Friday, October 30, 2009

They mash our booze and grow our smokes, the hicks in the sticks are mighty fine folks

Wise words last night from 30 Rock's Jack Donaghy: “Small towns are where you see kindness and goodness and courage of every day Americans, the folks who teach our kids, run our prisons and grow our cigarettes, people still living by core American values.”

That would make a great bumper sticker.   "Small Town Americans: they teach our kids, run our prisons and grow our cigarettes."

Indeed.  The things that made Johnny Cougar so proud.  It might be added that they mash the grains that make our booze and cook the pseudoephedrine that makes our methamphetamine.  Not a whole lot of big city folks doing that.

I come from a smallish town, a hick from the sticks of the great Northwest.  So I was bursting with pride as I watched 30 Rock's tribute to us salt-of-the-earth types.

Now I'm going to make me a Carp Po' Boy with Extra Chuckle ('that piece of the pig between the tail and the anus') and hit the hay, small-town style.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Santa's Slay

I fell off the workaholic wagon this past week.  And I'd been doing so good!  I'd been keeping to no more than 60 hour weeks, etc. Then I got sucked into emergency production support land on the 18th and suddenly I look up and it's the 29th.

Thank God Walmart decided to start selling caskets online.  I hear they're to die for. Ba Dum.

That news dragged me out of my working bender and back into what's most important in life. And in plenty of time for the holidays. I can start my Christmas shopping early!

Those of you with young ones are likely already worrying about how best to satisfy their toys-from-Santa jones this holiday season as it kicks into gear yet again. Little Suzie and Jimmy are surely even now starting to feast on an increasing diet of self centered materialistic tis-the-season greed, and you'll only watch it grow in ignorant anticipation as the big day approaches. This narcissism reaches its apex as they race out of bed on Christmas morning, scrambling for the living room to see what Santa has left for them under the tree.

Selfish little pricks.

This year, teach them the true meaning of Christmas (and life).  What is that, you say?  Why, suffering and death, of course.  And what says death better than a casket from Walmart, wrapped up in a bow?

Remember, caskets aren't just dynamite gifts for the terminally ill or elderly.  Oh, no, not at all.  Murder, accidents, suicide - everyone can use a stylish casket or urn, because you never know.  Think of it as the last bedroom set they'll ever need and that need can't be met soon or young enough. The topper is that you can do your shopping for these festive cadaver cocoons from the comfort of your home computer now, brought to you by that behemoth brand you know and love.

What are those massive items propped up next to the tree, kids?  Boy, Santa brought you both something pretty big!  Go on now, tear off the Christmas wrap so we can all see what they are!

Oh, gosh!  What are they, you ask?  Caskets!  That's right kids, your own Junior Caskets - go ahead and try 'em out!  Never too early to be prepared for the grim reaper!  I think Santa's helpers must have had some help themselves - from our neighbors at!

What's wrong, children?!!?

Sure, an XBox or Barbie Playhouse might have given you more immediate satisfaction; however, that kind of fun is fleeting. Time to put away that ignorant, obnoxious joy of yours and trade it in for some good old fashioned informed security.  Depressed?  I hope so! That's what the Pharmaceutical Industry is for - they'll fix ya up!  But that's for Christmases to come.  Let's focus on the here and now.  And look: Santa left you each twin bottles of pine and peppermint embalming fluid in your stockings!  Mmm, smells Christmas-y!   And see, Jimmie - your casket makes a super soap box derby racer while you're waiting to kick the bucket!  Maybe "kill" two birds with one stone - eh, son? Wink. Wink.

Now who wants some eggnog while Mom and I help you fill out those wills your older sister got you?!?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Survivin' with Stroud, Ragin' with Rollins

A Survivorman marathon on a rainy Saturday afternoon finds me watching Les Stroud demonstrate his MacGyver like survival skills through the sundry jungle/desert/mountain locations he throws himself into.

