printing Costs, 2006 Federal Budget, first edition: $10 Million.

Posted at 2:56 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  January 31, 2005
Def Condi Jam

Funny Lady: Secretary of State Rice on her first day at the State Department, Jan. 27, 2005 (via Reuters)

"Thank you, thank you. What a great audience out there. Really, I'm not just saying that: you're a great group. You wanna know another great group? The U.N. Or, as I like to call them, 'The United Colors of Benetton!'

"Funny thing about the U.N., and this is a true story! I was there a couple of days ago for a big meeting and one of the aides said to me, 'Do you know where Kofi is?' So, I looked her dead in the eyes and said, 'Listen, just 'cause my title says Secretary doesn't mean I'm gonna get you coffee!' Oh, boy! She turned green then red then blue: talk about united colors!

"I'm outta time. Good night folks, you've been great! Don't forget to tip your server."

Posted at 10:47 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
Vanity Fair Wants to Know What You Think!

Take the V.F. poll, at the all new VanityFair.com.

Related: Graydon Rides the Wave, by Jennifer Senior, New York, 12/11/00

Posted at 2:10 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  January 19, 2005
Tomorrow's Corrections Today, Vol. 7

(By way of the BBC News):

On Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, the website of the British Broadcasting Corporation's News division ran an infographic and featurette entitled At-a-glance: 'Outposts of tyranny' that focused on incoming U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's announcement during her Senate confirmation hearing earlier this week that there were six "outposts of tyranny" around the world. The following chart accompanied the feature:


Due to an editing error, the infographic (as featured, above) was incomplete and therefore inaccurate, and we have uploaded a revised, corrected image in its place (attached below). We apologise for any confusion that may have ensued, and thank you for reading BBC News.


Posted at 4:20 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  January 3, 2005
Meanwhile, In Bizarro World...

We Got Spirit, Yes We Do: "If you love Jesus, cheer real loud!" [via Reuters]

After his landslide defeat by John Kerry, former president George W. Bush returned to his first career as a male cheerleader.

Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and several others in the President's inner circle were arrested on war crimes charges.

Bagels no longer fattening...

Related: Are these the most covered-up cheerleaders you've ever seen?

Posted at 8:25 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 24, 2004
low culture Exclusive: Christmas at the Rumsfelds'

O, Christmas Tree: The jolly man with the beard said this man was "a bad guy."

Yes, Don and Joyce Rumsfeld had an absolutely stunning tree this year. And the duck was so juicy, it practically melted in your mouth. The party was a lot less crowded than last year—no Powells, no Tenets, no Ashcrofts, or Keriks—but it was wonderful.

Merry Christmas, everyone! And a happy, healthy New Year!

Posted at 3:04 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 12, 2004
low culture Exclusive: The Outrage Gets Outragously Obvious!!!

Loud and Clear: They sure look like buildings now.

Ever since low culture first posted about the shocking Cingular billboards that subliminally play upon the collapse of the Twin Towers, numerous websites have commented that we must be out of our minds.

It was a stretch, they argued, to equate the image of cellular phone 'signal bars' with buildings, specifically the Twin Towers. low culture was taking post-9/11 sensitivity to an absurd new height (or low, as it were). low culture isn't funny. Etc.

Yes, it was clearly a stretch. Why on earth would someone think that those signal bars looked like buildings?

Submitted for your approval is an un-retouched Cingular ad that runs in national magazines (above). It sure looks like the ad agency behind it is trying to make a connection between the rigid, parallel signal bars and rigid, parallel buildings.

So, how absurd was the post now? How sensitive? And, tell me, how unfunny? Very: These ads are very, very unfunny.

Earlier: low culture Exclusive: An Outrage Grows in Brooklyn!!!; low culture Exclusive: The Outrage Continues�'Continuously!!!

Posted at 10:39 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 9, 2004
Four (More Years) on the Floor


In the White House's Roosevelt Room earlier this morning, President Bush announced Jim Nicholson, current U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, as his nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. This is the ninth cabinet replacement since Bush's re-election, and as each new cabinet member has been introduced to the media, the announcement game plan's been identical in each instance, as the President peers studiously at his newly-nominated staff members (examined earlier in "Didn't America Vote Against the Gaze?").

Of course, it turns out this "game plan" has been part of a larger "master plan" carefully choreographed by Dan Bartlett and his staff...Here's an exclusive "floor plan" slipped to low culture by a White House operative.


RELATED: White House Roosevelt Room

Posted at 12:16 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 1, 2004
Recent Events in the World About Which You or I Care Not, Though They Nonetheless are of Great Import to Someone Somewhere

"Let's just clamp down on this shit, ok?"

Toll in China Mine Explosion Reaches 166

Plane veers off Indonesian runway; 31 die

Typhoon Bears Down on Flood-Hit Philippine Towns

UN Says May Have Spotted Rwandan Troops in Congo

Ukrainian Parliament Votes Out Prime Minister's Government

Holy fuck, that shit's so boring, right? And I don't even know what any of that means, really. Where the fuck in Africa or wherever is this so-called "Indonesia", and why are they flying planes there? While I try to wrap my head around this global primitivism, let me instead focus on this bit of American news (finally!) that came to my attention.

And, yeah, it did most certainly come to my attention because it's American news:

Rumsfeld sued for war crimes over Abu Ghraib

Oh, I totally, totally get this, given I read all the big papers each and every morning...It looks like a consortium of human rights lawyers are trying to bring attention to the various illegalities (mis)used in the Americans' detention of suspects in Iraq. Boy, this shit gets me so angry! I cannot tell you how RILED UP this sort of stuff makes me! And to think we elected this Bush guy for another four years? What is wrong with this country?????

Also: if any alert readers get any more information on what happened with that voting fiasco in Ohio earlier this month, please, please, drop us a line.

Posted at 11:28 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  November 29, 2004
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.
  November 23, 2004
"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.
  November 19, 2004
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.
  November 9, 2004
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.
  November 8, 2004
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.
  October 26, 2004
Toke the Vote


Doobie Brother: Dude, don't bogart the platform.

Posted at 9:38 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  October 22, 2004
  October 18, 2004
When Oscar Met Jesus


"Hollywood, with its Jewish roots, did not experience The Passion as a transcendent religious and emotional event, as so many other viewers did. Some haven't forgiven Gibson for even making the film, let alone forgotten his father, Hutton, and his inflammatory statements about the history of the Jews. 'I'll tell you why The Passion won't be nominated,' snaps one industry executive. 'Happily, there are too many people in the Academy who believe the Holocaust actually happened.'"

Will Oscar Listen?, Sean Smith, Newsweek, Oct. 25, 2004.

Posted at 8:27 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  October 15, 2004
She's Spunky! Well, Actually, She's Probably Not

From the idiots what brung you Rove & Rover

EARLIER, indelicately: John Kerry, Debate 2004: Gay, gay, gay, gay, gaygaygaygay

EARLIER, sanctimoniously: "Mention of Gay Daughter a Cheap Trick, Lynne Cheney Says", Washington Post

Posted at 11:21 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  October 14, 2004
Lies, Falsehoods, and Total Fabrications, vol. 1

lies.jpgWe hold these lies to be self-evident...

Several prominent psychologists speculate that if Bush wins the election, the national suicide rate will increase by as much as 35%.

George Bush wrote a poem in high school called "Little Me, in Poppy's Shadow."

Teresa Heinz was a back-up singer for Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour.

As a young man, Donald Rumsfeld used to run numbers with Malcolm X, then known as "Detroit Red."

John Kerry keeps all of his kids' baby teeth in a satchel in his pocket. He rubs them when he's nervous.

The Bush twins were conjoined at birth, sharing a liver. This is why they get drunk so easily.

John Edwards's battle with a childhood illness formed the basis of the 1976 after-school special, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble starring John Travolta.

It has been proven that electronic voting machines are essentially the same technology as the Simple Simon light game.

Condoleezza Rice had a small speaking part in the film version of Hair.

Laura Bush is allergic to most root vegetables.

Posted at 11:48 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  October 13, 2004
Holy Shit, We Need to Get Ourselves One of These Blog Things

The Internets are on fire today, man. As they say in Latin, ¡en fuego, hombre!

First comes this excellent article from a newspaper called The New York Sun that not only tells us about blogs, but finally—finally!—explains that "jumping the shark" phrase our 15 year-old cousin always uses. (It has something to do with Happy Days.) There's also an excellent little primer about a show called Oz, which we're definitely gonna watch this week.

The article, by a writer named Eric Wolff (remember that name!), is all about a website called Gawker, which we plan to check out after we have our morning coffee! It also answers the age old question: Who gives the best soundbites, Condé Nast editorial assistants, or 'cyber-hostesses'? (It's a draw! They both bring the noise and the bite!)

Then there's this Tom Scocca piece from The New York Observer about a guy who runs a site called The Minor Fall, The Major Lift (definitely gotta check his stuff out) who was once annonymous but is now going by his real name, Alex Balk! Plus, he's now writing for The New York Times! Like other bloggers! (Memo to self: Pick up the Times this weekend on the way to brunch!)

What's exciting about this (and warrants all these exclamation points!!!) is that we can now see that far from being an annonymous wag, this Balk fellow was actually hiding in plain site all along, submitting to a website called McSweeneys and playing along on the Slate News Quiz with Emmy-winning TV writers and producers! Next Major Lift, Hollywood!?!

Phew! This entry has fairly knocked us out (we topped off our exclamation point quota in the second paragraph!), and now we're off to go figure out how to get one of these blogs set up. Our 15 year-old cousin is great with computers, and we think the "domain" JackieHarvey.com is still available!

As they say in Latin, Excelsior!

Posted at 8:41 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  October 7, 2004
What next, an NEA grant for Mapplethorpe?

jelinek.jpgOnce, years before a hyperbole-prone Graydon Carter pronounced "the end of the age of irony", the more astute Tom Lehrer remarked that Henry Kissinger's 1973 Nobel Peace prize rendered political satire obsolete.

One wonders what Tom Lehrer thinks of today's announcement that the the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to the perverted Austrian novelist Elfriede Jelinek. While not an act of cosmic irony on par with Kissinger's Peace Prize, it is, if nothing else, the last nail in the coffin for kinky books. Even if you are inclined to enjoy nauseating, degenerate art-smut like this (and if you are, you should be ashamed), you have to acknowledge that the authors of these nasty things should not be rewarded for writing and promulgating them. Most of Sade's horrid output was written in prison, and rightly so. Georges Bataille published the shockingly perverse "Story of the Eye" under a pseudonym and spent his wretched life as a creepy librarian, unwilling to face the well-deserved umbrage that even his fellow Frenchmen would have unleased upon him had he taken responsibility for his "work."

Of course, we here at low culture regard this kind of cultural output as not merely beneath contempt, but in fact a danger to our American way of life and values, the sort of pernicious decadence that leads to the downfall of great civilizations. But even if we did care for this kind of thing, isn't it a fundamental element of these naughty books that they and their authors are "transgressive", that they are breaking the rules of society? And shouldn't society respond to transgression with censure and condemnation, not fancy medals and prizes? Indeed, in a year in which the world was appalled by images of grotesquely sadistic acts, is it not poor timing -- if not a bit perverse -- for the Swedish Academy to award its Literature prize to a pornographic writer who celebrates perversity?

Posted at 6:30 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  September 20, 2004
Next issue, "The Apprentice vs. The Benefactor: The Commodification of the Capitalists"


Posted at 1:06 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  September 14, 2004
Coming Soon: The Even More Greatester Communicator—To The Extreme!


Posted at 11:39 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  September 13, 2004
Coming soon, unless LAX is DOA


Posting today's gonna be lax. "LAX", in fact! In honor of tonight's premiere episode of NBC's hour-long drama starring the forever-relevant Heather Locklear and the forever-handsome Blair Underwood, we're throwing aside creativity and getting a bit—you guess it!—lax!

According to the press clippings for the show, it "explores the behind-the-scenes dramas and conflicts of both travelers and staff transpiring daily at the bustling Los Angeles International Airport." The show's characters are jockeying "to be named the new director of the airport while working together to solve everything from bomb scares, to VIP arrivals, drunken pilots and roaming pets—all beneath the din of a frantic "hub" with spokes that touch all corners of the world."

