Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Secret Lives of Cartoons

Sponge Bob has been outed. We won’t even talk about Tinky-Winky. And now Buster Baxter (co-star of “Arthur”) has been seen consorting with a lesbian couple in Vermont who show him how to (gasp) make maple syrup.

Justifiably outraged, new Department of Education chief Margaret Spellings threatened to pull funding for PBS if they didn’t kill the show. PBS chief Pat Mitchell caved faster than you could say 'Polly Purebread.'

If they only knew. The lives of cartoon characters are rife with secrets, scandals, and tales of depravity that could curl your hair. Here’s just a sample.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse: Never legally married. Over the years Mickey engaged in a series of sordid affairs (Snow White, Tinkerbelle, Annette Funicello). Minnie has not been seen in public since 1962, leading to rumors that she’s gone completely insane (or possibly just fucking Goofy).

LucilleLucy” Van Pelt: Operates a radical lesbian counseling service in Provincetown, Mass. Has been living with her life partner, Peppermint Patty, for nearly two decades.

Woody Woodpecker: A notorious chickenhawk. Recently reached a six-figure settlement following a law suit brought by the parents of Tweety Bird.

Boris & Natasha: Deeply into S&M. Those scars are the real thing.

The Roadrunner: Serious crank habit; rumored to operate a network of crystal meth labs in the greater Southwest.

Bugs Bunny, aka ‘Bugsy’: Notorious underworld figure who entered and later escaped the witness protection program after turning states witness against Sylvester ‘the Cat’ Gambini and Carlo ‘Daffy’ Duchinese.

The list goes on. In fact, there’s only one cartoon appropriate for our nation's children. Thank God for Davey & Goliath.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Journalist For Hire (inquire within)

Now that we've uncovered a third "journalist" who hopped aboard the Whores for Bush gravy train, it's become very clear to me that I'm going about things all wrong.

There I was, a hard-working, award-winning, well-respected (I hope) journo with a reputation for fairness, thinking I was a success.

Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, and Mike McManus clearly knew something I didn't: Objectivity is for suckers. The real money is in the Pay-for-Play writing gigs.

So I'm turning over a new leaf. From now on, I am for sale. I call it Custom Journalism, and I've cooked up a little rate sheet that I'd like to share with the world.

Custom Journalism Rates:
  1. Casual reference to a product/person in a story where they're otherwise irrelevant: $1,000
  2. Gushingly positive review of a product or service: $5,000+
  3. Fawning, sycophantic profile of a corporate executive or political figure: $25,000+
  4. TV or radio appearance in which I misrepresent an opposing viewpoint and dismiss it out of hand: $50,000+
  5. Feature article with a generally positive tone toward Microsoft, the Bush Administration, or the state of Texas: $10,000,000
I'd also like to add that I'm happy to do any of this in the negative -- say, slam a competitor's product or slander a public figure -- for an additional 25% surcharge.

Anyone who's interested in arranging for my services may reach me through this blog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Hetero Today, Gay Tomorrow

News item: U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., reintroduced legislation on Monday that would amend the Constitution to ban same-sex couples from marrying.

Ever since Our President declared that homosexuality is a matter of personal choice and not merely an accident of genetics, I’ve woken up every morning facing a difficult decision: Is today the day I turn gay?

Though a practicing heterosexual for more than 40 years, I could see immediate advantages to going gay. For example: My wife might appreciate having someone to go shopping with. Never again would she have to endure my pained expression and mournful sighs as we strolled from store to store. We could spend the evenings sipping fumé blanc and paging through Pottery Barn catalogs. Hey honey, let’s redecorate!

But the prospect of switching teams raised a host of questions I had never before contemplated. Nelly or Butch? Bottom or Top? Would I really have to grow one of those droopy mustaches? Are the Village People so far out they’re back in, or have they gone back out again? If this meant wearing chaps, I would definitely have to lose some weight.

When I lived in San Francisco, this would have been easy. Hardly a day passed when I wasn’t approached by someone recruiting me to enlist in the Gay Corps. Visitors would ring my doorbell to hand me tastefully designed brochures extolling the benefits of the gay lifestyle. Telemarketers called to sell me ‘homo away from home’ timeshares, where I could be gay for two weeks every year in a new and exciting resort. Friends urged me to join GayWay and earn points for every straight male I managed to recruit. In a few short weeks I’d rack up enough to get a food processor.

