Archive for the ‘humor’ Category
Laughter is the best medicine
Mitt Romney’s entire campaign seems predicated upon running against an imaginary person that Romney calls Obama – though it isn’t anything like the real President, nor the real Obama’s record.
Paul Krugman writes:
But Mr. Romney is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and whatever his personal beliefs may really be — if, indeed, he believes anything other than that he should be president — he needs to win over primary voters who really are severely conservative in both his intended and unintended senses.
So he can’t run on his record in office. Nor was he trying very hard to run on his business career even before people began asking hard (and appropriate) questions about the nature of that career.
Instead, his stump speeches rely almost entirely on fantasies and fabrications designed to appeal to the delusions of the conservative base. No, President Obama isn’t someone who “began his presidency by apologizing for America,” as Mr. Romney declared, yet again, a week ago. But this “Four-Pinocchio Falsehood,” as the Washington Post Fact Checker puts it, is at the heart of the Romney campaign.
How did American conservatism end up so detached from, indeed at odds with, facts and rationality? For it was not always thus. After all, that health reform Mr. Romney wants us to forget followed a blueprint originally laid out at the Heritage Foundation!
My short answer is that the long-running con game of economic conservatives and the wealthy supporters they serve finally went bad. For decades the G.O.P. has won elections by appealing to social and racial divisions, only to turn after each victory to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy — a process that reached its epitome when George W. Bush won re-election by posing as America’s defender against gay married terrorists, then announced that he had a mandate to privatize Social Security.
Over time, however, this strategy created a base that really believed in all the hokum — and now the party elite has lost control.
The point is that today’s dismal G.O.P. field — is there anyone who doesn’t consider it dismal? — is no accident. Economic conservatives played a cynical game, and now they’re facing the blowback, a party that suffers from “severe” conservatism in the worst way. And the malady may take many years to cure.
(click here to continue reading Severe Conservative Syndrome – NYTimes.com.)
It was difficult to measure how much ground Mr. Romney has gained or lost, particularly given how the Republican Party has changed since 2008. He reminded the audience of his conservative record in a state that he called the most liberal in the country.
“I was a severely conservative Republican governor,” Mr. Romney said, adding “severely” to the text of his speech for emphasis. “I fought against long odds in a deep blue state.”
(click here to continue reading Romney’s Record as Governor Resumes Central Role in Nomination Fight – NYTimes.com.)
Just for fun, using the built-in OS X Lion dictionary, here are the top synonyms for “severe”:
- severe injuries: acute, very bad, serious, grave, critical, dreadful, terrible, awful; dangerous, parlous, life-threatening; formal grievous. ANTONYMS minor, negligible.
- severe storms: fierce, violent, strong, powerful, intense; tempestuous, turbulent. ANTONYMS gentle.
- a severe winter: harsh, bitter, cold, bleak, freezing, icy, arctic, extreme; informal brutal. ANTONYMS mild.
- a severe headache: excruciating, agonizing, intense, dreadful, awful, terrible, unbearable, intolerable; informal splitting, pounding, screaming. ANTONYMS slight.
- a severe test of their stamina: difficult, demanding, tough, arduous, formidable, exacting, rigorous, punishing, onerous, grueling. ANTONYMS easy, simple.
- severe criticism: harsh, scathing, sharp, strong, fierce, savage, scorching, devastating, trenchant, caustic, biting, withering. ANTONYMS mild.
- severe tax penalties: extortionate, excessive, unreasonable, inordinate, outrageous, sky-high, harsh, stiff; punitive.
- they received severe treatment: harsh, stern, hard, inflexible, uncompromising, unrelenting, merciless, pitiless, ruthless, draconian, oppressive, repressive, punitive; brutal, cruel, savage. ANTONYMS lenient, lax.
- his severe expression: stern, dour, grim, forbidding, disapproving, unsmiling, unfriendly, somber, grave, serious, stony, steely; cold, frosty. ANTONYMS friendly, genial.
- a severe style of architecture: plain, simple, austere, unadorned, unembellished, unornamented, stark, spartan, ascetic; clinical, uncluttered. ANTONYMS fancy, ornate.