We have such high hopes for this show we're already holding our breath for the inevitable Law & Order/C.S.I.-esque spin-offs. To wit:

"SJC": Slated for a mid-season replacement slot. Covers the trials and tribulations of customs agents working at San Jose International Airport, in Northern California's little-known but most-populous city, as shady foreign businessmen try to steal trade secrets from Silicon Valley's bustling computer and technology industry. This series, incidentally, is set in 1996.

"EWR": Another mid-season filler. For those of you not well-versed in our nation's many lesser-known airports, EWR refers to New Jersey's Newark International Airport. This gripping boardroom drama concerns the NY/NJ Port Authority's efforts to bring the consumer-class convenience of budget carriers such as JetBlue to little ol' Newark. "You know how much traffic we're losing to goddamned LaGuardia? We've got fucking Song and that's it," series lead Eric Roberts repeatedly barks to his underlings in the well-received pilot, which is, somewhat notably, the first drama about airports to feature heavily-excised language.

"EYW": Air travel doesn't come easy when you're located amidst miles and miles of waterfront property with docks and piers extending as far as the eye can see...and the staff at Key West International Airport knows this firsthand. For years, a battle has been raging between local boat-rental companies and the cozy airport's ringmasters, but that battle just got a little more even with the arrival of drug baron Raoul Mendoza and his posse of depth-charge-dropping small-bodied Sandpiper aircraft.

"IND": If there's one thing flight mechanics don't like, its a nasty labor dispute. And when the fictitious USAirlineways, which is in no way related to the real-life USAirways, files for bankruptcy and threatens to reduce its nonstop service between the titular Indianapolis International Airport and Boston, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, N.C., and Philadelphia, these laborers get mad. But what they don't know is that USAirlineways' chief labor negotiator is from Baltimore, and has carried a nasty Eric Dickerson-related grudge since that fateful day in 1984 when the Colts left his city to head to Indiana. (This pilot currently only exists in script format and has yet to be filmed.)

Posted at 10:49 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  August 31, 2004
Conventionist: The Governator Speaks


From our perch in the upper balcony, Conventionist was able to get a strong feel for the enthusiasm with which California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's speech was greeted tonight - and this is in New York! Conventionist - while we don't generally get involved in political matters - is excited by the idea of the star of Kindergarten Cop taking the stage someday in the near future to run for national office.

And while his accent proved to be a handful to some of the delegates from the so-called "Red States", they still whooped and hollored as the star of Red Sonja spoke of his support for President Bush's getting re-elected.

(UPDATE: Gov. Schwarzenegger did not star in Red Sonja, that was Brigitte Nielsen. And readers have written in to tell us that there is an amendment preventing a foreign-born citizen from running for our nation's highest office. Conventionist still holds out hope that this can be worked out...are you listening, Mayor Bloomberg?)

Posted at 8:24 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
Conventionist: The Nominations are IN


The Republican Party delegates, as expected, have made it official: President Bush is the party's official nominee for the election. While Conventionist shies away from political matters, as an unofficial rule, we still hope that the race for the White House will be as exciting as it was for us to see the congregation of delegates from Pennsylvania gleefully cheer as their votes were cast, which officially gave the President the count he needed.

Conventionist hasn't been this excited since our on-set visit to Aaron Sorkin's "West Wing", where we had the opportunity to have our photos taken with Allison Janney. (More photos available at BlueJake.)

Posted at 8:22 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
Conventionist: Laura Bush and the Floor Report


As expected, Conventionist toured the floor in full force tonight, and, lo and behold, not a single panda was in sight. You can imagine Conventionist's disappointment at this unexpected development...but Laura Bush's keynote address more than made up for this lack of Grand Ol' Pandas.

Conventionist would like to think that, politics aside, all New Yorkers, and, for that matter, all Americans, would be able to rally behind what sounded like a real tour de force to these ears. And while some readers may have problems with Mrs. Bush's husband, it's important to bear in mind that she showed her true colors tonight, and they are red, white, and blue.

Also, Conventionist recommends that all delegates see Radio 4 perform tonight at the Knitting Factory. Doors open at 9:00pm.

Posted at 7:57 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  August 27, 2004

Now, isn't that special?

Not since Bono glided through concert arenas in a giant lemon for U2's POPmart tour has stagecraft been so far in the forefront as it is for next week's Republican National Convention.

Today's Times reveals some of the excellent bells and whistles we'll be witnessing when President Bush delivers his speech before literally many, many delegates in New York. (For the President, Special Setup Is Planned at Convention, by Michael Slackman.)

A very special president deserves an extra-special stage. (It goes without saying that if Mr. Bush had participated in this year's Olympics in Athens, it would've been a Special Olympics, indeed.) As the article points out, to create a sense of "special intimacy" (there's that word again!), a centrally-located in-the-round stage will be erected.

What other special theatrics are in store for the convention?

President Bush will descend on a harness from the rafters wearing 25-foot angel wings.

Vice President Dick Cheney will enter dressed as a gladiator and slay an animatronic tiger affectionately nicknamed "Edwards."

The 1.5 million gallon water tank from Cirque du Soleil's O will be assembled in Madison Square Garden so that Condoleezza Rice may lead synchronized swimmers in a routine set to Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries."

Four cannons loaded with indoor fireworks that spell out "LOWER TAXES" will be fired at the ceiling

Those hilarious stunt-dunking guys in gorilla suits will go buck wild!

The living Beatles—all two of them—will reunite to sing "Fixing A Hole" with new lyrics about Iraq

A CGI-assisted video will show John Ashcroft at the signing of the Declaration of Independence

Donald Rumsfeld will smile for five seconds

Delegates arriving by swift boats and yachts and walking a pink carpet lined with photographers and writers from The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, and The National Review asking "Who are you wearing?" and "Do you think Britney is rushing into marriage?"

Live, via satellite, Jesus will bless the delegates

Twenty uniformed members of the armed services will form a pyramid, and a trained elephant will lift a veteran of the Iraq war out of his wheelchair and place him on the top so he can wave an American flag with his remaining arm

A (taped) speech by Ronald Reagan about how much he loves America and apple sauce and swimming and how his male nurse is stealing from him and someone is coming into his room and using his phone and can he have some more apple sauce please, mommy?

Paris Hilton and Haylie Duff will speak together, putting an end to any rumors that they're in a feud

Alan Keyes will deliver a speech ten times better than what's his name's and then sing Outkast's "Hey Ya" with new lyrics about compassionate conservatism.

Karl Rove will sit behind an enormous green curtain doing... things. Don't worry about what he's doing. Really—it's fine.

Donald Trump, closing the convention by pointing at John Kerry and saying "Ya fired!"

And, if that's not all, it's free bat day! Well, for the cops outside it is.

Posted at 11:39 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  August 26, 2004
Shul of Rock

shulofrock.jpgAccording to ScriptSales, Tina Fey and her agency, Endeavor, have just sold Curly Oxide and Vic Thrill for mid-six against seven. (Which anyone who's seen Adaptation. knows is 'industry speak' for "I know industry speak.") The story of "[a] Hasidic Jew and a grizzled rock musician [who] form a band," was inspired by a report on NPR and will inevitably star Adrien Brody (in a furry hat) and Colin Firth (in a name tag, since no one knows who the fuck he is). And the best part? While delivering some scripts upstairs, we heard that Brett Ratner might direct it!

As that last sentence hinted, we just started our new day jobs in the mailroom of the mailroom at Endeavor. (We couldn't get into the mailroom proper without M.B.A.'s.) It's a little thing called workin' your way up the old fashioned way, by being abused, and humiliated - and urinated upon - for years. It's awesome, and a great use of our combined $245,000 educations. (How's that for a mid-six against seven, huh, boss?). And, we actually managed to scoop a copy of Curly Oxide and Vic Thrill's first-act outline from the main fax machine before Hector, one of the senior mailroom guys, busted us. We're gonna do our best to score the other two acts when Hector goes on his 3 PM Jamba Juice run, and, yes, that's Pacific Standard Time, for all of you who think anything of note happens in New York.

In the meantime, check out this exclusive Tina Fey comedic buzz...

Continue reading...
Posted at 4:39 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  August 18, 2004
David LaChapelle can go saturate himself

From left to right we've got whoever the fuck these people are, Daria Werbowy, Natalia Vodianova, Gisele Bundchen, Isabeli Fontana, Karolina Kurkova, Liya Kebede, Hana Soukupova, Gemma Ward, and Karen Elson. (AP Photo/Courtesy Vogue, Steven Meisel)

September approacheth! The all-important ninth month of the year, the introduction to the fall fashion season, when Vogue annually releases their most important issue ever, with all its concomitant power to make or break fashionistas everywhere. And now, here it is: the cover image for their much-anticipated September 2004 issue, and, hold on a minute and put away your excitement stick, because there are fucking models on the cover. Quelle surprise! I, personally, was at least hoping for a shake-up of sorts, maybe some Vanity Fair-esque "celebrities", but, alas, photographer Steven Meisel is notoriously stronger behind the camera when dealing with your everyday stellar-looking pretty faces than those who are famous for being famous.

Thankfully, we can bear verbal witness to Master Meisel in action due to the release of these exclusive, in-no-way-fictionalized on-set transcripts from the magazine's cover shoot. All 25 inches thereof.

"Daria, darling, move left more...more...more. Don't you worry about being obscured by the barcode. I hardly know who you are anyway, but you're lucky to be on the cover in any form, and we absolutely need to fit more of Gisele in the shot here. Yes, of course. Ms. Bundchen is our star! Yes, my angel. This is the September issue...a triple-gatefold, honies, and there are nine of you, and as I'm sure you're well aware, you calculus-laden vixens, you, we need an evenly divisible increment of nine, or three ladies per panel. Believe me, if I could chop one of you in half and do a two-paneled 4.5er, I would. But it's Lancome's mathematics, ladies! And, if anything, I'm quite nearly positive that Lancome is the guy who discovered the constant ratio of a circle's radius to its circumference. How many times does pi go into a triple gatefold September cover, I wonder?

And stylists! Stylists! Snap to attention. I need more pink! Rich, vibrant pink! Reds, reds, pinks, whites. Layer gorgeously, ladies, layer it. Shades of pink abound. Bathe in its glorious glow. Wrap yourselves, honies, wrap yourselves. Let these gowns absorb you, cherish you, encapsulate you...And stay on the tape line. Focus, ladies, focus. Gisele, put your mobile away. You can call that little man of yours when you are not on my clock. On, I say, as opposed to over, which is what he is.

Who is that colored woman? Liya? Get her out of the first panel. This is Vogue, not National Geographic. OK, I'm sorry, you're right. Sorry. Ha ha, I joke! But I am serious nonetheless. This is September, after all, when I am most prone to racist humor. But you ladies knew that already. Now, move her. No, Karolina, you're in the second panel. No, no, scoot over. Your agency and I agreed to this. I don't care what she told you. No, I DO NOT CARE about Sports Illustrated. I swear, honey, you need to look more passionate as you clutch Isabeli's arm. It's passion, that's all. Keywords: Desire. Sensuality. Fabric. Threadbare. Discomfit. Petulant. Oblique. Garage. I would hope that each of you can simply clutch a goddamned arm for a few minutes, and continue to look gloriously still and inanimate in the process. I'm a modern-day Vermeer.

Good gracious, where is Karen? Number nine? Anyone? Todd, go check her dressing room. Right now. Go, go, go. Gogogogogogo! Oh, she's still at Bing's pad, huh...Goddamn that rascal, I've had more of my shoots befouled by that man, directly or indirectly, than Gregory Crewdson's got issues with his F-stop! Ha, ha, ha! A little joke. September is also the month when I feel free to "dis" my photographic peers, because, yes, I am shooting Vogue magazine. All right, then, we'll put her in afterwards. How I abhor working digitally, but it's got to be done.

