Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The changing of the bulb

Regular frequenters to the CSM have probably noticed that we tend to spend a lot of time poking fun at the GOP. However, since they've been in power for so long, and done some truly flabbergasting things, they've painted the bulls-eye on themselves.

But rest assured. With the recent changes in the balance of power, we're starting to see stories from the Democratic party being just as ridiculous, if not more so. A couple of recent bills proposed in California highlight that.

Two different members of the California Assembly are looking to bring a new issue to light. Specifically, Assemblymen Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) are looking to shed a different light on the state, as they've pieced together bills seeking to outlaw the incandescent light bulb. The bills are both being presented, before being combined into one omnibus package, as ways to facilitate cost- and energy-saving measures on behalf of consumers. Both Levine and Huffman feel that forcing Californians to use fluorescent bulbs by law could go a long way towards both helping the consumer's bottom line, and helping the environment. Meanwhile, across the aisle, California State Senator George Runner (R-Lancaster) is already feeling that the proposed bills are forms of "nanny government", with legislation being made to dictate day-to-day life.

It's actually pretty hard not to see Runner's point, and that's not because of a lack of sufficient lighting. Passing a law to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of fluorescent light bulbs, while being pitched as a way to phase out "a technology that's obsolete", according to Mark Murray of Californians Against Waste, could be seen as government stepping into the more mundane aspects of life in an attempt to control simple day-to-day functions. Nevermind the point that Runner's already made about the iconic image for when someone's had an idea.

But overall, banning incandescent bulbs seems like something of an empty gesture, and a piece of fluff legislation simply to get a couple of people's names out in the public. What's next? Is the state of Wisconsin going to try to ban a certain type of cheese, because it isn't produced with the newest technology? Will Washington state ban old computer components, forcing people to upgrade their systems because it's better for them? Will New Jersey enact legislation to produce a higher quality of pollution and waste?

Of course, we could just be jumping the gun. This is happening in California. It might not be that long before a group of celebrities bands together to form the group, "How Many Stars Does it Take to Keep the Light Bulb the Same?". Now that K-Fed has turned down a free $25M, he should be available.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Where the church has no name

Are you wandering through the tangled roads of faith, unable to find your path? Do you know what you're looking for in religion, but it just seems out of your reach? Are hymns just a little too outdated for you? Perhaps you should try the Church of England, which is about to bring a new type of communion service to the world. For those who are looking for a modern kick to their spiritual search, the Church of England will be presenting the first ever "U2-charist".

That's right. In the town of Lincoln, during the month of May, a live band will perform U2 songs during a church service as a way to use rock music to help facilitate the religious experience. The church is even going so far as to rearrange the seating so that there is both a dance floor, and plenty of space to wave your hands in exaltation. Lyrics will be displayed, and Bono will be moved one step closer to his ultimate dream of fronting the angelic choirs.

Placing U2 music into a Church of England service could actually be a step into an entirely new direction for religion as a whole. Imagine the ability to set your Methodist service to the music of the Police, placing Matisyahu in a Jewish synagogue, or having a Hindu prayer meeting accompanied by the sounds of the Beatles. But that's not all. You can even extend the reach outside of the more accepted religions. Nature lovers could hold a ritual to the music of Phish. Marilyn Manson or Korn could kick off a Satanic rite. And Lutherans could listen to musicians like Michael McDonald.

We're on the verge of a brave new world, and perhaps, with music, we can finally help to break down the intolerance that has spurred on religious debates throughout history. Or we can use this as fuel for the fire, as each religion now has the right to not only proclaim that their version of God is better than everyone elses, but that they've got better music to listen to on the voyage.

Running to stand still indeed.

Monday, January 29, 2007

It's about the jeans

The world continues to get more and more confusing every day. On one hand, we've got the President of the United States continuing his cowboy diplomacy, by threatening a strong response to Iran if they continue any sort of military action towards Iraq, with the message seemingly being, "You aren't allowed to come over to our sandbox." One the other hand, we've got Barbaro, last year's favorite for the Triple Crown before a devastating leg injury, finally succumbing to the various injuries and ailments and being sent to the great pasture in the sky. All the while, underneath us (or slightly behind us, depending on whether you're sitting or standing), we've got a formerly powerful company seemingly suing every one of its competitors in an attempt to remain viable in the market.

That's right, folks. Levi Strauss is suing other jean manufacturers over potential trademark infringements related to the design on their back pockets. What design, you may ask? Why, the interlocking arches and the fashionable little tag saying "Levi's". It is those specific elements that the jeans company is trying, and succeeding, in suing it's competitors for, in an attempt to keep themselves afloat at $30/pair, while other jeans are being sold for upwards of $200/pair.

Levi's has, of course, won a few of these cases, or at least had them settled out of court, but the fact that the former world leader in denim has stooped to this has to bring to question whether or not the society itself is simply too litigious. Sure, you could point out the large numbers of frivolous or stupid lawsuits being collected all over the internet as proof, but do you really need more proof than the notion of Levi's suing over the design of its back pocket?

I mean, honestly, when you look at the back pockets of someone's jeans, are you really noticing the design? Or are you trying to discern what's underneath, or, in some instances, wishing that there was just a little more denim to cover what's already gone beyond the levels of good taste?