Amusingly, most do seem to apply to the Republican Party, actually, whether “Dog Mittens” Romney intended them or not. And many of the antonyms are fairly accurate descriptions of Romney! minor, negligible, slight, simple, fancy, and so on…
This has been floating around the internet for a while, and though I am not sure of where it originally came from, I’m still passing it along to you:
Where I’ve been
I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone. I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.
I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work. I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.
I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often. I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm. Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.
One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!
I may have been in Continent, and I don’t remember what country I was in. It’s an age thing.
I hope Barney Frank continues to be in the public eye after he retires from Congress, his wit is keen.
Andrew Goldman interviews Mr. Frank in the NYT Magazine:
AG: You’ve long argued for the decriminalization of marijuana. Do you smoke weed?
AG: Why not?
Why do you ask a question, then act surprised when I give an answer? Do you think I lie to people?
AG: I thought you might explain why you support decriminalizing it but don’t smoke it.
Do you think I’ve ever had an abortion? I don’t play poker on the Internet, either.
(click here to continue reading The Not-So-Retiring Barney Frank – NYTimes.com.)
I’m guessing the Tea Partiers might object…
A west Florida community is spending $3,800 in tax dollars to entice naked Germans to spend their summer vacations there. The advertising grant was awarded Tuesday by the Pasco County commission to Pandabare, a local nudist organization representing 16 resorts, campgrounds and clubs located in the largely rural county north of Tampa. The ads, to be placed in European publications, will promote the county’s longstanding reputation as the nudist capital of America.
(click here to continue reading Florida town seeks nudist vacationers from Europe – Yahoo! News.)
On the other, uh, hand, that isn’t much money.
“NEWT GINGRICH” — a Bad Lip Reading Soundbite “Hairy chests destroy our power…”
(click here to continue reading “NEWT GINGRICH” — a Bad Lip Reading Soundbite from BadLipReading.)
I don’t even have a joke for this…
Crooks who boarded a Union Pacific train in Victorville may be disappointed with their haul — 20 boxes of pigs’ feet worth $200.
According to the Victorville Daily Press, the thieves apparently broke into the car on the southbound train after it made an emergency stop Friday in the High Desert city.
They grabbed the boxes and took off.
(click here to continue reading Crooks board train, make off with $200 worth of pigs’ feet – latimes.com.)
Officially anyway. Better run if you hear the Booze Truck coming…
A.J. Daulerio of Deadspin tried to recreate Dock Ellis’ famous no-hitter, albeit on a video game, but the LSD was real.
“Can we get some pizza now?”
But in order to get that type of nourishment one must go
I had been instructed not to go outside by people who were more accustomed to these types of activities than I was. The cozy confines of the apartment were the only place for a 37-year-old first-timer like me, they said. It only took a few brisk steps to realize what they had been talking about. The normally straight sidewalk on Court Street between Union and Sackett started to tilt to the left in a comical, funhouse way. The storefront signs were more vivid than usual; the swooping cursive letters on Italian bakeries were now a menacing Satan font. Couples pushing strollers passed by me and I looked the other way because I was ashamed and too paranoid that they’d see my eyes bouncing or that I’d stare too long at their kicking babies and they’d call the cops.
By the time we arrived at the pizza parlor things were threatening to go haywire. That ricotta pie was clearly agitated by my presence. Toder relayed my order for me and handled the money transaction with the counterperson, because I could not possibly participate in such activities with the dickhead pizza being all mouthy and with the fearsome heat of that big oven so close by. Toder handed me my large cup of Dr Pepper and we were soon outside again on the crooked sidewalk, headed back to the ballpark inside my TV to accomplish greatness. The Dr Pepper was so good. So, so good. Why this was not the beverage of choice for all when life goes awry was unfathomable. Hey, look, the sidewalk is back to normal. Everything’s coming up me. I needed to hug something.
(click here to continue reading The Electric Dock Ellis Acid Test: An Attempt To Recreate His Drug-Addled No-Hitter, On Xbox.)
Amusing, though A.J. Daulerio doesn’t actually succeed in throwing a no-hitter, but you should read his explanation of the experience.
Actual footage of Dock Ellis on LSD don’t seem to be available, but this YouTube creation by James Blagden and No Mas is pretty good. Excellent, in fact.
