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Engineering humor: accurate definitions of terms are mandatory

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Me: “So does the Engineering division have brown bag lunches regularly?”

 

Supervisor [pause, blink blink]: “I need a more precise definition of that term.”

Engineering humor: writing is a foreign concept

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Me: I really like writing and editing, and I’m really good at it…

 

Supervisor [unblinking bafflement]: So…you…actually like writing?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?

Engineering humor: the extroverted engineer

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Retiring engineer’s favorite engineer joke:

 

How can you tell the difference between an introverted and an extroverted engineer?

 

An extroverted engineer stares at your shoes while they talk.

Hilarious review excoriating mediocre food and ambiance at Trump Grill[e]

Hilarious review excoriating mediocre food and ambiance at Trump Grill[e] published on No Comments on Hilarious review excoriating mediocre food and ambiance at Trump Grill[e]

Tina Nguyen sets a new bar for critical reviews with her sharply written article on eating at Trump Grill[e], which is a restaurant somewhere in New York City. It’s full of amazing phrases like “a campy version of Jingle Bells [jackhammering] in the background,” a bathroom that encapsulates “the experience of desperately searching for toilet paper at a Venezuelan grocery store,” a steak “slumped over to the side of the potatoes like a dead body inside a T-boned minivan,” a burger and fries described as “a sad little meat thing” and “overcooked woody batons,” and “free cake, still frozen in the center, that tastes like Tums.” It’s a perfect example of demonstrating kitschiness and vulgarity through well-chosen details, rather than blatantly stating, I found this place offensive on  gastronomical, aesthetic, and philosophical grounds.

“We would like to propose a summit in re: Nice Things and our apparent inability, as a family, to have them.”

“We would like to propose a summit in re: Nice Things and our apparent inability, as a family, to have them.” published on No Comments on “We would like to propose a summit in re: Nice Things and our apparent inability, as a family, to have them.”

Sean Williams, author of the brilliant But I Want It column in Slate in which a parent disputes with a child, strikes again with Nice Things and Why We Can’t Have Them. In this column, the kids call their parents to an eminently reasonable discussion about the aforementioned topic, making such indisputable points as, “Then you said we could watch videos [on the computer] alone, but not while eating—which, we’d like to point out again, did not preclude drinking.” Genius.

Fictional firms and other entertainments

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I amuse myself sometimes by making up fictional companies, usually of three surnames, the names of which throw entertaining connotations.

For example, in LHF, Anneka worked as an admin/copyeditor for a marketing firm called Popinjay, Curry, & Fawn. Curry and Fawn are, of course, legitimate surnames, but Popinjay is an obsolete term for a conceited airhead. Thus the company name suggests a ridiculous level of groveling and sucking up.

I thought up another one recently: Steele, Irons, & Paine. This is either an engineering firm doing sinister things in their basement or an aggressive, mercenary team of lawyers.

Passive-aggressive note found in the wild: a job description for PERSON USING KITCHEN

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I found this gem of passive aggression on the shared drive at my current workplace. Apparently the former receptionist disliked the messes people were leaving in the kitchen, so created a job description for PERSON USING KITCHEN, printed it out, and left it on the kitchen counter.

I have copied and pasted the job description barely disguised rant below, changing only the identifying details of the company. Punctuation, boldface, and formatting come straight from the original.

 

 

Job Description: PERSON USING KITCHEN

 

The person using the kitchen has primary responsibility for the day-to-day clean-up of the Acme Corporation’s Building A kitchen, with the goal of increasing both the cleanliness and the general appearance thereof.  The kitchen user also works closely with fellow staff to manage all aspects of the kitchen program, including the sink, surfaces, fridge and floors. The kitchen user reports to everyone else in Building A at the Acme Corporation.

 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

60%        Wash your dishes.  Don’t leave them in the sink.  Put them in the dishwasher or wash them and put them in the rack to dry.  Even dry them yourself.  Put them away after they air-dry.  Don’t put away other people’s dishes. This just encourages them not to put away their own. Proactively load the dishwasher. All employees take equal ownership in a TEAM APPROACH to our COMMUNITY KITCHEN including loading, starting/running the dishwasher as well as unloading it. This is no single person with this responsibility – we should all do this freely. If you do not know how to turn it, on please ask a co-worker!

25%        Partner with your colleagues to keep the fridge pretty clean.  Friday is a good day to give it a once-over.  It’s actually kind of fun to find what other life forms have found fuel in neglected lunches.  Finding someone else’s ancient salad will let you feel superior for a few minutes, too.  On the other hand, don’t take someone else’s food, even if it is just a few tablespoons of salad dressing.

10%        Play an active, effective, team-oriented role in developing and implementing your own strategy for cleaning up after yourself.  You know what to do.

5%          Other duties as assigned.

 

Specific standards of performance will be captured as metrics in an annual kitchen plan.

 

MINIMUM SKILLS & ABILITIES

  • Team-oriented style combined with the ability and desire to achieve a high level of cleanliness.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience in exercising discretion in a potentially germ-infested environment.
  • Ability to motivate and manage our team to do the same.
  • Evening and weekend work is required to fulfill job responsibilities, except you don’t have to clean the kitchen on the weekend. Do that at your own house.

 

PREFERRED SKILLS & ABILITIES

  • Higher standards.
  • Experience living closely with other people.
  • A demonstrated ability to clean up after yourself.
  • Comfort with dishrags, kitchen towels, scrub brush and ice maker.
  • Ability to run a dish washer.
  • Willingness to ask if you do not know what the proper community kitchen etiquette is.

 


This masterpiece contains so many grace notes [?!] that it’s impossible to call them all out, but let me highlight a few favorites.

“Wash your dishes. …Even dry them yourself.” You can just hear the writer muttering, “Novel concept, huh?”

“All employees take equal ownership, in a TEAM APPROACH, etc., etc., etc.” Boldface and caps lock = srs bzns. So basically this entire document could be boiled down to “Use the goddamn dishwasher!!!!!”

“Finding someone else’s ancient salad will let you feel superior for a few minutes, too.” Author invites readers to share sneering contempt.

“5% Other duties as assigned.” I shudder to think.

“…experience in exercising discretion in a potentially germ-infested environment.” Some of these parody lines are actually kinda funny.

“Preferred Skills and Abilities: Higher standards.” Oh burn!

The ice cream contains WHAT?

The ice cream contains WHAT? published on No Comments on The ice cream contains WHAT?

The corollary to Mr. Ding-A-Ling, this experience is based on an encounter with a local parlor’s odd flavors. Sometimes unusual flavors can be delicious — I myself have had wonderful cucumber sorbet, wasabi ice cream, and strawberry basil ice cream — but sometimes I get the feeling that the makers are just being weird for weird’s sake.

 

Side note: You can tell that it’s coming along autumn when Jareth breaks out the combo of slit throat choker and phalanges jewelry! ^_^

 

Side note 2: My favorite expression in this story is Jennifer’s in panel 8. That’s disappointment and revulsion all rolled into one if I ever saw it!

 

Continue reading The ice cream contains WHAT?

The ice cream van is named WHAT?!

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Jareth encounters an oddly named ice cream van. Yeah, ice cream. That’s what this photostory is about: ice cream. :p

P.S. There is a real, actual, 103% true ice cream van by this name that drives around Winooski. I am not making this up. [My fictional ice cream truck would probably be something like Creemees 2 Go or Artisanal Cone Productions, Inc.]

Continue reading The ice cream van is named WHAT?!

Something in My House, bananas-on-ham fit throwing, and the sheer beauty of Pete Burns’ melodramatic petulance

Something in My House, bananas-on-ham fit throwing, and the sheer beauty of Pete Burns’ melodramatic petulance published on No Comments on Something in My House, bananas-on-ham fit throwing, and the sheer beauty of Pete Burns’ melodramatic petulance

The title says it all, folks. The music video for Something in My House epitomizes Dead or Alive’s combination of playfulness, silliness, and camp so high that it’s smoking pot somewhere in the stratosphere. Speaking of bananas on ham, there are actual bananas in the video [and maybe actual ham, although I’ve never gotten a close look at the smorgasbord], which means that Pete is quite literally chewing the scenery. I feel that this is what The Rocky Horror Picture Show should have been like — a goofy celebration of flirting with and mugging for the crowd — instead of being a toxic pile of transmisogynist waste that derided the over-the-top character it supposedly centered around. Hmmmm, I smell another essay in the works about camp in RHPS versus camp in Dead or Alive.

Anyway, this entry is mainly an excuse for copious screencaps and sarcastic comments…Continue reading Something in My House, bananas-on-ham fit throwing, and the sheer beauty of Pete Burns’ melodramatic petulance

“Door & windows — divorced, just like Mommy and Daddy”: the educated snark of Worst of McMansions

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Worst of McMansions, which recently debuted on the Tumblr scene, unites architectural savvy with humorous sarcasm to devastating effect. Kate’s clever potshots at the bloated houses built during the real estate bubble of the 1990s through mid 2000s are comedy gold; check out her photo annotations on this Mclean, Virginia monstrosity. I’d love to link to her autobiography, but I can’t find it.

EDIT: I found it.

How to scare off people: “Wait! I have flowcharts!”

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I just adore Assigned Male [comic strip] by Sophie LaBelle, and this one where the protagonist is waving gender flowcharts at a passerby illustrates why — geeky humor, cute art, and a a constant counter to my hardened, bitter, cynical heart.

“Achtung and lots of spit”

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I read an essay in Smithsonian years back in which the author described childhood war games. When the author and friends were being Nazis, they used their imaginative interpretation of German. In a memorable turn of phrase, the author describes this fictional German as being made up primary of Achtung and lots of spit. Whenever I think of this, I snicker.

Given my recent NDH Ohrwurmer, the phrase Achtung and lots of spit comes to mind again. It’s actually a fair approximation of the percussive enunciations that at least Rammstein likes to use [“Rrrrrrrrrrein rrrrrrrrrrraus…”]. Oomph! does it too, but with less growling and more banging.

NDH: making German sound like a self-parody since whenever the genre developed. ^_^

50 shades of unintentional connotations

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The following conversation occurred at work the other day:

 

MD executive [jokingly, to HR executive, holding up document]: This is like that book 50 Shades of Grey!

Me [to MD executive’s assistant]: Did he just say what I think he said?! To an HR person?!

MD executive’s assistant: Yeahhhhh…he doesn’t know what that book’s about.

Me [later, after some thought]: Did he mean that it was confusing and hard to understand, like it wasn’t black and white, but shades of grey?

