Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
President Bush's lonely lame duck Presidency took another "fowl" turn this week when "Roost and Run", the turkey chosen to receive the ceremonial Presidential pardon, refused to shake hands with the President.
"Look, I appreciate what the guy's done for me and mine, but after what he's done to America's standing in the world, I just couldn't put on the happy turkey face, you know? It's a principle thing," "Roost and Run" said through a translator.
President Bush took the snub in stride, the same way he did earlier this week when he was systematically ignored by his fellow world leaders at the G-20 summit.
Mr. Bush then moped across the South Lawn of the White House, eliciting sympathy from the press core.
"I never thought he was such a bad little president," said Helen Thomas. "Maybe he just needs a little love."
The city council of Chevy Chase, MD announced their plans today to sue actor and comedian Chevy Chase for the "continued defamation and debasement of (their) town name".
City council members said that plans for the law suit had been kicking around for years, "basically since Funny Farm came out," said council member Georgia Meyers. "We were holding out hope that he'd turn out some late career reinvention, you know like Bill Murray did, but nope. Still an asshole."
The council said that the final factor in deciding to go ahead with their case was last week's announcement that Chase planned to star in Not Another Not Another Movie, a film spoofing films that spoof other films.
"We try to represent the best possible image of Chevy Chase to the world - we rely on the tourist trade - and when he keeps putting dreck like that out there under our city's name, well it's basically like he just built a tire factory in the middle of downtown," councilman Craig O'Neill said. "Like the man's just been slapping us in the face for years, and we haven't done a thing about it."
Legal analysts agree that the city of Chevy Chase has a much better chance of winning their case in the aftermath of last week's lawsuit against Warner Brothers studios and director Christopher Nolan by the mayor of Batman, Turkey, for failing to ask for his permission to use the name "Batman". "This looks way less silly in comparison to that," said legal analyst Joesph Steven. "I mean who wouldn't want to be named after Batman?"
The city council is seeking an undisclosed settlement from Mr. Chase, script approval on any of his future projects, and a public apology for making Spies Like Us.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Do you know what it means to come home at night to a woman who'll give you a little love, a little affection, a little tenderness? It means you're in the wrong house, that's what it means. It also means there will be a lot of screaming, and that the police will come, and they are not very accommodating and most likely won't buy your "sleep-groping" defense after the third time.
Take my wife... Please, you don't understand. She treats me horribly. I sleep in a box.
Doctor says to a man "You're pregnant!" The man says "How does a man get pregnant?" The doctor says "The usual way, a little wine, a little dinner.... seriously though, you have intense swelling in your gastrointestinal area and we need to get you into surgery or else you'll die."
I've been in love with the same woman for 49 years. If my wife ever finds out, she'll kill me! Honestly though , she's done it before, and she'll do it again. I need protection.
A drunk was in front of a judge. The judge says "You've been brought here for drinking." The drunk says "Okay, let's get started." The judge says "No, really, you have a problem. Your family is worried about you." The drunk starts to cry. Everyone else looks down at their shoes.
We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops. She then buys a high end chef's knife which she threatens to castrate me with if I ever let go of her hand again. Why are you still listening to these jokes? Call the police before she gets back.
After Sarah Palin ended what most are considering her final postmortem interview of the 2008 campaign, Houston Star reporter Shane Paley, who has been following the governor since she accepted the Republican party's nomination in late August, stopped to ask, "What just happened?"
"No seriously, where am I?"
What his fellow pool reporters originally thought was a gag quickly turned serious once Mr. Paley fell to the ground weeping, repeatedly asking, "Why is there so much snow?"
"I just remember being in Dayton, she came up on the stage and... now... oh God, does my wife know where I am? My children?" Mr. Paley said before relapsing into a routine of terrible sobs and screams, for which he eventually had to be sedated.
After an examination by a local EMT, it became clear that Mr. Paley's actions were due to the fact that he remembered nothing of the last two months of his life, having apparently lived them in a form of sleepwalking that has been known to occur amongst the reporters who followed Gov. Palin during the campaign.