In celebration of the greatest athletic achievement by a man on a psychedelic journey, No Mas and artist James Blagden proudly present the animated tale of Dock Ellis’ legendary LSD no-hitter. In the past few years we’ve heard all too much about performance enhancing drugs from greenies to tetrahydrogestrinone, and not enough about performance inhibiting drugs. If our evaluation of the records of athletes like Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, and Barry Bonds needs to be revised downwards with an asterisk, we submit that that Dock Ellis record deserves a giant exclamation point. Of the 263 no-hitters ever thrown in the Big Leagues, we can only guess how many were aided by steroids, but we can say without question that only one was ever thrown on acid.
Sadly, the great Dock Ellis died last December at 63. A year before, radio producers Donnell Alexander and Neille Ilel, had recorded an interview with Ellis in which the former Pirate right hander gave a moment by moment account of June 12, 1970, the day he no-hit the San Diego Padres. Alexander and Ilels original four minute piece appeared March 29, 2008 on NPRs Weekend America. When we stumbled across that piece this past June, Blagden and Isenberg were inspired to create a short animated film around the original audio.
All stranded motorists have now been rescued from Lake Shore Drive – but they probably shouldn’t have attempted to travel on the major thoroughfare in the first place, city officials said.
Hundreds of motorists and CTA passengers were trapped on the drive for six hours or more Tuesday night. Many were not rescued until early this morning, as rescue workers battled white-out conditions, 70 mph wind gusts and waist-high drifts to provide help.
City officials, however, said they had cautioned people in news conferences earlier Tuesday to avoid using the drive and had repeatedly warned that massive waves along the shoreline could cause extremely icy conditions. Authorities, however, did not officially close the road until 8 p.m., nearly an hour after a series of accidents caused motorists and several CTA buses to become stuck.
“As reported in (Tuesday’s) press conference we knew that the lakefront and Lake Shore Drive would be hit especially hard,” said Ray Orozco, Mayor Richard Daley’s chief of staff. “Nonetheless, it was clear that people leaving the Loop were relying on it as a major artery to get home that night.”
While acknowledging the Lake Shore Drive standstill was “particularly troublesome,” officials said they would not apologize for keeping the road open as the storm intensified. Without a series of accidents shortly after 7 p.m., the ordeal might not have happened, they said.
(click here to continue reading Bad LSD trip: Who’s to blame? – Chicago Breaking News.)
Being on LSD for eight hours probably not the best way to spend the Blizzard of 2011 though
It’s easy to imagine that being a restaurant critic would be one of the best jobs on Earth — particularly when millions of people are eager to churn out lengthy reviews for free on sites like Yelp and Chowhound.
As someone who was the food critic for a glossy magazine in San Francisco in the 1980s and quit, however, I can tell you that being a roving palate-for-hire is a mixed blessing. While dining out is one of life’s most enduring pleasures (and is certainly a rare privilege on a planet where one in six people are starving), having to eat in restaurants several nights a week, while manufacturing an opinion about every bite, can get to be a drag.
Of course at first, being a critic in one of the great restaurant cities on Earth felt like getting paid to have sex with someone you love.
I returned just as the chirpy waiter brought the coup de grâce, which looked like evidence from a crime scene: a dish of angry red flesh with a knob of pale bone jutting out of it. This, apparently, was my “grilled veal chop with wild forest mushrooms.”
I had ordered the chop medium-rare, but it arrived bleu, as the French say; ultra-rare, chilly in the center (calf sashimi, if you will), with crimson blood pooling on top, drowning the chanterelles, porcini, Hen O’ The Woods or whatever they were in the unmistakable taste of pennies: copper-laden hemoglobin. This was like veal à la Dexter.
Having only recently re-embraced meat-eating, it was as if all the gluttonous karma of the West took its revenge on a lapsed vegetarian in a single meal. I feared that if I tried to choke down all that raw meat, I’d end up strangling — spewing bloody chunks of calf, clots of cream, and skeins of raw fettucine across the starched tablecloth as a horrified busboy tried to administer the Heimlich maneuver.
(you should certainly click to continue reading The Meal that Ended My Career as a Restaurant Critic | NeuroTribes.)
In 1964, Lyndon Johnson needed pants, so he called the Haggar clothing company and asked for some. The call was recorded (like all White House calls at the time), and has since become the stuff of legend. Johnson’s anatomically specific directions to Mr. Haggar are some of the most intimate words we’ve ever heard from the mouth of a President.
