Thing I hate today

Wow -- she really does hate America.

The Cagen Effect on National Discourse: A Cappella Edition

An alert reader (yes I have readers!) alerted me recently to this piece on a cappella in a major newspaper of record.

When I saw that, I wanted to puke my bib, but my mouth was full of raki and ezme salata, so I held back and crapped my underoos instead. (They were my favorite FotL Spidey Classics, too!) Ouch!

Upon reading that, it became clear to me that the Times is TOTALLY in the tank for A Cappella! They didn't even TRY to interview someone for the other side of the story.

Let me tell you, I spent almost a year sharing an office with an adult (subject to verification -- but she did apparently hold a B.A.) who actively participated in A Cappella. I nearly did not survive that job!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean, hearing someone planning meetings with her A Cappella group all day long is enough to make one puke up kabob all over his keyboard. Which, believe me, I would have done had it not been for my Kwame Brown screensaver, which made me cry instead.

What I'm trying to say is, there are real world consequences for A Cappella which Mr. Rapkin doesn't delve into. Nay, he prefers, instead, to treat with sympathy the puerile purveyors of this putrid art.

What next?

"I used to feel ashamed of being that consciously rich, privileged kid at school, but then, when -- a couple of years back -- I met up with a bunch of my friends, who were all still rich and privileged and enjoying it, I felt, why be ashamed?

"While, in popular culture, humorless rich people from elite colleges are often shorthand for pompous assholes (see the Rodney Dangerfield star vehicle, Back to School), many alumni are growing more and more comfortable with outwardly expressing their privilege after a few years of remove from their college experience."

Let's face it, would A Cappella have existed were it not for elite schools that banned fraternities? Basically, the evil deed came along in answer to the question, "How are we going to get laid without exclusive, selective organizations designed to showcase our money and to throw killer parties?" (Unrelated observation: 3 Lexuses parked in the lot of the fraternity next door...)

G_d, who knows how these kids decided upon A Cappella as the solution.

Nonetheless, Rapkin's piece is clearly another indication of the triumph of Cagenism in our public sphere: Rather than allowing that kids do stupid things at college, but that, at some point, you have to suck it up and move on... we now encourage children of privilege to build careers out of quirkiness and self-indulgence, drawing upon the best of the greenhouse living of undergraduate education, while the humiliation and sordidness remains hidden under the soil.

Oops. I just barfed.

Has anybody seen my Monkey?

OK, now I'm getting seriously worried.
Alright, I've been like totally face-down in XIXth Century aesthetics for the past week, but, now, reality has begun to pierce through the creaky stores of my dust-laden study. It has come, then, to my attention, that something is seriously wrong.
ASM is gone!!!! I haven't heard from him in - like - a week!
ASM! Your bookie just called to tell me that you aren't doing that badly -- relatively speaking -- and that, should Louisville and Xavier both make the Final Four, you may be able to escape with you gaping teeth intact!

Hey y'all, if you see ASM (recent photo above), please let me know. I'm concerned he may have left the country to go into hiding. Gee, I hope he hasn't returned to France, since, when he left, he was in a spot of trouble... I guess nobody respects national service anymore! (see below)

In any case, hopefully, Monkey will just be laying low in French Guyana until the end of this March Madness!

But please, ASM, come back. There's so much happening on the comics pages that we need you to procrastinate commenting upon!


The most wonderful thing in the world

G_d bless the Washington Post!

Back from Switzerland

As you may be able to tell from the post before last, I have returned from Switzerland with some small success. Most of the negatives had been -- alas -- overexposed. But I was able to salvage a couple of items from my collection.

All, in all, however, it's been kind of a tough day... First, getting over jetlag... Then having to wake up Easter morning without Johnny Hart to remind me of my own personal responsibility in killing Jesus... or my quaint, superseded faith (see below)

It is unfortunate, however, that one brilliant Easter comic strip (2001) should outshine the work of a lifetime, such that it is now somewhat challenging to find the many many many examples of Mr. Hart's theological insights in several years of Easter, Palm Sunday, X-Mas and whenever strips. But such is the price of prolific genius!

Then, of course, there was the pain of seeing Hibbert's Hoya's get bounced from the tournament -- and by the eminently likeable Stephen Curry, too!

But then, like a miracle cure to a Hoya hangover, I was able to watch the entire Pistons-Wizards match-up this evening, and beam with pride and wonderment at how amazingly efficient the DC half-court offense has become. It's a testament to what a brilliant coach Eddie Jordan is!