For those not clued into this world, Canadian Les Stroud is deposited into various survival situations and left to fend for himself for seven days with just the equipment that any hiker, boater, mountain climber, plane crash victim, etc. might have with them (plus his trusty harmonica). Sometimes he's left with a broken down car or the fuselage of a plane. Once, he floated into the wilderness in a hot air balloon. Les operates all the cameras during these seven days as he devises ways in which to get food/water/shelter and avoid spiders, snakes, tigers, foot rot, diarrhea, heat, cold, snow, rain, etc.

Stroud only filmed three seasons worth of these hour-long shows before tiring of the misery (and I guess there's only so many ways you can make starting a fire interesting). Still, Les is the man - he beats Man Vs. Wild's Bear all to hell in the purity of his work (he's not nearly as showy).

But after having watched every episode countless times, I'd still be a goner were I left in these situations in real life. I just don't pay attention to the important things. Mostly, I watch to see what commercials play during the show. And to count the number of times Les repeats "Here I am, surviving in the [Amazon Jungle|Australian Outback|South Seas Deserted Island|Alaskan Wilderness]."

Today, the Survivorman marathon was showing on the Discovery Channel (it also plays on the National Geographic and Science Channels). No ads for camping gear or other outdoorsy/survival stuff; instead, we got life insurance and food/drink pitches. Frankly, I invariably take Stroud's lessons the wrong way. For instance, when Les contracted diarrhea on the one occasion he couldn't scare up a fire to boil the nasty looking water he was eventually forced to drink, I just got jealous that it made him so regular.

And like that, the Survivor marathon is over.

During Mr. Stroud's adventures, I loaded up my iTunes with a bunch of Henry Rollins Spoken Word releases I discovered I didn't already have (including a reading of his seminal book on the good ol' days with Black Flag, Get in the Van). Now I'm enjoying listening to his world view while Penn State beats up on Michigan.

Rollins is one of my personal heroes and I don't even much care for his music, certainly not for his poetry and his acting makes Ice-T seem like Brando. I liked Black Flag okay, though he was a late comer to that band and didn't contribute to their best music, in my opinion. The stuff he puts out with the Rollins Band is sort of speed metal and the lyrics and tone reflect more on his poetry than on his spoken word stuff and the diaries he's published. And it's the latter two things that I love so much.

It's hard to describe the Rollins spoken word shtick - sort of a melding of audio blog/diary, political stand-up comedy, and raging angry everyman rants, with a healthy dollop of self-deprecating humor included in each serving. Henry is an interesting cat. Self educated, he's a voracious reader who delves into the details of every major issue of the day, depressingly well prepared to defend his opinion. We see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but certainly not everything. Henry's way over-disciplined in pretty much all aspects of his life, but he's never boring. If you're interested, I recommend checking out his catalog on his 2/13/61 web site.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Donald buys a new fishing Rod (what's that smell and where's Ivanka?)

My buddy "Hot" Rod Blagojevich is going to be on The Donald's Celebrity Apprentice, eh? That is, if those kill-joy government types can't find a way to stop him. 

It's really the perfect kind of show for him, though I was hoping Dancing with the Stars would reach out (he and The Hammer would have made dreamy dancing partners).

Trump will do anything for publicity and I guess he and Rod share the same sort of ethics in that regard.  They certainly seem to share platinum hair-club-for-men membership status.

Maybe Rod can prove his entrepreneurial meddle to Papa Trump by peddling Ivanka's ass as a sort of novelty "escort" to young coke-fueled Wall Street types (make that crank-fueled; we're in a recession after all).

Rod was born to be a white-collar pimp and Ivanka ... well, she seems like a fine young lady.

Papa don't preach.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dino Deity

I think I'll hang up my blogging cleats for a few days as I buckle down to other things this week.  But before I do, I wanted to circle back on something I only hinted at Saturday: Jesus and his Dinosaurs, as depicted in the Beginner's Biblical Coloring Book.

I came across this gem while googling for angry Jesus images. Why look for a pissed off savior? Well, when I posted about my adventures at the pharmacy Saturday, I needed a couple of pictures to illustrate to you the essence of the Jesus-like soul behind me in line.  My pharma Buddy Christ got pretty agitated at one point, thus I was looking for a picture to visualize his wrath.

The picture to the right was apparently part of an actual religious coloring book and it makes me laugh like nothing I've seen in a long while.