MD executive’s assistant: Yup, and, while that’s technically correct…

Me: Jeez, I really hope that document wasn’t like grade Z erotica.

I expect there was some subtlety lost in translation too, as the MD executive’s primary language is not English.

And here, my dear readers, we have a great illustration of the difference between connotation and denotation. If I say in an exasperated voice, “Ugh, this stinkin’ document is 50 shades of grey!” it is eminently plausible that I’m annoyed at its endless sfumato murkiness, and I could certainly use the words to denote that — that is, to indicate it definitionally. However, such a remark now currently carries associations with certain pieces of grade Z erotica, so, even if I mean something frustratingly ambiguous, no one will interpret my remark that way.

Speaking of grey, apparently une éminence grise does NOT mean an old, respected, redoubtable person, but a power behind the throne. I always thought it referred to an old eminent person, with the grey alluding to the person’s grey hair, but apparently it refers to Francois Leclerc du Tremblay, the advisor of Cardinal Richelieu. Leclerc was technically not due the title of Eminence, as he wasn’t a cardinal, but people called him the Grey Eminence in respect to his power. The grise denotes not the color grey, but Leclerc’s beige friar robes. I guess beige was called grise back then. Makes me wonder what the French for beige was.

45 Things You’ll Never Hear Someone From Vermont Say

45 Things You’ll Never Hear Someone From Vermont Say published on No Comments on 45 Things You’ll Never Hear Someone From Vermont Say

From here, with my commentary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The middle of the road is the best place to stop your car and take pictures of the leaves! We like to complain about leaf peepers as much as we complain about the weather. We’re also sometimes uncertain why they’re taking pictures of the leaves and why, if they like them so much, they just don’t take them back with them.
  • Who are those two guys that started that ice cream company? Ben and Jerry! We’re still sad that they sold out to Unilever.
  • I’ll take all of my groceries in plastic bags, please. This is implying that Vermonters tend to go for paper bags, their own bags, or no bags, but I dispute this, having seen plastic bags in use ubiquitously.
  • What’s your area code? ‘S’all 802, buddy.
  • You should probably shave your beard. I guess we don’t remove our facial hair here?
  • I wish more people would get married in rustic farm barns. “Rustic farm barns” is a tridundant phrase; we just call them “barns,” and they’re not some vintage shabby chic wedding destination in our view. If we’re talking wooden barns, those are the dilapidated structures all over the state that people either use as makeshift garages/sheds or just allow to slowly decompose by the side of the road.
  • I’d love some vanilla soft serve. It’s a vanilla creemee, not “soft serve,” and local tradition decrees that it [and any other flavors] must be advertised via large, handmade wooden cutout of a creemee in a cone.
  • I need something to put on my pancakes. Please pass the Aunt Jemima. We don’t use racist water, sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, here. We use what comes from sugar maples — so-called “REAL maple syrup,” the adjective being there to distinguish it from the swill that almost everyone else in the country counts as syrup.
  • No, I don’t know any farmers. Most of us know farmers…
  • You just moved here from Connecticut? Oh, you are definitely a Vermonter now. People who have moved here from out of state are called “flatlanders.” We tend not to consider people Vermonters unless they were born here, along with their parents, etc.
  • I bought so much stuff at Target today! We have no frickin’ Targets in this state, but plenty of Wal-Marts. What gives, Target?
  • There is no such thing as Champ the Lake Monster. We take our cryptid seriously.
  • I don’t own any flannel. Better statement: “I don’t dress in layers.”
  • Did you see that great billboard advertisement on I-89? We don’t have billboards in the state, so we always experience the shock of their ugliness whenever we cross the borders.
  • I never run into anyone I know! Vermont: a small town cleverly masquerading as a state.
  • I’ll pass on the craft beer; just toss me another Bud. Microbreweries proliferate.
  • I’ve never met anyone who smokes weed. I guess it’s ubiquitous, like real maple syrup.
  • I don’t eat organic food. I guess it’s ubiquitous, like real maple syrup.
  • This restaurant only serves local, farm to table food? No thanks. Locavore and farm-to-table movements have great support here, to the extent where we assume that all locally based restaurants should participate.
  • What’s a fiddlehead? It’s the unripe, rolled-up frond of certain types of fern, edible steamed or in salad.
  • Vermon-T. We swallow the T and insert a glottal stop.
  • Moun-T-ain. Insert glottal stop instead.
  • Spring is the season that comes right after winter. Nope, that’s mud season.
  • The weather here is so predictable. The only thing predictable is that we complain about it.
  • Rain in January? Yes! January is statistically our cold month; though we may have some rain for January thaw [or at least we did when our weather was more regular], we tend to get lots of snow then.
  • You have gluten intolerance? Good luck finding a restaurant to eat at. We apparently have lots of gluten-free options.
  • We are proud supporters of the University of Vermont football team! UVM doesn’t have one. We’re all about hockey instead.
  • You’re from New Jersey? Wow, that’s so cool! Flatlanders…! >_>
  • Let’s leave the beer brewing to the professionals. See statement on Bud.
  • Let’s go to Stowe for an inexpensive weekend getaway. Stowe is not cheap at all!
  • I’ll just quickly run into the store and grab what I need. I won’t talk to anyone, promise. See “small town” comment.
  • No more kale! “Eat more kale!” [Corollary: HISSSSSSSSSSS to Chick-Fil-A.]
  • The leaf peepers are leaving for the season? Nooooooooo! See comment on taking pictures of leaves.
  • I wish my neighbors lived closer. They live so close that they won’t go away.
  • I hate that we have to drive so far to go hiking. Getting anywhere is pretty much a hike.
  • Let’s move to Massachusetts! Some of us moved to get away from Massachusetts and have no desire to return.
  • I think I’ll just stay inside all weekend. We tend to like to frolic outside.
  • It’s snowing out, looks like school is going to be closed. Snow does not necessarily guarantee school closure; lots of ice and crappy back roads, however, tend to shut it down.
  • What’s Town Meeting Day? It’s when the local government gets stuff done.
  • Phish got started in Vermont? I had no idea. We tend to have some idea.
  • I sure wish there were more Subarus in this parking lot. Four-wheel drives like Subarus really help in the winter.
  • People go on vacation here? Really? Why? Some of us have deep, unreasoning love for this state.
  • The air is so dirty. I guess it’s cleaner than other places, but it’s really not that great over all.
  • This state has nothing going for it; I think it’s time to leave. “Deep, unreasoning love.”
  • Bernie who? The politician we’ve all been on a first-name basis with since the 1980s.

 

“It’s a novel; it’s not a manual!”: the problem with 50 Shades of Pooooooo

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50 Shades of Poooooooo somehow came up in discussion at the Friends of the Library meeting this evening when we were talking about the prospect of a book swap and donations this spring. I felt it apropos to mention that the first book in the series keeps getting stolen from the library, so I keep donating copies to replace it. [Okay, just twice, but still…]

Favorite response: “Why would you steal it?! It’s a novel; it’s not a manual. You’re supposed to read it and then return it, not keep it for reference!” That cracked me up because clearly the speaker was not thinking about the pleasures of rereading. I was also entertained because, distressingly, people actually do take the series as a manual for either an ideal relationship and/or how to practice bdsm.

On the subject of pooooooooooo, a friend has sent me a pdf of Masters of the Universe, which is, of course, E.L. James’ Twilight fanfic that eventually spawned the Media Juggernaut of Poooooooo. If I don’t get lost in some infinite wormhole of recursion upon reading it, I might post a thought or two about it here.

Temperature scales with reference to cats, Californians, Floridians, Bostonians, and Minnesotans

Temperature scales with reference to cats, Californians, Floridians, Bostonians, and Minnesotans published on No Comments on Temperature scales with reference to cats, Californians, Floridians, Bostonians, and Minnesotans

This temperature scale amuses me. I figure that the “Bostonians” column applies equally well to all Vermonters. Being dissatisfied with the weather is practically a regional sport in New England. The “Cats” column [“Yell at you until you turn the heat up”] also entertains me.

“I’m a blond bimbo girl / In a fantasy world…”

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I didn’t really know the lyrics to Aqua’s dance hit Barbie Girl until today when I watched the video. Both the lyrics and the video crack me up. I love the way that the main verses make repeated obvious reference to sexual activities, like undressing, kissing, touching, even blatant “hanky panky,” but the chorus insists that Barbie and Ken’s main activity is partying. Yeah right…the video demonstrates that Rene Dif’s Ken is trying to get into Lene Nystrom’s Barbie’s pants.

I also like Nystrom’s delivery. She sings in a simpering falsetto that accentuates the non-sexual aspect of all the proposed activities. In fact, her Barbie seems more interested in stereotypes of romantic love [“You can touch / You can play / If you say / I’m always yours”] and has very little awareness of the double entendres of her lines. The closest she comes is when she says, “I can act like a star / I can beg on my knees,” whereupon she looks over her sunglasses with an expression that could possibly be knowing or conspiratorial if her character weren’t so blithely uninterested in sexual objectification for the rest of the video. Ken’s the one rolling his eyes and winking at the audience, while Barbie is busy petting the dog, roller skating, and thinking of true love. She’s illustrating the interpretation of doll qua child’s toy, and he’s illustrating doll qua sex toy. Of course, the whole song’s constant emphasis on contrafactuality [“Imagination / Life is your creation,” “…In a fantasy world,” “I can act like a star”] points out that both concepts of dolls are overheated stereotypes created by heterosexual dudes who are not interested in relating to actual, real, complex women, so it’s a sly critique masquerading as a poppy dance hit.

I like smart songs about dolls! 

 

 

Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself music video is a gas!

Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself music video is a gas! published on No Comments on Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself music video is a gas!

In this video, Billy Idol prances around on a junky, post-apocalyptic sound stage, proclaiming how he’s all alone. As he continues posturing and sneering in a hammy, macho manner, fans [?] dressed in grey, ragged clothes scale the walls and attempt to reach him, but he zaps them all away with electricity and continues to assert that he’s dancing with himself dammit! Undaunted, the fans climb up the walls again, gather around him on the sound stage, and start seriously boogeying down. Billy Idol ends the song insisting that he’s still all by his lonesome, but the effect of this statement is diminished by the sweet moves of the fans around him.

 

P.S. Yes, I am also aware of the misogynist themes in this video, like the silhouette of the chained woman dancing and the man sharpening his razor in preparation for killing her.

Heavenly Pant[r]y

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E-mail circulated on Friday on a departmental mailing list to which I subscribe:

 

I love our team!