But -- whew -- that long flight has really done me in... I'll have to try to throw in some more on the Wizards' victory tomorrow.

WORST bracket ever?!?!?!?!? ?? !! ?? !! ?!?

I can understand why Monkey (no, not the one pictured below -- the one to your right) refuses to show his ugly face. Not that I know where he is, or anything... I'm just assuming that wherever he may be, he's probably wearing a mask or something... or a paper bag... or something.

Anyway, how could ASM stink it up so bad on one bracket? He better have some real dirt on his bookie, or I don't think we'll ever hear from him again... (hint hint)

Message to Chris Noth

Unless you want me to show the other half of this picture, I suggest you do something to stop the release of the Sex and the City movie...


More Excuses: Lite posting

Monkey is on the lam after a one-minute phone call from his bookie.
I am on the road to Switzerland to pick up some negatives I've had stashed away for a while... Sorry, Chris, you gave me no choice.
I can't speak for ASM, but I'll be back by tomorrow.


Monkey's March Madness: The Bracket!!!!!!

Yikes! It was almost... too... late...
But the bracket is finished. BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUBLISH IT!!!!!!!
So, here are my findings, using the patented "ASM Funny Name tie-break plus Senior Guards" formula.
Starting with first round upsets
In the East:
(9) St. Joe's over (8) Oklahoma
(10) South Alabama over (7) Butler

In the South:
(9) Oregon over (8) the Runnin' Rebels
(10) St. Mary's over (7) Miami

In the West:
(9) Texas A&M over (8) BYU
(10) Arizona over (7) West Virginia
(11) Baylor over (6) Purdue

Sweet Sixteen
In the East:
UNC, Notre Dame, Louisville, Tennessee
In the Midwest:
Kansas, Vanderbilt, USC, Georgetown
In the South:
Memphis, Michigan State, Marquette, Texas
In the West:
UCLA, U-Conn., Xavier, Arizona

Elite Eight
UNC and Louisville (watch for Padgett-Hansbrough deathmatch)
Vandy and Georgetown (Hold the Mayo; Self destructs)
Memphis and Texas (Hey Mr. D.J., pon de replay)
U-Conn and Xavier (Mbah a Moute gets no Love from Hasheem Thabeet, Musket fire nips Wildcats in the Budinger)

Final Four
Louisville (In the end, it's a question of Caracter)
Georgetown (Hoya D has Commodores building "Brick House")
Texas (Tigers get "Lost" in Abrams' production)
Xavier (Musketeers' heart skips Thabeet; no Iditarod victory in Phoenix for Huskies)

And the WINNER IS...
Obviously, Hibbert!!!!!!!!! and Hoyas hook Horns 74-63!

People who love me today (Genius Edition)

My mother

Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind
Russell Crowe in A Good Year
Marion Cotillard in A Good Year
Marion Cotillard

Big Audio Dynamite

Things I hate today (semi-sleep-deprived edition)

Monkey woke me up to ask if I thought the Dawgs could score a first round upset over Xavier... then he wanted to know how far I thought Stephen Curry could take Davidson... His bracket is driving me BATTY!
So, that's when I remembered that the rigors of scholarship had prevented me from posting yesterday, so here are the things I hated yesterday -- today:

You are no longer good for the Jews!

Okay, now I'm not even talking about just Reform Judaism. This counts for secular and real Jews, too. Jews, I'm very upset with you! It seems, at times, you would rather welcome Kevin Costner into your community as a Holocaust survivor than listen to someone talking sense about 60 years of a broken Israel policy.
Why is it sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard to accept "a plurality of views" among Israelis? Does the next U.S. president have to visit the comatose body of Ariel Sharon in hopes of channeling his captive soul?
Jews, you are embarrassing me. You cannot reasonably become righteously indignant when people discuss the undue influence of the Israel lobby while at the same time you require every major candidate to pander to you by declaring their intention to run US Foreign Policy as if there were no differences between the interests of the US and Israel.
If we really are the intellectually superior chosen people, why do we demand that people treat us like we're stupid?


Ten years and only two cavities? And you're saying I should see you every six months? Why, because I'm a masochist?
I've just figured it out. If I get one cavity for every five years I don't see a dentist, it will be about 140 years before my teeth rot and fall out. Oh... make that 135 if the dentist guilts me into having my wisdom tooth pulled out. (I'm sorry, DDS, but a week of popping codeine and eating soup is my idea of a Nicholas Cage movie -- not a way of life.) For people who pretend to care a lot about teeth, they sure do like pulling them out.
Besides, anybody who watched the recent HBO movie "John Adams: The Boringest American", knows that people used to do a lot of great things without dentists!