It got me to thinking about other Deity / Dinosaur imagery; well, lo and behold, there are plenty of them out there.  None, though, have the chuckle factor of our lord strapped to the saddle of a T-Rex.  He's not nearly as interesting astride a herbivore.

In the money shot up top, he looks to me like a kind of Nazarene Lone Ranger. A cloud of dust and a mighty hi-ho Silver away! If Silver were an angry Tyrannosaurus.

Or perhaps a biblical variant on the Land of the Lost?  The Land of the LordThe Lord of the Lost? Replace Rick Marshall, Will and Holly with Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Ya got "Grumpy" the T-Rex up there in my fav pic and are only missing a few Sleestaks to round things out.

I'm sure that I'll end up roasting in a hell I don't even believe exists as punishment for this blasphemy.  I tend to follow George Costanza's adage that although I don't believe in God (at least not in his traditional biblical incarnation), I nevertheless believe he'll punish me if anything good happens in my life.  Or if I make fun of his kid.  Really, though, I'm only making fun of the sort of folk who would create such a coloring book (unless they meant it as a joke, in which case it wouldn't be as funny).  And I'm not really making fun of them, just of a more naive time (a time that lives on in more than a few minds out there).   It's a gentle fun, so perhaps I'll only be sentenced to purgatory.

If I should be punished for anything, it's for incessantly updating posts I should leave well enough alone.  Like this one.

And besides, I just can't help myself.  This kind of thing just tickles me no end.  And apparently you can get the picture at the top of this post on a T-Shirt! I already ordered mine.  There are several others to choose from as well (I really like the Jurassic Lord - that's it on the left!)

Get them while supplies last!

And may the Lord have mercy on my funny bone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Goat's Heart Soup for your Soul (where the Wild Things Aren't)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm really looking forward to the Spike Jonze take on Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Now that its almost upon us, I'm taken back again to my youth when books really captured my imagination.

To be sure, I still love to read; however, nowhere near as much as I did when I first became aware of seemingly unending world of adventures to be found on the written page. And it was picture books like Where the Wild Things Are that led me to that world.

There's a good write up this morning on the LA Times page, not so much on the movie as on Sendak's groundbreaking work (it's not exactly "family friendly," which was scandalous for a children's book circa 1963).

I certainly dig the visuals I've seen of the flick - they're arresting but still quite faithful to the originals in the book. I'll be lining up to revisit that world come next weekend, for sure.

Speaking of reading, last night I got through a couple chapters of The Men Who Stare at Goats and it's a page turner. Man, have we got some batshit crazy programs - and people - cooking away in the DOD. I guess I knew that, having worked first in the DOD proper as a member of Navy Intelligence and then 14 years thereafter for a company that suckled on its lucrative teet (I know, I know - I'm a hypocrite, but one who's made peace with that now for the most part).

Still, most of the wacky things I was exposed to were generally comprehensible idiocy. The shit in Goats is simply baffling madness, with generals believing people can learn to walk through walls and numerous long running programs training intelligence operatives to be psychic just two of the perhaps more reasonable examples.

I guess none of this is, in the end, all that surprising. But it still shocks the sensibilities and raises my ire when I put the taxpayer hat on. We can invest millions (and indeed over the years, billions) into this sort of thing but public healthcare scares people!?!?!!?

Apparently the "Goat Lab" is still in operation down at Fort Bragg, in a seemingly deserted building filled with de-bleated Billy the Kids (loose lips sink ships or more accurately, 'if a goat bleats word'll leak to the streets'). These goats are then brought into a special room where they are placed in front of men who stare back at them intently, attempting to stop their hearts with the power of thought and the evil eye.

Goats! Huh! What are they good for!?! Absolutely nothing. Good God, y'all!

If successful, these brave operatives will be humanity's only hope come the inevitable war with our goat overlords. We wouldn't want Moses cursing our lack of foresight in some distant future: "You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you all to hell! Baaaahhhh!"

I'd much prefer: "Get your stinking hooves off me, you damn dirty goat! Or I'll stop your heart with my stink eye!"

You think this merely fantasy?