Now that I live in a Red State, where the prevailing image of man-on-man love is the rape scene in Deliverance, it’s a little harder. Hallmark doesn’t make an “I’m here and I’m queer” card. My best hope would be to adopt a bison frise, open a bed and breakfast, and wait for the rumors to spread.

What we need is a National Registry of Sexual Preferences, where every citizen can specify the types of people with whom they’re willing to swap fluids. Potential romantic partners could look up your record before agreeing to that casual lunch invitation. It could be a boon for employers, church congregations, or any organization where your lesiure activities require careful vetting. I’m sure the Department of Homo Security would be happy to set something up.

In the meantime, it’s comforting to know that when it comes to my sexual preferences I do have a choice. Unlike hatred or intolerance, which it seems you’re born with and can never escape.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Sponge Bob is Gay!

I guess it had to come out eventually. Dr. James C. Dobson and the American Family Association have outed Sponge Bob.

Frankly, I’m surprised he’s stayed in the closet this long. I mean, just look at him. His best friend is pink! He discoes with jellyfish. He’s sensitive and has a pet snail. Then there’s his rather butch female friend, Sandy the Squirrel. More of a Grrrl Sqrrrl, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).

In a black-tie dinner before members of Congress and other presumed adults, Dobson expressed concern that Sponge Bob had been videotaped taking an oath of tolerance for differences in sexual identity, along with fellow travelers Barney the Dinosaur (gay!), Jimmy Neutron (gay!), and Big Bird (extremely gay!). This video, produced by the We Are Family Foundation, is to be shipped to thousands of elementary schools in an apparent effort to recruit an army of pro-homosexual six-year-olds. The outrage!

What apparently failed to enter Dobson’s eensy, weensy little brain is that the Tolerance Pledge he’s so exercised about does not appear anywhere in the video (though it can be found on the We Are Family Foundation’s web site). No matter. The next day Dobson’s organization, Focus on Family, said it stood by its founder’s statements, regardless of the actual facts.

FYI, the flamingly pro-gay sponsors of the video include the Anti-Defamation League, Disney, Fed Ex, Nickelodeon, PBS, and Sony Publishing. Fucking pansies, the lot of them.

Then there’s that group of pro-life conservatives who are concerned about Bob because they’re convinced he’s really a contraceptive sponge. But more on that later.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Five Ways to Spend Black Thursday

Like most of the sane and morally solvent world, I will be doing everything in my power to not participate in that piggish and grotesque ceremony that will be taking place in our nation's capital on Thursday, January 20. I certainly won't be watching the orgy of smug self-congratulation on television. So what is there to do? Well, you have a few options.

Do Nothing. Fueled by anonymous emails proclaiming "not one red cent" (or, in these inflationary times, "not one damn dime") progressives across the country have been urging people to opt out of the US economy for 24 hours -- to spend nothing in a store, restaurant, gas station, online, or anywhere else. I'm not sure what effect this will have on the nation's economy, but I'm sure it will have a good effect on mine.

Dis Dat Or D'Udda. If you can get your ass down to 'Nawlins by 10 am Thursday morning, you can join in the Jazz Funeral for Democracy (but it will probably cost you more than a few red cents and damn dimes). The rest of us will be in the Crescent City in spirit.

Express your mourning. Wear a white (or black) armband to work--or better yet, stay home from work, and write a letter to your elected representatives explaining why you did, as the site suggests. Nobody in Washington will be working that day, why should you?

Black out your Website. I'm undecided on that one yet, but the Bush Blackout site has some pretty nifty graphics to put up instead.

Turn Your Back on Bush. Some folks have been urging people to turn their backs when they see Bush (fine if you’re camped along the parade route in DC, kinda silly if you’re doing it in front of your TV). I say go one better: grab your ankles, drop your drawers, and give Georgie-Boy a 21-bun salute.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Stop the Presses!

This just in:
By Brian Knowlton International Herald Tribune
Thursday, January 13, 2005

No evidence found of weapons cited as justification for war
WASHINGTON The White House confirmed on Wednesday that the U.S. search in Iraq for banned weapons, which it had cited as justification for the war against Saddam Hussein, has been quietly ended after nearly two years, with no evidence of their existence.

That means that the conclusions of an interim report last autumn by the leader of the weapons search, Charles Duelfer - which undercut prewar administration contentions that Iraq possessed biological and chemical weapons, was building a nuclear capability, and might share weapons with Al Qaeda - will stand.