Who asked you?
No, really -- life would be much easier if we didn't always have to worry about being eaten alive.


One more for the road

Airport blogging (Things I hate today)

Monkey is hiding in a bathroom stall, busily filling out his bracket (which he promises to share with you later). So it looks like the responsibility incumbs to me to talk about things I hate today while waiting for UA Flight 7269 to board for the ATL...

St. Patrick's Day.
Travelers who wear green hats while lugging their carry-ons through the terminal on St. Patrick's Day.
People who are about to get sloshed.
Exception: People who are about to get sloshed on raki.

The absence of specific Monin syrups in fancy restaurants. (I'm talking about you Orgeat! Where the hell were you?)
Internet surfers who only visit my site because it came up in a search for Alyssa Milano.
Not being able to tell the difference between Alyssa Milano, Teri Hatcher, and Marisa Tomei.
Italian actors who pretend they're Jewish.
The artificially inflated number of Jewish actors listed on Wikipedia.

(Somehow, I just don't believe Liev Scheiber doesn't believe in Jesus...)
Liev Scheiber's big gentile head.

People who talk crazy talk. People who talk crazy talk when they're drunk.

Salad dressing headaches.

NCAA selection committees and their mid-major dissin' cronies on sports television.

Blogging from the airport.


Eschatology of the day

2012 Baby! It's happenin' in 2012!

Scatology of the day

Does this guy look Iraqi... or why my hosts hate women

As some may already know, I am staying with some of (75%) my blog readership in Philadelphia. They lured me on the promise of cheesesteak, and all I got was a stupid bowl of pho and egg soda and spring rolls and papaya salad with jerky... plus some hot pickles and other stuff...

Anyway, they really hate women. For example, they think that there is nothing on TV, even though there is a show on CNN called On Danger's Ground, which is all about women in Iraq... but they only want to watch it in order to prove to me that Brit Naveen Andrews looks Iraqi. So far, there is not one Naveen Andrews-looking Iraqi on the program. Not even the women.

Also, they refuse to make it a theme night of "Women on Danger's Ground", finding no interest in the harrowing story of Alyssa Milano as a mob wife in Lifetime's superb original movie Wisegal!

Get me outta here!


What kind of bagel was Hibbert eating?

ESPN just announced that Hibbert obtained a season high in points (25) and grabbed 13 rebounds on the way to trouncing West Virginia in the Big East tourney seminfinal -- AFTER EATING A BAGEL yesterday! What kind of bagel was it? It must have been very good.

Lebron Bites

As I predicted, Caron Butler returned to take part in the Wizards' triumph in a nail biter over the Cavs last night! The Wizards are finally back at .500, as they should be, and look poised to make a run for the 5-spot in the East. James' 3 attempt clanged out as time ran out, and it is likely he'll be seeing Deshawn's hand in his face in his nightmares for days to come.
Who's got next? Oh... the Clippers. Bring 'em ON!



Chris Matthews claims black things come out of Pez dispensers! (And attributes winning something to it) Does this make sense at all?
Smell ya later...

More Relationship Advice for the Quirky Jerky

As we promised last week, our theme today is on the Quirky Jerky guy and literary taste. It has struck me in recent months that one reason men should fear today's woman is that it is impossible to meet a member of the opposite sex who has not read Harry Potter... Think about it. How can you compare to a boy wizard? (And I'm not talking about Andray Blatche!)

Further, how can you hold forth on the important issues of our day with the ladies who are going to take their cues from the politics of Dumbledore? No, these are indeed hard times for misunderstood males.

So next time a woman talks Harry to you, try driving her away with some of these savant allusions:
"That reminds me of this time when Holden Caufield..." After bar mitzvah, it should be illegal for a guy to find merit in Catcher in the Rye. You are a man, my son, not a weepy loser...

"I wouldn't know, I've been to busy reading Norman Rush's Mortals." Think Hemmingway attitude, with Proustian long-windedness. Ouch... Highbrow macho is guaranteed to put a damper on budding romance.

"Did you know that Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected by like hundreds of publishers before it finally got published?" (Yeah, just like my goal is to be rejected by hundreds of women who won't understand how awesome I am -- ASM, does this ring any bells? Like cowbells? Like Austrian milkmaid bells?)

