Sunday, August 31, 2008

Humor Me

It was only a matter of time before the Sarah Palin jokes started circulating. I'm just glad that they're at least amusing. (Nice job, late night guys.) And naturally, I must share.

From Bill Maher, "John McCain's VP pick is the governor of Alaska, a unknown hockey mom named Sarah Palin that no one ever heard of. The only other job she had in politics was the mayor of a small town known as Wasilla, Alaska, and now she has the opportunity to be on a ticket opposite of Barack Obama, the first black man she's ever seen." (Well, she's in for quite a shock then, if she's heading down to New Orleans in the next few days like it's rumored she is.)


  • Also from Bill Maher, "This isn't a presidential ticket, this is a sitcom. The Maverick and the MILF'." (So, if they win, she'll be a VPILF? We need a better acronym for that, we really do. I'm on it.)



  • Jimmy Kimmel has us reliving the early memories of MTV with, "She's not bad looking. She looks like one of those women in the Van Halen videos who takes off her glasses, shakes out her hair, and then all of a sudden, she's in high heels and a bikini. All of a sudden, I am FOR drilling in Alaska." (And I am for drilling also! Wait. What? OIL? I thought he meant....oh, never mind.)


    • In response to FOX News Channel's Steve Doocy attempting to sound like he knows something relevant when he said, "She does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska, right next door to Russia." Jon Stewart remarked, "When you think about it, Alaska is also near the North Pole, so she must also be friends with Santa."

    • Jay Leno didn't fare quite as well as some of the others, but he did manage to come up with, "Alaska Governor Sarah Pallin is John McCain's choice. Here's what we know about her: her name is Sarah Palin." (But at least we know a little more about her now, right? Right?)

    Of course, along with the Sarah Palin jokes, there were the John McCain jokes that, again, I must share.
    • From Bill Maher (a guy who is seeming a little more funny than I remember him to be), "McCain came out this week with a list of 20 possible running mates. He would not reveal the names of all of them, but he said they all share certain traits, like knowing CPR...someone who is ready take over on day two."

    • Finally, Conan O'Brien manages to get one right with, "Earlier today, John McCain released 1,200 pages of his medical records. Or, as his doctor calls it, Chapter One." (Seriously, Conan, that was good, but you have to step it up a bit. You're getting that Tonight Show gig next year after they drag Jay kicking and screaming from the studio. You're going to need to be prepared.)

    • I don't know when Conan said this, but I haven't found anything he's said lately to be overly amusing, so it's a good thing he came up with these when he did. "This week, Barack Obama, true story, campaigned on an Indian reservation and the tribal chief adopted him. Yeah, the Indians actually prefer Obama to John McCain, because they still remember when McCain took their land."

    And top honors go to David Letterman who has come up with a slew of "He looks like the guy who..." jokes (reminiscent of the "Yo mama's so fat..." jokes of yore....only funny).


    • He looks like a guy who parked his RV overnight at Wal-Mart.

    • John McCain, looks like the guy who goes to the curb for the paper and locks himself outside of the house.


    • John McCain looks like the guy who picks up his TV remote when the phone rings.

    • He looks like a guy who's backed over his own mailbox.

    • He looks like the guy who should be co-hosting with Kelly Ripa.

    • He's the guy who is always early for the early bird special.

    • He looks like the guy that walks up to the mound to settle down a young pitcher.

    • He looks like the guy at the hardware store who makes the keys.

    Finally, just remember that, thanks to the wonder that is the Internet, you're going to see a lot of pictorial political pieces of "humor" (otherwise known as "pieces of S" in some circles). The ones below are just a very small sample of what's out there. So be careful.








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    Saturday, August 30, 2008

    The Not-So-Shocking Sarah Palin

    Sorry this is late. (Hey, Covad ISP Provider guys! Before you keep me on the phone for over an hour in the middle of the night with one of your reps in India because I lost my Internet connection, perhaps one of the first things you can have them look at is whether or not there is an outage in the area! An HOUR I was on the phone with India only to be told that there is an outage. And if you want to go one better than that, Covad guys, what say you make it so that I stop losing my Internet connection at all? Is that really necessary? It's been once a week for the past three weeks and it's cause me to become highly irritated. Oh, but thanks for recommending that I upgrade my modem for $150 when you gave me the one I have for free. Don't tell me that it's because the "one year warranty" ran out. You hand out modems left and right when people sign up, but a customer who has been with you for years, you want them to shell out $150? Screw off, Covad guys. Or fix it. Because right now, you suck.) I had an issue with my ISP. Blame them. Please.