Google has this year introduced upwards of one hundred goats to its 'payroll.' They're now grazing the property of their Mountain View corporate headquarters, officially as a greener alternative to lawnmowers.

Yeah, right.

Google controls access to the world's information and now is itself controlled by these crafty four-legged devils. They chew and Sergey, Larry and Eric jump. The kids are calling the shots these days and I don't mean the younger generation. Bleating will overtake Tweeting as the Social Media craze with the Google name behind it.

Perhaps the "Goat Lab" budget is money well spent after all. You just need to look at things from the (far) right angle.

Maybe the boys at the Pentagon should form a task force to befriend the Wild Things. Bring them into the fold as part of the 'coalition of the imaginary' against this growing petting zoo axis of evil. A couple hundred million to research the idea ought to start things off on the right foot.

No? Baaahhh!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Of Norse Gods and Giants and Amercian Goats and Shit

My Norwegian compadres on the Nobel committee did nether the US or Obama any favors by awarding the Peace Prize to our neophyte President, however noble their intentions (bad pun unfortunately intended).

True, he's made the world more amenable toward peace simply by not being George W. Bush and he's pretty good at it. I personally think he's mostly making the right moves, though at a much more leisurely pace than I would have liked.  Oh sure, there are a bunch of little things that bother me about what Obama's done or not done on one issue or another. There always will be until someone elects me president.  Even then, I'd find a way to find fault with some of my decisions immediately upon making them (perhaps especially then).   All in all, though, Obama's doing okay.

But the Nobel Peace Prize?

At the end of the day, Obama's the commander in chief responsible for two wars of our own making and it doesn't really matter that he inherited them. He's clearly accelerating the Afghan campaign and to my eyes not made nearly enough progress in getting us out of the muck that is Iraq.   And nothing else he's accomplished besides not being Bush has had time to bear fruit yet.  Perhaps they need a Nobel Not-Bush Prize.  Barack totally deserves that one.

And of course there are the downsides to winning a Nobel Prize for nebulous reasons: The right wing fear mongers now have more fodder for monging ("it's a vast worldwide leftist conspiracy!").  These are the people that cheered the news that we didn't get the 2016 Olympics because Obama lobbied to get it.  I imagine they'd cheer firebombing of orphanages if Obama came out against the idea.

But enough of this political claptrap - let's talk about important things, like Marge Simpson at long last making the cover of Playboy Magazine.  Alas, no Jessica Rabbit style centerfold to go along with it, but it shows that cartoon cougars can be bad too (well, not bad; just drawn that way).

I'm sitting here watching Discovery Health (naturally; what's an old fogy going to do on a Friday night?) and on comes yet another commercial by a company whose advertisements seem isolated to this channel: Home Delivery Incontinent Supplies (HDIS).   I've never seen so much as a reference to them anywhere else.  Know thy demographic.  And so they do, but I hope I won't need their services for a good long time.

I've mentioned HDIS in a prior posting, but it bears repeating for those who missed it: this company caters solely to those whose bladders and bowels are so out of control that they can't make it through the checkout line at the supermarket without leaving a trail of piss and shit in their wake.  Or maybe to those who are simply embarrassed to roll up to the "15 items or less" aisle and get yelled at by the gum popping teenager working the register for having 15 packs of Depends and a large block of cheese ("that's 16 items shit-for-brains!").   Who wants that?  Let HDIS ship your bowel and bladder control needs right to the front door!  Another bushel of butt plugs for the Petersons!

On that bright note I catch a glance at the clock: 11:20pm, time for bed.  Gotta get caught up on my reading: The Men who Stare at Goats has been teed up on my nightstand for a while and I've only gotten a few pages into it.

Goats, Shit, Piss and the Nobel Peace Prize.  Who could ask for anything more?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sister Morphine, meet my acquaintance Chalupa from down the block

I'm slightly less full of shit today. I caved and went for the all purpose Chalupa from Taco Bell, the straw that finally broke the camel's back (or, or accurately, sent this bowel camel running for the john). The massive gobs of fat and rancid secret recipe juices provided just the jolt my digestive system needed to wake it from its extended slumber. Drop The Chalupa, indeed. Gidget the Taco Bell Chihuahua died a few months back, but her beloved Chalupa is still bringing joy to millions (though God knows not in the taste buds - it was clearly designed for more medicinal uses).