We at Put This On took the historic original audio and gave it to animator Tawd Dorenfeld, who created this majestic fantasia of bungholiana.
In “The Soul of A Man,” director Wim Wenders looks at the dramatic tension in the blues between the sacred and the profane by exploring the music and lives of three of his favorite blues artists: Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson and J. B. Lenoir. Part history, part personal pilgrimage, the film tells the story of these lives in music through an extended fictional film sequence (recreations of ’20s and ’30s events – shot in silent-film, hand-crank style), rare archival footage, present-day documentary scenes and covers of their songs by contemporary musicians such as Shemekia Copeland, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Garland Jeffreys, Chris Thomas King, Cassandra Wilson, Nick Cave, Los Lobos, Eagle Eye Cherry, Vernon Reid, James “Blood” Ulmer, Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt, Marc Ribot, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Lucinda Williams and T-Bone Burnett.
Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr tweeted on Thursday that he is planning to write an autobiography. According to Marr, no deal has been made but he has been approached with a serious offer to pen a tell-all about his time in the Smiths.
How’s this for true grit? Famously combative, alcoholic, and drug-addled filmmaker Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs) is, as Chevy Chase might joke, “still dead” (he passed away in 1984 at the age of 59) — but that doesn’t mean Bloody Sam can’t make a comeback. Vulture has learned exclusively that producer Al Ruddy (The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby) recently unearthed a script for a Western called The Texans that Peckinpah wrote in 1980 but never got around to making.
Antonio McDyess is the chillest chill bro in the Association. He’s Serge Gainsbourg, stubbled, disheveled, and in love. McDyess is the serpentine rise of smoke from Tom Waits’ cigarette. He’s Chet Baker’s My Funny Valentine—the especially long version that forgets you’re listening. Antonio McDyess is all these things and a Quitman smile.
Orson Welles and I were talking one time about the relative merits of John Ford and Howard Hawks at their best, and finally Welles summed it up: “Hawks is great prose; Ford is poetry.” There haven’t really been very many poets in pictures, but the one pretty much everybody agrees about now is the Frenchman Jean Renoir. He was also Orson’s favorite director—as he is mine—and Ford was so impressed by Renoir’s Grand Illusion (l937) that he wanted to remake it in English. Luckily, studio-head Darryl Zanuck told him to forget it; he would “just fuck it up.”
Stephen Colbert had a funny exposé on Craig Grant’s Caboodle Ranch, in Lee, Florida
In Lee, Florida, Craig Grant trains his 650 cats to take over America’s government, law enforcement and failing schools. (05:32)
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Enemy Within – Caboodle Ranch|
If the video won’t load, go to the Colbert Show’s website directly, it might work better there
Craig Grant tells how he started the Caboodle Ranch
I was renting a two bedroom condo by the beach with my son. It had all the comforts and conveniences of home. Nice furniture, a short walk to the beach and close to work. Then my son moved out on his own for the first time. He left his cat, Pepper, with me because he couldn’t take it with him. I didn’t like cats but I agreed to keep him. I wasn’t used to being alone and I guess Pepper wasn’t either.
We slowly began to get along. A couple months went by and I found out Pepper was pregnant. Oh great, now what? She had five kittens. I wanted to give them away because I didn’t want my beautiful home destroyed, but my son told me they had to stay with their mother for 8 weeks. Over that time I learned that every cat had his own unique personality and it wasn’t long before the kittens were swinging from my curtains. I didn’t care. Something had changed… I didn’t want to give them up.
But with six cats, complaints started from the condo owner and the neighbors. I knew I had to look for other places to go. They weren’t safe in the neighborhood. I found a B.B. lodged in the side of one of my cats and another was bitten by a pitbull that I know was set loose on purpose. Something had to be done. I wasn’t sure what to do at first, so I built a shed in my son’s yard and lived in it for a while. Then I found an advertisement in the paper from a realtor offering five acre partials on a tree farm; owner financing, low money down and low monthly payments… the problem was that it was 100 miles west of Jacksonville. I drove out to see it and I loved it.