But a White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, insisted that the war was justified. He rejected the suggestion that the administration's credibility had been gravely damaged in ways that could weaken its future response to perceived threats.....

....Asked by a reporter whether the president felt "any sense of embarrassment" that no banned weapons had been found, despite the administration's formerly confident and urgent-sounding assertions, McClellan reminded the questioner of Bush's comment in October that Saddam "retained the intent and capability to produce weapons of mass destruction" and was "systematically gaming the system" to undermine UN sanctions.

"Knowing what I know today," Bush said in October, "I would have made the same decision."

However, McClellan added, the Bush Administration is continuing its aggressive pursuit of the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus.

"These evil-doers shall be brought to justice," the President declared. "They can run but they cannot hide."

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Mistakes Were Made. Not By Us, Of Course.

Note the textbook-perfect use of the passive voice by White House chief spokesdroid Scott McClellan:
With the Education Department still defending its $240,000 contract with syndicated columnist and TV personality Armstrong Williams, White House spokesman Scott McClellan was cautious in choosing his comments.

"Questions have been raised about that arrangement, it ought to be looked into, and there are ways to look into matters of that nature," McClellan said. The spokesman did not say precisely who should look into it, and stopped short of backing an inquiry by the department's inspector-general, as some lawmakers have sought.

The Wall Street Journal Discovers Election Fraud

Of course, this term only applies when Republicans lose. As John Fund opines in the increasingly non-reality-based OpinionJournal:
The new media--talk radio, bloggers and independent watchdog groups--have followed up their success in exposing Dan Rather's use of phony memos by showcasing another scandal: Washington state's bizarre race for governor, which features a vote count so close and compromised it allows Florida to retire the crown for electoral incompetence.
He then goes on to note...
In Washington state, the errors by election officials have been compared to the antics of Inspector Clouseau, only clumsier. At least 1,200 more votes were counted in Seattle's King County than the number of individual voters who can be accounted for. Other counties saw similar, albeit smaller, excess vote totals. More than 300 military personnel who were sent their absentee ballots too late to return them have signed affidavits saying they intended to vote for Mr. Rossi. Some 1 out of 20 ballots in King County that officials felt were marked unclearly were "enhanced" with Wite-Out or pens so that some had their original markings obliterated.
Gee, does any of this sound eerily familiar? But when progressive critics raise this hew and cry, we're all conspiracy theorists, sore losers, and tinfoil-hat paranoids. When the right wing flaps its jaws, they're Noble Bloggers Out to Save the Nation.

Here's what Fund had to say in a speech shortly after the November election in a story posted by Cybercast News Service:
John Fund, the author of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy" and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, told that "you can always tell a losing party by the number of people in the fever swamps who come up with elaborate conspiracy theories to explain the fact that the real problem is they lost an election."

"The real story is what do we need do to clean up the system to make it both easier to vote and harder to cheat -- we don't have that discussion right now. What we have are Internet conspiracy theorists," Fund added. His remarks followed a speech at The Federalist Society's 2004 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, D.C.
I didn't think it was possible to be more disgusted with the media. I was wrong.

The Blog Is Not Dead...

....though it has been taking an extended respite, thanks to the holidays, vacations, and massive deadlines. Still, I'm happy to report that the rumors of my abduction and transport to Guantanamo Bay by the Forces of Evil have been greatly exagerrated. Hasn't happened yet, anyway.

Here's a note from John O., progressive professional political wonk (PPPW):

This morning's Financial Times had a front page story "Allawi's group slips cash to election reporters".

The key para reads

"After a meeting held by Mr. Allawi's campaign alliance in west Baghdad, reporters — mostly from the Arabic-language press — were invited upstairs where each was offered a "gift" of a $100 bill in an envelope.

"Many of the journalists accepted the cash. . . ."

The story also notes that Sadam Hussein used to do this.

Of course, you can search in vain for this story in the US media, so I asked myself was it only Arabic-language press reporters who took the cash?
D'you suppose this is what happened in Ohio? Oh no no no -- the US media can't be bought. Unless you're Armstrong Williams, the conservative black columnist paid $240,000 by the Bush administration to promote No Child Left Behind, which has been a total freaking disaster in our schools. (No word on what Williams' price tag would be to promote, say, the KKK.)

But the rest of them? Nah. Mostly because somebody already owns 'em.
Change Congress Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.