After all, for the majority of Americans, when they think of interlocking arches, they aren't thinking Levi's. They're thinking McDonald's.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of January 22, 2007

Well folks, another week has come and gone. This week, of course, featured GDub delivering a rousing State of the Union address. Don't believe us, just ask John McCain. But that wasn't all that happened, so let's get these awards started.

Where Supergroups Have Gone Before Award
Bush decided to unleash his follow-up to his tune, "I'm the Decider" with a similarly themed, "I am the Decision Maker". At this rate, it should only take the President a few more speeches before he can release his own concept album. Unfortunately, the title "Operation: Mindcrime" has already been taken.

Like a Cockroach Award
Sure, winning means never having to say you're sorry, but losing, at least for a seat in Congress, means never having to leave Congress, because you've still got floor rights. And Katherine Harris used those to the fullest extent during the SotU, passing out business cards. She may also have thrown a couple of catty comments towards Michelle Bachmann (R-MN). As for what the cards said, our guess is: Katherine Harris, former US Representative, will work for food.

That'll Show Them Award
Spain has followed up last year's banning of extremely thin fashion models by declaring that mannequins in shop windows should be at least a size 10. The Spanish health ministy even plans on measuring women between the ages of 12 and 70 to determine the actual shape of a Spanish woman. The mannequins have come out saying that they simply have very fast metabolisms.

We Attack, You Decide Award
This award goes out to FOXNews host John Gibson. After the "story" about Barack Obama having attended a madrassa when he was young was debunked by CNN, Gibson attacked the rival network. Specifically, he attacked the reporter who shot the FNC report down, by saying that the reporter "probably went to the very madrassa". In all fairness, Gibson probably feels that Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh were being a "little soft" on the Obama angle. FOXNews has responded by giving Gibson his own show, "When Right-Wing Zealots Report".

We Play Softball, You Decide Award
In fairness, FOXNews isn't always hard-hitting and mean-spirited. For example, there was the recent discussion on Your World with Neil Cavuto, which took the initiative to present the rough and tumble world of Hooters waitresses. Not only did the girls interview about their jobs and new Hooters calendar, but they talked about the issues, including the recent news about Miss New Jersey stepping down due to pregnancy. When asked about the story, most viewers responded with, "Hehehe... boobies...."

A Little Lunch Award
This award has to go out to the 23-foot python recently found in Kuala Lumpur after it had gorged itself on at least 11 guard dogs. The dogs were posted around an orchard, and the snake made short work of them before it was captured and turned over to wildlife officials. When asked why, the snake was quoted as saying, "It was weird. I just got hungry again every half-hour."

Too Good to Be True Award
We hand this out Dr. Robert Bohannon, a molecular scientist in Durham, NC. Dr. Bohannon has found a way to inject caffeine into pastries, thereby creating the world's first caffeinated doughnut. Coffee fiends around the world are already starting to rejoice, and the product isn't available for sale as of yet. Expect to find the pastries everywhere breakfast and coffee can be combined, so, um, everywhere.

And with the thoughts of coffee doughnuts, we leave for another week. We'll be back next week to help usher in a new February. Besides, by the next awards posting, we should know how much longer winter's going to stick around. Our guess is that winter will last until March 20th or so... just a hunch. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Truth in advertising

With the Super Bowl upcoming, there is already a buzz about what commercials will air, and when. Well, already one of the proposed commercials, for Nationwide Insurance, is running into some harsh criticism. The ad features KFed dreaming about being a rap star, while, in reality, he's working away at a fast food restaurant.

Now we here at the CSM can already spot exactly what's wrong with this particular ad, but first we'll take a moment out to indulge those that are complaining. The claim by the National Restaurant Association claim that the commercial makes working in the restaurant industry seem demeaning, and that advertising as a whole should not "require denigrating another industry". Nationwide, meanwhile, is simply trying to say that the KFed commercial is trying to show how quickly life can change, and how they can help prepare people for those changes. All well and good, really, as both sides have now staked out their particular positions.

Ok, now that we've let the two sides hash things out, we're going to give our own spin to this subject. First off, on the notion that working in a fast food restaurant is somehow demeaning. Well, how good do you think that most of the people who work at McDonald's feel after having spent the day working for that $7/hr ($7.25 if the Dems get their way)? And if they happen to have friends who are able to pull down higher wages? Knowing that fast food restaurants are full of menial labor with low pay is what makes them demeaning, and no commercial aired during the Super Bowl is going to change that.

As far as Nationwide's claim about how fast life will change, well, yes, technically, they're correct. But they aren't telling us anything that any realist could have told us. So congratulations, Nationwide. You can call us "Grasshopper".

From our perspective here, it seems that there is a problem with the commercial, and it's a problem that nobody seems to be paying any attention to. Remember when truth was actually sought after by advertisers? You do? Good.

Now explain to me how there is any truth behind the notion of KFed being competent enough to hold a job at a fast food restaurant.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A touchy-feely State of the Union

Last night, good ol' Decider GDub delivered another rousing State of the Union address to the nation. Highlights of course include people applauding for anything that they felt danced towards their particular party line, and John McCain allegedly catching up on his sleep. But after the speech, as the President was making his rounds through the assembled crowd, we received a new highlight, one that was reminiscent of GDub's exchange with a German Chancellor not too long ago.

