Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dude, it's like, your move

Finally, drug testing is being taken seriously, especially at the Asian Games. How can we tell? Well, when the international body governing tournament chess has decided that it's fed up with the possibility of drug-enhanced players, we know that the epidemic is finally going to be curtailed.

Wait. That can't be right. Pardon me while I check the story again.

Yep. It's right. Chess players gearing up for the Asian Games this December are facing the possibility of drug tests after rounds. This really is getting serious.

After all, think about it. Drugs can be used to enhance physical performance, as so many baseball players have proven recently. But can they possibly be used to enhance the game of mental athletes? Could there be a wonder drug out there that will give chess players an unfair advantage over the non-dopers in their little world?

When one thinks of chess, one tends to picture a fairly slow moving game, with very carefully thought out moves. When one thinks of drug use, the notion of carefully thought out is generally carefully tossed out the window. And yet we have to worry about chess players doping for an edge.

Of course, now I can't help but picture chess being played by a couple of stoners. Although I'm sure that checkmate was declared after either a) the first player was able to king one of his pawns, a la checkers, b) the pizza showed up, or c) that really kicking Phish song started playing on the radio.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

And go to your room without dessert

The United States has taken a new tactic in its campaign to bring North Korea around to the GDub way of thinking. Now, instead of simply banning sale and transport of weapons and military supplies, the US is looking into depriving Kim Jong-Il of items such as iPods and Segway scooters. These luxury sanctions are aimed specifically at the North Korean leader, as the items being withheld are purported to be personal favorites of his, and yet are not widely available to the rest of the country.

Let's just slow down for a second, and make sure that we all caught what the US government is proposing. We'll be taking away Kim Jong-Il's toys, thereby beginning what could be termed the first-ever global grounding of a parent angry with the bratty behavior of a child. Not to say that the United States is truly the progenitor of the situation in North Korea, but it certainly looks like we've decided that, until KJI listens to us, he's going to be sent to his room.

And boy, just wait until his father gets home.

But honestly, is this really the best idea the United States could have put forth? After all, Kim Jong-Il isn't widely known for his mental stability, and not giving him free reign to his cognac and Jet Skis. Nevermind that these items will most likely continue to be recieved in North Korea from other nations, making the US motion somewhat frivolous. KJI has been known to fly a little off the handle in the past, and perhaps not allowing him to get his PlayStation 3 from the US could provoke another less-than-stable response from the volatile leader.

Then again, maybe this will work. Maybe after all of the attempts at diplomacy and sanctions, all we really needed to do was take away his toys and lock him in his room until he thinks about what he did.

Or maybe he'll climb out the window and egg the neighbors house, like so many troubled teens before him.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Still not ready for prime-time

But, quite possibly, more than ready for happy hour. We are, of course, talking about former Saturday Night Live and current 30 Rock "actor" (we use the term loosely) Tracy Morgan. Morgan has followed up his lack of overall success with SNL by falling into the "Tony Danza Trap"; namely, he plays a character which shares his first name, and is being outshone by older and once-talented castmates. In Danza's case, it was pretty much everyone he shared screen time with (including Judith Light). In Morgan's case, it's the sudden resurgence of Alec Baldwin into a bankable commodity.

So what do you do when you realize that you're in this situation, and that, even though your show is completely different from Aaron Sorkin's latest piece, even Untalented Cordry gets more laughs than you? Well, you reprise your greatest hits. And, when you're Tracy Morgan, your greatest hits involve driving after having had a few too many at a local watering hole.

This is the second time in the past year where Morgan has been pulled over for drinking and driving. The first time, he was fined $390, a small sum for most actors but surely something placed on a credit card for someone of Tracy Morgan's caliber, and ordered to attend an alcohol education class.

Almost makes you wonder if he ran into Mel Gibson and Robin Williams while there. Although I don't think that's the type of alcohol education the law enforcement officials were hoping Morgan would receive.

Monday, November 27, 2006

That's a lot of books

GDub, the Great Decider of America, is already looking into ways to start trying to rebuild his shattered Presidential legacy. How better to do that than to start looking into financing to build your very own legacy library. And with the current price tag estimated at being somewhere around $500M, supporters are scrambling to gather the donations needed to get construction going.

Of course, what better way to symbolize the waste and decadence experienced by the elite over the last six years than with a legacy library with a cost higher than any previous Presidential library. The library is being planned to go onto the campus of SMU in Dallas, and draw contributions from donors ranging from $25,000 to $20M.

But that's not all. After all, why simply have a library built in your honor, when you can also make sure to endow it with enough money to have scholars and historians write favorably about a time in history that many are already having trouble looking back on without losing a piece of their Thanksgiving meal.

Of course, the money will come pouring in. Partly because, somehow, GDub is still ridiculously popular through most of Texas (Austin gets a pass for having some sense). SMU will benefit from the library. And, possibly most important of all, the donors will all be able to remain anonymous. True, The Decider is faced with trying to raise the money in a political climate which was less than favorable to the GOP, but, well, as we all know from Stephen Colbert, "reality has a well-known liberal bias". Why should reality stand in the way of yet another of GDub's dreams?