    Be prepared for a shocking statement from me regarding the world of politics. Two words: I'm confused. See? Shocking.

    Do people who are actually in politics, meaning that it's their job, not understand how politics work? Clearly, at least some of them do not. That became evident after Grandpa John McCain's announcement that he has chosen Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential candidate and/or running mate. (I don't know which one it is, but it's definitely one of them.) Oh, there were things that were said by those not chosen. But they were things that perplexed me because, like I just asked, don't these guys understand how this works?

    Take Tim Pawlenty (a last name that reminds me of Paws o' Plenty for some reason) for starters. Tim was supposed to be on the short list of possible selections for McCain's VP. It was a much shorter list than Tim must have thought because, according to the seemingly reasonable The Trail over there at the Washington Post, "Though it was high in shock value, the Palin pick left bruised feelings among the short-list contenders who were not picked -- and infuriated some Republican officials who privately said McCain had gone out on a limb unnecessarily, without laying the groundwork for such an unknown."

    I'll get to the "shock value" part in a minute. Right now, it's all about "the short-list contenders who were not picked." Um, they did know that they wouldn't all be picked, right? That someone wouldn't make the team? Actually, that most of those on the list wouldn't make the team? I mean, I can understand being disappointed at not being chosen to run for Vice President, especially with McCain as the guy who is running for President. In that instance, you're a little closer than just a heartbeat away from the Presidency. You're the heartbeat of a guy who is 72 and has had three bouts with skin cancer away from the Presidency. That's pretty darn close.

    "Two senior Republican officials close to Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty said they had both been rudely strung along and now "feel manipulated." " Let me get this straight. These two guys, these politicians, they feel like they have been "rudely strung along" and they also "feel manipulated", do they? Hi, we're the Public. Welcome to our world! Oh, the irony. (Not to mention all the sarcasm here.)

    And now back to the "shock value" statement. OK, I've never heard of Sarah Palin. Ever. I could not have told you who ANY of the Governors of Alaska have been EVER. (There might have been a guy named Evan, but that's my best guess.) I know where Alaska IS. I know that there are way more men than women who live there. I know it's abundant in wildlife that you only see on Animal Planet. I also know they're sitting on a lot of oil. That's it, that's all I've got. Now, just because I've never heard of this woman, does that mean that I am "shocked" that John McCain chose her as his running mate? Hardly. The only thing that is "shocking" is that he didn't have a heart attack after learning that such a person existed. Here's why:

    McCain touted his running mate with statements like these:

    • "Someone who has fought against corruption and the failed policies of the past. Someone who stopped government from wasting taxpayers’ money on things they don’t want or need, and put it back to work for the people."

    • "Someone who reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats and Independents to serve in government."

    • "Someone who grew up in a decent, hard-working middle class family whose father was an elementary school teacher and mother was the school secretary...Both of them were coaches too, and raised their children to excel at sports."

    • "...was a union member and is married to a union member, and understands the problems, the hopes, the values of working people.

    • "Knows what it’s like to worry about mortgage payments and health care and the cost of gasoline and groceries."

    • " A standout high school point guard, a concerned citizen who became a member of the PTA, then a city council member, and then a mayor, and now a governor."

    • "A devoted wife and a mother of five."

    • "She’s not from these parts and she’s not from Washington."

    Well, thank God, she's not from Washington. OK, Grandpa John, we get it. That sounds promising, yes? Look, I'm not looking at this from the viewpoint of any party. The things he mentioned there are qualities that are going to pique the ears of those who are still trying to figure out what to do and who to vote for. So far we have a married, middle class woman with five kids, who is married to a union member, played basketball, worries about the mortgage, worked her way up to governor and isn't from Washington. What's not to like? Oh, but wait. There's more to like.


    So McCain introduces Sarah Palin and how shocked was I when Tina Fey walked out? Pretty surprised, I'll give him that. I had no idea she was even up for consideration. Now that's diversity! Oh, wait. That's not Tina Fey? That actually IS Sarah Palin? Wow. She's hot. (And she's governor of Alaska where most of the residents are male. Huh. And she won an election, did she? That's a shocker.) But how cool would that have been if it were Tina Fey and then the John McCain guy unzipped his face and was really Alec Baldwin? That would have been awesome! But I digress (or fantasize, take your pick). Then Sarah Palin introduced herself to the country by providing us with informational nuggets such as these:
    • "...my husband Todd. And Todd and I are actually celebrating our 20th anniversary today. And I promised him — I had promised Todd a little surprise for the anniversary present and hopefully he knows that I did deliver." (Married AND it's her anniversary. Nice touch.)