We are, of course, referring to the imagery of Michelle Bachmann grabbing onto the President, and refusing to let go until there had been at least one more photo-op, and a quick peck on the cheek. Bachmann, who represents the 6th district of Minnesota, is one of the new representatives to the nation's capitol, and she did it by holding onto a Republican district previously vacated by Mark Kennedy, something that plenty of incumbents nationwide failed to do. Of course, her opponents in the race did pretty much cripple themselves before the election was even in view, but hey, we're not hear to judge that.

What we are here to judge is the groping itself. Not only does the video footage show that Bachmann refused to relinquish her grip on GDub until that final camera flash, but she also interjected herself into the shot, even (seemingly) pushing aside other members of Congress to get closer to the Decider. While she's made it clear that her allegiances are with the White House on all matters, up to and including what breakfast cereal to prefer, one would also have to assume that she has at least some level of intelligence, and therefore would know when to not seem too eager to be connected to the man reviled by more than half the country.

So the question remains as to why Bachmann was so eager for the photo op. And yet, the question can be answered by remembering that Bachmann has definitely posed herself as more of a prom queen contestant than a congresswoman. Unfortunately, Michelle Bachmann has apparently not spent enough time watching those classic movies from the 80's. If she had, she would know that the only way to become prom queen is to be an outcast yourself, not to simply side with the outcast.

Although, jumping so quickly onto the GDub train may end up serving that purpose. And yes, for those playing at home, the Walrus is Paul.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's a dead heat

This morning, a group of movies were happy to hear that they had been nominated to go after the brass ring of filmdom. That's right, the Academy Award nominees were announced, and Hollywood is buzzing with the news.

Of course, here at the CSM, while we're always going to watch to see what movies will get the little golden statue, we're also interested in the films that reach true levels of bad. The films that step to depths previously unmatched, or at least unmatched for the rest of the year. So while plenty of people have focused on the Oscar news, we've been looking over to see who gets nominated for the Golden Rasberry Awards.

While people who make good films are struggling over what might win the awards for best in many categories, with many pundits saying that too many contests are up in the air, we've looked over the nominees for worsts of the year, and we'll even give our predictions for some of the eventual winners. Because, if Hollywood has taught us nothing, and high school taught us less, we're still aware that there's something blissful about mocking those who have really brought out new levels of awfulness.

Just like the Oscars, we'll start with the smaller awards, and work our way up. First, the nominees for Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment, with some truly golden moments in cinema. While it would be easy to handicap this one towards Garfield 2 (come on, a sequel to an awful film?) or The Santa Clause 3 (a second sequel to an awful film), we're going to pick The Shaggy Dog to take home this one. Sure, sequels are often bad news, but how can you go against a remake of an awful film.

We move on to the Worst Supporting categories, with our prediction that Kate Bosworth's horrible and non-maternal Lois Lane beating out both Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Elektra. On the men's side of things, we think the award will land with Martin Short easily beating out Danny DeVito for true awfulness. Because, dammit, his Jack Frost paired with Tim Allen's Santa should get noticed for something, other than driving people away from theatres.

When it comes to the Worst Actor/Actress categories, things get a little interesting. The nominations were all strong in their various levels of awfulness, so it's kind of difficult to pick any particular horse. And while Kristanna Loken did have to work with Uwe Boll, she's still no Jessica Simpson. But we wouldn't be surprised to see the Duff sisters tie for this one. As for the men, can there really be anyone worse than Larry the Cable Guy? In anything? Not even the Wayans should be able to edge him out here.

But that doesn't mean you can count the Wayans out. After all, they are up for Worst Movie, with Little Man. Sure, they've got to compete against Uwe Boll's Bloodrayne, Sharon Stone's Basic Instinct 2, and Nic Cage's Wicker Man, but there are few crimes against humanity worse than making an unfunny comedy. That reason alone gives Little Man our pick for absolute worst film of the year, and our favorite to take home the Razzie.

That's pretty much it, and, well, looking at the awards the Razzies give out, we're starting to wonder why the Oscars make a point of handing out awards for everything, including Best Makeup Artist Working in a Non-Period, Non-Fantasy Film. If only we could get the Razzies televised. Any celebrities that would show up would definitely need to be drunker than they were during the Golden Globes, or they would be David Arquette.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Now that's dedication

We normally don't spend too much time around the sporting world here at the CSM. Truthfully, a lot of that has to do with the fact that we're busy wading through all the other completely ridiculous events in the world to try and bring our focus down to a place where insanity is commonplace (yes, we look at Hollywood, but shhhh). The rest of it has to do with the knowledge that we just don't have the type of dedication required to cover ourselves with paint and refuse to wear jackets in subzero temperatures to support a team. And well, if you can't go that extra mile on a subject, then it may not be worth digging through the minutae to find those jewels that bring us all so much joy.

And yet, there are times where you simply cannot avoid the sporting world. There are times where things are just too beautiful for words, and other times where you just need to enter the mess, and reach for that brass ring of ridiculousness that not even our government can achieve. Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of those times, and that means that this is one of those posts.

Let me ask you all a question. Well, okay, just the ladies. If you're pregnant, and the father of your child is a huge sports fan going into a big game for his team, how can you show him that you care, and that you're willing to ensure that he doesn't miss the game because you're in the hospital in labor? Well, you could always do what Colleen Pavelka did, and have your labor induced.