To be fair, I got a lot of advice during my week long malady and it was likely the combined effects of these more 'traditional' (non Taco Bell-based) remedies that did the heavy lifting. I've never been the most regular person, despite my slavish devotion of all things Activia (damn you, Jamie Lee). But a week lost wandering in the desert is too long even for a crap camel like me; I'm glad it's over and I can re-join civilization again.

Several of you provided me with longer term dietetic and homeopathic strategies toward regulation and I plan on following them. I'll give it my best effort anyway, which admittedly doesn't count for a whole lot. Thanks much to all who passed on their wisdom.

The trick with "thinking outside the bun" is moderation. I don't run for the border that is Taco Bell all that often but when I do, I limit my selections to Meximelts and Chalupas (and no more than two each, taken orally with gallons of water).

I swear that place ought to require a doctor's prescription: it's powerful stuff that can really play havoc with your GI tract if you're not careful. Yet I see young people in there with no obvious ailments, pretending to "enjoy" the stuff cause the cool kids are doing it. It starts out with recreational "snacks" and the next thing ya know, you're strung out and locked for hours a day in the can.

Just say no. Drop the Chalupa. I heard they actually have Taco Bell locations in Mexico now. That's just so wrong. It should be a felony to operate a Taco Bell in the Southwestern US, let alone Mexico, without the appropriate DEA controls. It most certainly shouldn't be legal to sell it as food there (and what idiots would actually attempt to buy it as such when real Mexican cuisine is plentiful?) Treat it like medical marijuana.

But just as I wouldn't want the kids of our nation hooked on smack, I wouldn't want to deny somebody in agony in a hospital ICU access to morphine to dull the pain. And so it is with Taco Bell's medications.  One Chicken Chalupa with lactated ringers and D5W then transport to the restroom stat.

Monday, October 5, 2009

He was a Head of his Time

In his new book 'Frozen', author Larry Johnson alleges that employees of Alcor Life Extension Foundation regularly abused the frozen head of baseball great Ted Williams, even using it for batting practice, attempting to knock his noggin off the tuna fish cans (!) it was often mounted on. Icy decapitated humiliation for perhaps the greatest baseball player ever to strap on a pair of cleats.

That's just wrong on so many levels. Ty Cobb or Barry Bonds, yeah: knock yourself out, snowball fights all around. But not Ted Williams, for crying out loud. He was one of the good guys. Come 2195 when they thaw him out and slap a new body underfoot, his first glance in the mirror at the new Ted will be marred by a fucking Starkist tin jutting out of his frontal lobe!

Of course, there may be worries for The Splendid Splinter beyond simply a few dings in the membrane.  It seems the boys at Alcor lopped off Ted's head with something like a chain saw, the 'surgery' performed by a crew whose combined medical education consisted of high school biology 101 and a CPR correspondent's course. I imagine the procedure resembled that one scene in DePalma's 1983 Scarface remake (you know the one; if you don't, you don't want to).

Johnson was the Chief Operating Officer of Alcor for several years before turning tail to become a whistle-blower against his former colleagues. He claimed to fear for his safety after allegedly receiving threats of reprisal, penning the expose in hiding for the most part. He goes on to write that families of employees would come in regularly for photo opps with the batting champ.  They'd take Ted's head out of storage and toss it around while they took turns snapping pics, sometimes involving Williams' cranium in bazaar and 'unnatural' poses (as if there were 'natural' ones for such an occasion).

I'll certainly be picking the book up when it hits the stands this week.

Johnson's allegations are vehemently denied by Alcor, who attempted unsuccessfully to block publication of the book. I can't imagine why Johnson would fabricate such over-the-top outrages in the detail he did, for such a lengthy period of time, if there wasn't at least a kernel of truth there. Well, I can imagine why: the usual and obvious reasons of money and ego. But there has been more than enough corroboration since he first raised these concerns to tell me something's fishy in cryonics heaven.

Who really cares?  I mean really cares, beyond the ghoulish entertainment kind of caring that folks like me indulge in.  There are those cryonics believers, of course, and I would think Ted's family might have more than a passing interest.  But anyone else?