Yet, one question rankles. If the money is raised to get this building project off the ground, aren't there better ways of spending it? Say, perhaps, getting a Commander in Chief to stop reading Curious George books, and actually teaching him that Green Eggs and Ham isn't the pinnacle of literary accomplishment?

Course, what do I know? I don't have my own library.

Just a little piece to share

There's a great new feature out on the web. Well, maybe it's not new, but it is new to me. And it allows us all to create our own official seals for things.
For some reason, the image to your left strikes me as a pretty darned good seal for this little blog. We'll keep cobbling things together, and we do apologize for the lack of any updates over the holiday weekend, but we'll get back into everything later today, with some random story that tripped our brains.
That being said, enjoy creating your own seals! We'll see you in a few hours.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Cavuto can spot a hidden agenda a mile away

Recently, on the FOXNews program, Your World with Neil Cavuto, there was what some are calling a glaring omission. The business program completely ignored the role played by parent company News Corp.'s decision to not publish or produce anything in relation to OJ Simpson's admitted push to gather together some "blood money" for his children. After all, why would anyone watching a business news program care in the slightest about a major marketing decision by a large multi-tiered organization.

Thankfully, Cavuto did take the time to point out that the new animated movie Happy Feet carried a hidden leftist agenda, even calling the film an "animated Inconvenient Truth". Cavuto even went so far as to say that he felt Hollywood was trying to "sneak one by us", as if the concept that any movie that could teach children about global warming's possibilities would be a bad thing.

Now, I admit, I haven't seen Happy Feet, so all of my information about the film is relegated to what I've gleaned from reviews and the commercials/trailers. Still, the film is purportedly more March of the Penguins than An Inconvenient Truth. Even with that, the main theme of the film seems to be an acceptance of that which is different, instead of simply plowing ahead and assuming that all that is different is wrong. In many ways, the film could be actually aspiring to teach children (and some of the adults watching) lessons of tolerance for things such as race, gender, and sexuality.

Even with that, Cavuto decided that the controversy behind the animated penguins was because of the right-wing insistance that global warming, regardless of all the evidence pointing towards it, simply isn't happening. So congratulations, Mr. Cavuto. Congratulations on finding a controversy where there wasn't one. What's next? Flushed Away was merely a piece of Green Party propaganda about utopian societies? The Fox and the Hound was really just an animated Jungle Fever? Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny is a disturbing story about two man-children, aspiring for their dreams of rock stardom in a communist manifesto? The Smurfs were a homosexual paradise?

Ok, ignore that last one. It's just too unrealistic, even for Cavuto and the rest of his friends at FOXNews.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

After this, we'll tackle unemployment. Then a nap.

Thanks to the USDA, there will no longer be any hungry people in the country. Now, before we all get excited about the concept of plentiful food for everyone, we need to realize that what's actually happening is the federal government is simply dropping the word "hungry" from their vocabulary. This is due to a survey conducted by the USDA that simply didn't "have a measure for that condition."

The recent obliteration of "hungry" from the government's vocabulary follows trends over the course of the past few years where food-assistance programs have been cut, and the number of Americans who feel that they don't have enough money to purchase the food they need to survive has gone up. But thankfully, those people will no longer have to go hungry. Now they will be described as having "very low food security". That should certainly make them feel better when they're trying to figure out exactly how to make that box of store brand macaroni and cheese last for a week with a family of four.

Part of the problem, of course, is that our current administration seems to actually be gullible enough to believe that, if you simply change what words are used, you can change the condition. They can now add "low food security" to the list of terms that has been applied to change the perception of a condition without changing the condition, much like "insurgency" and "mandate".

Now that the USDA has come forward and removed "hungry" from the government vocabulary, maybe we can get started on some of those other terms that we don't like much either. After all, if we get them quickly enough, then the homeless will only need to make new signs that say "Job security deficient. Low food security. Will work for improved financial standing."

Oh, wait. I'm sorry. I should have referred to them as "shelter-impaired".

Monday, November 20, 2006

Act Locally, Think Globally

Finally, an idea for world peace that I think all of us can get behind. A California couple tied to the Baring Witness peace movement has come up with a way to get the world to focus on the concept of peace. They are advocating a global orgasm to help achieve their goals.

The couple, Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, have not only studied evolutionary psychology, but they have also partnered sex and activism together in the past. Most notably, Sheehan organized 50 women to form together to spell the word "Peace" in their birthday suits in 2002. The two are hoping that the "incredible feeling of peace" during and after orgasm may help promote world peace and possibly even bring an end to wars.

This may, of course, seem like the agenda of 1960's holdovers, people that never really gave up the "free love" feelings of that era. But you can't really argue with the message. If the couple is able to gather enough people worldwide to achieve sexual gratification on the same day, that's a pretty satisfying achievement. If it leads to the rapid spread of peace across the planet, all the better.