Yes, you read correctly. She induced labor because her husband had tickets to see the NFC championship game between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints, and she didn't want him to have to miss it because she was giving birth. This display actually shows a genuine affection and care between the two, as she brought a new life into the world early so that he wouldn't miss the game, and he most likely ate a couple more chili dogs because he figured he should eat the ones she couldn't get.

On the plus side, the father should always be able to remember his son's birthday. It will forever be referred to as "Two Days Before the Anniversary of the Bears Beating the Saints for the NFC Championship", or just abbreviated to TDBABBSNFCC. Makes you wonder if Hallmark has a card for that.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of January 15, 2007

This week started out slowly on the news front, at least in the area of potential to make humor out of the world. Still, the ball eventually got itself rolling, and we find ourselves facing down another Friday. So let's get the Coffee-Soaked Awards under way, shall we?

Which is Lesser Award
Ah, FOXNews, where would we be without your polls? In a recent poll by the cable news channel, GDub is considered to be unfavorable by more Americans than even old kittens-for-breakfast VPCheney. A more disturbing note in the poll is that 2% of the people polled had never heard of either Cheney or Rosie O'Donnell. How could we possibly believe that 2% of people have never heard of Rosie? She's more ubiquitous than McDonalds commercials by now.
Note: The link is to a .pdf file. Be forewarned.

Like We Didn't Know Before Award
Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently began his second term in office, and he kicked everything off with a black-tie affair. The special guest that Perry picked for the party? Ted Nugent, who appeared wearing a Confederate flag t-shirt, with machine guns for props, also unleashed a string of offensive remarks towards non-English speakers. Apparently, the rocker struck a sour note with a number of the people in attendance, and drew the ire of civil rights leaders in the state. In a related story, Ted Nugent is just nuts, but I wouldn't say that within earshot. He's liable to shoot.

Food Fight Award
What could be more important than determining where the hamburger was born? Well, according to Rep. Betty Brown (R-TX), not much, as she's advocating the notion that her hometown of Athens, TX first introduced the sandwich in the 1880's, beating the current "birthplace" of New Haven, CT by almost 20 years. The Library of Congress even sides with New Haven, but Rep. Brown is going to attempt to change all of that with conclusive proof. Meanwhile, Ronald McDonald has been quoted as saying that he simply knew that the hamburger was born out of wedlock, and that it may actually be impossible to determine a place of birth. Mayor McCheese has declined comment.

That's What I Call Art Award
Officials in Amsterdam will be getting to unveil a new statue in their city near the end of March. The statue will depict a woman looking confidently, and will be meant to honor prostitutes worldwide. A second statue, featuring a man with outstretched hand has already been commissioned to honor pimps.

Not the Tonight Show Again Award
A Russian man has recently confessed to the slaying of his grandmother because they couldn't agree on what television program to watch. Sadly, when arrested, the man was drunk and unable to recall what show he preferred. In a related story, "American Idol" premiered this week.

She Wore An... Award
We give this award out to the creators of the burqini, who blended a burqa and a bikini together to make a coverall swimsuit. The suit comes complete with a full hijab head-covering, and there are hopes to widen the appeal outside of Muslim women. Of course, if celebrities embrace the garment, can this possibly mean an end to the flagrant beach-going nipple-slip?

Too Much Truthiness Award
In a shocking turn of events, Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert both guested on each other's shows this week. It had to be fairly disturbing to both hosts, as Colbert has made no attempts to hide the inspiration he has taken from O'Reilly's show. Here's hoping that more newscasters will eventually trade off as guests. Might we even suggest some sort of battle royale, with final guest appearance trade-offs being made by O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann?

New Meaning to "Jack in the Box" Award
Finally, we give this award out to the Missouri man who found himself trapped inside a light-up sign for a Jack in the Box restaurant in Illinois for 6 hours. A total of three different trips were made to finally complete the rescue. Over the course of the ordeal, the repairman spent more time near a Jack in the Box than Nicole Richie has her entire life.

That wraps up another week of the news here at the CSM. We'll be back next week, where we shall endeavor to unveil more of the world around us. At the very least, we'll keep making fun of it all. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Something to unthink

It's true that we here at the CSM don't often try to focus too much of our time or writing on celebrities. Sure, we'll take our potshots every once in awhile, like our dig yesterday at Tara Reid. But we could've been so much worse. We could've railed against Britney Spears for possibly being pregnant again. We could take part of our time to mention how Lindsey Lohan has thrown herself into rehab. We could focus our attentions on how David Arquette cries himself to sleep at night, knowing that he has to take second billing to Jonathan Silverman. While all of these subjects are definitely good fodder for the gossip blogs out there, and while they are ripe with potential jokes, we here at the CSM would like to think that we're above that. We'd like to pretend that we're more of a political/current events blog that occassionally steps into the wading pool of celebrity commentary because, well, slow news days happen.

And yet, there are some things that make us pause. And then wish that we hadn't paused. And then we're forced to scramble against the notion that our brains are trying to liquify themselves on a combination of scotch and bourbon, enabling their final escape into a world where such thoughts and stories don't exist.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are referring to the notion that Hugh Hefner, that bastion of good taste behind the Playboy enterprise, has made it known that he's toying with the idea of becoming a father. Again. At age 80.

