Monday, December 31, 2007

In It To Win It?

Now anyone who knows me for more than two seconds knows I'm not a Republican. My politics tend to make Ghandi look like a social conservative.

But I LOVE politics and the wheeling/dealing manipulativeness of it all. Where others get turned off by the hucksterism, I eat that shit up. Blame it on either my career as a corporate communicator or on my general lack of a moral compass. Who cares. What I really care about is the fight.

Which brings us to John McCain. Anyone who spent some time in a tiger trap in Vietnam gets props from me. Would I vote for him? Oh, hell no. But a tip of the hat to John for his character and his service to this country. And heaven knows the man wants to be president.

Or does he? The campaign so far, which should have been his for the picking, has been a mess. Including his dread of anything negative.

Well at least his public dread. Apparently he's been sitting on an ad spot that knocks ol' Mitt's teeth in. It's been leaked now, which probably will get it more air time for free. And McCain won't have to take responsibility for actually trotting it out to the public.

But more than whether or not McCain or Romney is the right choice ... because trust me, they ain't ... I think this is some damn fine political maneuvering.

So I share it with you here with mad props to for digging it all up in the first place:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ann Coulter is a Shit Head

I was going to talk about Ann Coulter, who recently said that an ideal America would be free of Jews and that Jews wanted to "be perfected."

It's true. She really did. And you can see it here:

But that's not as interesting as the story from Idaho that showcased a guy getting away with taking dumps under a freeway off ramp. I mean, this is the real news, people.

And in my heart, I'd like to think that Ann agrees with me. If there's anyone who knows about taking a shit on America and getting away with it, it'd be her.

So my hat's off to the Outback Steakhouse employee who's featured here. We stand ... or squat ... in solidarity with you, sister.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Feelings. Whoa-whoa-whoa feelings!

An open letter to what I heterosexistly presume was a woman who visited my blog after searching for "emotionally unavailable men" on The Google.

Oh, Sister,

Let me tell ya. I know what you're talking about. For the love of god, you can't live with 'em, and you can't chop up their bodies and hide them in a Hefty bag behind the 7-11. A girl can hardly clear her head with all the phonie-baloney bullshit that gets thrown at her from every suitor every damn day. There should be a law.

So I apologize for the disappointment you must have experienced when during an attempt to come up with input for a coping mechanism that would help you deal with that insensitive lout, you stumbled onto my pointless windbaggyness instead.

I also noticed that you didn't stay too long, either. But a hit's a hit, isn't it? So I'm keeping you noted on my rolls, thank you very much. And if you ever falter again in your noble trek toward self improvement, you can always cast your back to the wind here, my sister.

You could stay as long as you'd like. Maybe even read a post or two. Click an ad banner or something. Y'know. Make yourself comfortable.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dude Looks Like A Lady

Ohmygawd. This guy is a genius. Somebody hire him and make him rich.

(Advance warning: This features obscene lyrics and sexual content. Consider yourself warned.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Drunk and Disorderly

Brett Somers, ex-wife of Jack Klugman and perennial Match Game panelist, died Saturday at the grand age of 83.

A first-generation latch-key kid, I spent many an afternoon soaking in the vodka-drenched shenanigans of Somers as she fussed and bickered with Charles Nelson Reilly, her long-time comic foil.

It was my first exposure, I suppose, to a gay man bantering with his beloved fag hag. And I had no idea that's what I was taking in at the time. To paraphrase Elaine Stritch in her solo show, At Liberty, I just knew it was funny, and I dug it.

I also had no idea that for most of the years that I watched, she was soused. Not tipsy. Not drunk. But blotto. Blasted. Every sheet imaginable to the wind. I watch episodes today on the Game Show Network and marvel at how she can barely slur out most of her answers.

Was it because for my family attempting to have a conversation after consuming staggering amounts of alcohol was known as "dinner"? Or was my brain at that time content to just take in another bunch of people who worked overtime to say inappropriate things in an appropriate manner?

It matters not, I suppose. Brett Somers helped pass the time and made me feel happy when I already knew I felt different. She'll always have a blank spot in my heart.