In the spirit of serving our communities…my girls school is hosting a non-food drive for the Heavenly Panty in Essex Junction that serves a lot of our local communities. Some of these items are hard for food pantry’s to get – yet are still very much needed by our neighbors. If you are so inclined….feel free to drop items off with me and I will get them to the Heavenly Pantry.  [details]

E-mail circulated two minutes later, flagged with high importance:

HEAVENLY PANTRY PEOPLE NOT PANTY!!

(crawling into a hole now)

“Doing a Devo,” or, What Goes On in My Imagination

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I rarely share in public what goes on with the characters in my head, but this is one of the more innocuous events.

For context, I got Whip It by Devo stuck in my head, which is clearly a goofy set of puns, even if you haven’t seen the video. Then I started thinking about Jareth’s workplace, which is mostly your basic corporate office, except for the fact that the business, the Mortal Coil [yes, thank you very much — I like the name too] sells party space, scene space, kinky equipment, and bdsm services. [And that’s one of the ways you can tell it’s imaginary — because such a company would never exist anywhere in Vermont. :p ]

Sadine is the Coil’s rock star domme who brings in so much business that she gets her own assistant, which is Jareth. It’s mostly executive assistant work, with a ton of calendar management. Lately, though, she’s been getting a lot of really low-quality crap from the web content specialists who are ghosting her blog copy, and so we begin our vignette…Continue reading “Doing a Devo,” or, What Goes On in My Imagination

Localized temporal distortion??

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Me to my boss today [deadpan]: I have a very serious, pressing question: How did it get to be 11:45 already?

 

Her [deadpan]: We’re in a time warp. We went through the wormhole and came out the other end.

 

Me: Like in Wayne’s World. [makes appropriate sound effects]

Of course, since I often have meta-thoughts, especially about language, I got to wondering what exactly a time warp is, what it sounds like, and the history of its development as a pop cultural shorthand for a perception that time is moving more quickly or more slowly than usual. I have no definite answers, but I think the signature sound of the TARDIS on Doctor Who, as well as the show’s theme song [2003 version linked], not to mention the RHPS song Time Warp, will inflect the results. Stay tuned.

“Okay, but wait — here is some new information: I NEED it.”

“Okay, but wait — here is some new information: I NEED it.” published on No Comments on “Okay, but wait — here is some new information: I NEED it.”

Sean Williams’ column in Slate, “But I Want it,” genericizes conversations between a father and a kid. The father tries to reason with the kid using impeccable adult logic, while the kid counters with airtight kid logic. Hilarity results. You don’t even have to have kids in order to appreciate the humor here; in fact, the first conversation reminds me of conversations I’ve had with past cats.

Cat baffled by cat door

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This picture of a cat failing to use the cat door entertains me. It also reminds me that Babycat has, on several occasions, considered herself trapped behind the [freely movable] shower curtain between living room and kitchen [used to keep heat in the most-used end of the apartment] and thus tragically, alarmingly separated from her mom. Distress calls have resulted, along with pathetic pawing against the curtain.

Masterful translation of Jonathan Coulton’s “Re: Your Brains”

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Songs, like poetry, don’t always translate well. Stephen Torrence’s translation of Jonathan Coulton’s “Re: Your Brains” into American Sign Language, however, captures the rhythm, tone, and low-key humor perfectly.

Spring time in Vermont: see screencap

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More accurately, mud season in Vermont.

It was like 24 degrees F this morning, and it’s currently 54 degrees F. Tomorrow we anticipate a high of 65 degrees F, followed by 1 to 3 inches of snow four-letter word on Saturday and a high of barely above freezing on Sunday.

The truism that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb doesn’t really apply in this state. March might come in like a lion, but, at some point around the middle of the month, it turns into an ornery goat who won’t stop taking ludicrously high jumps and deep dives, all the while swerving between moments of deceptive mildness interspersed with biting nastiness.

Continue reading Spring time in Vermont: see screencap

“It is also sort of classy-looking, in a generic, TV-ad-for-bath-oil way.”

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Bwah hah! Lisa Schwartzbaum damns the 50 Shades of Grey movie with faint praise in the linked review. I particularly like the line quoted in the subject.

The general consensus appears to be that this movie is decidedly mediocre: not so bad it’s good, but definitely hampered by the headliners’ limited acting abilities [I’m looking at you, Jamie Dornan!], a sort of generic set dressing and the refusal of the script to let the main characters take off their pants and actually do something significantly sexy.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1708510.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

One of the silliest music videos ever

One of the silliest music videos ever published on No Comments on One of the silliest music videos ever

Men Without Hats’ video for Pop Goes the World mostly. Ivan Doroschuk starts out looking kinda tough with his black leather jacket, shredded leggings and stern, angular face. Then the bubble machine starts, and he begins to dance with his usual groovy abandon as the most painfully literal interpretation of the lyrics occurs. [For example, "One two three and four is five / Everybody here is a friend of mine" is accompanied by someone drawing five hatch marks on a chalkboard.] Furthermore, it’s obvious that no one is playing the instruments they’re holding. I think this video was filmed for about $100.00 Canadian, $50.00 of which went to space rental and the other $50.00 of which went to the bubble machine. I love you, Men Without Hats, and I like this song, but this is just a hilariously bad effort.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1690434.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

“Sink me — the man can’t even tie his own cravat!”

“Sink me — the man can’t even tie his own cravat!” published on No Comments on “Sink me — the man can’t even tie his own cravat!”

For some reason, in high school French class, we ended up watching a 1982 TV movie adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel, probably because it was nominally set in the French Revolution. Anyway, I found it thrilling for several reasons:

  • Anthony Andrews hamming it up as Sir Percival Blakeney/Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Ian McKellen sputtering and fuming as the villain Chauvelin
  • the climactic fencing between aforesaid characters
  • S.P. slicing through Chauvelin’s shirt collar and mocking him: "Sink me — the man can’t even tie his own cravat!"

Incidentally, a quick IMDB search on Anthony Andrews reveals that he works steadily, especially in TV, and still looks the same as he did in 1982, only with less hair. Nice smirk!

The name Percival really irritates me for some reason. Really, really, really irritates me.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1676941.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Pelvic thrusts, silly hats and general hamming up

Pelvic thrusts, silly hats and general hamming up published on No Comments on Pelvic thrusts, silly hats and general hamming up

Freddie Mercury and Queen doing Another One Bites the Dust. I love Freddie Mercury.  He has just such an amazing amount of irrepressible JOY in his performances. He moves with such grace and poise and control — everything he does on stage is dancing!

Goofin’ off with We Are the Champions. So caught up that he starts air guitaring with the mike stand again. ^_^

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1656098.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Oh look — Weird Al made a parody about my signature style!

Oh look — Weird Al made a parody about my signature style! published on No Comments on Oh look — Weird Al made a parody about my signature style!

The clothes, not the rude behaviors. 😀

See here.  

All of those outfits are RAD!

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1655402.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

I really like the Life in the Dreamhouse Web series…

I really like the Life in the Dreamhouse Web series… published on No Comments on I really like the Life in the Dreamhouse Web series…

…with Barbie and all her friends because, for the most part, it manages to balance light humor at no one’s expense with slapstick and clever in-jokes. Midge as snorting, safety-obsessed introvert who talks like the 1950s also cracks me up — and she’s so cute when she appears in Smidge of Midge in greyscale!

I also really like Ken, who ultimately ends up being portrayed as just another character who happens to be Barbie’s boyfriend, rather than the major plot motor and deus ex machina of the series. He’s goofy and utterly devoted to Barbie [“Barbie sense…tingling…”] and supremely confident enough in his masculinity to invent a super-sophisticated closet for all his girlfriend’s clothes. In other words, rather than having gay panic over activities often coded as queer, Ken does IT, back-end programming for the Super Style Squad [actually saying, “Beep boop bop,” with Skipper as they hit buttons ^_^ ]. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see a cartoon where all the characters, male and female, take fashion, style, clothing, etc., etc., etc., seriously, and no one shits on it for being trivially feminine. That’s actually kind of revolutionary.

Life in the Dreamhouse would be even better if it ditched its racism and ableism. For example:

  • The cast needs more POC in significant speaking roles besides Nikki.
  • While we’re discussing Nikki, she needs to develop a modicum of personality beyond Sassy Black Friend. For God’s sake, she even does the head jerks and vocal fry so routinely associated with this stereotype. Everyone else has some interest or trait to differentiate them [Teresa’s monkey, Midge’s macrame, Summer’s high energy, Skipper’s use of gadgets, Ryan’s really bad songs], but Nikki has nothing.
  • Furthermore, the show needs to stop using Afros as a visual shorthand for disastrous hairdos. When all characters have shiny, sleek, straight hair and curly, kinky, gravity-defying clouds of natural locks are depicted as the ridiculous punchlines to jokes, people with such curly, kinky hair are derided by extension.
  • The ableism needs to go too. Any use of “lame” as an adjective meaning “bad quality, boring, uninteresting, etc.” should be scratched from the script pronto. Ditto for any appearance of “crazy” for “wild, unusual, strange, exciting” or “cray cray” for same. Just cut it out.
  • In terms of additions, I think that Life in the Dreamhouse would be greatly improved by the appearance of Becky, a photographer friend of Barbie who uses a wheelchair. I mean, c’mon — if they can devote the air time to a running gag on the inadequate single elevator in the Dreamhouse, surely they can devote an episode to its upgrade and Barbie and Becky’s happiness when Becky can finally get to the second floor to see her super-awesome closet, right?

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1649981.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

“Sexy sexy sexy, stabby stabby stabby…Look at my fingers in a circle.”

“Sexy sexy sexy, stabby stabby stabby…Look at my fingers in a circle.” published on No Comments on “Sexy sexy sexy, stabby stabby stabby…Look at my fingers in a circle.”

Peter Dinklage sums up Game of Thrones in 45 seconds with an Eddie Izzard-like silliness. This just makes him even hotter!

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1643444.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Robert Pattinson and the Twilight Saga

Robert Pattinson and the Twilight Saga published on No Comments on Robert Pattinson and the Twilight Saga

In these interviews, he tries really hard not to slag the franchise that earned him bundles, but he can’t refrain from some rather insightful criticism of the series’ failures. His observation that Stephenie Meyer sees herself as Bella makes lots of sense, especially since she got the original idea for a key Twilight scene from a dream. 