"It'd happen to all of us now and then," said Minneapolis Star journal reporter Adam Patkin, who was on the trail with Mr. Paley. "Those few times she'd actually stop to answer our questions, she'd open her mouth and you'd get so focused on trying to follow anything she was saying and then suddenly it'd be two hours later and I'm back in my hotel room in my underwear. "
None of his fellow reporters had any idea Mr. Paley's condition was as bad as it was. His colleagues said that he was as social as anyone was, and that any perceived slowness was due to his southern drawl. "I just thought that's how everyone from east Texas acted," said Mark Diaz of the Miami Herald. He added, "Oops."
The other reporters watched as Mr. Paley was taken away to an Anchorage hospital before being flown back to Houston. When Mr. Paley was informed that Barack Obama had won the presidency, his sobs became louder, though most agreed that they were sobs of happiness and not the same ones of despair that he had been crying all day.
His fellow reporters were clearly shaken as they watched the ambulance drive off.
"This just makes me question everything," Mr. Patkin said. "I mean we had a fantasy football league going. Who knows what that means anymore."
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Hollywood director Michael Bay announced Friday that he plans to sue the campaign of President Elect Barack Obama for copyright infringement, claiming that by causing the citizens of the world to erupt in celebration over his victory, Mr. Obama stole his intellectual property. "That's what I do," the director said in a press conference. "The world almost ends, hero saves it at the last minute, boom, the world rejoices as one. People see that, time and again, they say, 'Oh, that's Michael Bay. Awesome.'"
Bay claims that the cathartic burst of joy expressed the world over following Obama's victory in the US presidential race that was carried by numerous television outlets was too similar to his trademark ending, most notably that of his asteroid action adventure Armageddon, to be a coincidence.
"They knew they needed the biggest possible end for this thing, so obviously they looked to me. Michael Bay. I get that. But I didn't receive one call, one text. I feel ripped off, and I think the world feels ripped off too. Because if that was a true Michael Bay ending, way more stuff would have blown up."
Bay cites his case against fellow director Roland Emmerich as precedent for the lawsuit. Bay recieved an undisclosed amount in damages from Emmerich and Twentieth Century Fox Productions after he accused them of stealing the ending of Armageddon for their Independence Day. It was considered a landmark case due to the fact that Independence Day was produced two years before Armageddon.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
possess an undying devotion for a person in a way that makes you sound like a sad fifteen year old to whoever you are describing it to, stripping you of all dignity: "So you're deathcabbing him now?" "I would, for lack of a better phrase, follow him into the dark, yes."
On Tuesaday I attended the io's final pub quiz of the season. Since it's Halloween week and all, the theme was "Stephen King", which was unfortunate for me because not only have I never read a single Stephen King novel or short story (not even one of the hopey, 40's prison ones), I pretty much don't care about horror movies, which I could only assume would also be asked about. Luckily for me though the rest of the questions ended up being about short stories and Maine, things I'm mildly interested in. I would have come in third if I hadn't somehow gotten McSweeney's writer George Saunders and former Red Sox pitcher Tom Gordon mixed up (I think it's pretty safe to assume no girl has ever loved George Saunders), which would have won me one of io's famed frozen pizzas. On the upside though, I won best team name for "Cujo do me a favor?"
But none of this is the point.
The point of all of this is that the last question in the round on Maine was "This former congressman from Maine was a Republican candidate for President in 1880. A hint - he also has an elementary school at Southport and Janssen named after him."
This shouldn't have just been a hint for me. I should know this - I live a block away from this school. But for the life of me, I couldn't remember the name James. G Blaine. I know, I'm horrible.
So I decided to look up the man - who was apparently a speaker of the House, a senator, and a two time secretary of state. He was also, according to Wikipedia, the leader of the Half-Breeds.
That's right. James G. Blaine was a werewolf.
James G. Blaine Discusses Foreign Policy With A Campaign Staffer, Congressional Christmas Party, 1872
And apparently during their National convention, the Half-Breeds went up against a group of hardlined Van Helsings called the Stalwarts, led by notorious demon hunter Ulysses S. Grant. Things got ugly:
In the 1880 Republican National Convention, the Stalwart candidate, former president Ulysses S. Grant, was pitted against Half-Breed James G. Blaine for the party nomination. Grant's campaign was being led by Stalwart leader, Roscoe Conkling of New York, a state that had the biggest split between Stalwarts and Half-Breeds. Despite Conkling's attempts at imposing a unit-rule in the Republican National Convention, in which a state's votes would be grouped together for only one candidate, a number of Stalwarts went against him by vocalizing their support for the Half-Breed, Blaine. The Half-Breeds united together to defeat the unit rule in a vote, and elected George Frisbie Hoar, a Half-Breed, to the position as the temporary chairman of the convention.