Unfortunately, due to the timing of their global orgasm, a fair portion of the people who could (and otherwise probably would) participate will have their hands locked around their PS3 controllers, and have already experienced their personal heights of pleasure, simply by being part of the small numbers to get their game consoles when they were released. But hey, if the whole global orgasms to stop war thing works, maybe we can look at energy prices next. After all, it's not like most people will be driving while they participate (although they might, just to be able to join in).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of November 13, 2006

We return for another round of Coffee-Soaked Awards in this, the week before Thanksgiving. Next week is a short week for us here at the Excerpts, so we may have a couple of weeks before the next awards (or you may get some on Wednesday, and have to wait a week and a half before the follow-up installment). Either way, we should get this weeks awards rolling, so let's get this show started.

The Man Upstairs Award
We give this to out-going Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, James Inhofe (R-OK) who stresses that there is no reason to worry about global warming. Part of his reasoning for this is that he seems to have found evidence that it's only the northern hemisphere that's warming (isn't that the side where the US is?). His other bit of reasoning is that we have no need to worry because "God's still up there". Representatives for God have confirmed that he is indeed "up there" but that is largely because it's so much cooler where the air is thinner.

Much Ado About Nothing Award
This award goes to the town of Bracciano, Italy, for the huge amount of work they've undertaken to make themselves presentable, from street sweeping to changing menu items. Why all the work? Well, the town is hosting the wedding of Tom Cruise to Katie Holmes this weekend. The town believes that this is a chance for them to be remembered and noticed worldwide. Not wanting to be outshone, Assisi has offered to host the divorce of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, if only to give them another excuse to empty the public ashtrays.

Much Ado About Something Award
This goes out to Sony, which has created yet another fervor with the release of their Playstation 3 video game console. Shoppers eager to get a console on the first day faced cold temperatures, long lines, and, in some cases, arrests in attempting to secure the $500 machine. While many who purchased the system were doing so for their own use, some were hoping to make a quick buck by selling it off on eBay. In an interesting coincidence, waiting in line for days without any sense of personal hygiene didn't worsen the chances of any of those waiting to acquire dates in the near future.

Putting Sexy Back in the News Award
Stephen Colbert was recently named to People Magazine's "Sexiest" list, joining the likes of George Clooney and Taye Diggs. On his own show, Colbert proceeded to mock James Dean for being left off the list, due to no longer being alive. Others that Colbert could have mocked? Rasputin, Alexander the Great, and Marc Anthony. After all, nobody can convince us that the last guy listed by us is still alive by any means.

A Rose by Any Other Name Award
Recently, while bemoaning the notion of OJ Simpson receiving a television special called "If I Did It", set to be aired on FOX, Bill O'Reilly made the comment that FOX Broadcasting and FOXNews were not affiliated. In fact, he made it sound as though it were undeniably true that the two were different organizations. In his defense, O'Reilly also doesn't think that Trump Tower, Trump Plaza, or Ivanka Trump were all created at the impetus of the same person.

Penguins in Rhinestones Award
We give this out to the book And Tango Makes Three, a book currently in hot water in Shiloh, Illinois, for having the audacity to relate for children the (true) story of two male penguins who raised a chick of their own together, without any female penguins being involved. Some parents are complaining that the book, written for 4-8 year olds, should be moved to a more mature section because of the homosexual themes. Oddly enough, many of the parents who complained later went home to watch "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", prefering that their gays not be covered in feathers, once again leaving Elton John in the dark.

A Step in a Direction Award
Continuing the gay theme, we're going to give this one out to the Pentagon, for recently reclassifying homosexuality. They previously had homosexuality listed as a mental disorder, but now it is being classified as a "condition" similar to bed-wetting or fear of flying. While this doesn't change the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, it could lead to gays about to be discharged pointing out that it was a much more satisfying way to make a mess of the sheets.

Wonder Why Award
In recent conversations about why the GOP lost so many seats this past year, Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL) pointed out that "white rednecks...didn't show up to vote for us." Perhaps this could have a little to do with referring to them as rednecks? Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall were not able to be reached for comment, while Ron White proceeded to make jokes about why he divorced his wife.

Thank You Award
We give this, in our eyes deservedly so, to Sasha Baron Cohen, who recently came out to defend himself from all of the attacks springing up about Borat. Cohen pointed out in a recent interview that the joke is not, and has never been, on Kazakhstan. The joke has always been on the people who believe the Kazakhstan he portrays could ever exist. Nationwide, millions of people without any sense of irony are scratching their heads as one, trying to determine where this parallel-universe Kazakhstan could possibly exist.

Well, that wraps up our awards for another week. Enjoy the weekend, and we'll see you on Monday. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A little bit country, a little bit Liberace

Not wanting to draw any ire from their viewers, a television talk show based out of Nashville has decided to "uninvite" Delta Burke and Leslie Jordan from appearing on their show. The reason behind this? They thought that the plays the two were promoting might be considered offensive to their viewership. Just what in these plays could be seen as offensive? The fact that the plays deal with gay subject matter.