I actually really like the guy. From what I’ve seen, he’s rather down-to-earth, playful, a little silly and accessible. Being sexy doesn’t hurt either.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1640537.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Hmmm, something seems to be out of scale here.

Hmmm, something seems to be out of scale here. published on No Comments on Hmmm, something seems to be out of scale here.

Obviously the window is too small. :p

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1640430.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

“Sixty-nine-cent canned goods. Sixty-nine-cent canned bads!”

“Sixty-nine-cent canned goods. Sixty-nine-cent canned bads!” published on No Comments on “Sixty-nine-cent canned goods. Sixty-nine-cent canned bads!”

Jason Messina, who brought you Ugly Furniture, also did a parody commercial for Bankrupt Dollar Store. Favorite line quoted in subject. Bwah hah!

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1633669.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

“Hang this on your wall…because 1982 said so.”

“Hang this on your wall…because 1982 said so.” published on No Comments on “Hang this on your wall…because 1982 said so.”

This Ugly Furniture parody of a local resale shop’s commercial is cracking me up.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1632531.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

“Reblogging for Elizabeth Sr.”

“Reblogging for Elizabeth Sr.” published on No Comments on “Reblogging for Elizabeth Sr.”

Isn’t Andrea nice? She reblogged this for me:


Why can’t I find the video for this???

"She’s so swishy in her satin and tat, / In her frock coat and bipperty bopperty hat / Oh God, I could do better than that…"

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1608196.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Advice column: “Saddest Song, Smallest Violin” version

Advice column: “Saddest Song, Smallest Violin” version published on No Comments on Advice column: “Saddest Song, Smallest Violin” version

Bah hah hah hah hah! 


In answer to someone who is extremely bothered by the fact that their wife enthusiastically enjoys YA fiction: "Gift her a nice Franzen box set, a fresh copy of Infinite Jest or the complete works of Dave Eggers, so that she may better learn to center her recreational reading around fictional middle-aged white men instead of fictional people who aren’t as important and interesting as they are."

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1520334.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Undersea population of the Tacky Quarter of Atlantis

Undersea population of the Tacky Quarter of Atlantis published on No Comments on Undersea population of the Tacky Quarter of Atlantis

December Diamonds makes painted, glitter-encrusted ornaments of resin, including a wide selection of mermaids and mermen. They would sell extremely well in Provincetown, especially since most of the merdudes look like they’re about to strip. I like how they’re clearly sculpted with a certain level of realism and a sense of humor. There’s a definite queer sensibility at work here. Simply faboo!

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1505656.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Helsinki Complaints Choir sings It’s Not Fair

Helsinki Complaints Choir sings It’s Not Fair published on No Comments on Helsinki Complaints Choir sings It’s Not Fair

The Helsinki Complaints Choir makes melodious art from the daily annoyances of white bourgeois capitalists. Brb, crackin’ my shit up.

Sarah: "That’s not fair!"

Jareth: "You say that so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is?"

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1491326.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

We’ve gotta piss, drink, smoke, fight, fart and flex…and think of something other than sex!

We’ve gotta piss, drink, smoke, fight, fart and flex…and think of something other than sex! published on No Comments on We’ve gotta piss, drink, smoke, fight, fart and flex…and think of something other than sex!

I forgot how hilarious the Foremen’s Hard Time to Be a Man was.

Now, this bar graph represents the thought processes of the average American male in 1957. We see, in descending order of importance, sex, sports, cars, and sex in sports cars.

But things have changed since the enlightenment, as illustrated by this 1993 bar graph showing that men now think about sex, sports, cars, and promoting the wellness of the planet and the humanness of all people by creating a caring and nurturing environment in which to have sex in sports cars.

P.S. How ’bout them Niners?

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1473341.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

BJD Text Confessions LOLs

BJD Text Confessions LOLs published on 1 Comment on BJD Text Confessions LOLs

Confession says, "All my dolls are based on the men of my masturbatory fantasies."

Collective response says, "So? Do you think that’s unique in this hobby?"

BWAH HAH!

Jareth: >:} [devious smirk]

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1468276.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Whenever I see scientific articles in lists of references…

Whenever I see scientific articles in lists of references… published on No Comments on Whenever I see scientific articles in lists of references…

…in the manuscripts I process, I think of this Piled Higher and Deeper cartoon about author order.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1462132.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Akinator guesses fictional characters you’re thinking of.

Akinator guesses fictional characters you’re thinking of. published on No Comments on Akinator guesses fictional characters you’re thinking of.

Entertaining. Works best with recent pop culture figures. Did not work with Willa Rahv, protagonist of the 1970s YA novel Early Disorder by Rebecca Jacobs, my favorite novel. It did, however, guess Jareth [hah!] and Candide [probably because it was developed by French people].

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1447375.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

“My brain is losing power / Twelve hundred neurons every hour…”

“My brain is losing power / Twelve hundred neurons every hour…” published on No Comments on “My brain is losing power / Twelve hundred neurons every hour…”

Mose Allison’s My Brain is my current favorite song, which I’ve been hearing regularly on Jazz 24. Here’s an article about Allison’s continuing status as a living jazz legend, even past the age of 83, which is when he wrote My Brain. And here’s a studio recording. Lyrics are in the top comment by High Northerner. Here’s a live version. It’s all the sharper for being sung by a man near the end of his life. If Zombieville had an official song, this would be it: a gallows humor celebration of life.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1430971.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Amusement and poo-flinging on Tumblr

Amusement and poo-flinging on Tumblr published on 1 Comment on Amusement and poo-flinging on Tumblr

Since the summer, I’ve enjoyed following a few BJD-related Tumblrs, mostly whatshouldwecalldolls.tumblr.com, followed by bjdtextconfessions.tumblr.com and bjdconfessions.tumblr.com. The first entertains me by applying animated gifs to hobby-related experiences. The second and the third bear anonymous witness to the barely coherent rage apparently simmering just beneath the surface of your average BJD owner. >_>

Recently, much of said barely coherent rage has concerned recasts, or bootleg, knockoff BJDs. When I first discovered that there was even a controversy about recasts, I did not understand. Recasts are clearly wrong. Don’t buy them. How hard is that?

Pretty hard, apparently. Defenders of recasts have loads of justifications for their immoral and illegal deeds, including the following:

“I can’t afford a legit one.”

“Only the recasters supply the resin color that I want.”

“It’s just like downloading music.”

“You’re just being elitist.” [In the BJD community, calling someone the E-word is just about the worst insult ever. I could write a whole entry about that, but it’s kind of a tangent.]

And my favorite: “[Keep your] noses, moral choices, and all that jazz out of everyone elses dollie buying decision.” Because right and wrong are completely irrelevant to human social activities! Whaddaya mean — you didn’t know that?!

Interestingly, most arguments in favor of recasts boil down to, “You’re not the boss of me! PPLLLBBBHHHTHTHSSSSST!” Historically speaking, this has never been an effective rhetorical strategy.

The amount of poo-flinging generating by the subject of recasts [see this thread, for example] fascinates me. O_O

Switch’s doll owner’s manual

Switch’s doll owner’s manual published on 1 Comment on Switch’s doll owner’s manual

Includes an illustrated list of activities to do with your doll [have deep conversations, propose, go on a space trip], as well as a list of illustrated side effects. Holy crap, that's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. The company knows exactly what people do with their BJDs!

Goodbye, Eduard Khil.

Goodbye, Eduard Khil. published on No Comments on Goodbye, Eduard Khil.

Known online for being the Trololo Man, Russian singer Eduard Khil died yesterday. I didn't know about his iconic video until recently, which is too bad because, every time I see it, it makes me smile. Even though he's singing nonsense syllables instead of censored lyrics, Khil just looks so damn ebullient and joyful. How can you resist that?

Gilbert Gottfried reads excerpts from 50 Shades of Grey

Gilbert Gottfried reads excerpts from 50 Shades of Grey published on No Comments on Gilbert Gottfried reads excerpts from 50 Shades of Grey

As irritating and pretentious and unfunny as I find Gilbert Gottfried, I must admit that this fake commercial of him reading explicit excerpts from 50 Shades of Grey, less because of Gottfried himself and more because of the increasingly horrified expressions on the readers' faces. Needless to say, this contains explicit sexual language.

Today’s hilarious simile

Today’s hilarious simile published on No Comments on Today’s hilarious simile

And now, for something more amusing, let's turn to John Scalzi's blog entry, "Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is," which begins:

I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word “privilege,” to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon.

The entry itself goes on to analogize "straight white male" privilege as the easiest level setting in a video game. I sense some implicit Oppression Olympics going on in his analogy, so I can't recommend it unreservedly, but that opening comparison sure is hilarious.

Yo, is this racist?

Yo, is this racist? published on No Comments on Yo, is this racist?

I just looked up impetus on dictionary.com to verify that the plural is impetuses. [It is.] For a quote that used the word in a sentence, the dictionary provided this shining gem by the horrendous bilgewhacker D.H. Lawrence:

"While the white man keeps the impetus of his own proud, onward march, the dark races will yield and serve, perforce. But let the white man once have a misgiving about his own leadership, and the dark races will at once attack him, to pull him down into the old gulfs."

Apparently this comes from a 1920s novel by Lawrence entitled The Plumed Serpent. Stupid condescending crap from the main character Kate.

Maybe the dictionary.com quote generator should exclude bigoted tripe, huh?

P.S. The title of this entry comes from Yo, Is this Racist?, a hilarious [and ableist] Q&A blog.

Repartee to bigots??

Repartee to bigots?? published on 1 Comment on Repartee to bigots??

On this thread on Dances With Fat about LGBT ally George Takei’s fat phobia, commenter Saffie brings a possible retort for people who stick their noses in and offer bigoted, shaming comments about her fat body:

My favorite response?

  • “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry for your loss.”
  • “What loss?”
  • “Seems like your parents weren’t around to teach you manners. I just thought you must have lost them at a very young age.”

Recognizing that not everyone is raised by their parents and it’s not appropriate to bring up parental death to strangers who may have had parents who died, I would change this conversation as follows:

  • Bigot: [stupid comment]
  • Person: I’m so sorry for your loss.
  • Bigot: Bzuh?
  • Person: You seem to have tragically lost your manners. My condolences.

HAH HAH HAH HAH!

Dr. Who season 4 wrap party music video

Dr. Who season 4 wrap party music video published on No Comments on Dr. Who season 4 wrap party music video

This video, set to a Proclaimers song, just makes me so happy to see how much fun the cast and crew of David Tennant's Dr. Who run are having! Look at David Tennant's expressions when the Proclaimers themselves come on!