It's bizarre to think that such a time existed where a werewolf could go about in public with a name like George Frisbie Hoar, which would basically be the equivalent of naming a child Teen Wolf in today's world.
Eventually the Half Breeds won out by putting up moderate werewolf James Garfield as a candidate, who it was agreed that when his transformation occurred, could easily be passed off as an unshaven Norwegian man.
Garfield eventually went on to win the election, and the half breeds decided to take a more muted place in politics over the following years, using influence and acquired gypsy spells to get their legislative agendas passed through congress.
2008 marks the first time since the 1880 election when the Half Breeds have put a player into the ring, with Zombie-American candidate John McCain.
That was a stupid joke, but honestly, I just wanted an excuse to post this photo
Apparently this is a problem. So what's a parent to do? Look to history, of course.
Joan Of Arc
One Knights costume
Dress your daughter up in the knights costume, and use the charcoal to give the costume and her face that freshly roasted look. Use the scissors to chop off all her hair - or better yet, have her do it! That rough worn look you get from cutting off your own locks really adds to the whole warrior in God's army vibe.
Dress your daughter in the blouse and skirt, put on the apron, and then lightly apply the makeup on her face until she has that healthy green glow. The perfect costume to teach her a lesson about women's achievements in science and why it's not the best idea to watch your food cook in the microwave.
Ill fitting tweed coat
Some dopey looking hat
Long string of fake pearls
Dress your daughter like she doesn't care what she looks like, because who can care about things like that when there are coal miners to save, or whatever it was that Eleanor Roosevelt did. Alternatively, if you don't feel like explaining what the Great Depression was (better sooner than later!) or what a "beard" is, this same outfit can also be passed off as the classic "Female Hobo".
Sunday, October 26, 2008
"Getting back to the spreading the wealth question, what do you say to the people who are concerned that Barack Obama will want to turn America into a socialist country much like Sweden?"
Pasty faced Republican Presidential nominee John McCain in front of one his campaign signs, a blue background highlighted by a bold yellow streak.
The flag of Sweden, as defined by Wikipedia:
A picture of Barack Obama fist-bumping a small child. Because it is fucking adorable.
The flag of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges flagga) is blue with a yellow Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag. The design and colours of the Swedish flag are believed to have been inspired by the present Coat of arms of Sweden of 1442, which is blue divided quarterly by a cross pattée of gold, and modelled on the Danish flag. Blue and yellow have been used as Swedish colours at least since king Magnus Birgersson's royal coat of arms of 1275.
So is John McCain subtly slipping Sweden a support sign through his campaign material? The angry raging wheezing has just been a cover to throw everyone off the trail of his true, socialized public health care, Dancing Queen loving heart? Sure why not. It's as valid a point as anything that lady said.
And she's an actual journalist.
And as Exhibit C:
Thursday, October 16, 2008
At a press conference this afternoon held at the Long Island Marriott and Spa, some of the sons of the area's most successful businessmen gathered to express their outrage and confusion as to why Senator John McCain keeps linking them and others of their social standing to the Democratic candidate Barack Obama in what they see as a "negative light".
Dustin Julius, heir to lucrative Orange Julius fortune, spoke for the group. "We find it hard to believe that Senator McCain feels the need to continually bring up the fact that Barack Obama started his career in one of our living rooms, and paint it as a bad thing. We have very nice living rooms, can you really blame the guy for trying to have a little class?"
"I just find it repulsive that the senator would turn his back on us and our families after all of the money and work we've put into his campaign," Mr. Julius said. "The Dow dips a bit and you turn us out for Joe Six Pack or whatever you're calling the idiots this week? Who's the traitor here senator?"
After they opened the floor to questions from the small pool of reporters covering the event, someone explained to them what the definition of a homonym was, and the group looked stunned. They stared at their feet, offered a brief apology, and then everyone went home.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
McCain Campaign Prepares To Announce Victory In 'Burning Down' And 'Salting The Earth' Of Any Chance Of Winning
The streamers are out and the balloons are being filled; some campaign staffers have even started uncorking the champagne. "We're trying not to get ahead of ourselves, but it's hard not to be giddy," said campaign volunteer Rick Monroe. "That's why we're only celebrating at one of the more modest ranches," he said, referring to the McCain family's six house ranch outside of Phoenix. "We don't want to jinx ourselves."