Of course, the overall thought that is being brought out is that the shows might be a little too gay for the homeland of country music. In all fairness, a lot of things are too gay for Nashville, and the country as a whole. Heck, the notion of Eric McCormick is a little too gay for a number of people, and he isn't even gay (something he felt the need to force down people's throats time and time again during his tenure on Will & Grace).

The "uninviting" from the show under such auspicious circumstances does cause a few people's radar to go up nationwide, as people pretend to be outraged and appalled that anyone in Nashville could think that anything was too homosexually driven to appeal to their viewer base. Many of these people will, naturally, act very self-righteous about the whole episode until it fades away, and they can go back to loving homosexuals as long as they fit the caricatures they've been forced into for years. They'll have their homosexual heroes like Carson Kressley and Sean Hayes (or Ellen DeGeneres and Portia di Rossi for the lesbians out there), but will shudder at the notion of someone like Daniel Craig or Nicole Kidman possibly turning that page in their lives. Just shows how far this country really has to go on this particular issue.

But hey, at least we can rest easy knowing that the LPGA has been proactive on an issue of their own. Good for them on drug testing... although the chest hair should've been a tip-off. Still, it's not as bad as a cloned horse.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

They'll make an opera out of anything

Well, not really, but one of the newest operas to gather some buzz doesn't help to dissuade that opinion. We've had operas about barbers, women named Carmen, and uncles from Boston. Now, we're being given an opera about that little-exploited subject, the news pundit. That's right, folks. Igor Keller has penned for us the majesty that is Mackris v. O'Reilly to fill that gap in our opera collection.

For those of you who luckily were able to avoid the tawdry details of the actual court case (which was settled, thankyouverymuch) about which the opera has been written, it's the story of the alleged sexual harassment experienced by Andrea Mackris, former FOXNews producer, at the hands of Bill O'Reilly, current FOXNews talking head. O'Reilly of course denied these allegations heavily, but that's not going to stop Keller. After all, he must be taken some levels of artistic license to be able to stretch anything that Bill O'Reilly may or may not have been involved with into a 31-part opera. Heck, the loofah/falafel incident doesn't even happen until part 27.

Of course, if this opera turns out to be a success, we might be able to expect that future theatrical endeavors will be undertaken to chronicle storied events from our recent past. For example, we can wait with baited breath to see Ain't No Bribe High Enough chronicling the Jack Abramoff story, or I'm Still Standing, featuring Karl Rove. We may also see new remakes of classic films, such as Never Say Never Again starring "Gin" Rummy, or Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, with the title characters renamed George and Dick.

Wait a minute. Let's just stop this insanity before it gets out there too far. After all, do any of us really want to be forced to suffer through the new series on VH1's Celebreality, Political Fit Club? I know I don't.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

They need to talk

It happens in the vast majority of good relationships. Eventually, things turn sour, and there is a difference of views on a certain key point. For some couples, the conversations turn sour with the subject of marriage. For others, problems arise when one person hogs too much of the television viewing schedule. And for still others, it all comes down to how the neighbors should be treated.

It appears that the third option listed above is starting to pave the way for GDub and his heterosexual foreign ally Tony Blair to finally need to start opening the lines of communication with each other. After all, if they can't talk and work out their differences, a break-up is imminent, and it would leave Iran as the other woman.

See, GDub firmly believes that Iran is not going to pay attention to what the world (translation: his office) has been telling it, and therefore believes that isolation is the course to follow. Blair, on the other hand, thinks that you can do more with honey than with vinegar, and thinks it might be time to start thinking of partnering up with the Iranian government to achieve a peaceful resolution. It's the international equivalent of Blair coming home with lipstick on his collar.

If these two world leaders can't reach an agreement on Iran, who knows what could be next? GDub was theoretically making some headway in getting Blair to recognize the term "soccer", and Blair had moved forward, getting The Decider to use a napkin at the dinner table. But this potential affair with Iran could destroy the almost marital bliss that the United States and Great Britain have shared for the past six years.

It's time for the Americans and the British to stand up, and get our parents to stop fighting. We love them both equally, and we don't want to see this end up with a divorce. Hopefully they can work through their issues with counseling, and we can all move forward to a happy Thanksgiving dinner. But hey, if things continue to fall apart, we can rest a little easier, knowing the GDub's own political mistress achieved reelection. If it wasn't for Joe Lieberman, GDub would be spending nights eating pint after pint of Chubby Hubby, crying into his pillow, and waiting for Israel to return his calls.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A new crop of guitar heroes

No, I'm not talking about the video game, or the sequel the video game. I'm talking about the newest development coming out of Australia that will help people achieve their ultimate dreams of being able to rock out to the sounds of Journey or Boston without having to spend time or money on those pesky guitars.