    • "Todd...who is a lifelong commercial fisherman....He’s a production operator...in the oil fields up on Alaska’s north slopes and he’s a proud member of the United Steel Workers’ Union and he’s a world champion snow machine racer." (Fisherman, production operator, Steel Workers Union member and races...snow machines? Like snowmobiles? Cool! What a guy.)

    • "Todd and I have shared many blessings. And four out of five of them are here with us today. Our oldest son, Track...on September 11th of last year...enlisted in the United States Army....now serves in an infantry brigade....on September 11th....will deploy to Iraq." (Five kids, the oldest one joins the US Army on September 11 and is now off the Iraq. Is the national anthem playing in the background at this point?)

    • "I never really set out to be involved in public affairs, much less to run for this office." (Thank God for that.)

    • "My mom and dad both worked at the local elementary school and my husband and I, we both grew up working with our hands." (The local elementary school. I'm sure I hear the anthem now.)

    • "I was just your average hockey mom in Alaska." (Hockey Mom. Most excellent!)

    • "I was then appointed ethics commissioner and chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. And when I found corruption there, I fought it hard and I held the offenders to account." (Wait. Held people accountable? :::gasp::: :::choke::: Medic!)

    • "When oil and gas prices went up so dramatically, and the state revenues followed with that increase, I sent a large share of that revenue directly back to the people of Alaska." (Gave money to people? I like money! Sign me up!)

    • "I signed major ethics reforms and I appointed both Democrats and Independents to serve in my administration." (Ethics reforms? Like she has some ethics? I like ethics, too! And not just Republicans in your administration? Huh. That's new.)

    And then she goes on with some schmaltzy 'Thank you' and 'I'm honored' stuff that's pretty much obligatory no matter who you are or what you're running for or against. The fine, very accurately transcribing folks over there at Clips and Comment have the full text of the speech if you're interested (though they do seem to be immersed in the tank for Barry Obama).

    So, again, WHY are people shocked that this was his choice? Like I said, the only thing that shocked me is that such a person even existed. She practically bleeds red, white and blue. She's been in Alaska her whole life and I don't think that Alaska is exactly a breeding ground for scandal, and that's always a bonus no matter who you are. Oh, I'm sure that there will be some dirt turned up on her from somewhere. How much dirt and what kind of dirt is what the question will be when it happens. But what she has going for her is that she represents a lot of the issues that are key to a lot of people. Union member, for cryin' out loud! Elementary school teachers. Fishermen. Steel Workers Union. Mothers. Women. Anti-corruption. Giving away money. I'm still waiting for the shocking part.

    And by the way, I have no idea if she is qualified to be Vice President of the United States, but only because I don't know exactly what it is that the Vice President does except wait around for the President to die. She is anti-abortion and I have an issue with that. Again, I don't know exactly how much of a bearing the Vice President's stance on abortion has on what they do in office, but that one is kind of a deal breaker for me. I'm not saying she's perfect, nor am I saying that I'd vote for her. I'm simply saying it's far from shocking McCain picked her (unless you think McCain is incompetent and then it's beyond shocking).

    What is shocking about choosing someone who represents all of those potential voters? Not much. What is shocking about not choosing one of the guys on the short list like Tim Paws o' Plenty or Mitt Romney, both of whom are rumored to still be pouting and whining, "It's not fair!"? Yeah, I can't imagine what McCain was thinking there (or can I?). And really, what is shocking about choosing someone who looks like Tina Fey is smoking hot? Who cares? All I know is that if Sarah Palin ends up being Vice President of the United States, Tina Fey must rejoin the cast of Saturday Night Live immediately. Look at it this way, if nothing else, we just might end up with four years of some of the best late night comedy we've had in a long time. Priorities, don't you know?

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    Friday, August 29, 2008

    I Don't Think They Were Endorsing THAT

    Decisions, decisions. In the commercial provided below, Ortega Taco Shells are hawked by three Olympic athletes, the adorable Shawn Johnson and extremely effeminate brothers Morgan and Paul Hamm. All gymnasts, all very talented in the gymnastic arena, all horrible actors hawking taco shells.