"I was reading The Elementary Particles the other day, and I totally see Houellbecq's point about the dehumanizing decadence bred from the generation of '68..." While anything in French literature -- even blissful misogyny -- holds a certain cachet, insistence that one has only read Houellbecq in translation is sure to repulse any sensible woman. (At least one hopes.)

"Chuck Palahniuk" Just GROSS and boorish!

Some also-rans that just didn't make the cut:
Anything by Don Dellilo or Thomas Pynchon... Some Girls just dig pretentious jerks too much.

Proust: Either too gay or too French professorish! (And everybody knows that French professors get all the chicks!)

Charles Bukowski: Mickey Rourke; nuff said!

Knut Hamsun's Hunger: Too exotic.

Portnoy's Complaint: Some Jewish women will take a Jewish husband -- NO MATTER WHAT!

See you Tonite!

HE'S BAAAAAACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


A meditation on heroes (Part 1)

grey leftists falling
yellowed memoirs updated

green dogma beckons

An alert reader reminded me that I have given but short shrift to the Maltese general elections -- taking place over the weekend, in which tal-Partit Nazzjonalista (PN) eked out a narrow (approx. 1200) vote victory over the favored challenger Malta Labour Party (MLP) to maintain its hold of the government after 20 years in power. While the PN did end up losing about 4 seats in parliament and saw its share of the popular vote decline, the unexpected defeat led to the resignation of the MLP leader, intellectual, reformer and novelist, Dr. Alfred Sant.

While I cannot help but lament the withdrawal of Dr. Sant from the helm of the MLP, I would like to remind the folks in Hamrun that I am still accepting offers of Maltese citizenship should they feel the need for a relative outsider to steer the ship through the troubled waters of the coming years of continued opposition and internal reform.

Brooding upon the results in Malta, I thought back to the defeat of another personal hero, Lionel Jospin, back in 2002. In the next post on this subject, I will resolve what I have come to see as the "Lionel Jospin is not an old loser" paradox.

Because it's been a while...

Something to start your day out right...


Things I hate today

The mysterious way time and use have of picking apart a good pair of slippers -- the only pair of slippers one has ever loved... leaving one to tread barefoot on cold surfaces in strange -- unheimlich -- places. A man needs his slippers!

Downtown coffee shops that close at 7PM.

Client number 9

The bitter irony that my Wizards are responsible for destroying Chinatown in DC -- in the name of reviving it. Memo to Abe Pollin: Chipotle in Chinese is still Chipotle!

Bitter irony in general.

Loving Gad Elmaleh more than I hate Audrey Tautou.

Not hating Audrey Tautou all so much, but feeling pressure to reject her as evil since she nearly cancelled out Chiwetel Ejiofor's brilliant performance in Dirty Pretty Things...

Having to take sides between Baby Shambles and Dirty Pretty Things...

Not knowing whether Baby Shambles is a compound noun or a subject-verb sentence.

Syrian-Jewish playwrights.
(Memo to Syrian Jews: Iraqi Jews OWN you!)

Syrian Jewish playwrights who inject the "erudite black lesbian maid" trope into their narratives of community in order to shirk the double responsibilities of character and plot development. (Hmm... how can I make this more dramatic? ) Good fish scene, though.

Unassimilated Jews' petty revenge on assimilated Jews.

Nurturing righteous indignation under the impression that Hollywood was going to remake the greatest BBC miniseries of all time, only to learn that it's a different miniseries... so one can go ahead continuing to respect the director of The Last King of Scotland. But where does all that indignation go?

The way campaign news cycles and gubernatorial sex scandals have of distracting the media from the only story that matters: Chris Noth is still not in Hell.


Le Modem, tout le monde le veux... le DSL, not so much

Hey Segolene! Your victory in the first round of the municipals is showing!!!

Word to Francois Bayrou's (sorry, LIJ left me with this stupid keyboard that's missing all the accent markings) mother: You are not going to win anything with a name like MoDem! People are tired of waiting around. I know it's all the rage to change the name of your party in order to win elections (c.f. UMP circa 2002) but MoDem is, like, a serious faux pas! Try uploading a new name: HDTV!

Meanwhile, this may be the first round of elections ever to bear witness to a "Supermodel Backlash!" Word to Nicolas Sarkozy: Have you forgotten the immortal words of Guy Mardel?


HIBBERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Part 2)

Okay, I meant to repost earlier, but I just became enamored of dialing up this site and seeing that KICK-A** photo of Hibbert at the top of the page. Let me savor it just a little bit longer...



How AWESOME is this! Hibbert's Hoya's just opened a can o' whup'ass on the Cardinals and Pitino. (Albeit by 3 points)
Next up, same place, later time: Andray, Antawn and Antonio are gonna CONCUSS the Bobcats tonite!
That's right, Monkey and I are taking a break out of our busy book tour schedule to go see our first Wizards game in about four years. I am so excited, coffee is just calming me down.

By the way, thanks, Monkey, for holding my hair back last night.

Also by the way, free T-shirt to anyone who comes up with a plan as to how the Wizards can end up with Hibbert next season.


Eschatology of the day

Is that Samantha Power talking to a lousy Scottish journalist? Oh no! We're all going to die of raki poison!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scatology of the day


Jew and I have intended to post some crumbs today, but just haven't gotten around to it. We are on tour in our old stomping grounds of Washington, DC, over the weekend to promote our new book, Sophie Kinsella's Remember Me? (uncredited ghostwriters)

My own input has been waylaid since I have recalled that the Washington Post has a full three pages of comics, so I have had to spend the whole day trying to catch up on old favorites such as: Big Nate and Pickles.

Meanwhile, Jew is doubled over in a raki-induced stupor, whining and sobbing at the all-too-easy take-down of his one wonk crush. And, I guess, he has reason to be upset. After all, isn't Samantha Power using the term "monster" analogous to Linnaeus using the term "insect" to designate an ant?

Now, that's what I call A Problem from Hell.


Things I hate today

Hillary Clinton channeling Pervez Musharraf:

Not just the constant attempt to change the rules and the use of the rhetoric of fear and instability to obtain/maintain power...

but the pathological need to be seen surrounded by military officers reveals either an unremittingly hawkish worldview or a grim, deep-seated cynicism and insecurity.

Natalie Portman: She is potentially one of the worst actresses working in Hollywood today. Moreover, I have always felt that her acting was bad in a way that conveys blank, wretched stupidity. (Kind of like a reverse Clive Owen, whose genius appears to penetrate his acting, giving his delivery the thrust of a healthy credibility to the point that even his skin exudes intelligence.) Yet her endorsement of Clinton reveals such a profound absence of thought, that she actually becomes the ideal empty vessel with which to communicate the true message of the Clinton campaign:
A lot of the stuff people say about her, I hear it and my stomach falls because it's so sexist. You ask people why they don't like her and it's because her husband cheated on her! That was obviously not her choice. She's so much more polished and experienced than anyone else. Last night, a friend, a social worker in L.A. who works with underprivileged kids, was saying how these girls who have never been interested in politics before are so excited that a woman might be president. I mean, look how many women are in government...Hillary's one of, what, [a handful of] female senators?
Okay, I've tried, but haven't been able to find one substantive political argument for supporting Clinton there. Score one for the "Solutions" candidate!

Faux xenophobic Dunkin Donuts ads:

First, it is very likely that they are actually referring to Italian and not French, when talking about coffee size. Call me crazy, but I don't recall entering a $3+ coffee shop where the sizes are actually listed in French. If I had, I might have tipped extra just for the effort. Then, the whole complex menu plus "Deici" instead of "large" bit is just torture. I mean, Dunkin' Donuts is trying to sell frickin' LATTE (font size Deici -- in Fritalian). Either stick to your own frickin' bizness model and sell coffee, or don't bludgeon other coffee shops for selling Latte! (which is Italian)


Walking a fine line

Mr. Jew, if I may call you that, my good friend. I am alarmed by the misogynistic tenor of your recent posts. How dare you hate on Cokie Roberts but leave Tim Russert untouched by your bile!!!!! How can you hate on Sen. Clinton without also hating on... oh wait, Sen. Clinton's candidacy is actually setting back the cause of women who seek to accede to political leadership... nevermind.
But then this stuff about women not liking Rush or Billy Thorpe? What the hell's up with that? Do you really hate women that much? Has Chris Matthews eaten your brain and spit it out into Yusuf Islam's chamber pot? Speaking of which, isn't Another Cup the bestest album of the decade?
I think this must go back to your strict adherence to Leviticus. Would you agree?
And no, you may not cover your tracks by linking to some M H-L column. That doesn't cut it. I know this whole Cagen thing has clouded your vision of women -- dude, I've been there too. But you might think about listening to a few Alan Alda audiobooks. You'll try, OK? Promise?