That's right, folks. For those that remember fondly the days of playing air guitar and making up the sounds in your head, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia has the shirt for you. Those wacky Australian scientists have actually taken the time and energy to develop the perfect shirt for air guitarists, with sensors built into the fabric to help create those sounds that you've been assuming you'd been making.

This could be a great benefit for the musical world, as there may be untapped talent that couldn't wrap their hands or minds aroung actual instruments. This could also allow those with the ability to play the instruments a new freedom in composition, as the lack of a bulky guitar could free them up to make and experiment with new sounds that they might not otherwise have been able to create.

This could also be a tremendous downfall for civilization as a whole. After all, all we really need to prove just how bad of an idea this shirt could be is one college party, where three different people are wearing the clothes. Three different inept, drunken students, playing air guitar with their magic sound-producing fabrics could cause a riot of small proportions to break out amongst the gathered throng, as they cacophony smashes against their skulls without any perceptible rhythm.

At least, until the advent of the air drums shirt. And even then, it'll be better than having to hear the same Limp Bizkit CD blaring over and over again all night long.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of November 6, 2006

Welcome once again to our awards posting, here at the Coffee-Soaked Mind. This week, we've seen an election come and go, and watched as a new balance of power has taken over the ranks of government. But that's far from all we've seen, so let's get this ball rolling.

A Little Hasty Award
With the fact that Democrats have now taken control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it seems like MSNBC may be jumping all over themselves in a flurry of being a little quick on the trigger. Their most recent poll is a fine example. Tomorrow, the news organization is planning on putting up a new poll... "What did you think of Studio 60 on Monday, 11/13?"

Better Late Than Never Award
Earlier this week, GDub was given the task of announcing the resignation of "Gin" Rummy. Now that he's resigned, Rumsfeld has admitted that the war in Iraq hasn't been going "well enough or fast enough." Admittedly, it's plausible that Rumsfeld wasn't describing the war effort, but was actually talking about other things. Other possible subjects include his severance package, the martini he ordered at the bar, or the resignation of deceptive and incompetent people from positions of power.

Zombies in Office Award
It's not often when the dead can win elections, but it does happen. Just recently, in North Carolina, a dead man won a place on the Soil and Water Conservation board by 12,000 votes, although apparently many didn't know he was dead. During his acceptance speech, Sam Duncan was quoted as saying, "I feel strongly about the condition of our environment.... brains...... and want to ensure.... ghhhhhhh..... for years to come."

Borat Backlash Award
The backlash against the movie and character continue, as two frat boys have now filed a lawsuit, claiming that they were misrepresented when they signed their official release form. They also claim that they were plied with liquor both before and during their interview for the film, and later paid a paltry sum of $200/person. This is appalling to think about. After all, who knew that now you have to start paying frat boys to get them to drink excessively?

Jesus Has Left the Camp Award
The summer camp featured in the documentary Jesus Camp, and had been visited in the past by disgraced preacher Ted Haggard, will be shutting its doors for a few years. Apparently, they no longer consider themselves to be a "safe ministry". The camp also doesn't understand why people would think that they were brainwashing children. Children who had previously attended the camp all were quoted as saying, "The Fire Center is awesome. Ted Haggard didn't do any gay stuff. We love George Bush," followed by unintelligible gibberish, said to be spoken in tongues.

Greater Absorbency Award
Tony Snow gets this award, for his recent press conference on how GDub has been handling the election returns. Snow is quoted as saying, "The President doesn't absorb a rejection." Other things that the President doesn't absorb include basic addition, water spilt on the kitchen floor, or actual pronunciation.

Munchian Tribute Award
We give this to Jon Stewart and Howard Dean, for the appearance on The Daily Show where Stewart tried to goad Dean into once again letting loose his campaign-destroying scream. Dean, to his benefit, let slip a little "booyah." Other times the Dean has loosed the scream have included when he found an awesome parking spot, and when he realized his favorite breakfast cereal was on sale.

One Loss Leads to Another Award
In Rhode Island, defeated senator Lincoln Chafee not only lost the election. He may have lost his faith in the Republican Party. Chafee is being asked if he is planning on leaving the GOP to become either a Democrat or an Independent. It should also be noted that this week, Chafee also lost his pet turtle, an arrangement of flowers, and his car keys. The keys were eventually found underneath a couch cushion. He will be checking the loveseat for his faith in the GOP.

Think of the Children Award
Due to his upcoming divorce from Britney Spears, K-Fed (who many have already christened Fed-Ex) is now attempting to make sure he continues to get some money from Spears. He's asking for custody of both children. Of course, Federline has already renamed both children "Meal Ticket" in an attempt to show fatherly concern.

Running with Rock, Paper, Scissors Award
Oh those wacky Canadians. They once again prove themselves to be on the leading edge of the sporting world by holding an international rock, paper, scissors tournament, with a grand prize of C$10,000. The world hasn't paid this much attention to Canada since the last curling championships, or the last time Celine Dion escaped from her usual captivity to perform another heart-pounding rendition of her songs.