God speed to you, Brett.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Plead The Fifth


In my defense, I only typed my blog name into an online wanted poster generator.

Those who know me well understand that while I might do a number of things to a brawny hillbilly ... and in all my years I have occasionally dabbled in those smoky hills ... slaughtering them wretchedly would probably not be one of them.

Dirty Bird

Okay, people. What is happening to this world when my blog only scores a PG rating?

See? Here it is all official like:

It hurts when people don't get the depths of depravity to which I clearly stoop on a regular basis in this forum.

Oh, sure. You can drop the f-bomb and score an NC-17 in mere moments. Any old hack can do that. But I want procreating Republicans everywhere to stay up at nights worrying that their children might happen across this filth.

And it's hardly going to happen when I'm less threatening than Shrek the Third.

So be warned, you sonsabitches. I might start working "blue" any second now. And you only have your prurient interests to thank for it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Lips Are Sealed

So the siren song of the gays dashes another prominent Republican's future on the treacherous rocks of sodomy.

Glenn Murphy, Jr., the 33-year-old Indianan who was elected chairman of the Young Republican National Federation in July, resigned his post on Friday ... only a month after taking office ... saying that a "life-altering" business opportunity had come up that he couldn't pass on.

Well. That and the fact that he got caught with his mouth wrapped around a sleeping Republican's "trunk," which the sleeping Republican apparently didn't appreciate upon waking and wondering who was at the root of the warm sensation in his nether regions.

I mean seriously, people. Giving hummers to your sleeping bunkmates is so 1982 camping trip.

But it appears to be true (though disputed by Mr. Murphy, who isn't saying it's not true ... but that it was consensual). All the same, you can read the whole story here.

To be honest, I could give a damn about Mr. Murphy, his position in the Republican party and his propensity (he apparently pulled the same stunt in 1998) for late-night naval maneuvers.

What's funny in light of recent events is a quote of his about his job as chairman:

"I will essentially be the mouthpiece ... for tens of thousands of young Republicans," he said.

You've got to admire the liberal interpretation of his job description. I'm just sayin'. Mr. Murphy was definitely been reading between the lines ... not to mention the sheets.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My Future Wife

I adore this woman.

And I don't care if my boyfriend knows it.

We hardly even know each other. But she reads this blog. And lets me take pictures of her while she sits in my lap.

So a shout out to you, sister. We were meant for each other.

Even if we want the same thing.

If anyone else wants to read my blog and take pictures while sitting in my lap, I'm game. Just say the word.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Snow Job

You know, I wasn't going to talk about the Iraqi parliament ducking out of town until September, as I'm hardly the first guy to be annoyed in this arena.

But you know, let 'em never come back for all the good they're doing us so far. Whether they're hunkered down in Baghdad or sunning their buns in Dubai, I could care more.

What's really unforgivable in all of this was how Tony Snow, the president's spokesliar and former Fox News shill, handled the press questions about it. In response to a reporter's question asking if they'd tried to talk the parliament out of their vacation, he said, "You know, it's 130 degrees in Baghdad in August. I'll pass on your recommendation."

And his tone said, "It's hotter than hell over there. They need a break from that shit hole."

No, really. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can see it right here:

To her credit, the reporter launches into him with, "'s 130 degrees for the U.S. military also on the ground ..."

You know, I'm just gonna say this:

There's a special kind of hell for someone like Tony Snow who makes comments like that and for anyone who takes part in a government that allows such vicious cynicism to reign victorious. And unfortunately, we're currently living in it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

America's Doctor. America's Homophobe. Same Diff.

No one in the country but me seems to be bothered by this. So I'm submitting the following for your information. Get pissed, folks. They're counting on you to not pay attention. And so far, it's working.

Recently, Dr. Richard Carmona resigned at the end of his term as Surgeon General after accusing the current administration of interfering with his views on stem cell research, global warming and abstinence-based initiatives (which ... shocker ... they didn't quite agree with).

On May 24, George Bush proudly announced his new nominee for Surgeon General, one Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr. Dr. Holsinger hails from Kentucky ... which might be concern enough ... and I can say that because I have family from there. I wouldn't trust any of those people with a prescription pad, let me tell ya.