People who love me today

Thank you, Melissa Harris-Lacewell. You're the best!

ASM! Where have you been? People are waiting for you!

The March 4 primaries and Us Magazine

On the eve of the Washington Post publishing an eloquent, well-thought-out Op-Ed by screen icon Angelina Jolie (an admitted former blood drinker) who draws upon her experience as an UNHCR ambassador in Iraq, Us Magazine releases a very peculiar issue. Certainly, it has a nice 5-page spread on Barack Obama (an admitted former drug user) asking the question: Is he really just like Us? Yet, the more interesting angle is that the week's cover story seems to undermine the essence of the interview.

On the eve of a triumphant moment that was poised to legitimize Angelina Jolie as a credible voice on U.S. (notice the difference) foreign policy, Us runs a cover story that paints aforementioned screen icon in a deeply negative light. Not only that, but the exclusive focus of the cover story is how Angelina Jolie may have wronged Jennifer Aniston -- by skipping out on a party at which she would have found herself face to face with the wronged, aspiring actress. This is something straight out of the Penn/Ickes victimology play book!

You may ask, how does this sway the March 4 primaries? Well, I am convinced that the message that Us was perniciously, insidiously sending to its extensive readership was: Nevermind that Angelina Jolie is more charismatic, that she has more clarity when it comes to world affairs, that she has done more about the Sudan, that she has done more for Katrina victims, that she's developed a body of work that -- certainly -- has its Beowulfs and its Lara Crofts, but also includes an Academy Award and what many critics have judged to be an Oscar-worthy performance in A Mighty Heart, and that she's all around a more compelling personality than Jennifer Aniston.... The success of "Team Aniston" over the past three years of recriminations and competing interviews, has been founded solely upon her dwelling on how badly she has been wronged.

Despite these common-sensical observations:
"They don't care or think about Jen," says a Jolie-Pitt pal. "Brad has moved on." Echoes another Pitt source: "They weren't thinking about Jennifer. They are over it. They have four, soon to be five, kids together!"

Us prefers to insinuate injustice:
The 48 Laws of Power author Robert Greene affirms that Jolie is possibly "being either very Machiavellian or very passive-aggressive. If Angelina is trying to get under Jen's skin -- push her buttons -- this is a clever way to do it." After all, why not just meet with Aniston and get it over with? Greene wonders if Jolie is simply keeping the power dynamic in her favor.

Thus they stoke the flames of indignation, despite the fact that other stars who were listed as hosts to the now infamous Night Before party -- such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon -- did not show up, either.

It is as if the tabloid press is troubled or angered by self-possessed, smart personalities who appear comfortable in their own skin, and willing to make a stand for what they believe in. That they would rather our hearts go out to the eternally wronged, eternally dwelling on yesterday's spats, tragic figures in our culture, so that somehow we may feel empowered by bestowing upon them our indulgence and eventual vindication.

If any narrative was at play going into yesterday's primary contests in Vermont, Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island, this was surely the most salient.

Things I hate today

Hillary Clinton
I will never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never vote for Sen. Clinton.


Quirky Jerky: LIJ's relationship advice for guys

While ASM is busy procrastinating but fierce, I thought I would share with the guys out there, a few things I have learned from my vast experience of the single life. While this may come as a surprise to those women who have long believed that us guys -- yeah, you heard right, guys -- who like to think of themselves as kinda interesting, kinda not in a relationship, kinda not looking to be in a relationship, but not gay, but okay with that; that us guys could not be "Quirky Alone" but we actually do lead satisfying lives in the absence of some stupid girl trying to tell us what to do all the time.

So -- you may call me kooky, or loopy, or liberated -- but I've come up with this new term to describe guys -- yeah, you heard right, guys -- who are not gay, but don't want to be around girls ... at least, not in any legitimating sense of the phrase "to be around." I don't want to go all manifesto and everything, but you hold me to high standards, so I must respond accordingly: Guys, it's all right to be QUIRKY JERKY.

So, you're saying to me: "What does that mean, Quirky Jerky?" Well, quite simply, it is a certain mystique that one must convey in order to drive women away, but without having them think you're gay.