Stop-motion animation featuring Black Widow action figure kicking ass!

Stop-motion animation featuring Black Widow action figure kicking ass! published on No Comments on Stop-motion animation featuring Black Widow action figure kicking ass!

Patrick Boivin presents a stop-motion animated Hot Toys Black Widow action fig kicking all the male characters' asses. Sweet!

Also please see his stop-motion video of the Michael Jackson fig vs. the Mr. Bean fig. The animation of the body language is hilarious!

The formula for almost all love songs on the radio these days

The formula for almost all love songs on the radio these days published on 1 Comment on The formula for almost all love songs on the radio these days

…Brought to you by DaVinci’s Notebook’s The Title of the Song. Favorite line: "Drop to my knees to elicit crowd response." The same group also has in their repertoire a host of other humorous a cappella songs.

Also in the same vein is Britanick’s Trailer for Every Oscar-Winning Film Ever. The accuracy of the parody is marred by useless ableism ["Said retard is now in your custody"]. Phooey. Why does otherwise good humor have to be so corrupted?

“Drug: Vague statement of a better life…or something.”

“Drug: Vague statement of a better life…or something.” published on No Comments on “Drug: Vague statement of a better life…or something.”

This literal drug commercial parody is pretty hilarious, especially if you take drugs. Watch the little text on the bottom of the screen.

Fat Guy in Internet Labyrinth parody

Fat Guy in Internet Labyrinth parody published on 3 Comments on Fat Guy in Internet Labyrinth parody

Adult Swim characters have to go through a maze, but they have to put up with the prancing fop of a Maze Master and his therianthropic boytoys. This parody of Labyrinth is hilarious and kind of stupid and well-done and made with love, baby, love!

Favorite lines:

"Chains, these puppets are horrible stereotypes!"

"You lied! You never texted me!"

"How many babies are there in this song?!!!"

Thanks to Val for showing this to me.

Nathan Lane on his gay identity

Nathan Lane on his gay identity published on No Comments on Nathan Lane on his gay identity

This comment from Nathan Lane on his life as a gay man reminds me so much of Mark:

"I was born in 1956. I’m one of those old-fashioned homosexuals, not one of those new-fangled ones who are born joining parades."

Of course, I think Lane was being more facetious than Mark would be if Mark said such a thing.

News flash: early version of Song of Solomon unearthed!

News flash: early version of Song of Solomon unearthed! published on 5 Comments on News flash: early version of Song of Solomon unearthed!

Val alerted me to the fact that a rough draft of the Song of Solomon has recently been discovered. This is evidently the version that was written when the collaborators were drunk, high, feverish, hallucinatory, sleep-deprived and suffering from concussions. Continue reading News flash: early version of Song of Solomon unearthed!

Christian Bale flips his shit.

Christian Bale flips his shit. published on 3 Comments on Christian Bale flips his shit.

Someone remixed Christian Bale’s shit-flipping on the director of photography for Terminator 4, and I’ve been listening to it a bit over the past few days. The remix brings out the repetitive, whiny, self-important nature of his bloviation and substitutes for an inner monolog when something annoys me.

Did you almost fall on the ice this morning? Play this.

Did you not get the job you wanted? Play this.

Did the post office temporarily misplace your $280.00 doll from Australia? Play this.

Do you have to review a self-insertion wank-off in 350 words or less? Play this.

“Get in the tub! In the tub! IN THE TUB!!”

“Get in the tub! In the tub! IN THE TUB!!” published on No Comments on “Get in the tub! In the tub! IN THE TUB!!”

Gary Takes a Bath is the funniest Spongebob episode ever. All the little details of Gary the snail’s character really make it. I especially like how Gary meows and Spongebob interprets it as actual words, how Gary can read books and move ladders though he has no arms and how Gary has a smile with little teeth in it. My favorite moment in the ep comes when Gary refuses to get in the tub. Spongebob releases him over the tub, but he just hovers over the tub, then teleports right back to Spongebob’s side. The conversation between Spongebob and Gary when Spongebob is up in the tree is also comedy gold, hitting all the right notes of "pissed off parent" and "defiant kid."

Clueless the Cat: The Early Years

Clueless the Cat: The Early Years published on No Comments on Clueless the Cat: The Early Years

I got two sets from the Rement My Cats series: The Suzukis’ Blogger Cat and The Nomuras’ Kitchen Cat. The sitting cat, the computer and the mouse are from the Blogger Cat set. The kitten is from the Kitchen Cat set. The cartoon is from my imagination. If anyone wants the cats, let me know. I just want the computer and the mouse [and the cat in a pot, not shown]. 😀

Continue reading Clueless the Cat: The Early Years

THEY’RE COMING TO YOUR TOWN!

THEY’RE COMING TO YOUR TOWN! published on 3 Comments on THEY’RE COMING TO YOUR TOWN!

The American Family Association is selling a DVD about queer people becoming a visible part of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It’s an alarmist piece of tripe of blithering homophobia that harps about the nefariousness of gay invasions. Commenters from people on Shakesville amuse me greatly, especially the alternative gay agendas. Beware the ROY G. BIV skyscrapers! Boogedy boogedy!

The dolls are alive…we’ve diagrammed their life cycle.

The dolls are alive…we’ve diagrammed their life cycle. published on No Comments on The dolls are alive…we’ve diagrammed their life cycle.

Thanks, Volks. This chart explains everything: how dolls are born, how they grow, how they have lives, how they die?! …But I wonder about hybrid dolls. Does Frank, a Volks Yukinojo head on a Dollmore Model Doll body with Twiglimbs arms, have only 1/3 of a soul or something? The chart is silent. Noooooo !  Just when I think this hobby is all about people having fun and playing with dolls, something reminds me that there are some big cultural differences between my perceptions of dolls and other BJD owners’ perceptions.  Continue reading The dolls are alive…we’ve diagrammed their life cycle.

Constipated werewolf demands to know the location of his pants!!!

Constipated werewolf demands to know the location of his pants!!! published on 1 Comment on Constipated werewolf demands to know the location of his pants!!!

Soom has been doing a series of unusual dolls with elaborate costumes, therianthropic body parts and accessories — all inspired by signs of the zodiac. For August and the sign of Leo, they issued Io Windwalker, a hunter with a spear and lion-related accessories: a skirt trimmed with lion fur, a claw necklace and a maned headdress representing a lion's head. As you can see on the product page, Io lives up to Soom's usual standards of high quality. He's both a lithely sculpted, attractive doll and an original concept with an expert execution.
Continue reading Constipated werewolf demands to know the location of his pants!!!

The last episode of Supernatural was so bad…

The last episode of Supernatural was so bad… published on No Comments on The last episode of Supernatural was so bad…

…that they ended it 90 seconds early, preferring to spare us the atrocious plot and give us Jensen Ackles lip-synching to Eye of the Tiger, which, while hilarious, doesn’t make up for a largely uninteresting ep with serious moral vacuity.Continue reading The last episode of Supernatural was so bad…

Things I Learned from British Ballads

Things I Learned from British Ballads published on No Comments on Things I Learned from British Ballads

The original post is a hilarious summation of depressing ballad plotlines, as sung in the British Isles. The comments, though, with their submissions of dry humor from hundreds of commenters, really elevate the original post to supernal heights. I’m giving this its own tag because I like to find this post periodically and laugh at it.

Charlie Gibson interviewing a highly unqualified Sarah Palin

Charlie Gibson interviewing a highly unqualified Sarah Palin published on 1 Comment on Charlie Gibson interviewing a highly unqualified Sarah Palin

As far as I can tell, the entire interview went something like this:

Gibson: [Incisive question seeking specifics about Palin’s policies and qualifications.]

Palin: [Irrelevant canned blather full of generalities and evasion.]

Here’s the part that really highlighted her evasion:
Continue reading Charlie Gibson interviewing a highly unqualified Sarah Palin

I want an Anus.

I want an Anus. published on No Comments on I want an Anus.

I’ll name her Asshole! That’s pronounced ah-SHOW-lee, philistines.

Interestingly enough, DOA does not seem to have picked up on the awesomeness of Anus, either in news or discussion threads.

No, seriously, I kind of do want one for shits and giggles [but mostly shits :p]. She’s like Lishe’s hot older sister. Plus, she has a hilarious name. It’s the kind of $600+ joke that keeps on giving.

EDIT: It’s the $250 joke that keeps on giving. That’s a pretty high price for some head…

2.5 minutes of pure, super-saturated fun: Oktapodi

2.5 minutes of pure, super-saturated fun: Oktapodi published on 2 Comments on 2.5 minutes of pure, super-saturated fun: Oktapodi

Watch two octopi try to escape obsessed sushi truck driver in this brilliant animated short. Best parts: The squeaking sound effects for the octopi…also the exasperated look that the pink one gets on its face right before the very end. This is almost making up for the crappy week I’m having.

Immortality of Soul’s Anus

Immortality of Soul’s Anus published on 2 Comments on Immortality of Soul’s Anus

Korean BJD company Immortality of Soul has a new girl doll out. She’s actually quite beautiful, except for her name. Her name is Anus. Insert your own sexual and scatalogical jokes here. All I have to say is this: Anus is a doll born to wear Pubis Club.Continue reading Immortality of Soul’s Anus

Spam + peaches + broiler = fiesta?

Spam + peaches + broiler = fiesta? published on 1 Comment on Spam + peaches + broiler = fiesta?

An ad for "Spam Fiesta Peach Cups" in Family Circle, April, 1956, would have you think so. Even given some of the gloriously flamboyant casseroles of this period, this recipe still sounds like the half-baked brain fart of a desperate, hung-over promotions board hopped up on Vivarin.Continue reading Spam + peaches + broiler = fiesta?

The 1955 Hillman Minx has a “new gay look.”

The 1955 Hillman Minx has a “new gay look.” published on 1 Comment on The 1955 Hillman Minx has a “new gay look.”

Thanks to humorist Dave Barry, we are all aware that the Hillman Minx is one of the silliest cars in existence. The hilarity ratchets up a notch when you look back on this ad from a time not so long ago [1955] when the first meaning of “gay” was NOT “homosexual.”

Twilight, summarized

Twilight, summarized published on No Comments on Twilight, summarized

Amanda Bussell nails the silliness of Twilight. Please note Edward’s completely angular and impenetrable constipation and Bella’s googly brainlessness.

Jesus, there’s an entire Twilight Sucks Web site.

For more mordant humor, look into her Headtrip manga-style cartoon about teenaged girls with sarcastic senses of humor. I enjoy the one-off jokes with recurring characters.