My, how you lot infuriate me. I'm Steven fucking Meisel, and I'm almost of the mind to subject you to a delicious Meisel-brand ass-raping, but alas, I've got another E! network taping to attend at 3 o'clock this afternoon. Bon-bon!"

Posted at 4:50 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
RNC Protests 2004: The official outlet for NYC children who dislike Bush, globalization, and sticky candy


From "Just Keep It Peaceful, Protesters; New York Is Offering Discounts", the New York Times, August 18, 2004:

Law-abiding protesters will be given buttons that bear a fetching rendition of the Statue of Liberty holding a sign that reads, "peaceful political activists." Protesters can present the buttons at places like the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Sex, the Pok�mon Center store and such restaurants as Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too and Applebee's to save some cash during their stay.

A "fetching rendition of the Statue of Liberty"? Try "patronizing" and "childlike" instead.

Posted at 12:47 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  August 12, 2004
Reading (deeply) between the lines

cheney_dayton_small.jpgIn CNN.com's reporting that "Cheney blasts Kerry over 'sensitive war' remark", the story opens with the following lead (emphasis ours):

Drawing derisive chuckles from the crowd, Vice President Dick Cheney Thursday blasted Sen. John Kerry for a remark the Democratic presidential candidate made last week about fighting a "more sensitive war on terror" if elected.

The White House's official transcript of the event, however, hardly makes mention of the 'derision' expressed in the audience's laughter, which is instead more succinctly conveyed as follows:

Senator Kerry has also said that if he were in charge he would fight a "more sensitive" war on terror. (Laughter.)

"Laughter"? What the fuck is that? Boring — and not derisive enough — is what it is. And if there's one thing that drives this devoted newsreader crazy, it's the posting of an incomplete and inaccurate transcript on the White House's website. With that in mind, we've taken it upon ourselves to provide you with the complete and unedited script of events as they ensued at the Dayton Convention Center during the Vice President's controversial speech.

[Heavily, heavily revised take on] VP's Remarks in Dayton, Ohio, Dayton Convention Center, August 12, 2004:

Senator Kerry has also said that if he were in charge he would fight a "more sensitive" war on terror. (The gathering of large white men starts snickering, a delicate trickle at first, until three men in the back of the room begin to guffaw, which in turn leads to the audience's eruption into a hooting, snorting catcall of scornful, disapproving laughter directed at that fucking pansy Senator Kerry. Can he be any more of a faggot?) America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was won by being sensitive. (A man in a navy-blue business suit yells out, "You're damn right!" and nearby members of the audience stand up to give him high-fives.) President Lincoln and General Grant did not wage sensitive warfare — nor did President Roosevelt, nor Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur. ("Those were real presidents...they kicked the terrorists asses!" barks out an overweight and undereducated woman. The entire audience laughs merrily, because they know that George Bush is a real man, and a real president, and wouldn't be caught having gay sex like that swishy Senator from Massachusetts.) A "sensitive war" will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans and who seek the chemical, nuclear and biological weapons to kill hundreds of thousands more. The men who beheaded Daniel Pearl and Paul Johnson will not be impressed by our sensitivity. ("I'm heading down to Bath & Body Works to torch that fucking place! Who's with me?" queries a furious, bespectacled man.) As our opponents see it, the problem isn't the thugs and murderers that we face, but our attitude. Well, the American people know better. ("You tell those Democrats, Mr. Vice President, sir! I may not know how to read, but the USA is number one in my book!" intones a middle-aged man waving a copy of the Wall Street Journal in the air.) They know that we are in a fight to preserve our freedom and our way of life, and that we are on the side of rights and justice in this battle. Those who threaten us and kill innocents around the world do not need to be treated more sensitively. ("Let's go beat our bitch wives!" cries out a cadre of supporters in the middle of the crowd, and the audience collectively hollers back approvingly. Someone else adds, "And our mistresses too!") They need to be destroyed. (Applause, followed by a bearded man yelling out, "I'm going to go attack some black homosexuals!")

Posted at 3:57 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  August 10, 2004
Civil Rights Now...It's Playtime!

The new and improved Woolworth's sit-in lunch counter

In today's New York Times, writer Shaila K. Dewan examines a newfound impetus among white southerners to begrudgingly reflect on their communities' roles in the civil rights movement which occurred many decades earlier. Is this due to a changing of the guard? An effort by younger generations to atone for the sins of their parents? Nah, come on, you're entertaining some pretty feeble guesses there...the correct incentive is, of course, greed.

It has not been easy for communities to embrace a past laced with shame and violence. "Tourism has been forced on these places," said Jim Carrier, a writer from Montgomery, Ala., whose "Traveler's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" was published by Harcourt in January. "It's not like they put out a sign one day and said, 'Come on down and see our civil rights history.' It's in response to people coming down here, lugging big history books, looking for these places."

The lure of tourism money has helped overcome the shame.

As a result, a handful of various groups in these areas have been putting forth initiatives for museums, monuments, and such that pay tribute to the era's struggles and, oftentimes, to specific landmarks that played a prominent role in the movement, such as the bus stop where Rosa Parks famously held her ground.

Museum gift shops bring in a good business, of course, so we're not knocking their ambitions in that regard, but think of the piles upon piles of cash that could be brought in by a goddamned Six Flags Civil Rights Memorial Park!

Included in this hypothetical RFP for a Six Flags-themed entertainment and water park spectacular:

Special "sit-in"-themed lunch counters, where you can dine on the finest in period-correct malts, shakes, and fries, so long as you drink from the properly-labeled "Colored Only" fountains

I Have a Dreamland, modeled after Disney's giant EPCOT globe, wherein visitors are taken on a guided tour of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's notable exploits, culminating in a thrilling assassination outside a mock hotel

Ride the 'Back of the Bus'-coaster, the wild up and down ride to freedom! And remember, they say with roller coasters, the biggest thrills are always in the back!

Experience the exploits of actual walking and talking Animatronic White Racists...for the first time ever, you, too, can feel what it's like to be called a n*gger, or to have this term impolitely muttered under robotic breaths as you enter or leave the room

Oh, and don't forget the water park:

Enjoy our climate controlled wave pool for the Brown vs. the Surf Board Experience!

And don't forget to leave before getting your very own Fire Hose Blast! What a thrill!

Posted at 11:06 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  August 9, 2004
Keyes Players

alan_keyes_senate.jpgSo, it's now official. After the embarrassing downfall of Jack Ryan a few months back, the Republican Party in the state of Illinois has finally found someone to step up the plate and face the seemingly-impossible task of running to defeat the Democratic Party's up-and-coming superstar Barack Obama (have you heard of this guy? He's handsome! And elegant! And, oh my god, black!) in the race for the state's open U.S. Senate seat. And who's his new opponent? Former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who technically hails from Maryland, but, you know, these things are all relative as far as state representation at the federal level is concerned.

On NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday, Illinois' very own conservative firebrand and current Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, clarified some of the lesser-known aspects of the just-concluded grueling selection process.

"I spent five weeks trying to find good people," said Mr. Hastert, who said he approached state legislators and the former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka and Gary Fencik, an Ivy Leaguer who was a hard-hitting safety.

"I got down into last week interviewing a 70-year-old guy who was a great farm broadcaster in Illinois," Mr. Hastert said. "He decided because of his health problems he couldn't do it. You know, we were down � we needed to find somebody to run, somebody who wanted to run. And, you know, Alan Keyes wants to run, and I hope he's a good candidate."

Mike Ditka, a "hard-hitting safety", and an elderly broadcaster...what a way to winnow, I mean, win!

While we're still waiting for Tim Russert to release the full, unedited transcript of yesterday's NBC taping, an on-set source was nonetheless able to provide us with some additional details regarding Rep. Hastert's list of potential candidate recruits, each of whom sadly passed on the opportunity:

Shannen Doherty, who withdrew after an embarrassing sex scandal of her own, involving her former husband being fellated by Paris Hilton on videotape. Paris Hilton has very nice breasts.

Abigail Fleck, child prodigy/inventor of the "Makin' Bacon" healthy bacon preparation device. Regrettably, she is still a teenager and therefore ineligible for the seat.

Richard Jewell, exonerated Olympic Pavillion security guard, passed on it, opting instead to do the voice of Chauncy, the talking cat, on the new season of The Family Guy.

Eric "Butterbean" Esch, the boxer and American patriot. Esch decided to return to his prior vocation as an adjunct professor of prose composition at Harvard.

Hiroyuki Nishigaki, creator of the stress-relief via anus-constricting regimen, was ruled to be ineligible because of his repeated references to "malarkey."

Farnsworth Bentley, P.Diddy's former manservant accepted the role but changed his mind when he was forced to sign his real name on the application: Ira Silverman.

Dave Eggers, noted autobiographer and meta-novelist, who withdrew from consideration after being told that his high school classmate Vince Vaughn could not be appointed by a hypothetical Sen. Eggers to a position in his office, due to Mr. Vaughn's noted tendency to smooth talk the pants off thirty-something-aged female lobbyists, which would of course compromise the ethical integrity of an Eggers administration, which would be An Act of Extreme and Utter Contempt for the Hallowed Halls of Congress, and These Are Things Which We Do Not Do, for They Are Not Honorable, and I Have Been Orphaned

Posted at 9:46 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  August 4, 2004
Karl Rove for the Day, Vol. 7

Bush and Carl Anderson: We do chicken right (wing).

With restrictions on campaign 'soft-money' contributions, Bush and Cheney turn to crispy money—extra crispy if you prefer.

Can a cabinet post for this guy be far behind? No? What about this guy?

Posted at 10:36 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  July 27, 2004
We're Just Like Us


As part of our continuing coverage of this year's exciting race for the White House, we asked noted "celebrity body language expert" Patti Wood to provide her unique brand of insight on the "hidden" feelings of politicians as indicated by their physical gestures and maneuvers, but she declined, claiming to be too busy working on an in-depth body language piece for Us Weekly on the recent split between Spiderman 2's Kirsten Dunst and yesterday's it-boy Jake Gyllenhaal.

Ms. Wood's less-successful sister, Cathy, agreed to step in and help us analyze and assess the inner workings of this year's political love lives and goings-on, explaining that she had learned a lot about this process from her older sister. (She did, however, express some dismay about not being able to studiously examine photos of "that total hottie, Jake. I want to touch him.")

Continued after the jump.

Continue reading...
Posted at 12:35 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  July 26, 2004
Skeet, Skeet, Vote


When you're MTV, and you're inexplicably working with the GOP to galvanize the youth vote, and you're all, "Let's get some kids voting and shit," and they're all, "Bitches, let's get a program going, and we'll get busy on our website, the front page and shit," and you say, "Fuck yeah, we've got this shit right here, check out this fine-ass agendum," then you give 'em an essay contest for young people on "how President Bush's call to service resonates in their lives":

Choose or Lose 2004: "Stand Up and Holla!"

Not having taken part in this inspirational program, we can only take a gander at additional elements and events from the MTV/RNC "Choose or Lose" Program Guide:

"GOP 2004: Get All Up in this Peace"

"Gippa, Please"

"Off the Hizzy, GOPizzy"

"Rock the Hizzouse of Representatives"

"Kerry's Bunk in the Crunk"

"Bust a Cap(ital Punishment)"

"Like Junk in the Trunk? Ni**as get Sunk"

"Niger, Please: I Wanna Sex You Up"

"Please, Hamid, Don't Hurt 'Em"

"Bush 41 got Sonned"

"The Roof, The Roof is on Fire! And the Fire Department's Underfunded!"

"Don't Believe tha Hype... Actually, Believe It. Please."

"Compassionizzle Conservatizzle"

"If I Ruled The World, Actually, I do, so go Fuck Yourself"

"We Skeet on Welfare Bitches, too"

"No Homo"

"Stand Up and Hola! (We welcome Latinos, though)"

And, finally,

"Vote or Die"

Posted at 3:52 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  July 15, 2004
He'll probably work on it in earnest for a few months and then drop it like a hot potato and run when it gets too hard


From The New York Post's Book Beat, July 15, 2004:

"Paul Bremer, who stepped down as Ambassador to Iraq two weeks ago, has begun meeting with New York publishers about writing a memoir of his life and his experiences in the Middle East.