But even better is Dr. Holsinger's 1991 position paper for the Methodist church titled "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality."

I'll save you having to look up the 50-cent word. Pathophysiology is "the physiology of abnormal or diseased organisms or their parts." (Emphasis mine.)

Nice. In case you want to read this horror show, it's online here.

But the title should be enough for anyone but George W to realize this guy's a whack job. And then there's the little sentence on page two that reads, " ... the varied sexual practices of homosexual men have resulted in a diverse and expanded concept of sexually transmitted disease and associated trauma."

Jealous much, Dr. Holsinger?

Whatever trauma we've endured as a result of our sex lives, it's nothing compared to the associated trauma someone like Dr. Holsinger is sure to visit upon us. (I'm not so certain, but I believe it includes bringing back pink triangles as an accessory.)

When he wasn't busy cooking up six pages of homophobia shellacked with a thin but shiny coat of widely disputed "science," Dr. Holsinger and his wife were founding the Hope Springs Community Church, widely reported to be intent on helping cure gays and lesbians of their pathophysiology.

The church is now denying that they ever had programs to help those poor self-loathing homers who're trying to pray the gay away, saying the claim was a smear by the gay mafia or something. (For being so organized, you'd think we'd have that marriage thing taken care of by now. What the hell are we doing wrong if we've got all this power at our disposal?)

Someone might want to share that with their own Reverend David Calhoun, who on June 1 told the Lexington Herald-Reader "We see [homosexuality] as an issue not of orientation but of lifestyle. We have people who seek to walk out of that lifestyle."

And you ... what? Pat them on the back and tell them to save their aching arches? No.

Who knows what will happen with the nomination in the Senate. At least Ted Kennedy's on the case.

But in a way, I hope it all works out. If Dr. Holsinger succeeds, he could help cure Mary Cheney, the VP's lesbian shill ... I mean daughter. It'd mean one less hypocrite on the dais for all of us.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is This Thing On?

Hey, faithful readers,

Yes. Both of you.

Especially the woman I met at KC's wedding who sat in my lap and had pictures taken. I'd love a copy of that photo if you're so inclined.

I'd even post it on here and make you famous ... to the other person who reads this regularly. Whomever that may be.

So shoot me a note, baby. I miss you already.

I Did It Norway

Rusty and I are off to Amsterdam and Norway for a couple of weeks starting this weekend. Last time it was Thanksgiving in New Zealand. This time it's Independence Day in Europe. Such is the life of an international jet setter.

So I'll be switching off this blog for a couple of weeks. (And to those of you who thought, "How would we know?" ... you try to be amusing day in and day out.)

But I'll be on the travel blog pretty regularly ... provided we wrangle internet access along the way. Do travel along with us, will you?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dog Days Of Summer

Eight years ago on this very weekend, Rusty and I skipped out on Pride Weekend and motored out to Sweaty Kneecap, Nevada, or something like that, to pick up Chip, a labrador retriever puppy. On the drive home, he slept in the crook of my arm. Today, he's a 105 pound brick shithouse with a graying muzzle. My how time flies.

And Chip ... aka Chipdog ... aka Chipperdoodle ... aka PoodleDoodle ... aka The Poodle ... has become such a part of us, he's ... well ... a part of us. I do love that poodle.

Today, Rusty, Don (our house brother), Chipdog and I skipped out on Pride to go meet Bingo, a nine-year-old labrador retriever at the Santa Clara shelter. And while he's a bit of a spaz, Bingo came home-o with us today.

A new dog, Kenneth, you ask? I know. A nine-year-old new dog, Kenneth, you say? I know, I know. The debate about do we get a new dog or not has raged for years. A friend or two (yes, Patty, this means you) has even gone so far as to launch a full-scale campaign to lobby for a new puppy.

And instead we defied all expectations and came home with this old coot. But I can explain.

It's clear that Bingo (not his real name-o ... but his English isn't so great, so he can't tell us the real one) was separated from His Peoples somehow. He knows how to sit and lay down and shake, which is hardly something you pick up by accident as a canine.