Twilight: The Parody

Twilight: The Parody published on 1 Comment on Twilight: The Parody

otahyoni has a biting [hah!] parody here. It’s gloriously silly if you haven’t read the book and even better if you have. Thanks to roxyk630 for pointing it out.

Warning: Not for insecure Twilight twits. [And by “twits” I mean those unreasonable fans who think that critical reviews of Breaking Dawn are a betrayal to Stephenie, or that people shouldn’t take the Twilight Saga seriously as an object of literary analysis.]

Medium Large is funny.

Medium Large is funny. published on 2 Comments on Medium Large is funny.

Four-panel gag strips often imagine futures or alternate jobs for well-known fictional characters. Obviously drawn by a heterosexual white male obsessed with sex. Other than that, amusing. I’d link to the one about “Why There Are No Child News Anchors,” but the %&@#% site won’t let me link to specific comics.

Amusing derogatory book review

Amusing derogatory book review published on No Comments on Amusing derogatory book review

Paul Constant over at The Stranger writes a scathing review of Noelle Oxenhandler’s memoir The Wishing Year. While incisively sarcastic, Constant’s review succeeds because he backs up his poor opinion of the book with examples of its failings. My favorite sentence:

Oxenhandler is exceedingly relieved that the African-American syrup advertisement has absolved Nicholas of generations of slave-owning guilt, and she goes about the happy work of intervening in his life.

Maybe, if I hone my rapier-like wit enough, I can be that vicious in a book review and get away with it. Until then, I will enjoy others’ excoriations of trash.

Favorite dismissal of an atrocious book, attributed to Dorothy Parker:

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

The most gloriously silly phrase in the history of copywriting…

The most gloriously silly phrase in the history of copywriting… published on No Comments on The most gloriously silly phrase in the history of copywriting…

Here it is: “artillery-laden ski pursuits.” Ever since reading this phrase off the back of a video box for the Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, I’ve tried to worm it into my daily vocabulary as much as possible. When I’m really rich and I have extra money to throw around, I’m going to buy artilleryladenskipursuits.com just for the hell of it. That is all.

The Office: hah!

The Office: hah! published on No Comments on The Office: hah!

I recently started listening to some season 4 eps of the American version of The Office on hulu. It uses the mockumentary form to capture the oblivious comedy of petty pencil pushers who take themselves too seriously. At its best, it’s like a Christopher Guest film, allowing the characters to reveal their own social absurdities and skewer modern humankind generally in the process. At its worst, it contains cheap-shot jokes delivered in a deadpan that’s really milking for laughs. Most of the time, however, it’s generally amusing.

BTVS season 2, ep “School Hard”

BTVS season 2, ep “School Hard” published on 1 Comment on BTVS season 2, ep “School Hard”

I just watched [well, listened to] this ep, my first reacquaintance with BTVS in a long time. In the introduction of Spike and his inevitable confrontation and therefore contrast with Angel, the show creators prove how much they failed in portraying Angel as an interesting, desirable, attractive character.

Spike, as a more flamboyant, demonstrative character, is instantly engaging. Whereas Angel lurks in the shadows and interests the audience because he’s a mystery, Spike from his debut evinces positive personality traits that get the viewers perked up.

Upon entering the screen and crashing the Sunnydale sign, he demonstrates recklessness, sarcasm and the bad-boy attitude that I believe Angel was supposed to be endowed with. Since Spike actually does something from the get-go instead of just hanging around, he commands attention. He engages viewers not because he’s a cipher, but because he’s an energetic presence.

Spike benefits not only from a contrast with the introverted, suffering, mysterious, repressed Angel, but also with vampires in general as portrayed on BTVS. Seasons 1 and 2 show the vampires of Sunnydale relishing the kill and maybe making a mordant joke or two, but generally they take themselves very seriously. The Annoying One and his henchmen epitomize this tendency; all they do is stand around making dire pronouncements, barking orders and snarling. Spike undercuts this pomposity from the start with his impromptu drop-in and his skeptical sneer at Henchman A that of course Henchman A wasn’t at the Crucifixion because, if all vamps were at the Crucifixion who said they were, “it would have been like Woodstock.” Spike’s cavalier attitude toward the Annoying One’s deadly seriousness shows that he has a sense of humor, something that all the other vamps apparently lost when they were turned. He’s like the built-in peanut gallery of the Hellmouth, always ready with snarky comments about the pretentiousness of vampires and the general silliness of the whole thing. In this way, he takes on the ironic self-consciousness of the viewers who are laughing at the whole idea of slaying vampires. We like him because he flatters us by being like us.

I think, if he really wanted to be convincing, Angel should have gotten some of Spike’s traits. Why does Angel have to be defined by his suffering and his mystery? Couldn’t he have a sense of humor, especially since everyone else in the show does? I think  that was a tragic waste of an actor on the show’s creators’ part, especially since David Boreanaz does have a comic sensibility, especially as an expressive, reactive “straight man.”

P.S. As much as I love the scoring for the show, very stirring and dramatic, I mostly wished it would shut up because it kept overdetermining the emotional content of the scenes. I could just listen to hours of the emotionally freighted music without the script behind it.

I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!

I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space! published on 1 Comment on I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!

Megan Gedris takes on pulpy conventions of the 1950s in I Was Kidnapped…, a high-spirited, brightly illustrated space chase, featuring charming naive Earthling Susie and a band of lesbian pirates with fabulous hair. Thrill to their visits to unknown planets! Laugh as they outwit the incredibly doltish Male Man! Cheer as the sexual tension mounts! It’s like the Rocky Horror Picture Show…only in comic form…and without any music…and I mean that in the best way possible.

Enemas for inspiration

Enemas for inspiration published on No Comments on Enemas for inspiration

Nick Lowe, in an article entitled The Well-Tempered Plot Device [in an old 1986 issue of Ansible] in which he is ranting against hackneyed sci-fi/fantasy, terms worn-out literary devices [e.g., red kryptonite] as “little enemas to the Muse.” HAH! Poor Muse, don’t eat cliches, or you’ll leak plot out your ass.

Interview with the Vampire: The real screenplay, by me

Interview with the Vampire: The real screenplay, by me published on 2 Comments on Interview with the Vampire: The real screenplay, by me

Neil Jordan, director of Interview with the Vampire, introduces the film on the DVD by saying that the characters are “the saddest vampires you’ll ever see.”  I think he meant to say that the vampires were UNHAPPY, but I cracked up because they’re actually the most PATHETIC and RIDICULOUS vampires I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, I enjoyed the movie a lot more than I enjoyed Bram Stoker’s Dracula [a.k.a. Coppola’s Love Fest of Heaving Bosoms and Red Water]. Here is the real screenplay:

Anne Rice: I’m going to write a screenplay that’s so faithful to my book that it recreates every tortured sigh and piece of unbelievable, melodramatic dialog. Yet, somehow, in spite of my involvement, the movie won’t be even half bad.

Brad Pitt as Louis: Hooray, I’m a vampire! [kill kill kill kill, slurp slurp slurp slurp] O woe, I am a vampire. I must atone for my bloodlust by walking in picturesque mopiness through the rainy night as my preternaturally lush hair swings fetchingly across my back. Hooray, I’m a vampire! O woe, I’m a vampire! [repeats cycle ad nauseam for entire movie] Also, please stare at my petulant, comely mouth and ignore the fact that a) I’m entirely too plump and robust to make a convincing corpse and b) my acting consists of stupid fixed stares.

Tom Cruise as Lestat: Put up or shut up, bitch boy. [kill kill slurp slurp orgasm orgasm] Being evil is fun, especially when you’re super strong, super sexy and at least somewhat talented, which is more than I can say for you. Notice how, when I leave the screen, the audience falls asleep? That’s YOUR doing, Braddy.

Audience: Wow, he’s actually…sort of…good in this role. He looks like he’s enjoying the hamfest. But don’t think we’re going soft, Tom. We’re still not forgiving you for Legend, Far and Away, Rain Man, The Last Samurai and the Minority Report…especially not Far and Away.

Kirsten Dunst as Claudia: Hi, guys! I came to add some plot to your sorry whinefest…also to show Mr. Pitt here how to act. See, doofus — this is how you create a convincing character full of pathos and freakiness. Too bad Tom and I aren’t playing the heroes, because we’re certainly a lot more compelling, with better dramatic character arcs, than your lump of tofu. 

Antonio Banderas as Armand: I am hot. Smoldering hot. You shall know this by my sexy Eurotrash accent, my flowing black locks, my penchant for floofy robes and my riveting gaze. I love you, Louis. I want to have sex with you, but I can’t  because, despite the pints of homoerotic tension seeping from every orifice in this movie, someone on the staff suddenly chickened out and made it so we can’t even touch. Therefore I must merely stand here, brooding, looking to a disturbing degree very much like Jennifer Connelly, only less stupefied because I keep my mouth closed.

On the plus side, the movie did get me all fired up about vampires again…not that I needed more fire and not that I ever stopped. Makes me want to read the book to figure out if the hamfest was intrinsic or added in the importation. I have a sinking suspicion, based on what else I’ve attempted to read by Anne Rice, that it was intrinsic.

P.S. If Louis was so tortured by his hellish existence, which he thought was inherently cruel, unnatural and abominable, what the hell prevented him from killing himself? I’m sure he could have rationalized it as a mercy killing. “He had a certain…naive charm, but NO MUSCLE!!!” observed Frank without remorse. 😀

Yeah, yeah, basic black “bat kraut!”

Yeah, yeah, basic black “bat kraut!” published on No Comments on Yeah, yeah, basic black “bat kraut!”

Once you get beyond the sheer gross-out factor of DYED and CANNED SAUERKRAUT, the character sketches of the pro-kraut women are hilarious.  

We’ve got Cousin Nina, an anorexic who is apparently channeling a stereotypical gay man. [She also moonlights as an Asian-stereotype dominatrix, Lady Lotus of the Orient.] We’ve got Aunt Sam, who combines nutritional nerdiness with a flamboyant past as a daring aviatrix. There’s Sister Allison, whose obsession with dyeing kraut, giving the colors cutesy names and forcing other kids to do it suggests that she’s a few leaves short of a cabbage head. [Her staring eyes provide a startlingly direct portal to the yawning abyss within.]  And there’s Mama, whose mysteriously stunted growth reminds us that perhaps we shouldn’t hit the kraut for EVERY SINGLE MEAL.