Good Night and Good Luck Award
We can think of no other person who deserves this award more than Ed Bradley, and, as we've never met him personally, we can think of no better way to honor him. The consummate journalist passed away recently, and proved himself in a class all his own. May the spirit of Edward R. Murrow go with him.

That sums up our awards for this week. Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you next week. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Would the real "Borat" please stand up?

It looks like Sasha Baron Cohen's comic creation "Borat" is getting into a bit more hot water, as now a Turk is coming forward. This time, instead of threatening Cohen and his mother, the man is claiming that "Borat" is based on him. In fact, Mahir Cagri feels that the similarities are strong enough that he is considering legal action against Cohen.

Let me get this right. The majority of Kazakhstan wants to slam and ridicule "Borat" because they are offended by the way that their nation is being portrayed. They're concerned that their global image will be damaged, obviously casting themselves as a nation that people had ever heard of before "Borat" was released. And now we have Mahir Cagri who wants to slam and ridicule "Borat" not because of how the character was portrayed, but because the character was a little too close for comfort.

Of course, Cagri doesn't actually feel that Borat is a good impersonation. He simply feels that the groundwork for the character comes from himself, and his web-site. What he seems to be forgetting is that Borat, as a character, is an amalgamation of multiple different people and views, and, as all good comedy can, takes a social commentary angle. Yes, Borat is a backwards reporter from Kazakhstan with incredibly out of touch views. But that just makes the skewering of people who have slightly less extreme versions of those views that much more effective.

Maybe that's what Cagri is complaining about, and maybe that's why he's hoping to put together a film of his own to show the "real him". Perhaps Cagri uses his own talents to point out some of the social injustices facing the world.

Or, just maybe, Cagri is deluded into thinking that Borat is based on him at all. Maybe he simply lost touch and doesn't realize that claiming a extremely dysfunctional, racist, sexist character is based on him is not the best way to go about developing a positive following. Or maybe he spent too much time hiding his head to realize that some nations, not including Kazakhstan or the USA, still understand the concept of satire and social commentary.

I say let the movie be made. It will either reinforce the messages of "Borat", or it will serve to be the audio-visual putdown that Kazakhstan has been looking for.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This means no visitation rights

In a further effort to be somewhat different from every other blog out there, today we're not going to spend paragraphs (or multiple posts) talking about Britney Spears filing for a divorce from her baby daddy. We're also not going to talk about how the Democrats have made huge gains nationwide, because Jon Stewart already said it best. Instead, we're going to talk about Canada. Specifically, Toronto. Extremely specifically, Toronto's own Ronald Schulz.

Why are we going to talk about Ronald Schulz, you might be wondering? And, well, good for you for wondering. As it turns out, Mr. Schulz was recently sent to prison. For attempting to hire a hitman to kill his ex-wife. Schulz apparently was getting pretty tired of making child and spousal support payments, so he thought he'd take matters into his own hands, or, at least, the hands of a paid assassin.

That's not where it gets really weird, though. Now that Schulz is in prison, he figures that he doesn't have to pay any of that nasty child support that caused him to want to kill his ex in the first place. Why not? Well, he doesn't have a steady job, or a source of income. Because he's imprisoned. For trying to ensure that he didn't have to make his payments. Are you following all of this? Now, a judge is being forced to decide if Schulz has to pay or not.

Let me just make sure I'm fully onboard with this one. He didn't want to pay support. He attempted to get his wife killed. He was arrested and incarcerated. He is now arguing that being in prison prevents him from making his support payments. And the judge could take up to a week to figure out how to rule?

Listen, Canada, I know you hate being called America, Jr. Trust me, the way we've been acting lately, I can't really blame you. But when you can't figure out something like this, you prove yourself as our little kid brother. Where we have cases like OJ Simpson, you will have Ronald Schulz. Where we have our overpriced athletes, you'll continue to pay your baseball players in hilarious Canadian dollars. Where we have bacon, you'll have Canadian bacon. And lastly, where we have Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan, you will have them in less frequent doses.

Seriously, this is why we need a fence on both borders. We need to do everything we can to keep our culture and problems from spreading out beyond our lands and infecting our neighbors. Besides, they have better beer.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What goes up

Welcome to Election Day 2006. Of course, since we're pretty sure that each and every one of our readers are pretty much sick of reading more election news, we've decided to expand our horizons. Today, we're taking a look over into Germany.

Apparently, in Berlin, the newest spectator sport is watching people jump to their death. At least, that's kind of the way it seemed as a 21-year-old woman perched herself on a building 230 feet off the ground and prepared to commit suicide. Waiting on the ground below were a group of homeless, trying to encourage the girl to keep her life, and a mass of spectators, including a number of teenagers, who just wanted to watch.