Hef, who has long been able to date women far younger than him (and, in many cases, far younger than his children) due to his status as a publishing icon, is looking at the distinct possibility of fathering a child with 27-year-old Holly Madison. Madison is one of three women Hefner is currently dating, but the November 2005 Playboy covergirl is considered to be Hef's "No. 1".

Which, of course, brings us to the thought that we can't unthink, no matter how hard we try. Somehow for this plan to succeed, Hefner has to impregnate Madison. Sure, there's the possibility that a younger, more virile Hef stored pieces of himself in the past, just in case such a desire for children would raise its head well into his golden years. But, come on. This is the founder of the Playboy empire. We all know he's going to at least try and go out like Ron Jeremy on this one.

This could be one of the first documented times in history where a child's father has died mid-conception.

I need to bleach my brain now.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Five more minutes to go

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have had a big task set before them for the last 60 years, and they have once again stood up to that task. Their job? To set the hands on the Doomsday Clock, originally set in 1945 at seven minutes to midnight, to symbolize just how far away from a potential armageddon-type catastrophe the world really is.

And here, in 2007, the scientists have done just that, by moving the clock forward to five minutes to midnight, in response to growing nuclear concerns from Iran and North Korea, and the state of the environment. This was the first change to the clock in five years, and the eighteenth change overall, with times ranging from as close as two minutes away in 1953 to seventeen minutes away in 1991. By changing the time left on the clock, the scientists hope to draw attention to the global environment that is leading them to believe that our time on this planet is drawing ever closer to an end.

Unfortunately, people in positions of power worldwide have shown an overall disregard for the findings of respected scientists, especially when catastrophic events are being predicted. After all, look at all of the attempts to reverse global warming, or to establish diplomatic relations with other nations holding the capability for nuclear weaponry. What this all means, at least for the bulletin, is that the Doomsday Clock may be getting inched closer and closer to midnight over the next few years.

The one thing we can look forward to is that, with our society's joy at seeing and/or hearing a countdown, if we reach one minute to midnight, there may just be a live broadcast, complete with bands, Ryan Seacrest, and corporate sponsorship. And hey, if we can just get Tara Reid to do the actual counting for us, the world may never come to an end.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fool me twice

Well, it looks like this year's White House Correspondents Dinner will be a much safer event this year than last. In the wake of Stephen Colbert's biting (and yet, still very funny and on-point) hosting duties from 2006, the 2007 dinner has set its sights on another high profile comedian.

Well, maybe we should amend our statement by saying that the dinner has set its sights on a comedian who had a high profile in 1987. Ladies and gentlemen, your host for the 2007 WHCD is: Rich Little.

I know, many of you out there must be asking yourself the same question. "Is Rich Little still alive and performing?" Well, apparently we all failed that particular portion of our very own Celebrity Dead Pool, because I sure thought he'd at the very least killed his career. I mean, how far can a guy really get on impressions? Apparently, he can get invited to speak to journalists.

For the Correspondents Dinner, this is a look to the future. A future where they will forge ahead without the types of responses that Stephen Colbert generated. A future where they are trying to play everything a bit safer, and less antagonistic towards the job that they are (or at least should be) doing. A future that resembles the compassion and well-wishes of 1984. Which, coincidentally, is the previous time that Little was considered a viable name and hosted the WHCD.

So yes, America, this year we can rest easy that there shall be no statements about "rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenberg", or any of the other jokes that Colbert made at the administration's expense. Instead, we can look forward to how one man can give us an aural tour of the past few Presidents, with jokes that make Leno seem fresh.

Does this mean that 2008 will feature Rich Hall and "Sniglets"?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of 8 January 2007

Welcome back to another rousing round of the Coffee-Soaked Awards. We're feeling the good ol' 2007 groove, and we're jumping in with both feet. Sure, we could take some time out to mention the whole sordid Cameron Diaz-Justin Timberlake-Scarlett Johansson thing, but we'd like to think that we're above giving them more press than they need. So let's get rolling, shall we?

Maybe it's Softball Award
This award goes to Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC's Hardball. At the end of an interview with Tony Snowjob, Matthews declared Snowjob the "best press secretary since Jim Haggerty", press secretay to Pres. Eisenhower. This should come as no surprise, given that Matthews has also recently declared Tony Snow the best name for a press secretary since Jim Haggerty, and that Cookie Crisp is the best breakfast cereal since Jim Haggerty.

When Deciders Decide Award
We give this award to a recent CBS poll that showed that 68 percent of the American people surveyed are uneasy about GDub's ability to make decisions, especially with regards to the Iraq war. To be fair, approximately 64 percent of the American people are uneasy about GDub's ability to put his pants on before his shoes.

Visiting the Midway Award
Even as the applications were in place to the Guinness Book of World Records, officials in Shanghai decided to scrap plans for building the world's largest Ferris wheel, instead deciding to drop a skyscraper in its place. This does allow Jiangxi to still hold hope that their slightly smaller Ferris wheel will be able to pull down the title. In preparation for potentially setting the record, people in Jiangxi are planning to knock down a skyscraper, to make the world's longest Skee-Ball court.

Well, Duh Award
During some downtime between recent interviews, Condoleeza Rice let her preference for news be known, with an unabashed love for FOXNews. Yeah, this is about as shocking as news that Al Franken is a liberal, Bill O'Reilly loves himself, and Janet Reno is now working as a professional wrestler.