Whether His Peoples wanted it this way or not is impossible to know, but the shelter's tried for several months to return him to his rightful place to no avail. And people don't exactly run to adopt older dogs. He was featured as pet-of-the-month so many times in the newspaper, he almost got his own column.

And that's how we got Bingo. Now to be known as Peety (an homage to my current employer and his current need to relieve himself every 15 minutes).

The reason why is simple: Every one of us was once a pup that rode home in the crook of a happy parent's arm. And every one us could lose Our Peoples in our later days. The best any of us can hope is that another tribe will wander by and claim us as their own ... that they'll see us as family even if we're old and there's no more fur on our elbows.

Welcome home, Peety. Welcome. Home.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

How To Get My Vote

Barak Obama issued a statement yesterday about Pride Month. Now it's almost enough for me that Barak knows that Pride Month exists. But he pretty much puts me in the voting booth after saying the following. Is it possible that he just threaded the needle on this issue? I think he very well may have.

Here's the official text:

"Pride Month is a reminder that while we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do."

"Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

"It's time to turn the page on the bitterness and bigotry that fill so much of today's LGBT rights debate. The rights of all Americans should be protected -- whether it's at work or anyplace else. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" needs to be repealed because patriotism and a sense of duty should be the key tests for military service, not sexual orientation. Civil unions should give gay couples full rights. And those who commit hate crimes should be punished no matter whether those crimes are committed on account of race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation."

"This Pride Month, let's make our founding promise of equality a reality for every American."
Rock on, Barak, baby. No matter what happens, you were the first person who had the courage to look it in the eyes and say it. Let's just hope you really mean it, too.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

My Life In Four-Color Photos

I've always loved four-color introspection. The idea for this comes from Kirsten, from whom I often steal blog ideas. This is because she is brighter than I am. (I put this in just to test if she's still reading. Then again, is *anyone* still reading? Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?)

Anyhoo, peoples. Here is my psyche as a slide show.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Would You Grab This Man's Ass?

This gays in the military thing is killing me. Well, not literally. I suppose actually being a gay ... or anyone for that matter ... in the military right now would more likely be killing me than just having to listen to Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wax philosophical about how gays are immoral and that allowing us to serve openly is paving the way for a regiment of pedophiles and serial killers.

Apparently Peter fills his brain with thoughts of sexual immorality instead of his type of immorality where sending thousands of young men and women to their deaths in the name of ... what exactly? ... is commonplace. But that's beside the point.

What's really killing me is how every time we go two steps past the immorality blather, there comes the sucker punch of how it'll also mean that straight soldiers will have to shower with homos. Gasp! And live with them in close quarters. The horror!

My favorite quote of the week on this subject comes from Tony Perkins (seen in the picture on the right), head of the Family Resarch Council ("Defending family, faith and freedom." From what? And with what?) In an interview with the Baptist Press, that hotbed of journalistic integrity, Tony says:
“Sometimes you’ll have 100, 500, or 1,000 soldiers, sailors or Marines together in a barracks or in a ship bay, all using the same showers and bathroom facilities. When you introduce sexuality into that kind of environment, it begins to break down discipline and unit cohesion."
I could get all in a tizzy about this, but I'm going to go for the less-is-more approach. For once. And simply ask this:

Why's it always the pale, pasty, ugly dudes who think we're going to leer at their junk? Keep it in your pants, Tony. We don't want it.

He Is The Egg Man. Koo-koo-kachoo.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed (note to Khalid ... dude ... buy a brush) has "confessed" to a Gitmo panel that he is responsible for 31 terrorist plots including, but certainly not limited to, the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center bombings/attacks, the shoe bomber attempts and to a failed attempt to assassinate Jimmy Carter.

In undisclosed parts of his testimony, Mohammed also confessed to:

  1. Putting the lime in the coconut.
  2. Putting the bam in the bam-shalam-a-bam.
  3. Putting his chocolate in my peanut butter.
  4. Putting his right foot in, his right foot out, his right foot in and shaking it all about.
  5. Shooting the sheriff. (But he did not shoot the deputy.)
  6. Having been to paradise but never having been to me.
  7. Seeing mommy kissing Santa Claus.