For example, if you really wanted to be alone for a spell in order to catch up on the recently released episodes of Clive Owen's Chancer series, then, you might think about -- say -- growing a moustache. However, that raises the possible ambiguity: Is it a gay moustache? Or is he just kind of a loser? Now, you and I both know the truth, right? But, it's important that we challenge ourselves to not take the easy way out. It might have helped that one time at the Safeway, when you had 16 items in your basket... but you don't want that guy to ask for your number next time you're in the cheese aisle together and wondering if the Manchego is worth the twelve bucks, or should you just settle for a pasteurized Camembert... In these cases, a moustache just doesn't communicate what you need it to. Now a soul patch...

So, what are some important techniques for putting the Quirky Jerky philosophy into action? Well, in today's post, we are going to discuss ways in which you can steer a conversation about music into the depths of lameness beyond which no woman will dare to follow.

My good friend Stendhal once pointed out in a pep talk he gave me that women can really turn any male flaws into charms when under the spell of attraction. (I think he meant that the same would hold true if the genders were reversed, but I can't be certain of that interpretation, especially as I'm paraphrasing now.) Well, many men -- not myself, but people whom I have pretended to know -- would say that this equates with their observation of things. And, it must be true to an extent: an obsession with bad 80s pop would play as charming nostalgia; 70s rock as a kind of hipster irony; death rock as the sign of an interesting childhood and so on. But there must be some music that fails all of these tests; that is irreducible to irony, too horrible to enjoy, and so overtly serious that it will just scare women away without having them doubt your sexuality. There is, and it is a special type of concept rock...

The rule here is, that if it takes longer to explain than to listen to, you have won yourself some Quirky Jerky emancipation. So, whenever you're finding yourself accosted by one of these women who -- ugh -- just don't understand your need for solitude and brooding upon your own productive individuality, and the conversation gets to, "So what kind of music do you like?" My advice is to talk about any one or combination of the following albums:

Warren Zevon Excitable Boy
Rush Moving Pictures (Fly by Night is good too.)
Electric Light Orchestra Time (actually, any album will do)
Yes Close to the Edge
Billy Thorpe Children of the Sun

I am, of course, open to other suggestions.

Next week: Books for the uninteresting narcissist!


Things I hate today

Individually wrapped prunes... Man, you would think that Sunsweet is trying to crack down on prunefreaks like myself who just can't get enough of prune-bingeing (believe me, it's good stuff!). Now, who wants to waste their time unpacking a prune. I can eat a whole canister over the course of a Lifetime TV movie, and now -- with this individually wrapped nonsense -- it would probably take me a Lifetime move plus the episode of Your momma don't dance that follows to devour those little pouches of juicy, plumness.

I guess these could be useful come Halloween, though. I've always had a problem finding ways to package my prunes before giving them to trick-or-treaters.

(While I'm on the subject of Lifetime movies, tomorrow night, watch for the chick from Walkout to star in Odd Girl Out. If we can judge from her "tormented but brave and determined youth" performance in said HBO movie, OGO looks to be pretty special.)

But back on the subject of hating: Man, don't you hate executive assistants who fall in love with their bosses? Like, how tacky is that. And then, of all things, to have the nerve to show up at the office dinner party after you've been fired... and with a gun!

scatology of the day

People who love me today (and some housekeeping)

Lifetime network executives: They have blessed me today with the greatest idea in Sunday TV theme movie marathons: The Perfect Sunday. This includes a lineup of The Perfect Neighbor, The Perfect Marriage, The Perfect Wife, The Perfect Nanny, and The Perfect Assistant. Now, it is only natural for you to have some questions about such an exceptional line-up. First: For any fans of Riptide, you'll want to know when Perry King became a Lifetime repertory player. You'll probably also wonder how Perry King is different from Bruce Boxleitner. Let me be the first to tell you: I've figured this out the hard way, believe me...

For those willing to probe deeper, you will notice that these movies supposedly about perfection, are actually about the opposite: The Perfect Nanny? Not so good. The Perfect Neighbor? Yeah, like In Hell! The Perfect Wife? If you like your wives psychotic. The Perfect Marriage? For vodka-saturated Russians perhaps. The Perfect Assistant? Golly, get your own coffee!

Is this a greater statement about where we are as a society? Some people may say that that's pushing it. I say "YES!" We have decided that "Perfect" isn't good anymore. We don't like "Perfect" because we are taught from an early age that "Nobody's Perfect!" Thus necessarily, we wonder about people who are too good to be true. "They must be psychotic," they say. Well, I'll take "Perfect" anyday to today's Cagenized society, where anybody with a pen and paper can trade in cliches and posturing! Is Lifetime endorsing such a Cagenized society by putting together this Perfect lineup of movies. I don't think so. Isn't it more of a pushback against the patriarchy that has spent centuries trying to fit women into ideal roles -- which has only been enhanced in our electronic super-conductor age -- that Lifetime is trying to tell us, "Men, be careful what you ask for!"