We're Still Calling it Soccer Award
So what do you get when you take a Los Angeles sports team, mix it with a internationally celebrated athlete, and then flush a whole bunch of money down the toilet? Other than Shaquille O'Neal during his stint as a Laker? You get David Beckham joining the Galaxy for $250M. You can almost feel as people become slightly apathetic, figuring that soccer will tide them over during the dark month between football and baseball seasons.

Crossing a Line Award
With the battle raging over which format comes out on top, many people are joining the Sony bandwagon, and are willing to start declaring Blu-Ray DVDs as the victors over the other new format, HD DVD. But wait, Sony may have a high-powered opponent, as the porn industry has chosen to side with HD DVD. This thinking is mostly prompted by the fact that HD DVD is more affordable, especially for smaller companies. However, the decision was also made when stars of such titles as Itty Bitty Bang Bang or Shaving Ryan's Privates stated that they didn't want to be seen in blue light.

Patting Our Own Back Award
A few months back, we mentioned that there was an opera being written for Bill O'Reilly, and his loofah-loving antics towards his producer. Then we discovered that we're listed on the press page for the show. It runs this weekend, so hurry! Buy as many tickets as possible! Extend our moment of glory!

Ok... perhaps we got a little too excited with that last bit. Maybe the time has come for us to rest for awhile. Enjoy your MLK weekend, everyone, and remember that we here at the CSM will be waiting for you when we all get back. Until then, stay safe out there.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New meaning to the term "floater"

Have you ever sat on the toilet and wished for sentient life directly behind you? Have you ever bowed down for a technicolor yawn, only to hope that you could have something lively and swimming before your eyes, should you be able to look outside of the bowl? Have you ever thought that it would be nice if you didn't have to carry a dead goldfish all the way from the living room towards its final trip?

Well, now you can, and all for the low cost of $299. That's right, you can now have a Fish 'n Flush (which sounds like some sort of weird ice-fishing activity) installed in your home, and you can rest easy knowing that the actual aquarium water is not mingling with the toilet water.

Sadly enough, this is a serious product, and one that will certainly see more than a few purchases over the years. Although it really does seem like something of a bad idea. What happens if you don't clean the fish tank often enough? Well, now you've got a toilet with a lovely algae display, and possibly the knowledge that Goldie just isn't going to make it as long as you were hoping. And nevermind for those nights where you're ill. The last thing you need when your head is already spinning and your stomach is swirling is to look into a tank and see a school of cardinal tetras zipping around.

Although there are a couple of potential benefits to this idea. The first benefit being that, should you have company over, they probably aren't going to want to spend too much time in your bathroom, because of the disconcerting effect of a fishtank toilet tank. And the second benefit? You finally have something to match your fishtank shoes.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

When arachnids attack

Last year, it seemed like everywhere you went on the internet, you were forced to deal with press about how amazing the film Snakes on a Plane was going to end up being. When the movie actually opened, the internet's hype machine fizzled out, and the movie was met with lackluster audiences, and plenty of critics trashing it. It seemed that the hype had brought people's expectations about the film to feverish levels, when all the film really promised to do was to present you with Samuel L. Jackson, snakes, and a plane. The only thing missing from the B-movie recipe was an appearance from Bruce Campbell.

Now, it seems that reality has decided that we need a sequel to SoaP, but this time we aren't being given cute and cuddly serpents as the adversaries of people on planes. Oh no, this time we're facing arachnids with a sharp sting. And the best part is, we won't even need to change the acronym, because, instead of snakes, people are being attacked by scorpions.

Two different flights. Two passengers. Two scorpion stings, resulting in the passengers mentioning that it felt like their legs were asleep, but for the sharp stings. And, in both cases, the scorpions were castaways, with one being from Texas and the other from Costa Rica.

True, there hasn't been any word about a movie being greenlit to capitalize on these events, but that doesn't mean that it won't happen. After all, the producers will always be able to say that the film was inspired by true events. And the prospective audience will already be able to speak one line with the star of the film; "I want these motherf*****g scorpions off this motherf*****g plane!"

It's really too bad that the potential stars for such a film would be Ice Cube or David Arquette. But such is the fickle finger of fate.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Them's fightin' words

Geraldo Rivera, the man, and the legend. Only Rivera could have brought us to Al Capone's vault. Only Geraldo could have taught us about the dangers posed to unbroken noses by guests of television talk shows. And only GR could draw such an exquisite map in the sand, leading to his eventual Iraq war reporting being done from Kuwait.

And yet, this television deity, this beacon of all that led to Jerry Springer, this man amongst other deluded and self-aggrandizing men has stepped into a new realm, even for him. He has let the world know that he is prepared to fight Keith Olbermann, to prove which of the two is the most deserving of their journalistic legacy. And the man who vowed to shave his moustache should Michael Jackson be found guilty even goes so far as to believe that he would "make a pizza out of [Olbermann]".