"Marvin Josephson, the founding chairman of International Creative Management and the agent on such books as Colin Powell's 'My American Journey' and Tommy Franks' upcoming 'American Soldier,' confirmed that interest in the book is 'very, very high.'"

As are the people who think anyone will buy this bilge, b-i-l-g-e.

Posted at 11:21 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  July 6, 2004
Opening November 2004 in Union-Free Theaters Nationwide

kerry edwards gephardt ticket taker

Posted at 12:33 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  June 29, 2004
Am I Veep Or Not? Vol. 2


For weeks, the media has been breathlessly scouring internal reports leaked from the Democratic camp, trying to winnow down a hypothetical list of presumptive 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's picks for his vice-presidential candidate.

This just in! You heard it here first! Based on preliminary analysis of the above wire service photo, it looks like the 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee is...let's see...Senator Paul Sarbanes from Maryland!

Wait, who the fuck is that? Wow, this really comes a surprise. We'd been lead to believe that Kerry would go with someone who could bring him some very key electoral votes or inaccessible voting blocs in the so-called swing states, such as Bill Richardson in New Mexico, or Bob Graham in Florida, or even perennial runner-up Dick Gephardt from Iowa.

Well, to be sure, though Sen. Sarbanes may seem to be somewhat of a surprise pick, the Kerry camp must be confident that...hold on, wait, a correction. We've been so breathless from all this expectant websurfing and newsreading that we failed to notice that the photo was accompanied by a caption reading, "Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, left, is introduced by Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., at a fund-raiser in Baltimore on Monday, June 28, 2004."

Shit, are we embarrassed. Well, it's back to the Edwards Watch for us!

Posted at 11:07 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  June 25, 2004
Vote for the New World Order...Vote John Kerry '04!

Presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry, beckoning his Illuminati and Freemason cronies to rise forth from the dead, or however the fuck that conspiracy shit works.

Posted at 12:55 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  June 24, 2004
It's Must Repent TV!

In yesterday's New York Times, the paper's Hollywood scribe Sharon Waxman shows how the success of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has given the former action star a newfound ability to effectively greenlight and produce a number of his own projects. (In addition to turning water into wine on cue.) Waxman writes that "Mr. Gibson's Icon Productions will have no fewer than three prime-time television series on the networks' fall schedule: 'Clubhouse' on CBS, 'Savages' on ABC and 'Kevin Hill' on UPN."

When detailing the nature of these projects, however, Ms. Waxman, regrettably, left out specifics regarding the shows' content, save for a few bullet points here and there.

What follows, then, is our exclusive insider guide to Icon Productions' fall television lineup, praise be He:

Airing this fall on CBS

Marc Donato portrays a New York teenager who becomes a batboy for the Yankees. Sounds sort of tedious and Wonder Years-ish, right? Wrong...this tale's been Gibsonized! Herod, or "Harry", as he's better known in the clubhouse, first acquired fame in the New York tabloids as the product of an immaculate conception at North Central Bronx Hospital fifteen years earlier. The adolescent Harry, who now notoriously has quasi-biblical powers, comes to the attention of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who, in the series opener, is embroiled in a payroll accounting scandal, and in an effort to redeem himself in the eyes of God (and the New York media), hires young Harry to provide redemption for not just "this tired old Jew," but the entire team of sinners, as well.

And, thankfully, things shape up for the team pretty fast under Harry's guidance. When not providing the home plate umpire with new baseballs, or making sure Alex Rodriguez's batting gloves are well-oiled, Harry has the opportunity to counsel Jason Giambi on the perils of ingesting "Satan's Unnatural Poisons" in his effort to hit more home runs, and coaxing team captain Derek Jeter into giving up his womanizing ways after a nasty encounter with Satan's Temptress, played by the enchanting Rebecca Romijn. And when the Subway Series reprises itself during sweeps week, Mets catcher (and notorious homosexual) Mike Piazza learns that a good man is, indeed, hard to find, and subsequently falls in love with Harry's aunt, Seraphia, a former lesbian also cured by God's love.

Airing this fall on ABC

Keith Carradine plays a single, working-class dad raising five sons. Pretty straightforward, huh? Well, need we remind you that this, too, has been Gibsonized? Keith plays Papa Barabbas, a former missionary in Peru, who has adopted five Incan boys as his own and now must go about raising them in the suburbs of Chicago, all alone. Diehard missionaries and men of God, after all, can't take a wife, which wreaks havoc on his blue-collar neighborhood after Barabbas forcefully renounces the advances of special guest star Bonnie Hunt.

And on the homefront, despite Barabbas' background in converting South Americans to Christianity, things are both difficult and hilarious for him as he tries to get his boys to stop speaking to each other in their native Quechua dialect. His sons, however, grow more and more flustered as they struggle with urban colloquialisms such as "What's up?" and "True, dat."

gibson_diggs.jpgKEVIN HILL
Airing this fall on UPN

Former up-and-coming actor Taye Diggs settles into the role of a high-powered lawyer forced to become a father figure overnight when his cousin tragically perishes, leaving him with custody of a baby girl. Mel Gibson, a noted misogynist, initially balked at the idea of adapting the films Mostly Martha and Raising Helen into a television series, until the newfound mini-mogul realized he could retain the central character's ineptitude and inherent feminine dishonesty by transposing her character traits onto a whole new sort of "other," a black male protagonist. (On-set reports indicated that the Lethal Weapon star actually had trouble distinguishing Taye from his former co-star Danny Glover, until a representative for Mr. Diggs courteously stepped in and insisted that Gibson please stop calling his lead "Danny".)

Regardless, hilarity ensues when papa Taye, in the course of changing diapers, erroneously runs out of Pampers and has to "make do" with a copy of the Ten Commandments. God bless that baby's bottom!

Posted at 3:45 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  June 22, 2004
Karl Rove for the Day, Vol. 5


Posted at 12:09 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  June 17, 2004
I thought I could, I thought I could


From the imagined ramblings of an alternate-universe George W. Bush, best-selling author of inspirational children's books, in response to the actual, real-world ramblings of the actual, real-world President Bush mere hours ago:

Right past that mountain, right over there, are the Iraqi people.

They await liberation. They await the gift of democracy, which we have in great supply aboard our train. They await our presence as liberators.

Over that mountain, there, are weapons of mass destruction, and a terrorist named Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. He's being harbored by Saddam Hussein, right over that mountain there.

Please, United Nations, and please, Democratic leadership, help me bring the gift of democracy to the people of Iraq, right over that mountain there.

There is a link to al Qaeda. There is a link to al Qaeda.

It's right over that mountain, there.

Posted at 12:15 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  June 15, 2004
"My Life" by Bill Clinton: Exclusive Extract!!!

mylife_clintoncover.jpgFinally, the real story! What follows is an exclusive, embargo-shattering leaked excerpt from our 42nd president's memoirs, including, hopefully, the inside dirt on everything you ever wanted to know about the Clinton presidency but were afraid to ask Ken Starr!!!!

From Chapter XXVII: "1995: A Hope for European Renewal":

In the wake of Finland's accession to the European Union in 1995, I recall spending an entire afternoon with President Martti Ahtisaari, sitting there for hours on end in the White House's State Room. There were the usual interruptions, of course, as Betty would scurry in and out of the chamber with information on the progress of our normalization efforts with Vietnam, but for the most part, we were left undisturbed.

President Ahtisaari spoke with me at great length about the way in which his Social Democratic Party hoped to push forth progressive goals for not just the nation of Finland, with its population of roughly 5 million people, but the entire Baltic region. The son of a Norwegian, Martti had been raised with a great appreciation for cold weather, and despite my upbringing in the hot, rural south, we bonded that afternoon over some of his nation's exquisite gl�gi, which is an exceptional mulled red wine.

It was served hot, and had been mixed with the most savory, delicious spices I had had the opportunity to sample. Martti explained that it was the Scandinavian version of vin chaud, which lead me to recall my experiences in the mid-1970s visiting southern France with Hillary. But the primary distinction between the gl�gi we sampled that afternoon, and the vin chaud I had consumed in my travels with Hillary during her leave from Yale so many years prior, was the noteworthy addition of cinnamon and other herbs to the well-heated fluid. Bear in mind, this was wine that was heated, but never boiled; the Finns have truly mastered the manner in which one approaches a wine's boiling point without transgressing that fine line.

The gl�gi, I fondly recall, was served with White House Chef Walter Scheib's delicious assortment of raisins and almonds, a delightful sample of American fruits and nuts which had been culled from states as diverse as California and my very own Arkansas. I explained in great detail to Martti the pan-global nature of our magnificent snacking experience, and he nodded, and said that this very meal could serve as a symbol of American-Finnish relations for years to come.

Posted at 10:02 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  June 14, 2004
The End Times


(Click here to see Time's actual cover for this week's issue.)

Posted at 2:42 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  June 9, 2004
Politicking in the age of America's "most popular modern President"


For those of you who don't regularly visit George W. Bush's campaign website and official weblog and Meet-Up site, you may not have known that for the past several days, the site's front page has been overtaken by the gargantuan, one-thousand-pixels wide layout sampled above. (Constructive note to the G.O.P. web team: It's doubtful that the majority of Republican Middle American visitors to your website have screen resolutions greater than 800x600. Just a tip for any future pandering ideas you may have.)

In case you'd forgotten, President Bush has claimed over and over again to have modeled his presidency on Reagan's, and many articles made available this week have reified this point nicely, if not a bit sardonically. You know, tax cuts, deficit spending, reduction of benefits and social services, increased arms spending, etc. Oh, and patriotism. That last thing comes in handy when you consider the 24/7 orgy of Reagan-worship television viewers have been subjected to since news of his death on Saturday. Notably, many commentators have gone so far as to iterate the idea that Ronald Reagan was the most beloved and popular president of modern times.

In that vein, then, here's some additional information on The Deity That Was Reagan:

"As measured by Gallup polls, Reagan on average had a 53 ... Reagan's highest job approval rating was 65 percent...His average approval rating was 48 percent in 1987 and 53 percent in 1988, though, like most presidents, he got a final lift in his last month of office, getting a 63 percent approval rating in December 1988."

Here, as well, is some additional information on The Shame That Was Clinton:

"The president leaves office with 61% of the public approving of the way he is handling the job, combined with a surprisingly lofty 64% favorability rating (up from 48% in May 2000)..."

On that note, John Kerry's official campaign website is expected to soon post the following splashpage:


Posted at 12:43 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  June 8, 2004
Double feature with Fahrenheit 9/11


(Original photo of Iraqi children part of this Reuters article.)

Posted at 1:35 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  May 26, 2004
From the Editors: low culture and The Strokes

Over the past several months this website has shone the bright light of hindsight on decisions that led Julian into Juliet. We have examined the failings of gossip and music industry intelligence, especially on the issue of the Strokes' aural charms and possible connections to international women. We have studied the allegations of official gullibility and hype. It is past time we turned the same light on ourselves.

In doing so -- reviewing hundreds of posts, or rather, one, written during the prelude to Julian's engagement and into the early stages of the co-occupation of an apartment -- we found an enormous amount of journalism that we are proud of. In most cases, what we reported was an accurate reflection of the state of our knowledge at the time, much of it painstakingly extracted from gossip sources that were themselves dependent on sketchy information. And where those posts (or, well, that one post) included incomplete information or pointed in a wrong direction, they were later overtaken by more and stronger information. That is how news coverage normally unfolds.

But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged -- or failed to emerge.

Some critics of our coverage during that time have focused blame on individual reporters. Our examination, however, indicates that the problem was more complicated. Editors at several levels who should have been challenging reporters and pressing for more skepticism were perhaps too intent on rushing scoops onto the website. Accounts of other suitors were not always weighed against our strong desire to have Julian taken off the singles' market. Articles based on dire claims about the Strokes tended to get prominent display, while follow-up articles that called the original ones into question were sometimes buried. In some cases, there was no follow-up at all.

We consider the story of Julian's engagement, and of the pattern of misinformation, to be unfinished business. And we fully intend to continue aggressive reporting aimed at setting the record straight.