That kind of guarded optimism seems to have spread throughout the entire campaign today, all the way from it's head quarters in Arizona to the staffers on the ground with Senator McCain in Hempstead N.Y., where he is readying for his final debate with his opponent, Senator Barack Obama. The event is being heralded as the final nail in the coffin for what at some points seemed like a long, arduous funeral march.
"It got tough there for a while," said McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt. "We actually got that bump in popularity from Palin when we first announced her, that took us all by surprise. Luckily people realized what we were up to when we got her out there and talking, so things bottomed out again."
The debate tonight is being viewed by many as the capper in the most successful Republican effort ever to alienate any possible voter with even the most minor of mental capacity. "They've essentially boiled it down to their absolute core base, what we call the Clampet Block - basically voters who are so afraid of change that most of them still use outhouses" said Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist and former McCain campaign advisor.
"In my opinion, John McCain will go down as the greatest Republican hero since Ronald Reagan," Schmidt said. "Who wanted to win this one, honestly? Over the last eight years we've decimated the economy, and even if we somehow manage to find Henry Paulson's magic bullet and pull our shit together, we've still got that billion dollar a day Iraqi quagmire and the ass raping gas prices to deal with. We've done such an amazing job with this campaign, we're going to lose so hard, none of the shit that goes down in the next eight years is going to be tied to the G.O.P. Did you hear we might lose our senate seat in Kentucky? Kentucky!"
He paused to slurp down another oyster, and toss it's shell onto his ever growing pile.
"With the heaping mess we've left the Democrats, and the unimaginable ways they'll fuck it up over the next four years, the rest of this century is going to be a cake walk for us."
Schmidt took one more look over the chanting crowd gathered at Hofstra University. The one singular McCain Palin sign holder was slowly losing her footing to the man behind her with a giant "O8" sign.
"Fuck it, I'm good at this."
Monday, October 13, 2008
Level One: Greetings From Asbury Park
Your life will feel bright and sunny, so much so, that you may be blinded. Sunglasses are recommended.
Level Two: The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle
You will still be excited about the things in your life, though a certain type of desperation will take over from time to time, leaving you wondering "Ooooh, what can I do?" This can easily be cured by sitting with a senorita by a fire (parental consent permitting).
Level Three: Born To Run
Events in your life will begin to feel constricting, like a death trap, or, alternately, a suicide rap. Your days will be spent dreaming of escape via car, motorcycle, possibly a boat across the river.
Level Four: Darkness On The Edge Of Town
Anger sets in as you realize that all of your plans to escape your tired small town life have failed, and there is nothing left for you to do, except possibly prove it all night. Any remaining energy will be spent requesting it be understood that your surroundings should treat you better than they currently do.
Level Five: The River
The anger will soon succumb to acceptance and delusion, as you try to convince yourself that you do not hate your life by hanging out in bars all the time. This becomes increasingly harder to do when you receive a union card for your nineteenth birthday, even though you expressly told everyone you wanted a new leather jacket.
Level Six: Nebraska
Things have gotten bad. You have been laid off. All of your friends have deserted you. You've become obsessed with assassinated mob bosses and start driving around in the middle of the night with a gun in your glove box, hoping to get pulled over. Seek help.
Recovery: Born In The U.S.A.
The pills are working. You've stabilized and are making enough money that you can live your life happily with only occasionally stopping to think about past glory days, dead relatives, and creepy, possibly incestuous thoughts. Well done.
Friday, October 10, 2008
The same company was responsible for ads supporting similar causes:
Oregon Prop 19: The removal of all wood chips from school playgrounds because it's hot lava and if you step on it you're dead.
House Amendment No. 1752: Funding for research into a vaccination for cooties that doesn't involve that stupid ass dance.
Michigan Prop 24: To give the right to every boy to marry his mom because honestly, how is he ever going to find someone as great as his mom? (Answer: he won't)
President Bush and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson announced Friday that they planned to take the American economy out for what they called, "a good old guys night on the town." Details of the night were vague, with President Bush only going so far as to promise "some beer, some chicken, you know, whatever game's on that night." The government has become increasingly worried about the state of the economy, especially after the historic 700 billion bailout plan that was passed last week failed to pick up the slumping market. "We haven't seen it this bad in a while. We're worried," Paulson said.