    I really don't know what the worst part is. It's a toss up between the robotic spewing out of their lines, the brother's high pitched voices which don't make them seem gay AT ALL, or the unfortunate choice of dialogue given to Shawn. It's bad enough the one brother calls out the other brother based on the fact that he has green chiles on his taco, but did he have to say, "Beat that, bro?" And he said it with all of the enthusiasm of someone who was just awoken from a deep slumber and was forced to sit up and do a commercial for taco shells.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Shawn Johnson is just as talented as she is adorable and she was totally gypped at the Olympics by those underage, cheating Commie Chinese gymnasts. This is just not a good way to start off your product endorsement career. That's all I'm saying. It's only thirty seconds long, so you won't have to cringe for very long. But give it a gander and tell me if I'm wrong. (I'm not, by the way, but little challenges like that always sound...well...about as convincing as the green chile Hamm brother calling out the other one for Taco v. Taco 2008. It was all very "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter"-ish.)





    Oh, f-ing hell, I really don't know where to start. But did you notice at the beginning when the announcer guy was saying all of their names and then there was footage of that person doing their crazy good gymnast thing? Well, the Hamm brothers are twins (shocking, I know) and when voice over dude said each of their names, the footage was still the same guy. So...just because they're twins you can show just one of them performing and that's as good as showing each one performing? Hey, Ortega, were you guys afraid you were going to break the bank by showing footage of each twin? Or did you figure that, since they were twins and all, no one would notice? Guess what? No one would have noticed...if you had changed shots or footage instead of just keeping the camera on the same guy as you announce both names!


    Next, it's a commercial for taco shells and, according to the wall in the background, they are having this fiesta at Chow's Gymnastics & Dance Institute. The wall also says that it's a National Team Training Center. That's fine, but do all National Team Training Centers have a bunch of balloons in the background and in columns next to the apparati? There are an inordinate number of balloons in that training center. Most training centers that I am familiar with have no balloons. Is is the National Twisty Balloon Animal Team Training Center? It's definitely an Olympic sport I've never heard of (but I didn't know they had horse dancing in the Olympics, either, so nothing's too far fetched, really).



    Those in the background are fun to watch as well. With the guy just swinging around on that bar to little pixie people making little hops that are supposed to look like jumps as they prance across their balloon filled training center. And there's a ton of them too. All performing their routines and pony tricks what appears to be a mere 20 feet away from the snack bar and 10 feet away from three people having lunch.


    What made me just cringe out of empathy and sadness was the line (and you know you heard it), "It makes my taco pop." Oh, dear. That will not increase Ortega Taco Shells sales at all. It will increase the degree of horn-dogged-ness of many, many males of varying age groups across the land (and probably a lot more females than you'd think as well). Seriously, how many people over there at Ortega Advertising or whatever it is heard that line and said nothing? Thought nothing of it? No one? Really? How do you people manage to sell anything at all?! She's not going to know anything other than the pure innocence of taco shells, she's from Iowa for cryin' out loud! It's not her fault!


    Please, Ortega, scrap this horrible commercial and start anew. Nueve. Whatever, just get rid of it. Adios. Andele. And as long as I'm making requests, whoever is in charge of photographing the Hamm brothers? Yeah, um, do you think that when they're photographed together you could try to do it so they don't look just quite so gay? I mean, come on, they're brothers, for cryin' out loud! But most of the pictures that I see of them together don't scream "We're brothers!" No, they scream, "We're lovers!" Look. Judge for yourself. (But again, I'm right.)

    Oh, yeah, that's not gay.


    Even more not gay here.

    Typical non-gay, shirtless, brotherly pose here.

    And those grape leaf crowns make them seem not even a little bit gay.

    Sure. Not gay lookin' at all.

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    Oh, God! It's Jesus In A Moth.

    Sweet Mother of God, will it never end? If Jesus is going to come back to Earth or if God is going to send down some sort of sign (about what no one ever really comes out and says. And you can't really tell from their reactions, either. Some are crying tears of joy, some are crying tears of sadness, some are crying tears from not being the highest bidder for the Jesus image on eBay, so many reasons, really.), do you really think that it's going to happen via the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich? Or a Cheeto shaped like Jesus? (Mmmm....Cheesus....) Or an HVAC duct? Or on a freaking moth? Wait. What?