On an unrelated note, Judith Miller has been fired from her position as low culture's Satire-but-Not-Credited-as-Such reporter.

Posted at 11:07 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  May 19, 2004
Pal Joey

joey1.jpgJoey, NBC's answer to the scheduling hole left by "Friends," was screened at the network upfronts on Monday, and low culture was there. We've provided a brief synopsis below, and we're certain you'll agree - "Joey" is a hit.

Cold Open
We find Joey moving into his new apartment complex - think "Melrose Place." While Joey should be directing the movers, he's too busy ogling his hot neighbors. By the time Joey gets into his new place, he discovers that the movers have placed everything upside down - even the TV!

Act One
Joey auditions for various agents but doesn't find any success. When his brainy cousin Michael (Paulo Costanzo) suggests Joey Tribbiani might sound "too Italian," Joey considers changing his name to Joey French.

Joey insists that his sister Gina (Drea de Matteo) not show off her large breasts. When Gina asks why it's OK for her friend (Ashley Scott) to wear the same top, Joey explains that when her friend wears the top "It's sexy," but when Gina wears the top, "it's just, ewwww."

Joey finally lands a big audition with the "big-time director Frank Draco," for a big action movie. But when Gina's son loses the script, all hell breaks loose.

Act Two
It's an hour before the big audition and Joey still can't find his script. And when he goes to enjoy the meatball sub that Gina made, he discovers his cousin Michael has eaten it. "I can't audition on an empty stomach," Joey laments, "that would be like doing� anything on an empty stomach."

Joey, still without his script, tries to ad-lib for "big-time director Frank Draco" - but the audition descends into a monologue about meatball subs. Needless to say, it doesn't go very well. As Joey leaves the audition, "big-time director Frank Draco" asks his assistant to get him a meatball sub.

Joey returns to his sister's apartment in poor spirits, and not even Gina's bosomly friends can cheer him up. When his nephew (who lost the script) returns home from school, Joey begins to violently beat him. Gina, infuriated, throws Joey out.

Act Three
Joey sits in his apartment, dismayed. Turning on the TV to cheer himself up, Joey discovers that it's still upside down. He watches the TV anyway, craning his head around to figure out what's on.

When Gina won't return Joey's calls, he decides to go out on the town to cheer himself up. At a flash Hollywood bar, Joey meets a woman he recognizes from "adult films." Joey is reduced to Jerry Lewis-like inanities, but she takes a liking to him anyway.

Joey returns to the adult actress' Canoga Park track housing, where she turns him onto crystal meth. "Whoa," he opines, "for the first time in my life, I don't want to eat!"

Joey quickly descends into a haze of meth addiction - his sister and cousin want nothing to do with him. It isn't long before Joey begins sucking dick for cash. "Just pretend it's a meatball sub," he tells himself, before descending on the crotch of a particularly unsavory man.

Credit Roll
Joey is hustling on Melrose with the transvestites and rent-boys when a limo pulls to the curb. The rear window rolls down to reveal - "big-time director Frank Draco!" Spotting Joey, Draco yells, "Hey meatball sub, you into the rough trade?" Joey has no idea what Draco's talking about - "Is that like trading baseball cards?" Draco laughs and waves him into the limo.

Posted at 9:09 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  May 17, 2004
Man, what a year


(Click here to see Time's actual cover for this week's issue.)

Posted at 1:17 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  April 30, 2004
It's Legally Blonde Meets the Bell Jar!

wurtzel.jpgThat Courtney Love of the lit world, Elizabeth Wurtzel tells Fox 411s Roger Friedman that she plans to attend Yale Law School come September. In a low culture exclusive, we have obtained Wurtzel's successful application essay. Enjoy.

Question #10: Please add to this application whatever additional material you believe will enable admissions readers to make a fully informed judgment on your application. The admissions file readers especially welcome statements that enable them to understand the contribution your personal background would make to the student body at Yale Law School.

Extremely Personal Essay
by Elizabeth Wurtzel

The joke's on me, but it's gonna be okay
If I can just get through this lonesome day
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
"Lonesome Day" Bruce Springsteen

It's been hard, I won't deny it. And no, it's not alright.

I must have been eleven, maybe twelve, possibly thirteen, when it struck me: I had never been molested, never raped, barely even made the object of a lascivious gaze. Indeed, I had been victimized by my own lack of victimization. Where was my victimhood? It was then that it struck me, at age eleven, maybe twelve, I would have to victimize myself.

It hasn't been easy, I won't deny it. I have suffered Job-like indignities in my relentless self-persecution.

I have survived dark nights of the soul when I forced myself to do drugs so that I might wake up the next morning suffering from the depression that excessive cocaine use often induces. Do you know what is like when you have to do an eight-ball of prime Colombian just to feel shitty? Really great at first, but then, not very good at all.

There were my desperate prayers for cancer. You cannot understand the compulsive, hopeful search for a lump until you've been there, standing in the shower, madly palpating each of your breasts as you murmur the word "melanoma." I have been there.

It got to the point where I began spinning in circles for hours a day, if only to mimic the dizzy spells of a tertiary syphilitic.

I have been portrayed by Christina Ricci in a feature film that will never see the light of day. I mean, Christina Ricci? What about Scarlett Johansson or Kirsten Dunst or even Charlize Theron? No, Liz, we're going to have you played by a fat, whiny actress who can't even open a film. You can imagine what that's done to my self-esteem.

But through the suicide attempts, accusations of plagiarism, and flagging book sales, I have relied on one certainty -- my love of the law. Through all my whining, mewling, and caterwauls of privileged desperation, there has been only one constant -- my desire to attend Yale University Law School.

Ultimately, I am a woman, a bitch, a lover, a sinner and a saint. Thank you India, thank you terror, thank you, thank you silence. Pity me, poke me, admit me to Yale, just don't bother with goodbyes come morning. I can get through this lonesome day after all.

(N.B. I don't recommend assigning me any roommates.)

[Matt, big ups for the heads up]

Posted at 9:36 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  April 20, 2004
Karl Rove for the Day, Vol. 4


From the Associated Press, "Bush Touts Patriot Act, Raises GOP Funds", April 20, 2004:

President Bush speaks in support of the Patriot Act at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday, April 20, 2004. Listening to President Bush, from left to right, John Moslow, Chief of Police, Amherst, N.Y., Michael Battle, U.S. Attorney, Western, N.Y., Larry Thompson, former Deputy Attorney General, James McMahon, Director of Public Security, N.Y., Peter Ahearn, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Buffalo, N.Y.
Posted at 3:09 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  April 19, 2004
Tomorrow's Corrections Today, vol. 3

Slated to appear on the New York Times' Corrections page, April 20, 2004:

Because of an editing error, an article by Julie Flaherty in yesterday's Business section, "Many Started Web Logs for Fun, But Bloggers Need Money, Too," accidentally misstated the number of internet users who read Web logs, or blogs. The article claimed that blogs "are frequented by only about 10 percent of people who use the Internet." The corrected sentence should have said, "are frequented by only about 10 people who use the internet." The Times regrets the error.
Posted at 10:28 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  April 15, 2004
How to replace your lesbian daughter

"Yay! Souvenirs!"

...bring back a newly-adopted daughter from your trip to China!

Or per VH1's "Best Week Ever": Upgrade? Downgrade?

Posted at 11:09 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  April 14, 2004
Banking on the West Bank

quiznos_logo.jpgFrom Ad Age, April 12, 2004:

Commercial messages have seeped into the plots of movies, the very fabric of TV shows and video games, and even into the plots of novels. But that may have been just the beachhead. Now a growing number of marketers want to persuade the nation's print magazines to open the text of their editorial pages to product placements.

From The New York Review of Books, April 29, 2004:

The Disintegration of Palestine
By Edward R.F. Sheehan

Nablus is a pleasing city, the most populous in the West Bank. A visitor is struck by the limestone dwellings on verdant mountainsides that surround the ancient town. These limestone bricks, as smooth as Norah Jones' new album �Feels Like Home,' glimmer under the inescapable sun of the West Bank. The city is now inhabited by nearly 200,000 Palestinians, suffering badly from the Israeli occupation and the growing disintegration of their society.

Since mid-December 2003, the Israeli army has intensified its incursions, seeking suspected terrorists, militants of Hamas, and munitions makers. In a campaign as curiously powerful as an Altoids mint, the Israelis have destroyed or badly damaged two mosques, three churches, and hundreds of other buildings and homes.

Walking through the old city I saw shops, insecticide factories, and pharmaceutical factories, all turned into heaps of rubble. An entire city block that housed a soap factory has been leveled. It is a landscape that only a Range Rover could handle - its Dynamic Stability Control and Electronic Air Suspension offering the driver a smooth and stable ride over the leveled homes that once sheltered militants and innocent families alike.

This is drama as powerful as the WB's breakout hit One Tree Hill - but Nablus' drama doesn't feature that show's hunky Chad Michael Murray. On a street in the Balata refugee camp, where I met many undernourished children, a boy of six was eating a sandwich - perhaps one of Quizno's deliciously toasted subs - on his doorstep when a soldier shot him dead for no reason. The Israeli army promised to investigate the killing, but so far has issued no findings.

Like Visa Cards, the Israeli Army is everywhere you want to be. I left Nablus on the road to Qalandiya, about twenty miles to the south. At a junction, soldiers at a mobile checkpoint suddenly appeared, and my shuttle taxi was ordered to stop. An Israeli soldier with a pistol advanced on us, ordering us out of the car, followed by another soldier with an assault rifle pointed at our heads. Clearly, the Israeli army attempts to offer the kind of protection that only Soft & Dri's Cool Gel could provide. When our group set out again for Qalandiya, the Palestinians with me were silent. Were they resigned to such humiliation, or was their anger so deep that they could no longer express it? The only certainty on which I could rely was the knowledge that Clinique's Repairware Day SPF 30 Intensive Cream would protect my complexion from the cruel sun of Israel.

Abed Rabbo is not optimistic. "I don't know whether the initiative will succeed," he told me in Ramallah. �We'll keep trying. I want the United States to be involved under the �road map' and consider the Geneva Accord to be the embodiment of the third phase of the road map�a final Palestinian state. [As I shaved this morning, using the glorious Mach 3 razors offered by the great and glorious Gillette, I realized that] I'm against any provisional borders. We want to go straight to the final phase. [Do you have any of those Cool Ranch Doritos left? Truly they are delicious.] We think that interim solutions cannot succeed. [You have the Guacamole Doritos? I didn't even know they made those. Oh, it is as if Allah himself resides in my mouth!] The chief virtue of our plan is its clarity�it's comprehensive and without ambiguity.'

Al-Omari and his associates argue that the accord signifies a new and realistic approach for the Palestinians to follow. Chappelle's Show - still Dave, still Dangerous - Wednesdays 10:30 pm, only on Comedy Central. Many Palestinians had clung to the old fantasy of liberating all of Palestine, eliminating Israel, and allowing a huge return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland. Unleash your style with Garnier Fructis Super Stiff Gel! The new plan looks not backward but forward, relinquishing absolute justice (a large-scale return) in favor of self-determination and independence in a state that would constitute 22 percent of historic Palestine. Al-Omari said, "There is no going back to Haifa."

Is it inconceivable to make real the language of the Geneva Accord�that Israelis and Palestinians will "establish relations based on cooperation and the commitment to live side by side as good neighbors, ENLARGE YOUR PENIS NOW!!! aiming both separately and jointly to contribute to the well being of their peoples"? Nearly everything one sees in the Occupied Territories casts doubt on this Carb Blocker is THE ONLY All-in-One Carb/Fat Blocker vision. Only the fact of the accord itself having been negotiated and signed offers a glimpse of hope.

Posted at 9:45 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  April 12, 2004
Tomorrow's Corrections Today, vol. 2

Slated to appear on the New York Times' Corrections page, April 13, 2004:

Because of an editing error, a portion of former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean's op-ed (For Ralph Nader, but Not for President, April 12, 2004) was printed incorrectly. The article stated: "Everyone expects this year's presidential election to be decided by razor-thin margins in a few battleground states. Everyone also expects the candidacy of Ralph Nader to make the race between John Kerry and George Bush even closer. As I know from experience, however, voters have a way of proving everyone wrong."