In the end, I find the whole thing supremely silly given everything else going on in the world. I'd find the whole thing supremely silly even if nothing else was going on in the world. It's a frozen hunk of inanimate matter that'll never be anything but again. Even if we have the technology to reanimate it at some distant future point in time, it's high likely by then we'll be able to transfer the thawed out neurons into a 'fresh' artificial head for him.

In the end, this is nothing more egregious than finding out people were desecrating Archie Bunker's Chair at the Smithsonian. Actually, I'd be far more disturbed to hear of chair abuse allegations (shuttering to think what some museum workers might be up to after hours when they get bored). That's real Americana you're messing with, punk! I'd be calling for congressional investigations and the whole nine yards.

But a dead baseball player's head? What can you say? Chin up, Ted!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bowels and Bras and Gas - Oh My!

Today the mind is wandering as I reflect on my porcelain friend and better days gone by.  How long has it been since we last danced cheek to cheek?  Three days?  Four? No.  Five.  Five shitty days of shitlessness.

And no, I don't need your sage advice.  I've tried it all: exercise, bushels of dried fruit, oceans of spring water, enough Activia to make Jamie Lee Curtis herself run for the can, Metamucil by the shovelful. 'Super Colon Blow'-level fiber in the diet. Roughage to the point where the contents of my stomach could be used to peel paint off your walls.


Liquid Plumber is next on my shopping list.  I'm usually full of shit on several dimensions but I try (and lately, fail) to restrict them to the metaphorical variety.  As you can see, at the moment I'm failing.

So in search of online diversion from my offline malady, I stumbled across this wonderful article on an invention that deserves more notice than it has gotten to date: the bra that converts into a functioning gas mask!  I almost shit my pants laughing.  If only.  Sigh. I wish I had one of those bras here with me now because although my bowels may be dysfunctional, it doesn't mean they aren't functioning at all (Jumping Jack Flash, it's a gas, gas, gas).  All smoke and no fire.

But I imagine you didn't tune in to listen to ruminations on my digestive woes.


But I just let fly with whatever musings come running out of my head down onto the keyboard, happy I have the runs somewhere.

What really backs my pipes up is the shitstorm deja vous going on in Congress with healthcare.  I'm sick of the whole lot of them. The Democrats couldn't get a law passed against roasting baby kittens in public parks if they had a 100% majority in both houses.

Far too often the resistance is due to a bunch of unrelated pork that slips in.  But when the resistance is due to right wing rabble-rousing or even just philosophical differences (as is the case now), why can't the Dems just say, "fuck you, we won, deal with it!"  They're not going to get any support anyway so why not pass something useful?  But nooooo, that's just not their way, the weaselly worms.

A healthcare bill of some sort will pass in the end, without any support of the Republicans and without any of the provisions that would make the legislation useful (that is, actually providing healthcare to those who cannot currently afford it). The right-wing fearmongers did a great job in dredging up a small but vocal outcry by those who live in terror that any sort of government expansion means the drum of Soviet-style communism beats not far behind.  Strangely, these same folks have no fear of the expansion of the military (in their eyes, the DOD can't grow fast enough).   They know people in the military.  They aren't government!  They're 'us'!  All said without a trace of irony.  Yo, Charlie - the government is us.

I'm a libertarian liberal (some would label that an oxymoron but I've been called worse).  That means I believe there are hundreds of government entities that should be disbanded (many, but certainly not all of them, belong to the DOD).  That said, a public option for healthcare is both innocuous and essential, in my opinion.  I'd have some respect for the Dems in congress if they disagreed with me but the fact is they don't - they just haven't had the political spine to follow through on their own convictions.

I only wish Hunter was still around to riff on all this idiocy.  Guess I'll just have to be satisfied with Maureen.