Now I'm not sayin' that he's ready for sainthood. But 31 nefarious plots, including being responsible "from A to Z" for 9/11? Busy boy that Mohammed.

I for one am relieved, as it proves our torture dollars have been well spent ... not to mention our failure to capture Osama isn't such a failure after all.

Whew. Thank you Mohammed. Now tell us ... where'd you bury Hoffa?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Takes One To Know One

So Ann Coulter (bitch! ... sorry ... it's like Tourette's every time I hear her name) goes to the American Conservative Union Political Action Conference this week and calls John Edwards a faggot.

Seriously. You can see it right here:

Now the fact that Ann Coulter (cow!) spouts out the word "faggot" is hardly a shock. It's clear by her hair alone that she doesn't have a lot of gays in her life, and clear from every other word of hate, ignorance and intolerance that falls from the vile, shit-filled arroyo called her mouth that she's here to inflame more than anything.

I feel rather sad for Ann (neocon-whore!). After all, we have to put up with her dressed like that, and she feels compelled to dress like that. Just who's on the losing end of that self esteem vacuum, I ask you? So as loathsome as she may be ... and that's pretty loathsome ... I'm in sort of roll-my-eyes mode with her at this point.

What should really give one pause is that it's a room full of hundreds of people who are listening to Ann put her minstrel show through its paces. And when she suggests that it's gotten so bad ya can't even say the word "faggot" anymore, do they take issue with her? Does anyone boo? Hiss? Storm out?

Do any of the gay cater waiters wrestle her to the ground and give her an impromptu bob behind the podium?


The room erupts in laughter. Knowing, telling laughter that says, "No longer being able to say 'nigger' is one thing. But taking away 'faggot' is just going too far. Not on my watch, Ann. Not on my watch."

This is the group that everyone with a prayer for the Republican presidential nomination must go to and grovel. Rudi. McCain. They both went. They both swore they were "just like them." And who in their right mind would want to be just like that?

Better yet, who in their right mind would want to vote for someone who says they're just like that?

Don't be upset with Ann. Though I hope she dies. I really do. A painful, ugly, humiliating and public death ringed by faggot camera men who are more into capturing her demise than preventing it.

Be upset with the room full of people who've elected her their clown. She's just doing the dance. They're the ones playing the tune.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Friuli Tasting Menu

So Mario Batali has a new(ish) restaurant, Del Posto, his shrine to Frank Bruni at the New York Times, who he's hoping will one day crown him with the only four stars ever received by an Italian restaurant in Manhattan.

At 11:00 p.m., we breezed in and ordered the eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings. Did they squirm and refuse? Only squirmed. A little. And in an entirely classy way. But did they capitulate? At those prices ... of course they did.

And how was the most expensive meal I've had in my lifetime?

Very, very good. But knock-my-socks-off good? Not from start to finish, no. (The wine, however? Holy moses. I wanted to crawl inside of every glass and bathe in that stuff.)

The highlights? The fish course, where they took a scallop and cross-cut it diagonally so it fanned out in this beautiful flower. They then set it on top of a "Salsa di Caffe" ... an espresso salsa, peoples. It was mind blowing. Transcendent. And if every other course was like that, I'd call Frank myself and beg him for that last missing star (he gave them three in his review ... and he's right. It's excellent but not extraordinary.)

Mario is a celebrity chef, who actually gives a shit about the quality of the food as much as he's concerned about establishing himself as a brand. And that's possibly the downfall at Del Posto. (Though this is nitpicking, kids. go there, and you'll have great food, amazing wine and astonishing service.)

But in creating world-class dining at Lupa and Babbo and Esca and Casa Mono, and in raising the bar every time, he's wound up having to compete against himself. And that just might not be possible this time.

That scallop, though? Amen, brother. Amen.

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous ... and Back Again

Another day in New York.

Started off with lunch at Lupa, went shopping for tea at Ito En, saw Zoe Caldwell and Denis O'Hare in A Spanish Play, and finished with an eight-course tasting menu at Del Posto with the reserve wine pairing.