The last sentence, in its completed form, should have read in full, "As I know from experience, chickenshit voters have a way of trouncing on your dreams, spitting on your convictions, stabbing you in the back, pussying up with your peers who have stolen your message, and kicking you in the balls because they're cowards, and dullards, and good for nothing. They can all go to fucking hell for all I care." The Times regrets the error.

Posted at 4:12 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  April 11, 2004
Creatively Ideological Ellipsing

classifieddocument02.jpgFrom the recently-declassified PDB (president's daily briefing) of August 6, 2001, which was received (and, presumably, read) by President Bush while vacationing on his ranch in Crawford, Texas:

Ellipses (or "dot dot dots" for all you non-grammar geeks) indicate either a) material omitted due to extant classified status, or b) material omitted to make this memo look way more deceptively damning than it already is in its original form (which, admittedly, is pretty portentous in and of itself, but still...).

"[G]overnment...reports indicate bin Laden...was planning...a terrorist strike in the U.S. ...and...maintains a support structure...in California...and...New York...for attacks.

...We have...been able to corroborate...reporting...that bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft...for...attacks...of...buildings in New York....[A] group of bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks...


Posted at 11:20 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  April 8, 2004
Tomorrow's Corrections Today, vol. 1

Slated to appear on the New York Times' Corrections page, April 9, 2004:

Because of an editing error, we misidentified the author of an op-ed which appeared in Thursday's paper about Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and the growth of alternative rock music. The article was written by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, not Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore. The Times regrets the error.
Posted at 10:13 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  April 2, 2004
The Prince & Me & not Us

fridaymovie_theprinceandme.jpgAfter due diligence on the part of our friend Sharon in the P.R. department at Paramount Pictures, we at low culture were once again given access to the media goodie bag and allowed to see a pre-release screening of Julia Stiles' latest film, "The Prince & Me."

It's a good thing, too, because we were part of the flock of fans who showed that we "could do it, put your back into it" when we watched this beautiful young Columbia University undergrad take on the mantle of interracial love -- and interracial dancing -- when she charmingly swept America off its feet in 2001's "Save the Last Dance." Well, she's back, and this time, she's traded in Ice Cube's lyricism and the concomitant "street cred" for Freddie Prinze, Jr.'s cool, calm, and collected flirtation with royalty.

First-time helmer Martha Coolidge's compelling narrative loosely concerns the trials and tribulations of an average American girl's behavior when she's forced to choose between her deeply-embedded principles and that most elusive of sentiments, true love. Of course, this is all "fancy-talk" for saying that she has to choose between a crush on her favorite boy, and the fact that he lied to her by not letting her in on the fact that he was an heir to the throne of Denmark (and yes, there are more than enough self-referential Hamlet jokes sprinkled throughout the film for all you fans of both classic Shakespeare and youth-oriented films).

Stiles takes on the role of college student Paige Morgan with much aplomb, and her experience as an actress shines through on her initial scenes with the young Prinze (who far outshines Eddie Murphy's rendition in the original film) when they meet at a Greenpeace rally on the steps of the school's library. It turns out that the Prinze has more than just a passing interest in environmental regulation, though, because he sweeps Paige off her feet with his passionate rhetoric regarding the damage caused by oil spills in the Baltic Sea. Paige, of course, passes off this worldliness as a part of his exchange-student persona, but quickly falls in love with his debonair presence and the humanizingly endearing way he quirkily drops the T's and W's from his words when speaking aloud, as all Danes are wont to do.

But, as with all instances of true love, there's a catch: the Prinze, through a series of escalating misunderstandings exacerbated by his two roommates' miscommunication, had neglected to inform Paige that he was, in fact, royalty, before taking her virginity. This understandably upsets Paige a great deal, and she calls him a Danish imperialist, which only complicates things further, because the Prinze's father is in court at the ICC at that very moment for war crimes committed against the neighboring Swedes. The Prinze is crestfallen, as he has spent his entire life modeling himself on becoming all that his father (deftly played by James Caan in a stirring cameo) stood against, including a value system that apparently rules out sleeping with girls with misshapen faces that haven't aged well as they've exited their teenaged years.

The film's winsome examination of collegiate love-with-princes strikes a heartwarming note when the audience realizes that things will, of course, work out...such is the nature of fairy tales, and such is the nature of true love.

Posted at 1:15 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  March 31, 2004
Karl Rove for the Day, Vol. 3


(Click the image above to see the original undoctored photo, and/or click here. Or you can read more about these heinous backdrops by Dan Bartlett and Scott Sforsza here.)

Posted at 11:14 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  March 26, 2004
Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Sight Unseen

ABOVE: a mirror image of the expressions you and your well-tailored friends will sport as you sit on your couch watching this film on HBO this fall

This may come as a surprise to some of low culture's readers who expect us to hide behind our patented cool and ironic stance, but we were huge fans of Scooby-Doo. Well, guess what, Jack: We were lucky enough to be invited to an early screening of the film, and ta da: we're even bigger fans of Scooby-Doo 2, which has to be director Kinka Usher's finest film since, well, Mystery Men.

Fans of the cartoon series' bizarre juxtaposition of guest stars will love the pre-credits teaser. In a hilarious yet timely scenario, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma are testifying at a congressional hearing about the mass brain-washings on Monster Island (from the series' first film). Scooby's there, too, but he's forced to dress up like a bedraggled Vietnam vet (shades of Born on the Fourth of July?) in an army jacket and wheelchair. (It's funnier than it sounds--especially when Scooby barks "Yooooooou can't hannnnnnndle the truuuuuuuuuf!") After several probing, incisive questions from the unseen congressmen (that make Fred and Shaggy sweat and brings out Velma's brainy side and Daphne's flirty side), we see exactly who is asking these questions: The Harlem Globetrotters, the living members of the "Addam's Family," Joyce DeWitt from "Three's Company," boxer "Sugar" Shane Mosley, and the ubiquitous Steve Buscemi (in his black Reservoir Dogs suit).

Of course, with a film this fun, the soundtrack couldn't be more of a gas! Featuring the pop stylings of Hilary Duff, Willa Ford, and Warner Music's promising young siren Bonnie McKee (not to be confused with Sony's lesser songstress Nellie McKay), the movie's raucous tunes had the youngsters who accompanied us to the screening dancing in the aisles.

Other highlights include Sarah Michelle Gellar's star-making turn as Daphne (I'm telling you, if Harvard-educated director James Toback hasn't heard of this ingenue yet, he will have by now!). Imbuing a character of such heretofore-renowned vapidity with an emotional resonance not seen since Emily Watson's perfomance in Breaking the Waves, we're left to wonder how other, less-experienced actresses considered for this same role (read: Elisha Cuthbert) might have fouled up a particularly tense scene in the film's climactic lighthouse sequence, which combines the thrills of So, I Married an Ax Murderer with the laughs of Hitchcock's Vertigo.

But what really makes this scene a cinematic classic is its heart: when Daphne fights the ghost of the monster's computer virus, she's doing so to avenge the death of her beloved Fred, who was killed (there's even a suggestion he may have been raped!) by the ghost of the monster's computer virus's creator (Whoopi Goldberg, almost unrecognizable under pounds of latex and make-up). When Gellar's Daphne busts into a Matrix-type 'bullet time' roundhouse kick, the audience not only cheers, they weep. Including, again, those youngsters seated next to us. Of course, we'll miss Fred in any sequels, but there's a suggestion that the wizard (deftly played by The Sweet Hereafter's Ian Holm) might be able to reanimate him using the sacred stones.

We'll be waiting for Scooby-Doo 3: Space is the Place to see if the geniuses behind this awesome series can "doo" it again. Scooby-Doo it again, that is!

(Confidential to Sharon at Warner Brothers' PR: Thanks!)

Posted at 9:17 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  March 24, 2004
Colin Headroom Tes-Tes-Testifies

(Click above to see the New York Times' original photo of Sec. Powell testifying before the 9/11 commission on March 23, 2004)

"We wanted to moo-moo-move beyond the rollback policy of c-c-containment, criminal prosecu-cu-cu-cution and limited retaliation for specific terrorist attacks. We wanted to de-de-de-destroy Al Qaeda." - COLIN L. POWELL, Secretary of State, Network 23

Posted at 12:13 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  March 22, 2004
Karl Rove for the Day, Vol. 2

(Again, click on the photo to see Rove and Bartlett's original masterpiece.)

From Saturday's Globe and Mail (Candada):

The red-hot housing market � here and across the United States � has sparked fears of an emerging asset bubble, fuelled by the lowest interest rates since 1958, when Elvis Presley joined the U.S. Army and Nikita Khrushchev became leader of the Soviet Union.

Welcome to the topsy-turvy economy that Alan Greenspan and his U.S. Federal Reserve Board colleagues sat down to ponder on Tuesday. While low interest rates have people like Mr. Guimmule dreaming about home ownership and investors cheering their resurgent stock portfolios, large swaths of the economy remain stalled.

Employment growth is anemic in the wake of a 2001 recession that zapped 2.3 million jobs. Manufacturers have cut employment for 43 consecutive months.

Posted at 11:13 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
Karl Rove for the Day, Vol. 1

(Yes, this has been altered. Click on photo to see the original.)

From Jonathan Alter's piece for Newsweek re: the soon-to-be-forgotten Medicare deception fiasco of last week:

But the most shocking deception took place in the run-up to the signing of the Medicare prescription-drug benefit on Christmas Eve...Recall how that bill squeaked through Congress only after some heads were cracked. A retiring Republican from Michigan, Rep. Nick Smith, even charges that supporters of the bill offered him a bribe in the form of financial support for the political campaign of his son. The bill was priced at the time at $400 billion over 10 years. After the deed was done (the specifics of which amounted to a huge giveaway to the pharmaceutical and health-care industries), it came out that the real cost will be at least $551.5 billion�a difference of $150-plus billion that will translate into trillions over time. Now we learn that the Bush administration knew the truth beforehand and squelched it. Rick Foster, the chief actuary for Medicare, says he was told he would be fired if he passed along the higher estimates to Congress. "I'll fire him so fast his head will spin," Thomas Scully, then head of Medicare, said last June, according to an aide who has now gone public.
Posted at 10:45 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  February 25, 2004
Man on the Cross Street (Passion Survey #1)

We interviewed a completely random selection of movie goers exiting the 12PM screening of The Passion of the Christ at the Jerusalem Multiplex 16 to get their opinions on this controversial film.