    Correct. From the confused folks over there at CNN (who clearly have trouble distinguishing between that which is actually news and that which is actually not) we are presented with the story of a one Kirk Harper, a Texas man who spotted the moth (wait for it) on an RV trailer (Yes, shocking, I know!) and, according to a CNN journalist who must have just squeaked by in those journalism classes she took (in high school) "right away, could tell it was unique". Now, pun totally intended here as I shake my head and mutter, "Oh, good Lord." Behold! A moth with what looks like Jesus (but it's NOT) on it's back!




    So Kirk did what you and I would never do and immediately took the Holy moth to his church and showed it to one Brother James Jordan. Brother Jim (as I'm calling him. It sounds cooler.) said that the moth looked more like Jesus in person than it did in photographs. As a person who has never seen Jesus in person (or in photographs, actually) I'm going to take the word of someone who seems to hang out with Jesus on a much more regular basis than I do. (Don't get me wrong. We hang, but it's more like we're neighbors who wave to each other when we're trying to get our car into the garage and close the door as fast as we can so that Jesus doesn't come over and start talking to us or ask to borrow our lawn mower.)




    Brother Jim had this to say about the Jesus moth (I cannot believe I am typing the words 'Jesus moth'. It's not right.): "I don't want to bow down to it. It's not Jesus. It's an image on something that God created." Oh, my. Brother Jim isn't a crackpot. Brother Jim isn't a money hungry lunatic. Brother Jim has a rational and functioning brain. Brother JIM must be Jesus! Halle-freakin'-lullah!! Someone who does NOT think it's is ACTUALLY Jesus on that moth. Now that IS a miracle!
    "But we're also warned in Romans 1 that we shouldn't worship created things." An excellent reminder, regardless of where it comes from, Brother Jim. (This guy is making more and more sense as this goes along. I'm trying to decide if that means I need to start calling him Brother James or something cooler like Jim Bro.)

    The fine folks down under at The Inquisitor - Tech, Pop and Penguins were kind enough to provide their readers with several links to other "Jesus-In-A-_____" sightings (oddly enough, there's no "Jesus in a box", presumedly because Jesus is afraid of Saturday Night Live turning that into some horrifying, yet absolutely hilarious, Christmas time skit starring Justin Timberlake). These sightings would include:



    • Jesus in a plank of wood, seen in Florida









    • Jesus in a cell phone picture, seen in Florida




    • Jesus in a T-shirt in the laundry, seen in Florida






    • Jesus in an ultrasound, seen in, you guessed it, Florida





    (Hopefully what you've learned from that little montage there is that Florida is a hotbedded breeding ground for freaks and the dim-witted.)
    But from the looks of that list, wow, Jesus is quite busy these days. He's making more appearances than Barry and Grandpa John McCain. Why Jesus doesn't just go on Leno and get it over with, I'm not sure. This whole "Second Coming of the Savoir Hide and Seek" bit is getting a little old. And why has He chosen Florida as the place to make his grand re-entrance? The home of hurricanes and trailer parks and the mess and filth that both leave in their wake. I don't get it. And when I say "I don't get it" I'm sure you realize that means "I DO get it and Jesus isn't actually in ANY of these things and the folks down there in Florida are nuts and can barely walk upright without dragging their knuckles on the pavement." But "I don't get it" is shorter. I prefer brevity when it comes to mocking the intellectually challenged. And when discussing the Second Coming.

    But for Christ's sake (pun soooo intended), what is it with people seeing the image of Jesus in all of these things? Does it make them feel better? Personally, I think it would make me feel worse if I found a Jesus Cheeto (known only in that instance as Cheesus). I mean, shouldn't Jesus have higher standards when it comes to his Second Coming than that of a delightful, orange, artificial-cheese coated snack? I would think so and I would certainly hope so! I mean, if it's OK with Jesus to come back as a Cheeto (or some other unhealthy snack. Ding-dong, Klondike Bar, Egg McMuffin, anything, really) what would that say about how important all of that stuff really is? (The Jesus and the Second Coming part, NOT how important the Cheeto is.)

    But look, you can find the image of Jesus or anything else in just about anything you choose. You just have to look hard enough (or not hard at all really) and want to believe that you see what you see. And it doesn't always have to be something that's great or something that you want to find either. Behold! Peeto, the Cheeto penis!

    I'm going to hell for that one, aren't I?

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