Of course, this being Germany, things just couldn't go according to plan. The girl started taking too much time, causing some of the generally punctual German teens to start shouting for her to go ahead and launch herself off of the town hall roof. Naturally, the homeless didn't like this notion, and started arguing with the teens, trying to get them to stop. Before too long, a brawl broke out amongst the homeless and the teens. Said brawl ended up with numerous injuries, and eight arrests. The girl was coaxed down by the police.

All we can really say beyond this is that, obviously, the German people need better television, and more outlets for their anger. Maybe drinking beer and eating schnitzel is good enough to keep Austrians from watching (and cheering) for someone's suicide attempt, but not in Berlin. Maybe we need to talk to RockStar Games, and get them to put out a Grand Theft Auto: Sausage City featuring a version of Munich.

Although, in hindsight, it's probably better that this didn't happen in Ireland. The Irish would've been drunk and fighting just because they were in the street together. And because they hate the English.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Haven't we seen this before?

Recent news coming out of Washington showcase that, once again, the current administration didn't pay attention to the full scope of intelligence that it had before itself. Back in 1999, the government conducted a series of secret war games, called "Desert Crossing", to simulate what might happen in Iraq should there be a military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power. The results were fairly astounding, especially given the notion that not enough troops were sent to Iraq in the first place.

Of course, the US has, at peak, placed around 160,000 troops on the ground in Iraq, with a standing force of over 140,000. However, the results of "Desert Crossing" show that a failed Iraq state was likely even if we had sent over 400,000 troops. Obviously, it's not just numbers and bodies. Nevermind that we're quickly closing in on 3,000 deaths since the beginning of this conflict, something that GDub refers to as a "comma in history".

With the recent editorial in the Military Times calling for the resignation of "Gin" Rummy, the President and his press monkey have come out and stood their ground, with Snowjob even saying that "everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts." What Mr. Snow, and much of the GOP, seems to be forgetting, is that this entire conflict has been built on the basis of "facts" only held by GDub and his cronies. "Facts" that were later proven to be reprehensibly incorrect. The war was launched to stop al Qaeda, even though the fact of the matter is that Iraq and the Taliban had no strong connections until after we made our presence known. We were presented with the "fact" of WMDs, and then told that there never were WMDs in Iraq, but that it was simply a made-up justification for the fighting. We were given the "fact" that the mission had been accomplished, while soldiers continued to die and sectarian violence continued to increase.

And now we are presented with this new fact, and the knowledge that the facts and possibilities brought up through the exercise known as "Desert Crossing" were ignored beyond the shadow of a doubt. With an election coming up tomorrow, and "facts" being bounced around by candidates from both parties, is it any wonder that the American people continue to feel more informed through programs such as The Daily Show? After all, at least Jon Stewart admits that he's stretching the truth for humor.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of October 30, 2006

Well, everyone, Halloween has come and past, and that means it's time for another round of the Coffee-Soaked Awards. There's been a few items that have caught our attention this week, so let's get this ball rolling.

You're Number One Award
A school bus driver has filed a grievance this week for having lost her job back in June. How did she lose her job, you might ask? Why, by giving GDub a "shamefully crass gesture" while driving a busfull of students. The President apparently commented shortly after the incident happened by saying "That one's not a fan." Unfortunately for GDub, he was thinking a ceiling fan, and still believes the bus driver to be a strong supporter of his administration.

I'm Taking My Studio and Going Home Award
After Tom Cruise was let loose from his long-term (and high-cost) contract with Paramount, he decided he was going to play with a new ball, and brokered a deal for himself and partner Paula Wagner to practically run United Artists. Once established by and for artists like Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, this move should bring UA in a new direction. Newly announced pictures coming from UA include "Battlefield Earth 2: Losing More Money", "Dianetics: The Motion Picture", and "L. Ron Hubbard's Cult of Affluence".

Intelligence Reading Award
We give this award to Porter Goss, who, like George Tenet before him, may be following up his departure from the position leading the CIA with a book. While the book has not been confirmed, Goss is also claiming that it will not be a tell-all book. Early guesses as to what the book contains will include sentences like, "After that, I told that he could ." and "Rummy plays a mean banjo."

OMG! Haxx0r3d!!!1! Award
Across the country, people have been worried about the Diebold voting machines that seem to be popping up in districts everywhere. These machines are supposedly, according to Diebold, completely secure in how they transmit the data. Apparently, this isn't completely the truth. Other things that Diebold finds secure include Kryptonite bicycle locks, and leaving your doors unlocked while spending a week in the Bahamas.

A Joke is a Joke Award
We give this to John Kerry, for his "joke" regarding education and laziness of thought. The joke, quite obviously, came across as more of an insult than anything else. However, the words Kerry spoke have already made him the surprise favorite to win in Last Comic Standing 4.

I'm Not... Well... Maybe a Little Award
This goes out to Ted Haggard, pastor of the New Life Church, and one of the more vocal regarding the evils of homosexuality. Apparently, Haggard is currently being accused of having paid a male escort for both a homosexual affair, and for drug use. Haggard immediately denied the claims, then proceeded to place himself on leave from the Church and admitted that some of what has been said is true. Who would've thought that a person holding a position of power within a church would ever have sexual contact with their same gender? It's just shocking, I tell ya.