"I found it hard to watch... for obvious reasons. What did I ever do to Mel Gibson?"
"Um, it didn't end that way. I came back, you know."
"Me? I don't really remember much of the film. I tried to buy a diet Coke before it started, and they were all charging $4.50, and I'm all, 'Fuck that!' and got this free cup of tap water instead, which I immediately turned into el vino and promptly got wasted off my ass, sitting in the back of the theater...Jerusalem in the hoooouuuuuse!"
"The third act...was excruciating. It was painful to watch, outright unbearable."
"I liked the first half hour. The rest reminded me of stuff I'd rather forget."
"I hate to quibble since he got so much right. But Roman Soldier #6 wasn't such a jerk to me. He actually gave me a stick of gum, which was nice."
"Pshaw! Like I ever knew a girl as hot as Monica Bellucci!"
"I didn't get to see the film...they had a 'No Pets' policy in the theater. They wanted me to sacrifice my lamb's movie going experience, and I said, 'No!...C'mon, he's not so baaaaaaaaaaaad.' Ha! Get it? I make jokes sometimes, you know."
Posted at 3:47 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
Mensch on the Street (Passion Survey #2)

We interviewed a completely random selection of movie goers exiting the 12PM screening of The Passion of the Christ in Brooklyn to get their opinions on this controversial film.

hasidic_01.gif "I didn't see it. I was here to see Welcome to Mooseport, which, incidentally, is a little anti-Semitic. But I still love Raymond!"
hasidic_02.gif "If I could say just one thing to Mr. Gibson, it would be 'Can you read my comedy script about a Hasidic Jewish crime fighter?' What? Someone already made that movie? Well, there goes my last six months."
hasidic_13.gif "I'm shocked. Disgusted. This place charges $4.50 for a small Diet Coke. I brought my four young children and it cost me $85 dollars. Very offensive. Very."
hasidic_05.gif "You'd think with everyone in Hollywood studying the Kabbalah, they'd be a little more sensitive. Mel should spend more time with Madonna and Paris Hilton: he might learn some wisdom and compassion. Ha! I'm joking. Some of us have senses of humor, you know."
hasidic_06.gif "Well, it was a lot less offensive to the Jews than the last Woody Allen film. Anything Else? I called it 'From Hunger'."
hasidic_07.gif "Yes, it was extremely anti-Semitic. But what movie is perfect, right?"
hasidic_09.gif "Critics need to lay off Mel Gibson. This was just one man's opinion. One man with $25 million to spend on production and another $25 million for promotions to tell it. Like I said, just one man and his opinion."
hasidic_16.gif "Loved it. Loved, loved, loved it! My name is Self-Hater I. Jewman, by the way."
Posted at 2:19 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
Other Recently Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Dogs Constitutionally- recognized as better than cats

No more special treatment for Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate

Paul made the Constitutionally- recognized best Beatle

Infield Fly Rule unilaterally banned

Lefties to be forced to become righties, or be burned at the stake

Discussions about the weather in elevators no longer protected by First Amendment

Super intelligent robots, should they be invented, never to be endowed with human emotions under penalty of being unplugged

Posted at 8:24 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  February 24, 2004
About Face


[Thanks, Dave, who waited two weeks for this joke.]

Posted at 3:04 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  February 19, 2004
Slow News Week


Posted at 5:06 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  February 12, 2004
The low culture interview: Stanley Bostitch Model B440 stapler

Stanley Bostitch Model B440 Stapler, stapler

Continue reading...
Posted at 2:34 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  February 11, 2004
The 'S' in Harvard stands for 'Sex'

Available now at Out of Town News

From The Harvard Crimson, Feb. 11, 2004:

After flipping through the pages of Squirm, a Vassar College erotica magazine, the Committee on College Life (CCL) voted to approve a student-run magazine that will feature nude pictures of Harvard undergraduates and articles about sexual issues at its meeting yesterday.

[via Romenesko]

Posted at 1:17 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  January 22, 2004
I know we don't

PLUS: Who the fuck is Jennifer Lopez?

Posted at 9:02 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  January 20, 2004
Number Three With a Bullish (attitude)


If you thought he was intense in Betrayal, wait 'till you see him go totally Over the Top!

"Not bad, but a bit stale!"— Variety

"Another well-executed movie poster parody that no one appreciates!"— Entertainment Weekly

Posted at 1:36 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
It's a Wonderful Night for a Sundance

Ashton Kutcher enjoying that Holocaust documentary

Dateline, Park City, Utah— The temperature is dipping below zero tonight at the Sundance Film Festival, but the scene is heating up here at the Miramax/Metamucil party in honor of My Baby's Daddy. While technically not part of the festival, the movie has the distinction of being the eighth highest grossing film in the country this past weekend. Truly, this is a great moment for Miramax, the little New York indie that helped put this little Utah town on the map.

No wonder Harvey Weinstein, Miramax's Ozymandias-like president, is feeling magnanimous tonight. The big man has taken it upon himself to greet every guest personally: he offers a firm handshake to every man, a courtly kiss on the cheek to every woman, and in a display of his wonderful sense of humor (this is the man, after all, who snapped up that modern classic, Happy, Texas at the fest five years ago), he's putting every journalist present in loving headlock.

To answer your two top questions: Yes, and Old Spice.

Continue reading...
Posted at 9:00 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  January 16, 2004
You're W�lc�m', Mr. Br�l�


"[Br�l�] has said in past interviews that he'd love to start a blend of Wallpaper and The Economist ('I think my heart is in news,' he once told Canada's National Post)." � Greg Lindsay, WWD, Jan. 16, 2004

[via Gawker]

Posted at 3:24 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  January 15, 2004
Bush in 30 Iterations


low culture's Special Campaign Advertising Correspondent Nikki logs this report from our Soho offices:

Two ads in the Bush in 30 Seconds competition held by MoveOn.org employed a similar rhetorical strategy: comparing Bush to other important people in your life. ( See "If Your Parents Acted Like Bush"—named Funniest Ad—and "If the Bush Administration Was Your Roommate"—one of 26 overall finalists.)

With time on our hands, we decided to extend the paradigm to other categories.

If Bush Were Your Boyfriend:

Boyfriend: "Hey, let's crash that party!"
Girlfriend: "Let's invite Jacques, he's always fun at parties!"
Boyfriend: "I hate that French fuck."
Girlfriend: "Why are you so mean to all my friends?"
Boyfriend: "I hate all your friends. We don't need any of them. Just the two of us, baby."
Girlfriend: "You're suffocating me."
Boyfriend: "Can I borrow some money?"

If Bush Were a Policeman:

Policeman: "I see you, you criminal, with that big bag of pot!"
Dude: "Huh? I don't have any pot on me."

Policeman bashes Dude over the head with a club and begins pistol-whipping him.

Policeman: "Don't lie to me! You have pot, you've thought about pot, you've wondered whether it would be hard to buy some, you wonder what it would be like to smoke it or even eat it!"

Policeman takes out plunger.

If Bush Were Your Mother:

Mother: "Clean your room."
Boy: "Why do I have to?"
Mother: "Because I told you so."
Boy: "But your room is a mess."
Mother: "Do as I say, not as I do."

If Bush Were a Movie:

"Violent, racist, and anti-intellectual�I loved it!"—TV Guide Channel

If Bush Were Paris Hilton:

"Blair is such a debbie."

Posted at 3:50 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
Dean of Hearts


From the producers of Primary Attractions comes this story of coldhearted betrayal in the cold heartland state of Iowa.

The Nomination was his, but Revenge was hers.

Posted at 11:47 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  January 14, 2004
Movies for Dumb Kids


low culture's Special Education and Popular Culture Correspondent Nikki logs this report:

"In the high-stakes heist at the heart of The Perfect Score, due in theaters Jan. 30, six young thieves conspire to steal the biggest prize of all: the answers to the SAT."— USA Today, Jan. 13, 2004

Tagline: "The SAT is hard to take. It's even harder to steal."

Other films coming soon:

The Queens Regents (alternate title, Bored of Regents):
Six 9th graders in Astoria conspire to steal the answers to the English Regents exam.
Tagline: "Pass the tzatziki, son. And pass the Regents exam."

It's Elementary:
Six 2nd graders conspire to steal the answers to the Stanford Achievement Test.
Tagline: "All they wanted was a 6th-grade reading level."

My Big Fat Jewish Bar Mitzvah:
A 13-year-old Jewish boy hires his cousin to write his Bar Mitzvah speech for him.
Tagline: "He thanked God, Rabbi Lonstein, his parents—but most of all, his
cousin Jeff."

A Tale of Two Two Year Olds:
Dramatization of the Jack Grubman/92nd St. Y scandal.
Tagline: "It's fun to stay at the YMHA, but first you have to get in."

Rainbows and Waterfalls:
Little Michael's IQ test score was good... not good for his mother—Susan Smith.
Tagline: "Getting away with murder is even harder than getting into

Posted at 10:53 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  January 8, 2004
Coming Soon to a Theater Near Iowa


"The Love Story of 2004!" -CNN

"Almost as hot as Howard Dean!" -Ain't it Cool News

Posted at 12:46 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  January 4, 2004
The Wedding Photo

Britney Jean Spears weds Jason Allen Alexander

Earlier: Jason and Britney at the Kid's Choice Awards.

Posted at 1:14 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  December 31, 2003
The Search is On!

31prob184.jpgBrooklyn boy done good, Patrick J. Fitzgerald has been named special counsel, heading up the investigation into who leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame to the press.

Fitgerald was actually Attorney General John Ashcroft's second choice after former All-American (and Heisman trophy winner) O.J. Simpson. Simpson declined the role to continue the search for his wife's real killer.

Simpson and Fitzgerald are both scheduled to complete their inquiries two months from never.

Posted at 3:20 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 29, 2003
Lists, 2003: The Year in Left-wing Conspiracy Theories

laweekly-listissue-cover.jpgIn last week's year-end "lists" issue of the LA Weekly, Joshuah Bearman put forth a wonderful compendium of "Real Names of Classified Concepts in the Military Planning Document 'Air Force 2025''. The list is disturbing, to say the least, in that it's really, really hard to pinpoint whether or not this list is satirical in scope or merely an illustration of some of the foolish ways in which our tax dollars are spent.

For instance, is the catalog number for military research into these destructive projects really limited to a six-digit range? One would have thought that former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney alone could have brought at least 100,000 ideas to the table when his administration took office. Anyway, here's Bearman's list, included below in its entirety:

No. 900481: Destructo Swarmbots

No. 200015: Distortion Field Projector

No. 200023: Surveillance Swarm

No. 900258: Oxygen Sucker

No. 900299: Hunter-Killer Attack Platform

No. 900336: Cloaking

No. 900364: Bionic Eye

No. 900522: Space-Based A.I.-Driven Intelligence Master Mind System

No. 900288: Swarms of Micro-Machines

And INCAPACATTACK: The Strings of the Puppet Master

We here at low culture think the editors of AlterNet, that wacky left-wing "news and opinion" site, have missed a golden opportunity here to follow up on Bearman's piece above and spew forth some wild, ill-researched conspiracy theories on this past weekend's devastating Iranian earthquake.

Included forthwith, "Classified, but Extant, Weapons for Eliminating Axis-of-Evil Nations":

1. No-fault WMD Insurance
2. The Flatline
3. Detonatron 2000
4. Andre 3000 ("shake it like a Polaroid picture")

Posted at 4:46 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 22, 2003
Christmas in (Next) October

Last week, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright set off a tempest in a FOX News greenroom by suggesting that the Bush administration may have already captured Osama bin Laden and will reveal him as an "October surprise" to help win the 2004 Presidential election.

Albright quickly recanted, saying that she was being "tongue-in-cheek" (no doubt griping that no one ever gets her jokes!). But in an exclusive interview with low culture, Madame Secretary told us about several other things the Bush administration are strategically holding back in order to bolster George Bush's chances next year:

1. 2 Million jobs�good ones.
2. Higher minimum wage.
3. Enough Inverted Jennys for every American.
4. New Tupac album.
5. Freaks and Geeks DVD with extras.
6. New bikes for everyone who wants one.
7. Your remote control.
8. JFK assassination documents�the real ones.
9. Full frontal photos of Britney Spears.
10. The Bill of Rights.

Posted at 8:08 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 14, 2003
Cagelings in Canada

Monday, December 15, 2003: For Immediate Release:
Following the phenomenal critical and commercial success of HBO Films' Angels in America, the two-part television event, HBO Films is proud to announce an original, all-new sequel currently in pre-production. The film, called Cagelings in Canada, will air sometime in late 2004.

Pulitzer Prize winning Angels in America playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner will not be writing the script for Cagelings in Canada, but he will be executive producing the project along with Angels director Mike Nichols.

The film will deal with a host of 'hot button' issues ranging from domestic partnership for gays and lesbians, senior citizens buying prescription drugs in Canada, the legalization of Marijuana, and the brief—but terrifying—SARS epidemic of the early 21st Century.

"This film's gonna have it all. And maybe some more," said HBO Films Associate Senior Assistant of Marketing and Worldwide Distribution Todd Wentworth. "Seriously, people. Angels in America made you think, and cry, and even laugh. This one's gonna do that and it's gonna make you stand up and cheer, dance in the aisles, and wanna fall in love. If you loved America, wait 'till you get to Canada!"

The projected six-hour film will be written by a team of writers that will include Marci X screenwriter Paul Rudnick, Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, and to get the women's perspective or whatever, multiple Oscar-winner Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Other writers to be announced.