Perhaps this is all due to the added stress Mr. Rivera must be facing, due to having been informed that he is being bumped back to his seldom-watched timeslot on FOXNews, largely due to the cancellation of his even more seldom-watched syndicated program. Perhaps Geraldo is still reeling from the reporting on his sand map, which he naturally feels was excessive. It's even possible that GR is still unbalanced by the blow that broke his nose all those years ago. But Geraldo seems to be missing a few key facts. Fact 1: Keith Olbermann is younger by over ten years. Fact 2: Pizza is actually a doughy product, with (commonly) a tomato paste sauce, not something you can turn a person into. And fact 3: If you actually go so far as to turn a person into a pizza, you could soon be facing criminal charges.

We understand, Geraldo. We feel your pain, the pain of cancellation, and the pain of knowing that once again you must share a network with Neil Cavuto and Bill O'Reilly. But look at it this way, Geraldo. By landing on FOXNews, you can use their penchant for truth and fact-checking to your benefit, and thereby declare yourself the victor of a fight that will never happen.

Monday, January 08, 2007

If NASA did it

There has been discussion within the scientific community for decades as to whether or not life on Mars exists. The debate was theoretically put to rest in the 1970s, when the Viking space probes came back with no evidence of life on the red planet.

Now, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a geology professor at Washington State University, believes that not only did NASA find life, but, because it wasn't a form of life that they were expecting, that they killed it.

Dr. Schulze-Makuch firmly believes that there is a potential for hydrogen-peroxide based life on Mars, life that could survive the climate of the planet. NASA is even looking at the research of the professor and considering how this will impact their upcoming Mars exploration, set to launch later this year.

While this could lead to a new era of exploration, and possibly even lead to huge achievements in the area of space exploration and potential colonization, there is one large element that is being passed over; an element that has been overlooked for the last thirty years. With the recent speculation by Dr. Schulze-Makuch, it seems apparent that there is at least a fair chance that the Viking probes of the 1970s were guilty of a horrible crime. A crime that was left unsolved over the decades, and should carry with it a punishment deemed appropriate. A crime of murder most foul.

Oh, if only the Viking probes can find spunky Martian lawyers, who will be able to prove to the Martian jury that their childlike ignorance of how life on Mars works prevents them from being held responsible for their actions, perhaps even pushing for some sort of insanity plea. Then, and only then, can we live in a world where the probes can make amends for their mistakes, while working in a Martian soup kitchen.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of January 1, 2007

As befits the beginning to a new year, this past week has been one for the ages, with new predictions, new falls from grace, new candies purchased from the store. Well, okay, maybe not that last one, but that's only because we have a very strict diet for our candies, and we do insist on sticking to it. But still, this past week has been a pretty interesting one, and let's just take our weekly trip down Awards Lane, and see where they bring us.

Happy F'in New Year To You Award
So many different problems surrounded celebrities around their New Year's festivities this particular year. You've got Vanessa Minillo swearing on MTV, Britney Spears "nodding off", and Tara Reid proving that math, specifically counting, is still just out of her reach. Even Dick Clark had problems, but his have a medical basis. Either way, we're obviously only a few years away from Carson Daly's New Year's Eve with actual sex taking place, and starlets who believe that W is between 7 and 9.

Too Late for a Drive-Thru Award
Customers on subways in NYC are used to having delays. What they may not be used to are delays caused by people fainting, due to having skipped meals. Specifically, these meal skippers are the people who are trying to squeeze into that ever smaller size to achieve a ridiculously unhealthy "ideal" body type. Just another thing to make New Yorkers grumpy on their way to work, adding to a list that already includes not enough coffee, having slept poorly the night before, the cost, and being a New Yorker.

Or Forever Hold Their Peace Award
We have to give this to an official in Vienna, Austria, who decided to end a wedding ceremony after the bride jokingly said that she did not want to marry her groom. The official even forced the couple to wait almost three months before allowing them to try again. One question still looms; where was this guy for the Spears/Federline wedding?

Art in the Human Form Award
You've got to hand it to people of Norway, who had an appeals court uphold a decision that stripping is considered art, and therefore not subject to a value-added tax. Finance Minister Kristen Halvorsen, who is still thinking of rewriting the laws to garner federal revenue, has been described as "a total buzzkill". She could probably change that perception by stripping.

My Candidate Can Beat Your Candidate Award
Nigerian politics certainly has taken a strange turn when Umaru Yar'Adua has been forced to challenge potential opponents to a game of squash, due to concerns about his health and ability to govern. Yar'Adua, who has a kidney condition, is feared to merely be a puppet for current President Olusegun Obasanjo. Meanwhile, VPCheney has recently challenged those who question him to a hunting trip.

Guilty of Higher Ratings Award
We give this award to Nancy Grace, of Headline News, for helping to boost the network to higher and higher ratings, largely due to the confrontational style of her program. After all, this is the woman who was sued because an interview she conducted may have directly led to a suicide... of the interviewee. Grace has been known in the past to drive a point that she believes, regardless of evidence pointing any other way, until her guests have succumbed to her hellfire tactics. With the news of her ratings surge, expect Grace to push the envelope even further, hoping to outshine even Bill O'Reilly when it comes to using false information for personal gain.

There is Hope Award
Even though the hanging of Saddam Hussein was captured on a cell-phone camera, and then spread throughout the world (first on YouTube, then on your local news), there is still some hope that not all video-taped death scenes will be showcased. News out of Australia is that the authorities in charge of the Steve Irwin death investigation have released the original recording back to Irwin's wife, and then destroyed all other copies. Somewhere out there, a Crocodile Hunter approves, and the public has been spared.