The Dow dropped close to 700 points Thursday, closing below 9,000 for the first time since 2003.
The track record for former outings with the economy have been hit or miss, most notably when FDR's Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau took the economy out to a "picture show" in 1936, though most economists agreed that despite Morgenthau's best intentions, his choice of "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town" only served to bum the economy out even more because it found Gary Cooper to be such a "sour puss". Newly appointed Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan had better luck when he took the economy out for the steak special at Sizzlers in 1989, narrowly diverting an economic disaster.
Despite the outcome, Paulson was adamant on the message they were trying to get across, "This is the best damn economy there is, and it's about time it and everyone else knew that."
From the BBC:
An estranged couple in Cambodia have sawed their house in half to avoid the country's convoluted divorce process.Moeun Rim and his wife, Nhanh, who have been married nearly 40 years, split the building last week following an argument, local officials said.
The Rim's decision to literally split the house in half seems to be inspired by the biblical tale of King Solomon, who, when two women came to him claiming to be the mother of a baby boy, proposed to cut the child in half. The actual mother said that she would rather see the child go with someone else than see him killed, and was then given the child, because the other woman was totally down with the plan and clearly was stupid and awful and had a deep seeded hatred of babies. The Rim's have obviously taken the parable of Solomon's judgement more literally than most, but they're not the first -
London, England, 1886
A disruption broke out between two factory owners in the Clerkenwell neighborhood over who had the right to use a local urchin boy, Pip Geraldo, as a gearsweep in his factory. A local magistrate decided to use the Solomon judgement technique and declared that both men would get half the boy. The magistrate grossly underestimated the pride of the two men as well as their total disregard for the well being of the boy, and before anyone knew what was happening, Mr. Geraldo had been taken to a local butcher shop and cleaved in half. He was then turned into meat pies.
Lakehurst, New Jersey, 1937
As the LZ 129 Hindenburg was preparing to land, a disagreement broke out between Riley O'Rourke, an American financier who had set up the American share of the funding, including the lavish landing ceremony the ship was about to receive, and Josef Dolleschal, the Nazi official who had by all accounts spear headed the project, over who would address the crowds when they landed. The argument over who really deserved the credit grew so loud that Irene Glass, an American bible study teacher who was returning home from a tour of European churches, threatened to "Cut this thing in half if" they didn't stop their squabbling. O'Rourke and Dolleschal dismissed the woman and told her to return to her seat. They went back to their argument, all the while ignorant that Ms. Glass was going through with her threat, removing a fire ax from it's holder, and sending thirty six people to their fiery deaths.
Portland, Maine, 1956
A fight at an Episcopal church bake sale erupted when Edna Smith and Doris Lane, two local stay at home moms, both claimed ownership to a strawberry rhubarb pie. The local priest then decided to cut the pie in half. This, by all accounts, worked out pretty well for everyone.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
My opponents have been clamoring for answers these past few days, going from town to town asking, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" And like the classic proverb, Senator McCain has got my goat, and I'd like to think myself enough of a man to admit when my goat is got. My name is Kevin Hausman. Barack Obama is just a stage name I jumbled together from an old dog eared copy of "World's Weirdest Baby Names" I found on the ground before signing up for my first magic show as a boy. I needed a stage name and I thought Barack Obama sounded like Abracadabra, so I went with it. I saw then that magic could put me in touch with people in a way that I never thought possible, it opened my eyes to the possibilities of the world, and so it was there on that cold Nebraskan day, standing in front fourteen clapping parents in a cape with two unlocked rings in my hands, that I knew my fate was sealed.
I was meant for a life in the public eye.
And yes, I am from Nebraska. Saying I was from Nebraska didn't really evoke the right amount of mystery I was looking for, so that's why I started the story about being from Hawaii; it was harmless at the time since everyone knew it was make believe, but when you start taking a character on the road and you doing your act at block parties which eventually gets you into community organizing, you kind of start to forget that people aren't in on the joke.