You could dye this stuff a reddish-pink and feed it to zombies in lieu of brains.

 

Squirrel just earned back his $2.50 sale price…

Squirrel just earned back his $2.50 sale price… published on No Comments on Squirrel just earned back his $2.50 sale price…

…by illustrating something that I saw with my very own eyes…how the squirrels around here get so damn big. Apparently I broke my Comic Book Creator export functions, so it looks like I’ll have to go with Comic Life and redo ALL the LHF eps I’ve done so far, aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgh. Anyway, this comic is just a screen-captured jpg. Also I am aware that the French fry looks like a rectangular solid colored tan. Go bite the wax tadpole.

Have an ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS day!!!

Have an ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS day!!! published on No Comments on Have an ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS day!!!

With Technicolor sunshine and birdies on your shoulders and perfectly marcelled hair and rocket cone boobies and MORE GAIETY THAN YOU CAN STAND! How? Drink Ovaltine. I think I feel a SONG coming on… Well, something’s coming, anyway….

Caution: Ovaltine causes “sparkling morning freshness.” Use at your own risk. The manufacturers are not responsible for any Busby Berkeley-inspired set pieces that may spontaneously break out after using this product.

Did you know that “thousands” are drinking Ovaltine every night? So that’s how the queer agenda recruits….

“Charles Atlas says he can give me a REAL body, all right!”

“Charles Atlas says he can give me a REAL body, all right!” published on 2 Comments on “Charles Atlas says he can give me a REAL body, all right!”

While clicking around, I discovered a site by Seanbaby devoted to those bizarre, grainy ads on the back of comic books. I remember, for example, this Charles Atlas ad, this very same one, from a childhood comic book. As soon as I rediscovered it on Seanbaby’s site, I immediately thought two things:

1. That ad struck me as poorly drawn, hokey, outmoded and a big fat lie when I first saw it around age 7.

2. Richard O’Brien didn’t have to push very far to make a parody of the Charles Atlas campaign when he wrote I Can Make You A Man for Rocky Horror. In fact, the ad copy here uses many phrases that show up, barely altered, in that song. I am, however, surprised that Richard O’Brien’s lyrics didn’t use some of the screamingly homoerotic subtext in such phrases as “Do you feel soft, frail skinny, or flabby, only HALF-ALIVE?” and “You want the Greek god type of physique…that makes other fellows green with envy.”

Zero Punctuation Flash comic gaming reviews

Zero Punctuation Flash comic gaming reviews published on No Comments on Zero Punctuation Flash comic gaming reviews

Ben Croshaw does snarky reviews of video games by making simple Flash animations combined with snarky narration. You don’t have to know anything about video games to find this shit hilarious, but you do need to be able to follow a high rate of speech, since he talks very fast. Go watch mini-eps of Zero Punctuation now.

Nemu Nemu: recommended Web comic

Nemu Nemu: recommended Web comic published on 1 Comment on Nemu Nemu: recommended Web comic

I just found a slight, charming Web comic to share with you: Nemu Nemu, about the adventures of two 10-year-old girls and their pets, two living stuffed animal dogs who talk.  The strips don’t have individual punchlines; rather, they knit together to form a story about Anise, Kana and the stuffed doggies. I like this strip for its simplicity, especially the streamlined style of drawing which, with just a few well-placed lines, accurately captures the energy and enthusiasm of the characters. I also like the aimable, rambling nature of its slice-of-life chronicles. 

EDIT: The Nemu Nemu characters get BJDS and, like most owners, take pictures of the shipping box, otherwise known as box porn. 

EDIT 2: And this is how many doll owners think of their dolls: as silent friends.

Corpse Re-Animation Technology Still 10 Years Off, Say MIT Mad Scientists

Corpse Re-Animation Technology Still 10 Years Off, Say MIT Mad Scientists published on No Comments on Corpse Re-Animation Technology Still 10 Years Off, Say MIT Mad Scientists

I’m especially amused by this old Onion article because the mad scientists who bring back the dead are from MIT, which is where Janet, who reanimated her sister Velvette, studied. 

“Home Depot! Home Depot! HOME DEPOT!!!!!”

“Home Depot! Home Depot! HOME DEPOT!!!!!” published on No Comments on “Home Depot! Home Depot! HOME DEPOT!!!!!”

Lesbian phone sex, courtesy of the Big Gay Sketch Comedy. Please watch the woman who makes the call; her practically boneless wriggling shows what a gifted physical comedian she is. Watch her feet….

Subservient Santa

Subservient Santa published on 3 Comments on Subservient Santa

First there was Subservient Chicken, Burger King’s advertising gimmick where you could type in commands and, if they were within the applet’s repertoire, watch a guy dressed up as a chicken act them out.

Then there was Subservient Programmer, which is the best of all the subservient applets I’ve seen. The animation loops are most carefully timed to create the illusion of continuity. There is also a wide range of commands available.

Now there’s Simon Sez Santa. It is not as well-looped as Subservient Programmer, but the sound effects are funny. If you choose the naughty version, make him drink a beer. :p There’s also a kid-appropriate version so you can show him to little ones.

“Oh, you know, Jon, mainly how GAY it is…”

“Oh, you know, Jon, mainly how GAY it is…” published on 1 Comment on “Oh, you know, Jon, mainly how GAY it is…”

I’ve been cracking up over this round-up of gay humor from the Daily Show, especially the clip where Jon Stewart is talking to Stephen Colbert about Prince Charles’ alleged gay experience, and there’s a banana involved. I’m surprised Stephen Colbert didn’t choke on it, since he was laughing so hard. The best part is the trouble he has with the “Whoever kills the fewest grouse…” line. It’s still hilarious the 45th time.

BBC’s Ouch! podcast

BBC’s Ouch! podcast published on No Comments on BBC’s Ouch! podcast

For 30 or 40 minutes every month, you can crack up over the BBC’s Ouch! podcast, which features actor Mat Fraser and comedian Liz Carr hosting a talk and comedy show about disabilities. The two interview celebrities, banter sarcastically together and run a hysterical quiz show called Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable?, where they try to guess a caller’s disability based on yes/no questions. All archives are available on the site, not only sound files, but also transcripts, so you can read them if you wish. Go to the general Ouch! Web site to find columnists, blogs, Q&As and other fun stuff. Thanks to  melopoeia  for the rec.  

In an alternate universe, Buffy is scared of vampires…

In an alternate universe, Buffy is scared of vampires… published on 1 Comment on In an alternate universe, Buffy is scared of vampires…

Given the huge popularity of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this Chick tract about a kid named Buffy who hates spiders, vampires, Halloween because it’s the “Devil’s holiday” is really, really funny. Trick or treat…would you like some irony with your waxy candy corn? Site contains full text and pictures of all other Chick tracts. As a bonus, here’s an MST3K version of Dark Dungeons, about an anti-D&D Chick tract.

China Executes Lead-Contaminated Toys!

China Executes Lead-Contaminated Toys! published on No Comments on China Executes Lead-Contaminated Toys!

Sometimes The Onion is funny, but, when the writing committee combines its historical perspective and incisive sarcasm, as in this article, their satire can be almost sublime. I especially like the ways in which the conventions of genocide and execution have been adapted for toys, with the Barbies being “separated from their Kens” and “leaned against the wall” for the firing squad [because they can’t stand up by themselves]. The best detail, however, is the nonchalant, almost bured mention of civilian deaths. Genius!

HAH!

HAH! published on 1 Comment on HAH!

On podcast 45, in response to a woman who thinks that S&M represents emotional disability and mental sickness, Dan Savage points out that S&M is PLAY, and he says, “What S&M is is cops and robbers for grown-ups without your pants on.” Now I’m just imagining law enforcement professionals chasing crooks out of a bank in a completely serious context, except all parties are lacking pants. :p

Lesbians make you Communist.

Lesbians make you Communist. published on No Comments on Lesbians make you Communist.

So saith Perversion for Profit (1965), an anti-smut rant. “Newsprint filth” apparently weakens children’s moral fiber, leaving them less capable to resist the Communist threat. With a few changes in stats and terminology [I doubt the Communist menace would fly really well today], I think this content would transpose very well into anti-porn propaganda put out by, say, Focus on the Family.

I’m not going to even argue with the mindset portrayed in the film, but I do seriously question its tactics. Announcer George Putnam wants you to believe that exposure to porn corrupts innocent minds and damns people irrevocably. So why does most of the film contain examples of porm?! Following the logic of Putnam’s argument, wouldn’t these examples [even if eyes, butts and tits are barred out] corrupt at least a few innocent minds? It would be far more effective for this film to attempt to tie porn to violent crime by studying the porn habits of child molesters, serial killers, rapists, domester abusers, etc., to establish a [supposed] causal connection between newsprint filth and criminal perversion. In other words, don’t show us the perversion; show us the result!

Boys Beware (1961)

Boys Beware (1961) published on No Comments on Boys Beware (1961)

So I just watched Boys Beware (1961), a mental hygiene film warning teenaged boys against “homosexuals.” My brain broke because

there was so much stupidity in the film that I didn’t know where to start in addressing it. I could do an exhaustive analysis of the film, but I’ll just say three things.

1. The boys in the film were so stupid, even by the standards of the day. Hitchhiking I can understand, as it was more societally acceptable, but what about hopping into a car just because some guy says he’s chasing kids on stolen bikes? Or just watching your friend hop into said car with a stranger and doing nothing, not even trying to dissuade him from vrooming off with a stranger, but only casually writing down the car’s license number? All of that is appalling ignorance that demonstrates a complete disregard for self-preservation.

2. While the film technically has a correct definition for “homosexual,” the film is only about homosexual desire in the most general sense, in the same way that a story about a father sexually abusing a daughter is about heterosexual desire. Since the film focuses on sexual predators who pursue children, any uses of “homosexual” should be replaced with “child molester.” There is no equivalence between the two terms, just a confusion on the film’s part.

3. Of all the misguided, harmful and downright wrong things in this film, a comment near the end struck me the most. The narrator says something like, “Never get into a stranger’s car unless you have your parents’ or teacher’s permission.” This sentence is the culmination of an entire film that portrays the perps of sexual abuse as predatory strangers, foreign intruders who stand in stark contrast to trustworthy parents and teachers. The film’s inaccurate conception of molesters as strangers disguises the true statistical fact that a child or teenager is much more likely to be taken advantage of by a parent, a teacher, a clergy member, a babysitter, a relative — someone familiar with the victim who abuses the victim’s trust.