Well, that wraps up another week here at the Coffee-Soaked Mind. We'll be back next week with more news, more stories, more awards, and, we assume, more internal organs than Lindsey Lohan. We'll see you on the flip side of the weekend, and, until then, stay safe out there.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Replacement for catnip?

The Bank of Queensland had to issue an apology after making a mistake, all because of a test that was presented to it. True, the bank failed the test given by Katherine Campbell by issuing a credit card to her cat, but one has to wonder if she truly feels proud because of her clever ruse. She pulled one over on the old Bank of Queensland, and there was certainly egg on their face because of it.

Still, it's not like this is something that's really that far out of the realm of possibility for most diehard pet owners. After all, some pets not only have an entire wardrobe (note to pet owners... they're covered in fur, feathers, or scales as intended, so they certainly don't need sweaters or little booties), some pets have been left as primary beneficiaries in wills, and still others are stuffed so that their owners can hold on to their dear Sugar for their own remaining years.

Then again, if you are going to give any animal a credit card, a cat would be one of the more dangerous pets to give one to. Being naturally self-sufficient, just imagine what kind of damage a cat could do if it could combine its predeliction to go its own way with a relatively high spending limit. And hey, for a cat, $200 would be a high spending limit. Really, the only typical pet that could theoretically cause more damage with a credit card would be a parrot, but that's assuming that they understand how to dial a telephone and shop at home. Woe be to those who let their African Greys watch QVC.

So yes, the Bank of Queensland issued a credit card to a cat, then cancelled the card and issued an apology. At least they had the presence of mind to apologize, and they didn't make a worse mistake. Like issuing a credit card to GDub. Who knows what he might do without restraint?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A change of pace

He hasn't even announced himself as a candidate for President in 2008 yet, but people are already looking even more closely at his past actions than they had before. Maybe it's because he seems to be a favorite for the Democratic candidacy. Maybe it's because of the almost meteoric rise he has shown on a national level. And then again, maybe it's because of a memoir he wrote over a decade ago; a memoir wherein he admits to having experimented with drugs, including cocaine.

This is what will set apart the campaign of Barack Obama, should he decide to run for office.

Of course, the Dems are already planning on covering their heads and tucking their tails. They seem to feel that Obama making these admissions, admissions that so many candidates have avoided stepping near in the past, will damage his chances at the Presidency. Obama himself is refreshingly honest about the whole thing, acknowledging that the incidents were part of his past, and that it's up to the voters to decide how that colors his future.

But honestly, is this admission such a bad thing? It's not like he admitted to having snorted coke off of the corpse of a two-dollar hooker. It's not like he's saying he went on a Robert Downey Jr.-esque binge, barely surfacing for long enough to realize that Howard the Duck was an awful film. And it's certainly not like he's still running around, doing lines of coke while drinking to excess. The man's a US Senator, for crying out loud, not Paris Hilton.

Ultimately, Obama's admissions about his past will influence his possible candidacy in one way, the negative campaign ad. But really, how can you attack someone who already admitted to having used cocaine? It's not like the Republicans can send any with similar life experience to the ballots against him, in an attempt to equal the candidness. Their guy will be finishing his second term.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bringing in the New Year

Well folks, here we are at the beginning of 2007, and we're ready for a full year worth of the little experiment we started in 2006. Sure, we've gotten our legs under us, and we're still adjusting the fast-paced world of blogging, but we're pretty certain we can adjust on the fly as new elements are thrown our way. Heck, we even made our seal a little more visible. Of course, the last week has gotten us to do some serious thinking, as any year end festivity should, and we've realized something. We may have fulfilled our blog-ligation by posting Top Ten lists to round out the year, but we forgot something even more sacred in this modern world.

We forgot to relate our New Year's Resolutions. And, well, we've got resolve. We've got plenty of resolve, both for things that we're going to continue to do and for things that we're hoping to change. But instead of boring you with our resolutions, we're simply going to keep them in our little noggins, pondering them for endless hours, and trusting that you'll be able to guess at our resolutions over the course of the next twelve months, just by reading what we have to offer. Of course, if you can think of anything we should resolve to do, feel free to let us know.

With that, we will quickly point out that, no matter how silly the world may seem, especially to those of us looking for comedy in every aspect of the world, nothing will ever be quite as silly as holding a protest against the coming year. I mean, think about it. Protesting the inevitable march of time as it bears down on you, and then vowing to protest again over (almost) the same subject in one year's time? You could certainly do worse, like protesting against more reality television, or more has-been actors being granted sitcom stardom. Much like time, these things are also inevitable.

But we here at the CSM like to think outside of the box, and instead of focusing on other futile protest possibilities, we want to offer solutions. We want to list possible subjects that you could protest on that would have a higher chance of success. Our suggestions, in no specific order, are as follows;

- Protest about the lack of really good cheese in the cafeteria
- An assembly to protest against people who don't share your preference of shoe
- Protesting to get "Lost" to finally get with the program that made them successful in the first place
- Organizing a protest to get custody of your kids, set to the tune of "Popazao" (warning; suggestion is KFed specific)
- Protesting about the lack of quality protests in your area.

Honestly, the list can go on and on, but we've got signs and placards to make. We'll see you tomorrow, with more news. We hope.