Directing the sure-to-be star-packed film will be a veteran of Angel-themed films, McG, who will bring his unique visual flair and personal interest in America's neighbors to the north to project. Says McG: "Well, I'm definitely gonna bring my unique visual flair to this project. Only this time, I'm gonna make sure it's more unique and more flair-y, you know? Also, I'm totally interested in Canada, like, personally. Hockey, beer, um, socialized medicine: anyone who knows me knows these are my main obsessions. Also, this movie will let me, like, continue the messages of my earlier films like Charlie's Angels and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and that message is that we all love to have a good time, just rock and roll and have fun! But we also have to worry about dangers like satellites being hooked up with GPS-enabled Nokia phones or seniors getting affordable drugs and partnerships among gay guys and lesbians being legally recognized. And I don't just mean the good looking lesbians, either. This is about civil rights, not about being one of those hot Vivid Video-type lesbians."

Stars and budget will be announced at a later date.

Posted at 6:09 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
Saddam's Omnipotent-no-more Smite List (Final Edition)

saddam-god.jpgThough Saddam Hussein's Iraq was notoriously secular, his uncanny resemblance, when captured, to our beloved contributing editor God was striking, to say the least.

Even more startling was the mad proclamation he supposedly decreed upon his seizure this weekend by U.S forces. Though these words are entirely uncorroborated, it seemed to be in everyone's best interest to get this document out ASAP for those few remaining loyalists to His, erm, his, regime.

Smite thee, fedayeen!
an esteemed decree by the deposed Saddam Hussein

1. Whomever ratted me out: It was my gravest error to not have Uday and Qusay take you out earlier, you shameful Ba'ath party disloyalist. Perhaps, too, I should have toasted you more frequently with palatial visits and plentiful amounts of Hollywood DVDs. Yes, that would have been wise.

2. L. Paul Bremer: Indeed, I didn't exactly cling to Islam as anything more than a political prop, but I at least have this one thing in common with God, I mean, Allah. That's his name, right? Allah? Forigve me, I have been in this cave for too long. A very dark, damp and oh-so-Godless cave.

Posted at 4:55 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  December 11, 2003
This Isn't It

Rolling Stone published its 50 Best Albums of 2003 this week. Making the list without breaking a sweat is everyone's favorite well-bred New York City hair band, The Strokes, with Room on Fire. According to RS:

The Strokes' second album is a virtual double for 2001's Is This It in every still-winning respect: the guitar combat of Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr.; the switchblade flick of the hooks and bridges; the acidic magnetism of Julian Casablancas' voice. In fact, the Strokes can go on like this forever—the Ramones did it for a quarter-century—as long as the songs stay this good and the attitude doesn't dry up.

Before you go renaming East 7th Street Julian Casablancas Place, check out the band's really, really early stuff. Back when their name was slightly different and their sound... well, their sound was out there, man. And they made their own cover art, to boot!

Talk about indie cred.

Earlier thoughts on The Strokes from low culture.

Posted at 9:36 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  December 7, 2003
Your low culture Advocate, Isabelle Asterisk, Introduces Herself

eotm_thmb_11.02.jpgWhen low culture invites you to be the first person charged with publicly evaluating, criticizing and otherwise commenting on the website's integrity, it's hard to say no: this is a pretty invigorating challenge.

After meeting with Matt, Jean-Paul and Guy, I appreciated that this would be an especially difficult task. Their atrophied sense of integrity and largely incoherent rambling suggested that this would prove a far more difficult task than I first imagined. I'd never heard of low culture before I received their email, and I'm still not quite sure what they do. But I'm here to help.

So who am I?

I am both liberal and conservative. I enjoy reality television and scripted half-hours. Palestinians and Israelis? They're both right. And I never met a fundamentalist I didn't like.

I am married, live on the Upper West Side, recycle and compost, and I send my children to public school. I am one with myself. I am two with nature. I desperately want you to like me.

Can I buy you some coffee? If you're worried about worker's rights, I'll brew some of my own Concerned Coffee. But if you think that whole thing is overblown, we'll go to Starbucks. It's no big deal. And if you need help moving or anything, I'm the girl for you.

Since my appointment was announced, my friends have all offered their heartfelt congratulations. They seem to think it will do me well to get out of the house. Here's wishing good luck, and good will, to us all. But more good luck, and good will, to you.

Posted at 2:58 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  December 5, 2003
Proposed SNL skits for Al Sharpton and Sharpton's notes to writers

sharptonSNL.jpgWith apologies in advance to Uncle Grambo's best buddies, Nummer and H-Bomb, we at low culture were impatiently scouring the basement of Rockefeller Center this afternoon, trying to decide between Pret à Manger and Hale & Hearty for lunch, when we settled upon this top-secret nugget of gold on NBC stationery: a series of notes regarding SNL writers' proposed skits for this week's episode, and guest host Al Sharpton's responses to them. Not promising.

1. "Al as President of Hair Club For Men-'I'm not just a client, I'm the President'" [This could work. Maybe.–Rev. A.S.]

2. "Shattered Glizz-ass: Finesse as Jayson Blair, and Sharpton as Times managing editor Gerald Boyd" [First, that Snoop language is so done, and second, journalistic navel-gazing is worse than Rudolph doing Versace–Rev. A.S.]

3. "Sharpton as Baptist Minister-turned-informercial pitchman" [Infomercial? Can't we make fun of something contemporary–Rev. A.S.]

4. "Outkast: Sharpton as Big Boi, and Finesse as Andre 3000" [I'm aligned with Russell Simmons, not L.A. Reid–Rev. A.S.]

5. "Sharpton as Tony Soprano" [David Chase is so 2000. I'm all about 2004–Rev. A.S.]

6. "Sharpton as hotdog vendor outside Republican convention in 2004" [No go: Black folks don't sell hotdogs–Rev. A.S.]

7. "Sharpton picks Ol' Dirty Bastard as his VP candidate in 2004" [NO WAY. And it's Dirt McGirt, you idiots. And you can't have someone who's been arrested on your ticket. Or maybe you can.–Rev. A.S.]

8. "Sharpton made over by Queer Eye guys!" [People. You. Are. Getting. Desperate. - Rev. A.S.]

9. "The Ghetto Life: celebrity politician Sharpton visits the urban terrain of NYC" [You have how many wealthy white writers on staff?–Rev. A.S.]

10. "Jimmy's stoned dorm room character interviews Al on his web cam" [Hello? The digital divide, ever hear of it?–Rev. A.S.]

11. "Al Sharpton meets Mango!" [Mango isn't even on the show anymore: c'mon, people! Try at least. We've got issues like healthcare, education, defense spending, and civil rights to worry about here, not me interacting with some little guy in hot pants. Funny? No. Advancing the issues to shape the Democratic Party platform in 2004? No. Does anyone know if MAD TV brings on guest hosts?–Rev. A.S.]

Posted at 3:44 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
Death Becomes Them

mockingbird.jpgYesterday's announcement by record company Murder Inc. that it is changing its name to The Inc. has had far-reaching implications in the entertainment industry. As Island Def Jam Chairman and The Inc.'s corporate head, Russell Simmons told reporters, the change was designed to "get you all off [Irv Gotti's] ass."

A similar name change met Death Row Records when label head Marion 'Suge' Knight was released from jail and reopened Tha Row earlier this year.

Following The Inc. and Tha Row's lead, several other media and entertainment companies have altered the names of their films, books, and other properties to reflect greater sensitivity to violence. Also, it gets all of you off of Harper Lee's ass. Here's a sample:

Death of a Salesman becomes A Salesman
Death in Venice becomes In Venice
As I Lay Dying becomes As I Lay
Death Be Not Proud becomes Be Not Proud
Murder on the Orient Express becomes On the Orient Express
Meat is Murder becomes Meat Is
Death Race 2000 becomes Race 2000
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie becomes A Chinese Bookie
Murder in the First becomes In the First
Kill Bill vol. 1 becomes Bill vol. 1
Kill Bill vol. 2 becomes Bill vol. 2
Death to Smoochy becomes A Very Unfortunate Film That Should Not Have Been Made

Posted at 8:55 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  November 21, 2003
Alternate Histrionics

While today’s New York Times’ op-ed page affords Nigel Hamilton the opportunity to less-than-methodically imagine a world in which JFK was never killed, somehow Hamilton managed to overlook the obvious impact Kennedy’s un-assassination would have on the entertainment industry. Well low culture is here to fill in the blanks, following in the Times' illegible footsteps.

Continue reading...
Posted at 4:04 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  November 20, 2003
Meet the Lefty Spice Girls

spicegirls.jpgAmong the 150,000 protesters who greeted President Bush in England this week were the members of The Lefty Spice Girls. On the left (naturally) we have Fiona (aka 'Anti-Globalization Spice'); in the middle is Johri (aka 'Stop War Now Spice'); and in the back is Alex M. ('Environmental Justice Spice'). Not pictured: Alex G. (aka, 'Workers' Rights Spice') and Miranda (aka, 'Legalize Marijuana Spice').

Tell me what you want, what you really, really want... If you want my future, correct your past/If you wanna get with me, end the slog real fast...

Sidebar: What is the deal with photographers only shooting pretty girls at protests and rallies? I mean, that has to be the oldest scam in the book: "Hey, why don't you give me your number and I'll give you a print of this. You know, I'm pals with the photo editor at the paper, I can definitely make your whole sign visible..."
Check it out: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5. I could go on forever here. Don't make me go on forever, okay?

Posted at 1:13 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  November 19, 2003
A low culture exclusive: Michael Jackson Bombshell!

Perry Watson-Hoover III, as Michael Jackson, leaving a Santa Barbara Court House

D.A.: Jackson to be charged with child molestation; Bail set at $3 million

Charges that Perry Watson-Hoover III, a professional Michael Jackson impersonator, molested Jonathan Lipnicki's stand-in on the set of Stuart Little II were dropped when it was revealed the stand-in was 29 year-old Peter Feuerman. The Santa Barbara District Attorneys Office issued an official apology in the matter and Watson-Hoover expressed his relief and hope that he can continue to impersonate Michael Jackson for years to come.

Posted at 4:44 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  November 3, 2003
Exclusive: Sydney runs the city

marathon1.jpglow culture put in a bid for the exclusive rights to Sean P. Diddy Comb's ING New York City Marathon diary, but we lost it to The New York Post, which apparently offered Diddy more exposure and lighter editing. In lieu of the hip-hop/fashion mogul, our correspondent MATT SLONIM took dictation for the marathon diary of Sydney Goldfarb, an importer-exporter from New York's Upper West Side who ran beside Diddy for 18 of the 26.2 miles of the marathon.

I may not be Sean "Puff Diddy" Combs, but I too ran the New York City Marathon. My name is Sydney Goldfarb, and this is my story.

Continue reading...
Posted at 7:42 AM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
  October 26, 2003
For this Murdoch, NoLita is the light of his life, fire of his loins

Everyone knows that Lachlan Murdoch is filthy rich. But today he's merely filthy. Standing on the debris-strewn second floor of his new NoLita apartment building, covered in drywall dust and sweating like the proverbial pig, Murdoch exudes none of the international playboy scion charm we've come to expect from the eldest son of media baron Rupert Murdoch. To be completely honest, the only thing Lachlan is exuding at the moment is a rank, unpleasant odor.

Continue reading...
Posted at 7:22 PM in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.
Make our "team" part of your "team"
jean-paul tremblayJean-Paul Tremblay written-ed, directed and co-produced a bunch of so-called "comedy" and "video" content, is notoriously competitive, and nonetheless settles for bottom-tier tokenism. Repped by John Herndon at Grape Dope Entertainment. Thrill jockey!
matt haberMatt Haber has written for The New York Times, Esquire, and The New York Observer. He is not allergic to pet dander and can do "ethnic" accents if the part calls for it. He is repped by Candy Addams at Entertainment 4-Every-1. Feeling special?
Guy Cimbalo is so cute! Yes, he is. Who's a cute little Guy? You are, you are! Guy's our very own star of stage and screen and is repped by Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm. Rowr!
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