Hah! Dead funny novelties store…

Hah! Dead funny novelties store… published on No Comments on Hah! Dead funny novelties store…

Pushin’ Daisies is a mortuary store with funeral, death, vampire, skull, etc. sort of novelties. Hooray for hearse earrings, Dios de los Muertos shot glasses, tombstone-shaped soaps and little chocolate coffins with little chocolate skeletons inside. Clearly meant for the casual cemetery nerd (viz., no serious books about cemetery iconography in “The Grim Reader” section), this is nevertheless amusing. Now, in case you want to make your own coffin, which can serve as a “beautiful blanket chest or coffee table” before holding you, you know where to buy the book.

P.S. I ordered We So Seldom Look On Love from half.com. The shipping was more than the price of the book. Half.com: where cheap-ass bibliophiles shop.

P.P.S. Because I’m in a morbid mood, today’s word is “trocar.” A trocar is a big sharp hollow needle that an embalmer sticks into a corpse’s abdomen after the blood has been replaced with embalming fluid. At first the trocar is attached to a suction pump via hose to slurp out organs and body tissue. When that’s done, the trocar is hooked up to a bottle of cavity fluid and waved around in the abdomen to fill the space where the organs were. The incision site is plugged up with a plastic plug called a trocar button. There. You should now be both nauseated and edified. I know I sure am.

Reduced Shakespeare Co. podcasts

Reduced Shakespeare Co. podcasts published on 1 Comment on Reduced Shakespeare Co. podcasts

Reduced Shakespeare Company, purveyors of comically compressed classics, have a weekly 20-minute podcast. These interesting backstage shows consist of the performers sitting around and talking. They share funny touring tales, the secrets of what they discuss during intermission, how they choose which jokes to keep and other nuts and bolts of creating and maintaining a successful touring show. More engaging and less annoying than Car Talk. Then again, just about everything is less annoying than Car Talk. So why do I still have it bookmarked?

Today marks the debut of the podcasts tag, in case anyone gives a flying fork.

Comic for library nerds, book lovers and/or customer service people

Comic for library nerds, book lovers and/or customer service people published on No Comments on Comic for library nerds, book lovers and/or customer service people

Unshelved is a daily comic strip, with years of free archives, chronicling the slightly exaggerated adventures of the staff and patrons at Mallville Public Library. The simple black and white style highlights the silly, playful nature of the strip and storylines. Recommended for anyone who has experienced the absurdities of customer service, especially as it pertains to books. Warning: You may get sucked into the archives, so have several hours handy….

Slapstick, historically lite vampires and supernatural sexpots

Slapstick, historically lite vampires and supernatural sexpots published on 1 Comment on Slapstick, historically lite vampires and supernatural sexpots

I just finished reading Dylan Meconis’ completed online graphic novel Bite Me, which is about some silly vampires running around during the French Revolution…basically a big excuse for physical comedy and quips. Meconis has, at best, a thick, rubbery line that I really like. Plus the story is just snicker-worthy.

Another recommended Web comic is the ongoing Wapsi Square, chronicling the collision of ancient supernatural prophecies with the soap operatic lives of 20-somethings in a fictitious Minneapolis neighborhood. Paul Taylor manages the large cast with dexterity and a light hand, especially a sketchy graceful line. All the fems are uniformly ass-kicking, which compares them favorably to the tough broads on the Devil’s Panties, but I can’t easily distinguish the characters. Contrary to what Rampant Bicycle says, there is a clear modulation between once-off gags and longer plotlines. It’s just not as even as she would like. :p

Whoop, Dan Savage has a podcast!!

Whoop, Dan Savage has a podcast!! published on No Comments on Whoop, Dan Savage has a podcast!!

If advice column letters are each novelettes waiting to be written, what better omniscient narrator to have than the intelligent snarkmeister Dan Savage, who writes weekly sex advice columns for The Stranger?

You can listen to his podcasts without downloading them [convenient for work where you should be listening through headphones]. Incidentally, I was introduced to his radio presence through This American Life, where I found him pretentious [but not as pretentious, precious, annoying and teeth-grindingly piss-offing as David Sedaris]. On his own podcast, though, he’s foul-mouthed and funny. I enjoy his podcast because he talks to the listeners as if he is a friend, with all the swearing, exaggeration and dumb jokes.

The Onion on This American Life

The Onion on This American Life published on 1 Comment on The Onion on This American Life

The Onion launches a barrage of zingers at the radio show This American Life. It is a very funny article. All the zingers find their mark as the piece deflates the bombastic, precious excesses of TAL. Here’s my favorite part, a fictional quote from TAL producer Alex Blumberg:

“At first, we were getting a lot of stories from recovered drug addicts and East African refugees living in the States, which had their compelling elements but came off a bit cloying…But then we realized that if we had overeducated people with voices rather unsuitable for radio narrate the stories with clever analogies and accessible morals, the whole thing would come off far less depressing.”

I love TAL because of the stories it tells and the characters it introduces, but I cannot stand how much obvious sweating effort it puts out all the time to come across as wry, insightful and significant. Many of the stories are pretty interesting and/or humorous already; they do not need haunting indie music to play up the affecting moments or repetitive use of Ira Glass’ “Let me get this straight; that was really an ironic moment, wasn’t it?” sort of questions. Beating the listener over the head with the score and format insults the listener’s intelligence. 

I think TAL could benefit from a format more like To The Best of Our Knowledge. TTBOOK has the same structure of a few stories on a theme, but doesn’t explicitly spell out the connections between all the pieces. It prefers instead to show some restraint and let the listener make connections by him/herself.

Your Web comic assignment: Venus Envy

Your Web comic assignment: Venus Envy published on 1 Comment on Your Web comic assignment: Venus Envy

Erin Lindsey writes Venus Envy, which is about Zoe, a teenaged [at least when the series starts] transgirl and her awkward, hilarious life. The strip moves quickly in snapshot vignettes, mostly lighthearted and downright silly, but occasionally very heartfelt. I’m not so keen on the art [well, I’m just at the beginning of the archive], but I do enjoy the sympathetic characters and continuous slapstick. It’s a very playful comic. Read it ’cause it’s funny!

EDIT: The art improves vastly.

Eddie Izzard: “Oh look — space monkeys are attacking!”

Eddie Izzard: “Oh look — space monkeys are attacking!” published on 2 Comments on Eddie Izzard: “Oh look — space monkeys are attacking!”

So we raided Youtube last night and watched a bunch of clips of Eddie Izzard’s various shows. I think the man is highly amusing because he has a great talent for mime, mimicry and making faces, and everyone knows that I can’t resist someone who makes good faces. He has a face as mobile as Tim Curry’s, only his mouth isn’t so big.

Another reason I like him is his combination of confidence and silliness. If you ever see him in anything from the late 1990s and on [not the early stuff with the horrible, horrible shirts], he stands with great ease in front of an audience, very casual and loose.  He’s even funny when he loses his train of thought and says, “Uhhhhhhh…yeah…anyway…where was I? Oh yes, breasts and airplanes…” He weaves his digressions and mistakes into his routines with admirable panache. I really enjoy his playfulness. 

I also really like the fact that his humor is mainly observational absurdity. Rather than insulting people or making negative, sarcastic comments about the weather, pollution, etc., he’s much more likely to talk about pears [“Either they’re hard enough to use for a hammer, or they’re ripe for about a half an hour”] or Jesus telling God to stop doing his James Mason impression. The older I get, the more I appreciate good-spirited humor in this vein.

Eddie Izzard reminds me a lot of Hugh Laurie. Both are British actors with well-developed skills in slapstick and face-making. They also have great senses of comic timing. [Of course, Hugh Laurie’s current manifestation in House makes him like an evil Eddie Izzard…] I wonder if the two would have chemistry as a performing couple? They could just stand on stage, making faces, and I would fall over laughing.

I’m gonna have to rent Dressed to Kill.

And another Web comic

And another Web comic published on 1 Comment on And another Web comic

Count Your Sheep by Adrian Ramos features regular doses of whimsy in which little girl Katie talks life and play with her friendly countable sheep, Ship, and her mom. For example, she thinks the cheese wheel in her fridge is a piece of the crescent moon, which disturbs her because, if people are eating the moon, there will be no need for astronauts, and then what will she be when she grows up? Brilliant at capturing the childlike, associative, poetic mindset, Count Your Sheep is an enjoyable cartoon at no one’s expense. It remains consistently inventive and never becomes precious.

Another Web comic

Another Web comic published on 1 Comment on Another Web comic

I really like Dork Tower by John Kovalic. The Web comic about gamers seems to be a wrung-out subgenre too stale for its own good, but Dork Tower, with its high energy and unremittant silliness, rises above the stereotypes to be a great all-around comic. Tongue-in-cheek without being abstruse and parodic without being pompous, DT is the strip that the limp, pretentious, overdone Penny Arcade [God, how I hate that strip!] wishes it were.

My ideal mannequin

My ideal mannequin published on No Comments on My ideal mannequin

After reading yesterday about the guy who faces life imprisonment for breaking into yet another store to steal yet another mannequin, I fortuitously found an article on Salon about the burgeoning [hahahahah] popularity of mannequins with large breasts. This got me thinking. If there was a relatively cheap mannequin with these breasts and this body [and a head goddammit — why don’t the “plus-sized” ones have heads????], I would get it.

What I really want is a life-sized, well-articulated, realistic doll…like a ball-jointed mannequin. I’ll just keep dreaming…

Today’s Web comic: Edible Dirt

Today’s Web comic: Edible Dirt published on 2 Comments on Today’s Web comic: Edible Dirt

Edible Dirt is an absurd strip in the tradition of The Far Side or Rhymes With Orange, but it has a few innovations. First, the art is rendered in watercolor with a lively, children’s-book feel and real talent. Second, Edible Dirt contains a lot more profanity, severed limbs and nudity than Far Side. Interestingly, though, the humor seems more compassionate, if you can say that about a comic strip, than you might expect.

As a bonus, I got to Edible Dirt from Two Lumps, which is about Ebenezer [smart] and Snootch [dumb], two cats. SailorZeo recommended this one to me. It’s stereotypical and silly, but very enjoyable, promarily because of the cats’ expressions.

An’ another new Web comic…

An’ another new Web comic… published on 4 Comments on An’ another new Web comic…

Girl Genius. The old cliched tale of the orphaned innocent coming into her powerful, mysterious destiny, enlivened by a rich and humorous steam punk background. Read it for the story! Thanks to the Loremistress for the rec. I mean thanks to Zeo! Sorry, Zeo…

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