You know the rest of my story, and it's all true. I just hope now you understand why I insist on bringing up a volunteer on stage to explain my tax plan by pulling a coin out from behind their ear. I admit it, I still need the thrill which you can only get from a bit of true stage magic. Where'd the coin come from? You don't know. Don't act like you do. But I can say I am more dedicated to serving you, the American people, now than I have ever been, and it is only on the coldest of nights when I hear the faint rustle of the Nebraskan wheat fields whispering, "Kevin, come home." I shake it off, put on my cape, and get back to work, which is what I promise to do every day if you give me the honor of making me your president.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
9/12/08 - It's so cold in here.
9/15/08 - Chris Matthews is surprisingly buoyant. Must be all the potatoes.
9/18/08 - There's a rumor floating around (ha) that the McCain camp is offering an electric blanket to anyone who's willing to get out. Now Moyers is going on about how during the Kennedy campaign they didn't even have blankets, never mind "fancy, electric ones". Good God man, give it a rest, we get it.
9/19/08 - My toes have turned blue. How appropriate.
9/21/08 - Plouffe handed out some buttons to thank us for "hanging in there". What a useless gesture. I mean, sure, we're in the tank, but we have to at least appear unbiased, if we ever see sunlight again. Besides, buttons are so tacky.
9/22/08 - I've forgotten what food tastes like.
9/24/08 - Olbermann stole my floating noodle. I stole one of Dowd's hairpins. Will kill him in his sleep. Look forward to the warm feeling of his blood in the water.
9/30/08 - Howard Kurtz died tonight. Last words were something along the lines - "At least I didn't have to hide my contempt of Sarah Palin." Paraphrasing - hard to tell with all the chattering.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Mr. Murray is not feeling it
The economic crisis has put the financial futures of hundreds of thousands of Americans in jeopardy, but in the media's rush to cover the constant disasters on Wall Street and the government's failed attempts to fix them, they've inadvertently shored up Eric Murray's financial security. "I honestly never thought it'd be such a big thing, you know?" Mr. Murray said in a phone interview from his home in Running Brook, Indiana.
The thing he is referring to is the two minutes of video footage Mr. Murray shot of money being produced back in 2003, when the newly designed $20 bill was first put into production. "It was just a quick job you know? The story ran for a day, the footage ran, I got paid. I got about a month's rent out of it, and I thought that's that."
But as money, and more importantly, the question of where it's going to come from, has constantly been on the American public's mind, Mr. Murray has once again seen his footage in hot demand. Clips from his footage have been playing on average of 50 times a day on all the major cable news and finance outlets, in addition to showings on the national nightly news broadcasts as well as local affiliate news shows, where the economy continues to be the lead story. "It's really flattering," said Mr. Murray, "I would think there would at least a couple different shots of money being made that they could choose from, but everyone's choosing mine."
Mr. Murray said that benefits from the new found interest in his work have been immediate, with his royalty checks increasing by 2000% over one week.
"It's great. I mean, I don't mean to sound cold, but this couldn't have come at a better time. Everyone's really hurting right now, so there are some great deals to be found." For instance, Mr. Murray says when he approached a local dealer about purchasing a hot tub, they offered to instal it for free. "Guy had tears in his eyes. I think I was the first customer he'd seen in a month."
It was on sale today. 2 liters of ginger ale is only a dollar at Jewel, the same price as the flavorless seltzer that they don't even allow to be in the same aisle as the rest of the soda, banished to the booze aisle because it makes everyone so sad. I don't usually buy soda at the store, so I'm not really sure what the going rate for a liter bottle really is - but a dollar? That seems so low, but appropriate. Because ginger ale is so awful. Originally created by British pirates looking to create a drink that would accurately reflect their bleak world view, ginger ale became popular in the United States during prohibition, when bootleggers started marketing the drink as an alternative to alcohol, which then sent people straight to their nearest speak easy because it tasted so awful and they needed a stiff drink to get the taste of it out of their mouths. It was a double win for the bootleggers, because it was at the speakeasy that people learned the only useful purpose of ginger ale - as a mixer. Nowadays ginger ale is the bastard piss colored step child of the soda industry, so unpopular that it's rarely available in soda machines, save for the ones located in the saddest of office buildings. It's only steady buyers are the elderly who want to enjoy a soda but find Sprite's ad campaigns confusing and offensive, and drunken divorced fathers who need something that they can both mix with whiskey and give to their kids on the odd weekends. So it was with much pain in my heart that I reached out tonight for that plastic bottle. It was then that I realized not only do I like ginger ale, it might even be my favorite soda. While it might just be another sign that I'm doomed to a sad, lonely existence, I don't care, because heaven help me if I'm going to pass up a deal like that.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Just days after it's purchase of Washington Mutual from federal regulators, J.P. Morgan chase announced Monday that it had bought TCBY, the nations largest frozen yogurt chain. The move came as a surprise in the wake of the current financial crisis which has left the markets in turmoil and often found Chase in the role of the last minute savior, especially in the case of WaMu, the nations largest savings and loan, which Chase purchased 1.9 billion worth of it's assets Friday after it was seized by the federal government in what is being considered the largest bank failure in American history. "We just felt like we could all use a treat," said CEO Jamie Dimon, "It's been a rough couple of weeks, and we just wanted to thank everyone for being such a trooper."