Over the next months I bought five more partials. I now have 25 acres. I cleared a small area and bought an office trailer as a shelter for my cats. I put in a pet door and padded shelves for them. We moved out there in November of 2003, the day after Thanksgiving. By that time I had 11 cats. I had taken in abandoned and stray cats from the neighborhood and areas that I work as a contractor. I had 22 cats by the spring of 2004. I moved the shed out to the property and made a little cabin out of it. I thought it would be for me, but many of my cats wanted to sleep next to me… so I moved back into the office trailer where we had more room.
(click to continue reading Caboodle Ranch: About Us.)
How many of these cables, rather than being the unvarnished facts which reveal the public lies are actually another layer of lies from bureaucrats trying to appease their bosses? It’s funny how transparency can reveal all sorts of unexpected things isn’t it? If only there were professional people who gather facts and research issues and interview subjects who could be called upon to investigate such things.
Why don’t you believe in God? I get that question all the time. I always try to give a sensitive, reasoned answer. This is usually awkward, time consuming and pointless. People who believe in God don’t need proof of his existence, and they certainly don’t want evidence to the contrary. They are happy with their belief. They even say things like “it’s true to me” and “it’s faith”. I still give my logical answer because I feel that not being honest would be patronizing and impolite. It is ironic therefore that “I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe”, comes across as both patronizing and impolite.
Arrogance is another accusation. Which seems particularly unfair. Science seeks the truth. And it does not discriminate. For better or worse it finds things out. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence – ‐ evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn’t get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesn’t hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition. If it did, you wouldn’t get a shot of penicillin, you’d pop a leach down your trousers and pray. Whatever you “believe”, this is not as effective as medicine. Again you can say, “It works for me”, but so do placebos. My point being, I’m saying God doesn’t exist. I’m not saying faith doesn’t exist. I know faith exists. I see it all the time. But believing in something doesn’t make it true. Hoping that something is true doesn’t make it true. The existence of God is not subjective. He either exists or he doesn’t. It’s not a matter of opinion. You can have your own opinions. But you can’t have your own facts.
Why don’t I believe in God? No, no no, why do YOU believe in God? Surely the burden of proof is on the believer. You started all this. If I came up to you and said, “Why don’t you believe I can fly?” You’d say, “Why would I?” I’d reply, “Because it’s a matter of faith”. If I then said, “Prove I can’t fly. Prove I can’t fly see, see, you can’t prove it can you?” You’d probably either walk away, call security or throw me out of the window and shout, ‘’Fucking fly then you lunatic.”
(click to continue reading A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m An Atheist – Speakeasy – WSJ.)
I want to copy the whole rant for your amusement, but I’m restraining myself. I’ve heard part of this bit before, maybe it will be part of his live act that’s currently running on HBO?
Conclusion, with a sentiment I can believe in:
So what does the question “Why don’t you believe in God?” really mean. I think when someone asks that; they are really questioning their own belief. In a way they are asking “what makes you so special? “How come you weren’t brainwashed with the rest of us?” “How dare you say I’m a fool and I’m not going to heaven, fuck you!” Let’s be honest, if one person believed in God he would be considered pretty strange. But because it’s a very popular view it’s accepted. And why is it such a popular view? That’s obvious. It’s an attractive proposition. Believe in me and live forever. Again if it was just a case of spirituality this would be fine. “Do unto others…” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. Buts that’s exactly what it is – ‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”
You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.
SOUTHLAKE, Texas—Police officer Ric Salas is mounting a sting operation to catch a gang of vandals terrorizing this affluent Dallas suburb.
His plan: lure them with corn, trap them in a pen—and avoid their pointy tusks.
The police officer is on feral-pig patrol, charged with fighting back the stout, smart, snouted invaders that are tearing up flower beds and street medians in search of roots and grubs. One evening recently, they dined at—and trashed—the parking lot of a Verizon office building.
Wild pigs, descendants of animals brought by the Spanish conquistadors, have foraged in Texas for centuries and have long been a pest on ranches. But as cities and suburbs swallow up more land, they are becoming an urban nuisance as well.
Eradication methods common in rural Texas, such as shooting feral pigs from helicopters, don’t lend themselves to a more urban setting. So police departments and animal-control officers are trying new ways to stymie the wily wild swine, methodically tracking the marauders’ hoofprints and setting up night-vision cameras to monitor their movements.
(click to continue reading Texas Calls in the Law in Its Beef With Feral Porkers – WSJ.com.)
There’s a joke to be made here, but I’ll leave to you, the humble reader…