Crazy. If I lived life like this every day, I'd be dead in six weeks. But what an exceptional way to go. Hell, I didn't even have time to get cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, for heaven's sake.

Lupa makes a saltimbocca that will make you weep. Veal cutlet pounded within an inch of its life is layered with an ethereally thin wafer of prosciutto and sage leaves. Then they pan fry it in extra virgin olive oil until the prosciutto and sage are welded into the veal. It's served on top of a bed of wilted greens and more olive oil. It's a salty, oily, herby orchestra of tender baby cow deliciousness.

While Lupa is like an old friend, Ito En is a new find. My Peety McPeetniks at the new(ish) gig have hatched a plan to turn me into a tea freak. And I have to say they're doing a fine little job of it. So I saw in Zagat that there's a place on the upper east side that is slavishly devoted to artisan tea. The best of the best, they universally proclaimed.

And damn if they weren't right. Tucked away in a little townhouse right between Cartier and Dolce & Gabana (wha?) is Ito En, where Tomoko the tea purveyor and I got a little giddy over the leaves.

The greatest thing was watching her realize I wasn't just wandering by looking for something, as she said, "with mango in it." Because once she decided I was a fellow traveller, the really good shit came out.

Now if you've been drinking Lipton's and thinking that's tea, people ... I have something to tell you. That shit is dust. It's brown water.

Ito En is tea. TEA. Lovingly crafted, foraged out like truffles and gold and diamonds and saffron and really good olive oil. And so full of pride, it's giving Peet's a run for its money in the fanatical employee department.

Go. Now. If you're anywhere near Madison & 69th Street, walk or crawl or run. Do whatever you can, but buy some tea. (Or buy our stuff, which would give 'em a run for their money, I believe.)

Ask Tomoko to pull out the 20-year-old Iron Goddess. It's aged for five years before being roasted once a year for another 15 years before it's sold. Can you imagine? Twenty years before they think it's worth putting hot water on top of it and pouring that into a cup.

That's love, people. Love of craft and love of quality. And it's all so sublimely ridiculous.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another Winter in a Summer Town

I'm coming to you from New York City this week. How's the weather, you ask?

Well. Use the following in a sentence: It's cold.

As in ... Holy fucking shit, it's cold. Sweet Mother of God, it's cold.

In the immortal words of Thornton Wilder, the dogs are sticking to the sidewalks.

Kicked off the whole thing with a stop at John's Pizza in the Village. As in ... Sweet Mother of God, that's good pizza.

And kicked off the theater (seven shows in four days, kids) with Grey Gardens, the new(ish) musical about Jackie Kennedy's aunts who went from society doyennes to nut jobs. Living with Jackie will do that to you, I suppose.

So the show is daring but not ultimately that successful. Still, I'd pay double just to watch Christine Ebersole tear up the f'in stage again. God love that woman. She's the talk of the theater community now and for good reason. As my fellow theater junkie, Miss Virginia, likes to point out, Christine doesn't take any of it home with her; she puts all of it out there on the stage. When at the end she realizes she'll never escape the mansion and her mother no matter how decrepit either becomes, and the tears don't just well up in her eyes but come in big, heavy rain-like drops, you're taken to your own most scary, vulnerable place.

And that's what really good theater is all about, peeps. So my scarf's off to Christine. Word. Engrave the Tony, because it's hers.

Here's a clip of her performing the second-act opener at the Drama Desk awards. She's a flippin' genius, and I want to have her babies.

And at an ASCAP Foundation peformance, she trots out "Around the World" from the second act as well. Note that she's singing the hell out of this thing while maintaining a nearly impossible New England accent.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Race. Matters.

So Joe Biden, the Democratic senator from Delaware, is running for president. We know this because he's announced his intentions so many times, his wife now wears a t-shirt that says, "I know!"

Good for him, because that's about the closest he's going to get to the White House without a special pass or an invite to a state dinner.

In a New York Observer article, Joe does a little assessment of his potential Democratic opponents. No surprise, he takes good aim at Hillary and Iraq. Like Hillary's biggest worry is what he has to say on the subject. There are far bigger fish hoping to fry her.