"Plus," he added, in between licks on a Caramel Apple swirl, "who the fuck is going to stop us?"
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
"Now, say it to him... no actually say it to his face. Talk to him senator. Good. Doesn't that feel better? Now... now kiss him. No? Okay, just putting it out there."
*Oh no John McCain you did not just say Sarah Palin is your fellow maverick, you are not that thick.
7 - 8 p.m. Listen to Keith Olbermann prattle as I try out this fish stew thing Bittman was writing about the other day.
8 p.m. Watch the debate.
8:01 p.m. Begin one man drinking game. Rules for drinking game:
- #1 - Drink when ever John McCain refers to the American people as his "friends" or "main street"
8:23 p.m. Succumb to alcohol poisoning.
History's Most Obscure Nazis
Do You Know Hans? No, Of Course You Don't.
By now, the History channel has chronicled every mundane moment in the lives of the Third Reich's major players to the point where every bookish housewife and retired grandfather know what Gobbel's preferred breakfast pastry was (unsurprisingly, it was strudel). So why not open it up a bit, shine the light on some of the party's lesser members? Sure, they may not have been that interesting, but there were so many of them, they can easily fill a twenty-two episode order. Five minutes on Josef from Hamburg, who never really bought the party line but just liked the snappy outfits. Or Fredrich, who suffered a constant inner struggle during his tour of duty due to his love of bagels. Or Cal, who was an all around good Nazi but no one ever really believed it because his name was Cal.
History's Worst Family Vacations
Should Have Gone To Cabo
We all have funny, terrible family vacation stories, but none as awful as the McCullen family, who sailed from Wales in 1678 in an attempt to find religious asylum but instead found death on the cliffs of Dover. History is full of stories like this, and there is an entire generation of bloggers and internet entrepreneurs working from home who grew up playing Oregon Trail rather than doing any work in shop class who would love to watch them. The show could highlight "I Shouldn't Be Alive" type recreations of the disasters, and could also make an attempt to grab "The Hills" demographic by substituting the usual dry diary readings with newly written, "modern" interpretations of the text: "Dear Diary, today Dads decided to weather the gale, and now we're totes out of hardtack! Worst sweet sixteen ever."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
1908 - It was widely perceived that William Howard Taft's huffy speaking skills would put him at a disadvantage in his debate with noted orator William Jennings Bryan, but Taft was determined to use the relatively new medium to his advantage. During the start of the debate, as Bryan attempted to start into one of his lofty eloquent speeches, Taft pulled a stick of butter out of his pocket and blubbered into it in front of the microphone. He then derided his opponent for being a "Rude, awful man... with the manners of a stable donkey." Bryan tried to defend himself against the accusations but the laughter filling the hall by that point made it impossible, and critics said he was unable to regain his stride for the rest of the night, some going so far to say it threw him into a funk for the rest of the campaign. Taft saw the night as a double victory, not only because he defeated his opponent, but also because he was able to later eat the stick of butter. This is why William Howard Taft is known as "America's First Shock Jock."
1924 - President Calvin Coolidge's monicker of "Silent Cal" proved all the more accurate during his debate with Democratic nominee John W. Davis. Davis answered the first question of the debate, and when turned to for a rebuttal, Coolidge said nothing, and continued to for the rest of the night. At first Davis thought he had the advantage, deriding his opponent's "disability to answer even the simplest of queries." But Coolidge's icy stare soon withered and wrecked his opponent, who after 90 minutes of trying to fill the silent void being left by the president, finally cracked and admitted to killing a man in an alley way in Washington D.C. in 1908. Even though the resulting arrest and trial seriously damaged his campaign, polling at the time showed that the biggest factor in his loss was his perceived lack of a cohesive policy to deal with Nicaragua.