Other people who love me today:
My mother.

The housekeeping portion of this post:
As you can see, ASM and I have resolved the technology issues we have confronted since our unfortunate rollover accident. The casual reader may now expect less casual posting from us.

Sunday Papers: Comics R Gud

Speaking of Sunday Papers: Whatever happened to Joe Jackson? Everybody seems to like that Jack Johnson fellow, now. I guess there are just 2 kinds of people in the world: Canadians and people who hate Canadians. Like, I hate Canadians, except for Bryan Adams, because he's actually Maltese, and the Maltese make good things with honey, similar to Erykah Badu...

But, as everybody knows, my least favorite Canadian (after Celine Dion) must be Lynn Johnston... and I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a certain amount of Schadenfreude in learning that her retirement plans were waylaid by a certain marriage ending dalliance that her Canadian husband had... I mean who could live for so long with a woman who has traded in Schmalz for nearly thirty years!!!!!!!! (Yes, this is a post I've been procrastinating on for, like, four months. So what?) I mean, can you imagine their dinner table conversation:
"Honey, how many gay friends did you say hello to today while cleaning up after your dog while laughing at the moral lessons our young imaginary daughter has learned by playing in a band and teaching eskimos? By the way, did you get a chance to visit your drooling father at the nursing home, while thinking about the irony of mortality and how sometimes the greatest life lessons we learn bloom like dandelions through concrete, rather than like daffodils in pastures?"

Gimme a BREAK!!!!!!

Anyway, today, Lynn obviously tried to get revenge by re-issuing an early strip in which Mr. Dentist character tries to starve an infant Elizabeth. Of course, don't worry: we all know Elizabeth turns out OK other than being brain-damaged like every other For Better or For Worse character...

In other interesting developments, Mooch -- of Mutts fame -- somehow counterintuitively uses some kind of backscartcher to pull down a vase from an armoire, when we all know that cats are capable of jumping onto armoires.

Rose continues to be Rose in "Rose is Rose." However, there is a more mystical bent to today's strip, with one of the younger character surrounded by an ominous necklace of green skulls which is never fully explained.

Opus is HILARIOUS as always. And Blondie prooves more astuste at dissecting office politics than the overrated Dilbert.

Why reform judaism sucks: Feral Children edition

Finally, we have proof that women should never become rabbis!!!!!!

Anybody who has Jewish friends and loves feral children should feel deeply implicated in the story of Misha Defonseco (if that is her real name -- and we have reason to believe that it's not). Now, how did this Belgian woman who is not Kaspar Hauser, find herself in the position to promote herself as a Jewish-holocaust-victim-raised-by-wolves? The answer -- it seems -- is REFORM JUDAISM!!!!
"The genesis of Misha is almost as bizarre as the memoir itself. Defonseca, who has lived outside Boston since the mid-'80s, first told the story of Misha at Temple Beth Torah in Holliston in 1989 or 1990. 'When Holocaust Memorial Day came around, I asked her if she would speak to the congregation,' said Rabbi Joanne Yocheved Heiligman. The memorial service involved the lighting of six candles, Heiligman said. 'She asked to light one of them for animals; I thought that was out on a limb but said, 'OK.' And everybody was very moved.'"
As you may surmise, only a woman rabbi at a frickin' reform temple would allow some crackpot looney woman to impose her phony Jewish identity on an entire congregation. (In fact, who knows if Joanne's real middle name is even "Yocheved"? Doesn't that mean "sit down" in Jewish speak? I bet Tim Russert -- mister friend of the Jewish people -- knows.) I mean, only some crazy woman rabbi who thinks that Jewish tradition is flexible and subject to interpretation would say, "Okay, no problem lighting a candle for animals... after all, we say 'he/she' for G_d, and we omit specific reference to the Egyptians during Seder."!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Clearly, without women rabbis and reform judaism, Misha Defonseca would be be at home knitting doilies for her pet dogs to wear as yarmulkes. Now, look all you Jews, I'm only gonna say this once:


By the way, I would also like to thank Mr. Eskin for linking to my favorite Website in an MSM outlet. Very much indebted to you, Mr. Eskin.