But enough focus on these swine, time to watch Washington dismantle the Rudy-less Notre Dame Drunken Irish.  Go Huskies!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Harvey Wallbanger with a side of General Tso Revolutionary Chicken and a slice of Crazy Bread

I can't wait to see the just-announced remake of Harvey, directed by Spielberg and set to star Robert Downey, Jr. as Elwood P. Dowd. I just caught the original on HBO this morning and had forgotten how much I really did love this movie growing up. HBOSE is showing classic cinema from the first half of the 20th century during the early morning hours all this week - perhaps it's a regular thing and I have just been ignorant of it (it was dumb luck that I had shut the TV off last night tuned to this channel and there it was when I flipped it on again upon waking up).

Harvey reminds me of my father.  Not because the character of Elwood is anything like him (though they do share a powerful taste for strong drink).  Elwood is a friendly loony tune whose best friend is an invisible 6 foot tall rabbit named Harvey and I don't believe my Dad had such a companion (though he likely made friends with a number of pink elephants and creepy crawly things in his day).   No, it reminds me of Dad because he enjoyed the movie so much.  I recall him getting jazzed when he saw a listing for it in the TV guide and remembered watching it on a few occasions with him.

Harvey is a sweet, whimsical story and Spielberg would seem to have the right sensibility for it (as long as he avoids the sappy side of his nature; the story has enough of that built in).  Downey also in theory should be perfect as Elwood, the lovable lush.  He didn't get all those second chances (in career, in court, in life) without having an extraordinary reserve of charm.  And Elwood sort of had a Chaplinesque quality to him that Robert knows well.

Still, remakes are in the end remakes: they're rarely anything but a dim reminder of how much better the original was. And it speaks to the dearth of original, quality stories out there that those holding the purse strings want to take a chance on.   Since they're making it regardless of my objections, let's hope this is an exception to the remake rule.

Speaking of China (well, I am now), I see they just celebrated 60 years of Mao-style Communist rule.

Why is it that totalitarian regimes always put on parades featuring missile-toting trucks and tanks, along with a shit load of goose-stepping soldiers?  It doesn't matter if they're dictatorships borne of the left (Soviets, Cuba, North Korea) or the right (Iran, Libya, 1930's Nazi Germany and Fascist 1930's Italy).

No Macy's Float, no flying Snoopy balloons, no Mickey Mouse, no Regis Philbin and Kelly Lee GiRipaford waving from the grand marshal's convertible.  Usually it's the 'el Presidente' waving from safe inside a bullet-proof vehicle with tinted windows (funny how most dictators seem to have the title of president or chairman, how corporate).  I'll give it to China: their pres was waving out in the open (riding Regis-like in a rag top).  Of course, when all the parade participants are armed to the teeth and parade watchers are way off in the the distance, you can afford to be a bit bolder.  In a novel twist, our future eastern overlords threw in a female militia packing machine guns and dressed in red miniskirts and shiny white go-go boots to entertain the throngs.

But that didn't cover the gaping hole that separates freedom from tyranny. How do you spot a democracy? Regis and Kelly Lee (+ Mickey), of course. Sans missiles.

Speaking of Glenn Beck (can I really have a post that mentions Mickey Mouse but not Glenn?), I see on his show yesterday he was playing some sort of game in which he strings various convoluted leaps of illogical lunacy together in order to link the Obamas to various shadowy corrupt individuals who are working the presidential puppet strings behind the scenes in order to line their own pockets.

According to Glenn, "they" directed the Obamas to Denmark in order to lobby for Chicago in the bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.  "They" are various commies, terrorists, liars, cheats, and outright criminals. "They" apparently include Oprah (because she really needs her pockets lined).

Glenn tied together his "think piece" by holding up a can of Copenhagen snuff.  Copenhagen, Denmark and Copenhagen tobacco - see the connection?  He then reads off the cancer warning on the side of the tin before putting up a big "may cause cancer" sticker next to Michelle and Barack Obama on the 1970's era chalkboard he was using to map this conspiracy of 'Olympic' proportions. His "map" on the chalkboard was set up as a sort of nefarious organized crime org chart - the kind you see in RICO trials, with Michael Corleone's photo on top.  Similarly, Glenn had both Barrack and Michelle looking down from on high atop this organization of evilness.

Ah, Glenn.  Just when I fear I'm not getting my recommended daily allowance of 'Coocoo for Coco Puffs', you fill me up with crazy goodness.