1936 - No President ever took greater advantage of the radio than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, though one of his greatest successes was actually a mistake. Radios were finally in the majority of American households by the time of Roosevelt's debate against Alf Landon, but between the country's inexperience with the new technology and the fact that most families had eaten the buttons off of the new consoles in fits of hunger, people had trouble accurately tuning into the shows they were planning to listen to. So while many were impressed by Roosevelt's ability to conduct a debate and build a bird house at the same time, they had actually just happened to tune into "Al Roger's Birdhouse Hour brought to you by the Miracle Spring Bird Seed Corporation" on a night Mr. Rogers happened to go off script and launch into a tirade about federal funding.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
From the WSJ:
"A nose job in a hospital with a private nurse in attendance had been something of a rite of passage for Joan Asher's children. But when her fourth and last child was ready for her own rhinoplasty recently, Ms. Asher asked her to postpone it.
The financial markets were simply more out of whack than her 16-year-old's proboscis."
DAY TO DAY
The turmoil downtown has even worked it's way into the most mundane daily routines of the city's elite. Doris Lockborn, the wife of a prominent investment banker, has burned the sheets she slept on every morning for the last 35 years. "I did it once on our honeymoon, and it just felt right. I haven't missed a day yet. Even when we go on holiday, I make sure they set us up with a fire proof rubish bin." And being accommodated to the lifestyle that she is, Mrs. Lockborn has been setting aflame only the best silk sheets that money could buy. "They're made by a flock of Turkish silk worms - they only allow the worms to make enough silk for one set of sheets and then they crush them with a rock, so it's truly one of a kind. It's fabulous." But after a review of their finances in the wake of the new financial future, Mr. Lockborn put a kibosh on his wife's ritual. "He made me go from the 1000 thread count to the 800, can you believe it? It doesn't have nearly the same crackle when you light it up. It's embarrassing. I see the way the help has been looking at me. With those... eyes."
The economy is even starting to decide how the well-to-doers and their families spend that one special part of the year - time travel vacations. "We were planning on taking the kids back to Florence during the Renaissance," said Rachel Allen, a stay-at-home mom on the Upper-East Side. "Maybe show them a little culture, get them acquainted with the classics, as they were happening." But between the tumultuous economy and the ongoing strife in the middle east, the price for the plutonium that would be necessary for the trip is beyond the Allen's budget. "He starts blabbering at me about 'jiggawats' and all this nonsense and finally gets around to telling me the farthest we could get back would be 1955. And it's like, if I wanted them to see that, I could just take them to see 'Grease' on Broadway. But I don't, because I don't hate my children."
The financial crisis is rising to the point where it's even starting to effect the literal backbone of the local upper crust: the coal mine. It's a widely known fact that one of Wall Street's most ambitious project over the last two booming decades has been it's quest to find the remaining two Adi Shankara stones that it needed to officially rule the world. Even as the project has produced nothing but the bodies of thousands of kidnapped children over the years, the traders still weren't sweating it. As Michael Shenkman, a commodities trader at Morgan Stanely put it, "It was still like, 'Hey, free coal.'"
But now some are wondering if the quest for undisputed world dominance through the use of mystical stones is worth it in the floundering financial market. "It used to be when your indentured children slaves were starting to die off, you could just send an expedition out to some other po dunk village, round up some more, and we'd be back to full force by Monday," said Jack Newman, an investor with Goldman Sachs. "But now, with funding the whole thing on the weakened dollar, and the price of gas. Do you have any idea how much it costs to fill a jet with enough fuel to get it into a remote Indian village? Yeesh, it was like, who's pillaging who here?"
The project hasn't completely come to a stop yet though, as the investors have turned to a new form of labor: molemen. Though it's clear no one involved is satisfied with the solution. "The kids at least, if they weren't finding something, there was a certain joy in watching them work, knowing how much they were suffering, you know?" said Newman, watching the new slaves from the mine's viewing gallery. "These guys, they seem to like it. They smile all the time. Or at least I think they do. It's hard to tell. It's creepy, I know that."