But then he gets to Barak. And compliments him. Or does he?

In what can only be the first of a lamentable string of back-handed racial slurs, Joe says (emphasis mine):
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Oh, Joe. Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe. The terms "house slave" and "field slave" are so 400 years ago.

To their credit, Barak's handlers simply say that Senator Biden's comments speak for themselves. And indeed they do.

Four-foot Woman. Fifty-pound Beef.

In prepareation for Amazing Race Allstars, I'd like to share some of the best moments ever from past seasons.

At the top of the pack has to be Charla, a four-foot dwarf, who when faced with carrying a 50-pound side of beef took one look and yelled, "Put. It. On. My. Shoulder!"

She then took off like a shot ... trailing cow and hauling ass. America, in all its voyeuristic glory, stood and cheered.

They talk about the experience here:

View Charla & Mirna on innertube now

Friday, January 19, 2007

One Month To "Amazing Race Allstars"!!!

I'm so excited! Team Hillbilly, Team Cha Cha Cha, Charla & Mirna and Uchenna & Joyce all in one race? I just can't stand it, people. It might be the best night of my life.

And that's rather sad.

But don't judge me. Just watch it. You'll be a-thankin' me later.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bush Pilot

Think that Bush doesn't do his own thinking? Suspicious that he's being spoon-fed every line? You're right.

And here's proof:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Jose Rivera's 36 Assumptions About Playwriting

You probably dropped by to see if I was going to be funny. And I'm going to disappoint you on that front. Instead, I'm going to share the thoughts of Jose Rivera (Cloud Tectonics, Marisol, References to Salvidor Dali Make Me Hot, et al) on playwriting, a subject near and dear to my heart (not to mention my master's degree and my student loans). These are some of the most compelling thoughts about the subject I've ever read. And while it's long and probably not a topic you give a flip about ... read it anyway. It's provocative, and I promise you'll find something to think about.

Jose says:

Over the years, I've had the good fortune to teach writing in a number of schools from second-grade to graduate school. I usually just wing it. But lately, I've decided to think about the assumptions I've been working under and to write them down. The following is an unscientific, gut-level survey of the assumptions I have about writing plays, in no particular order of importance.