Bombs in the Tubes Award
Given how the administration uses "the Google", it's not much of a shock to learn that there has been an incredible resource for those looking to put together nuclear technology. That resource? A government run website. This site, recently taken down, included information about how to put together your own nuclear bomb. Iran and North Korea were both quoted as saying, "Oh crap. And we did all that work, too. We KNEW we should've just googled 'nuclear bomb'."

How to Lose an Election in 10 Days Award
This award goes to Mike Hatch, current attorney general and gubernatorial candidate in the state of Minnesota, not for his running mates lack of knowledge of E-85, but for his own verbal explosions, ranging from claiming that there's a cabal trying to keep him out of office to calling a reporter "Republican whore". Hatch, of course, insists that he called the reporter a "hack" instead. In related news, Mel Gibson is now saying that he never said "sugartits" when arrested. What he said instead was "succulent melons".

Around the World with Borat Award
In one of our rare pieces of praise, we have to hand it to Sasha Baron Cohen, the man behind Borat. Not only has he proceeded to appear on practically every show ever created, including a surprise double appearance both on "To Tell the Truth" and "The Dick Cavett Show", but he has continued to lure people into believing that he is truly a reporter from a (relatively) backwards nation. Take a chance this weekend to watch as the inevitable backlash occurs, and guess how long it'll be before Parisite Hilton starts talking about the time Borat got her to ride a pony, a la Catherine the Great.

Well, that does it for another weekly round-up of stories that piqued our interest. Come back next week when we get to discuss how the election results have played out and watch the candidates that don't think the votes were representative of the people (Lieberman, we're looking at you). Stay safe out there.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

War is hard

GDub recently was asked a few questions regarding troop levels and the state of the Iraq war. The Decider made it clear that his commanders have not specifically requested any more troops than they already have, saying that the number currently in Iraq is "what they can live with." He followed that up by saying that "it's hard... to tell" if troops will still be in Iraq when he leaves office, over two years from now.

People are, of course, immediately leaping to the attack, pointing out that GDub's statement is an admission that he has no actual plans for when and how to wrap-up the combat going on in Iraq. Defenders are quick to say that the Decider can't tell yet, because a large number of permutations to the situation could happen between then and now, and it's too early (and dangerous) to make firm plans, especially in the middle of an election year. True, GDub isn't losing his throne of power for another couple of years, but he could see his base eroded by significant Democrat wins across the nation.

I'm just going to point out that whether or not troops will still be in Iraq is not the only thing that GDub finds "hard to tell". He also has a hard time figuring out how Jack Abramoff didn't get lesser charges, how exactly to inappropriately touch or speak to foreign ambassadors and dignitaries, and why his approval rating is so low. Other things that the Decider has a difficult time figuring out include the ingredients for a peanut and jelly sandwich, and whether or not his shoes are tied. He has huge problems with this last problem when wearing loafers.

So in all fairness, with regards to a situation that's highly volatile, and with a chimp waiting to push buttons behind the scenes, it's probably not a bad idea that he isn't sure how long the troops will be there. I, for one, would be more concerned if he knew the exact departure date, because that, to me, would sound like the endgame had already been decided.

And we don't have time-travelling Japanese workers to help warn us.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And in this corner...

The campaign of Sen. George Allen just can't seem to get itself righted. It seems like every time they are about to steady themselves from the controversies that, admittedly, they've caused themselves, they are forced to start clean-up on yet another issue. From macaca to allegations of white superiority groups, Sen. Allen just can't catch a break.

Well, on Halloween, it wasn't Sen. Allen himself that delivered another knock to what may be his sinking campaign. It was a staffer. Of course, Allen didn't stop the incident from happening, but he wasn't directly involved. What could turn out to be a fatal blow to Allen's campaign came when one of his staffers decided to take a constituent, put them in a headlock, and then slam them against a window.

As for Mike Stark, the constituent who was assualted and will be filing a lawsuit, what exactly did he do wrong? As it turns out, he was trying get some questions answered. Questions that deserve answers, at least for the voters who have to make their decisions about Sen. Allen in about a week. But Allen's staff apparently decided that, just because something should be part of the public record, there's no right for anyone to ask about those things. And, instead of either answering or ignoring the questions, the best course of action appeared in their minds as a mid-level match on a professional wrestling program. Stark simply wanted to know about Allen's arrest (from the 1970's) and about his divorce (which has its records sealed). He wasn't prepared for a body slam against a window.

A quick note for Sen. Allen. If you want to save any shred of your hopes in this election, fire each and everyone of your staff that was present when this incident happened. Then give them jobs so you can fire them again. Then call up Vince McMahon and the WWE, because it seems like some of your crew may just be preparing to make a run towards gaining the World Tag Team Championship belts.