  1. Good playwriting is a collaboration between your many selves. The more multiple your personalities, the further, wider, deeper you will be able to go.
  2. Theatre is closer to poetry and music than it is to the novel.
  3. There's no time limit to writing plays. Think of playwriting as a life-long apprenticeship. Imagine you may have your best ideas on your deathbed.
  4. Write plays in order to organize despair and chaos. To live vicariously. To play God. To project an idealized version of the world. To destroy things you hate in the world and in yourself. To remember and to forget. To lie to yourself. To play. To dance with language. To beautify the landscape. To fight loneliness. To inspire others. To imitate your heroes. To bring back the past and raise the dead. To achieve transcendence of yourself. To fight the powers that be. To sound alarms. To provoke conversation. To engage in the conversation started by great writers in the past. To further evolve the artform. To lose yourself in your fictive world. To make money.
  5. Write because you want to show something. To show that the world is shit. To show how fleeting love and happiness are. To show the inner workings of your ego. To show that democracy is in danger. To show how interconnected we are. (Each "to show" is active and must be personal, deeply held, true to you.)
  6. Each line of dialogue is like a piece of DNA; potentially containing the entire play and its thesis; potentially telling us the beginning, middle, and end of the play.
  7. Be prepared to risk your entire reputation every time you write, otherwise it's not worth your audience's time.
  8. Embrace your writer's block. It's nature's way of saving trees and your reputation. Listen to it and try to understand its source. Often, writer's block happens to you because somewhere in your work you've lied to yourself and your subconscious won't let you go any further until you've gone back, erased the lie, stated the truth and started over.
  9. Language is a form of entertainment. Beautiful language can be like beautiful music: it can amuse, inspire, mystify, enlighten.
  10. Rhythm is key. Use as many sounds and cadences as possible. Think of dialogue as a form of percussive music. You can vary the speed of the language, the number of beats per line, volume, density. You can use silences, fragments, elongated sentences, interruptions, overlapping conversation, physical activity, monologues, nonsense, non-sequiturs, foreign languages.
  11. Vary your tone as much as possible. Juxtapose high seriousness with raunchy language with lyrical beauty with violence with dark comedy with awe with eroticism.
  12. Action doesn't have to be overt. It can be the steady deepening of the dramatic situation or your character's steady emotional movements from one emotional/psychological condition to another: ignorance to enlightenment, weakness to strength, illness to wholeness.
  13. Invest something truly personal in each of your characters, even if it's something of your worst self.
  14. If realism is as artificial as any genre, strive to create your own realism. If theatre is a handicraft in which you make one of a kind pieces, then you're in complete control of your fictive universe. What are its physical laws? What's gravity like? What does time do? What are the rules of cause and effect? How do your characters behave in this altered universe?
  15. Write from your organs. Write from your eyes, your heart, your liver, your ass -- write from your brain last of all.
  16. Write from all of your senses. Be prepared to design on the page: tell yourself exactly what you see, feel, hear, touch and taste in this world. Never leave design to chance, that includes the design of the cast.
  17. Find your tribe. Educate your collaborators. Stick to your people and be faithful to them. Seek aesthetic and emotional compatability with those your work with. Understand your director's world view because it will color his/her approach to your work.
  18. Strive to be your own genre. Great plays represent the genres created around the author's voice. A Checkhov genre. A Caryl Churchill genre.
  19. Strive to create roles that actors you respect will kill to perform.
  20. Form follows function. Strive to reflect the content of the play in the form of the play.
  21. Use the literalization of metaphor to discuss the inner emotional state of your characters.
  22. Don't be afraid to attempt great themes: death, war, sexuality, identity, fate, God, existence, politics, love.
  23. Theatre is the explanation of life to the living. Try to tease apart the conflicting noises of living, and make some kind of pattern and order. It's not so much and explanation of life as much as it is a recipe for understanding, a blueprint for navigation, a confidante with some answers, enough to guide you and encourage you, but not to dictate to you.
  24. Push emotional extremes. Don't be a puritan. Be sexy. Be violent. Be irrational. Be sloppy. Be frightening. Be loud. Be stupid. Be colorful.
  25. Ideas may be deeply embedded in the interactions and reactions of your character; they may be in the music and poetry of your form. You have thoughts and you generate ideas constantly. A play ought to embody those thoughts and those thoughts can serve as a unifying energy in your play.
  26. A play must be organized. This is another word for structure. You organize a meal, your closet, your time -- why not your play?
  27. Strive to be mysterious, not confusing.
  28. Think of information in a play like an IV drip -- dispense just enough to keep the body alive, but not too much too soon.
  29. Think of writing as a constant battle against the natural inertia of language.
  30. Write in layers. Have as many things happening in a play in any one moment as possible.
  31. Faulkner said the greatest drama is the heart in conflict with itself.
  32. Keep your chops up with constant questioning of your own work. React against your work. Be hypercritical. Do in the next work what you aimed for but failed to do in the last one.
  33. Listen only to those people who have a vested interest in your future.
  34. Character is the embodiment of obsession. A character must be stupendously hungry. There is no rest for those characters until they've satisfied their needs.
  35. In all your plays be sure to write at least one impossible thing. And don't let your director talk you out of it.
  36. A writer cannot live without an authentic voice -- the place where you are the most honest, most lyrical, most complete, most creative and new. That's what you're striving to find. But the authentic voice doesn't know how to write, any more than gasoline knows how to drive. But driving is impossible without fuel and writing is impossible without the heat and strength of your authentic voice. Learning to write well is the stuff of workshops. Learning good habits and practicing hard. But finding your authentic voice as a writer is your business, your journey -- a private, lonely, inexact, painful, slow and frustrating voyage. Teachers and mentors can only bring you closer to that voice. With luck and time, you'll get there on your own.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Nobody's Gonna Rain on My Parade

I laughed so hard at this, I had snot running out of my nose.

It's all you have to see to understand what it's like inside of my head. All of the time.

Seriously. I love this more than oxygen: