Friday, June 29, 2007

Booty Recall

Hey baby, I was eating this raw chicken and was thinking about you.
A popular snack food sold nationwide is being recalled because of concerns about contamination. All lots and sizes of Veggie Booty Snack Food are being recalled, the company said, following a report of 51 cases of salmonella poisoning that may be associated with the product.

I have nothing to add, I just came up with the headline and had to use it.

Friday Random Simpsons

Alright, let's do this thing.

1. "$pringfield (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)" -- This is a classic episode, centered around Mr. Burns' building a casino (and quickly going Howard Hughes crazy), Bart setting up a rival casino in his treehouse, and Marge succumbing to the awesome might of Gamblor and his neon claws. Tons of terrific lines here: "Smithers, I've designed a new plane. I call it the 'Spruce Goose,' and it will carry two hundred passengers from New York's Idlewild Airport to the Belgian Congo in seventeen minutes!" "I'm afraid Robert Goulet hasn't arrived yet, sir." "Very well; begin the thawing of Jim Nabors." "You made her cry. Then I cried. Then Maggie laughed -- she's such a little trooper." Pretty damn good. 9/10

2. "Lemon of Troy" -- I know a lot of people love this episode from the sixth season about the Springfield-Shelbyville fight over the town's lemon tree, but I tend to run a little hot and cold with it. It did, however, contain an exchange between Bart and Martin that led to a name for my fantasy football team: "Milhouse, you and me will be Omega Team. Todd, you and Data are Team Strike Force. Nelson, that leaves you and Martin." "Team Discovery Channel!" Plus, a classic moment where Milhous meets his doppelganger: "So this is what it feels like ... when doves cry!" 7/10

3. "Dog of Death" -- This is a third-season episode, where the family has to scrimp and save for an operation for Santa's Little Helper. Some nice bits, especially this exchange:
Smithers: People like dogs, Mr. Burns.
Burns: Nonsense, dogs are idiots. Think about it Smithers, if I came into your room and started sniffing at your crotch and slobbering all over your face, what would you say?
Smithers: Umm...if you did it, sir?
They're still finding their way here, but a solid one. 6/10

4. "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" -- A classic episode, when Lisa ... uh ... goes to Washington, to compete in a patriotic essay contest, only to have her faith in democracy shattered when she learns her congressman is corrupt. A coherent plot, with some nice lines. Since Trong won the essay contest, I'll let him have the honor here too: "When my family arrived in this country four months ago, we spoke no English and had no money in our pockets. Today, we own a nationwide chain of wheel-balancing centers. Where else but in America, or possibly Canada, could our family find such opportunity? That's why, whenever I see the Stars and Stripes, I will always be reminded of that wonderful word: flag!" U-S-A! U-S-A! 8/10

5. "There's No Disgrace Like Home" -- According to this series of tubes I'm on, this was the fourth episode of the show ever aired. It focuses directly on the family's dysfunctions, with them seeking treatment at the hands of the never-popular Dr. Marvin Monroe, which leads them to a group electroshock therapy session. The episode is fairly weak by later standards, but it is noticeable for featuring what I'd assume would be Mr. Burns' first threat to release the hounds. 4/10

6. "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken" -- The one where the town imposes a curfew for all children, and the kids respond by broadcasting all the adults' secrets. Some nice lines: "Well if kids are so innocent, why is everything bad named after them? Acting childish, kidnapping, child abuse ..." "We gotta spread this stuff around. Let's put it on the internet!" "No! We have to reach people whose opinions actually matter!" Not bad, not great. 6/10

7. "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore" -- A fairly recent episode that fuses together two completely different storylines -- one in which Patty and Selma meet Richard Dean Anderson, the actor who played MacGyver, and another in which the power plant is moved to India and Homer rules over the world of outsourced labor. I don't remember liking this one at all, and looking it over, couldn't even find a decent quote. Pfft. 2/10

8. "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" -- One from the fifth season, when Bart witnesses the Freddy Quimby incident but is unable to attest to his innocence because it would mean admitting he skipped school. Lots and lots of terrific lines here. "Please excuse my handwriting, I busted whichever hand it is I write with. Signed, Mrs. Simpson." "Why, there are no children here at the four-H club, either! Am I so out of touch...? No. No, it's the children who are wrong." "Happy birthday, Freddy! And may all your disgraces be private." "Now, it's illegal to televise court proceedings in this state, so ... [whispers] we'll have to be quiet." "I know you can read my thoughts, Bart. Just a little reminder: if I found out you cut class, your ass is mine. Yes, you heard me. I think words I would never say." "... where we'll get a free room, free food, free swimming pool, free HBO -- Ooh! 'Free Willy'!" "This is an outrage! I am not a clumsy Clouseau-esque waiter." Solid all the way through. 9/10

9. "Bonfire of the Manatees" -- A recent one, where Homer's gambling debts lead him to let Fat Tony film pornos at his house, which leads Marge to a crush on a marine biologist. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I never saw this. Anyone? N/A

10. "Barting Over" -- This was the 300th episode of the show, but a fairly lame one. Bart gets a "divorce" from his family and moves into a downtown loft apartment where Tony Hawk is his neighbor. I did see this one, but I'm still drawing a blank on anything really worth remembering. Little help? 2/10

Man, I was all over the place today. Some great stuff, and some real dreck. Have at them.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Quote of the day

Courtesy ex-ex-gay:
"God's love and forgiveness does indeed change people," said Bussee, who remains an evangelical Christian. "It changed me. It just didn't make me straight."

Mushy hearts, mushy heads

Look, the kids are all right.
Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll.

With an army of youth like this, we can accompish anything. What's that you say?
The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Belatedly Yours

I just realized we spaced on our two-year anniversary, which was this past Sunday. So, uh ... hooray for us!

A special thanks to the 88,000 visitors who presumably wound up here through a Google search gone horribly, horribly wrong.

As a token of our appreciation, feel free to get drunk and stroll through the archives.

"Poor Little Fella...."

Courtesy of Time's Swampland blog, i'm happy to pass along this anecdote that confirms my suspicion that Willard Mitt Romney is a deeply weird man.
Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.


As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.
Yeah, I'll buy "emotion-free" as the right adjective. Sure, "heartless" and "robotic" might have been better words for a man who strapped the family dog to the roof of the car and then headed onto the highway. But "emotion-free" gets there.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"Karma, Dude. Kar-ma."

Speaking of absolute babies, Ann Coulter has been busily trying to find new ways to shock us all and thereby sell her ten-minute hates books. (These days, every time I see Coulter roll out her stupid schtick, I'm reminded of this classic Onion piece.)

Take the latest. Yesterday on the Today Show, she said “if I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.” Today, she was on Hardball, and fittingly got her bony ass handed to her by Elizabeth Edwards.

Good Cop, Bad Baby

It's the second round of Will Ferrell vs. Pearl McKay, the meanest two-year-old you'll ever cross.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Darth Cheney

If you haven't read the first two installments of the Washington Post's exposé of Dick Cheney, be sure to give them a read before his hired goons shut down the paper.

Update: Olbermann had a terrific segment on the leader of our impenetrable shadow government.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Random Simpsons

As the large print above makes clear, it's time once again for the Friday Random Simpsons.

Spin the wheel, raggedy man!

1. "Blood Feud" -- The last episode of the second season, right when the show started to stretch its legs. This is the one where Mr. Burns gets a blood transfusion from Bart and, when no reward results, Homer gets furious. The show is full of terrific moments, from the opening scene where Mayor Quimby unveils the new nuclear disaster warning system -- "Core Meltdown: Repent Sins" -- to all the comedy milked out of the blood transfusion: "You know, it's funny, Smithers. I tried every tincture and poultice and tonic and patent medicine there is, and all I really needed was the blood of a young boy!" 8/10

2. "Fat Man and Little Boy" -- A fairly odd mishmash of stories, with Bart getting into the novelty t-shirt business with the Willy Wonka-esque Goose Gladwell and Homer helping Lisa out with the science fair, stealing real plutonium to make a working reactor: "Dad, we're supposed to do this without parental supervision." "Aw, sweetie. That's orphan talk!" Fair-to-middling. 5/10

3. "Pygmoelian" -- One of the rare Syzslak-centered episodes, this one features Moe getting plastic surgery after the Duff Beer calendar blocks out his pug-fugly face with stickers. Though Moe was the focal point, the best lines actually involved Duff Man: "Ew! You said if I slept with you, I wouldn't have to touch the drunk." "Duff Man says a lot of things. Oh, yeah!" And when Moe gets his revenge on him: "Duff Man! ... Can't breathe!" 6/10

4. "Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore" -- Mrs. Van Houten moves her cool son away to Capital City. Not a lot of great moments here, but there's a classic line from the deadbeat dad: "I got a court order bringing him back. The judge said I was the most pathetic person he'd ever seen in court. Pity custody! Boo-yeah!" 4/10

5. "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show" -- Framed around an April Fool's Day prank, where Bart shakes up a can of beer in a paint-store mixer and the resulting explosion sends Homer to the hospital. There's only a little original content in this one, but it's pretty solid:
Eddie: That sounded like an explosion at the old Simpson place.
Wiggum: Forget it. That's two blocks away.
Eddie: Looks like there's beer coming out of the chimney!
Wiggum: [gets out of the car] I am proceeding on foot. Call in a Code 8.
Eddie: [into radio] We need pretzels. Repeat, pretzels.
Hard to score this one though. N/A

6. "Homer's Phobia" -- An episode from the tipping point of the eighth season, when the episodes started to become more hit-or-miss. John Waters guest stars as a campy kitsch store owner -- "It's camp! ... The tragically ludicrous? The ludicrously tragic?" "Oh, yeah. Like when a clown dies" -- who helps Homer overcome his gay panic, which is played for lots of laughs. "You know me, Marge. I like my beer cold, my TV loud and my homosexuals faaaaa-laming." "There's only two kind of guys who wear those shirts: gay guys and big, fat party animals!" "They're embarrasing me. They're embarrassing America. They turned the Navy into a floating joke. They ruined all our best names like Bruce, and Lance, and Julian. Those were the toughest names we had!" Plus, the gay steel mill. "Hot stuff! Coming through!" "Where you been, Homer? The entire steel industry is gay. Eh, aerospace, too, and the railroads. And you know what else? ... Broadway." Pretty damn good. 9/10

7. "A Milhouse Divided" -- Hmm, another step in the saga of the Van Houten divorce. This is the one where they break-up at the Simpsons dinner party. Kirk starts living the sexy, single life -- "I sleep in a racing car, do you?" "No, I sleep in a big bed with my wife." -- but eventually channels all his romantic instincts into a power ballad called "Can I Borrow a Feeling?" The Van Houtens are sunk, but Homer learns from their failures and asks Marge to marry him all over again, even writing his own vows: "Do you, Marge, take Homer, in richness and in poorness -- poorness is underlined -- in impotence and in potence, in quiet solitude or blasting across the alkali flats in a jet-powered, monkey-navigated... [consults the notecards] ... and it goes on like this." 8/10

8. "Yokel Chords" -- A fairly recent one, where Bart convinces his classmates the cafeteria is haunted and Lisa winds up tutoring the slack-jawed children of local yokel Cletus. Aside from the kids' names -- Whitney, Jitney, Dubya, Incest, Krystalmeth, International Harvester, Birthday -- there's not much here. Eh. 3/10

9. "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" -- One of the less-than-thrilling "The Simpsons Go to ______!" episodes. Most of the jokes are a little flat, but it does have a nice exchange between Homer and Marge for the film nerds out there: "Come on, Homer. Japan will be fun! You liked Rashomon." "That's not how *I* remember it." 5/10

10. "The War of the Simpsons" -- Hmm, another dinner party leads to another marriage on the rocks, only this time it's Homer and Marge. To fix it, they go on a couples' retreat run by Rev. Lovejoy, but Homer's more concerned with catching the lake's legendary fish, General Sherman. "No one's ever caught him?" "Well, one fella came close. Went by the name of Homer. Seven feet tall he was, with arms like tree trunks. His eyes were like steel, cold, hard. Had a shock of hair, red like the fires of Hell." Pretty solid. 7/10

Alright, that's it. Feel free to reminisce about these episodes and criticize my wholly arbitrary rankings. And if anyone can decipher the subtitles on the John Waters image, speak up.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Here's Tom with the weather

I just realized there is a Bill Hicks album that I don't own.

Can you believe the man died at 33? Thirty three! Makes me feel kind of insignificant.

Heart Shaped Lunchbox

Kurt Cobain on a lunchbox?

I'll believe that when Sonic Youth starts selling albums at Starbucks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I laughed, I cringed

Some people just don't know how to handle rejection.
Amanda Monti, 24, flew into a rage when Geoffrey Jones, 37, rejected her advances at the end of a house party, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

She pulled off his left testicle and tried to swallow it, before spitting it out. A friend handed it back to Mr Jones saying: "That's yours."

Bloomberg Alert

In the latest development in the Bataan death march that has become the 2008 presidential race, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just switched his party registration from Republican to Independent. This is a move that's necessary for him to start gathering signatures for a presidential run as an independent, and it's being widely assumed that that's just what he's doing.

I'm not sure what to make of this. As a resident of the greater New York City metropolitan area, I personally like Bloomberg for a number of reasons -- mainly for his success in not being Rudy Guiliani -- and think he'd restore a level of competence to government after eight years of President Shortbus Clusterfuck. As a Democrat, I'm intrigued at what a former-Democrat-former-Republican-now-independent would do to the race. (Preliminary polling suggests it might help the Dems.)

But mainly, as someone who reads and watches our elite media pundits, I'm reserving my judgment until I learn more about how he smells.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"It Is Often Best to Keep the Lights Off"

If you haven't had the misfortune of reading the latest sniveling piece of crap column from Richard Cohen of the Washington Times Post, do yourself a favor and skip straight ahead to the brutal smackdown he receives from Glenn Greenwald over at Salon.

It's worth a look. This may be the worst column the supposedly-liberal Cohen has ever written -- it's a pathetic plea for mercy for poor, little treasonous Scooter Libby, one that features a fitting motto for the Bush-era press: "it is often best to keep the lights off" -- and as a result, Greenwald's rebuttal is one of his best.

The 18 and a Half Million Messages Gap

Remember when the Republicans and the mainstream media went into absolute convulsions because Al Gore called for donations to the DNC -- legally, as it turned out -- from the White House?

Remember when the House Republicans convened committee hearings to see if the Clinton administration used the White House Christmas card list to identify possible donors? Remember how they took 140 hours of testimony on that vital question?

Well, keep all that in mind when the inevitable "who cares?" comes up from the media and the Republicans over the latest mind-boggling revelations over the White House RNC email scandal. It's much, much worse than we'd previously been led to believe -- surprise!

Keith Olbermann has the goods. Stunning.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Coolest New Thing In Technology

Shockingly, it's work safe!

Watch the whole thing.

Choose Your Own Sopranos Adventure

If you've been bitching and moaning about the use of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" in the series finale of The Sopranos, the kindly people at Sterogum have something you'll love.

You can dub in samples from their archives, or submit mp3s of your own, for the final scene in the diner. From their samples, I highly recommend Spoon's "The Underdog" and the theme to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Update: If it wasn't the music that bothered you, but the ending itself, check out these seven alternates.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Happy Father's Day

For all the dads out there, here's your wish list.

Friday Random Simpsons

It's time once again for our new feature, the Friday Random Simpsons.

Um. Pretty self-explanatory.

1. "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife, and Her Homer" -- This is an episode from last fall, one revolving around Fat Tony's newfound son Michael. As much as I love the cartoon stylings of Joe Mantegna's don, this was a pretty lame episode from what I can remember. Eh. 2/10

2. "The Telltale Head" -- To impress the bullies, Bart saws off the head of the Jebidiah Springfield statue in the town square. This was an episode from 1990, an early indication of the show's potential. It includes an early classic from Chief Wiggum: "We have no witnesses, no suspects, no leads. If anyone has any information, please dial 'O' and ask for the police. That number again: 'O'." 6/10

3. "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" -- The Super Bowl episode from 1999, one that never really did much for me. Maybe it's the fact that most of the guest stars were people I despise -- Troy Aikman, Dan Marino, and Jabba the Hutt lookalike John Madden -- but, regardless, much of the episode seemed poorly written and hastily stitched together. The best part is probably the opening sequence, involving a field trip to the Post Office. There's a terrific line where Krusty dismisses a special series of stamps: "Legends of comedy, my tukhas. What has Fatty Arbuckle done that I haven't done?" 5/10

4. "She Used to Be My Girl" -- In a sign that the producers really, really knew their core audience, this episode from the sixteenth season featured Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City. She played Chloe, a TV reporter who used to be a classmate of Marge's. It ends up with a starstruck Lisa and Chloe stranded in the midst of an erupting volcano, with Lisa panicking: ""Praying to Buddha ... Jesus ... Spongebob ... there's no time to be picky!" 4/10

5. "The Old Man and the Key" -- Hoping to win back a pretty new woman at the retirement home, Grandpa Simpson winds up traveling to Branson, Missouri, to get her out of the hands of a slightly younger man. The highlights are appearances by Ray Jay Johnson, Charlie Callas, and Yakoff Smirnoff. You read that right. The highlights. 3/10

6. "Don't Fear the Roofer" -- Christ, another weak one from the sixteenth season built around a guest star. This time, it's Ray Romano as a roofer who helps fix the house after a storm. Everyone thinks he's imaginary, Homer gets committed to the asylum, blah blah blah. 2/10

7. "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" -- Finally, a good one. After Maggie bonks Homer on the head with a mallet, Marge leads a crusade against cartoon violence. With no crappy guest star in the way, this one's full of terrific quotes: "I told you! My baby beat me up! ... No, it is not the worst excuse I ever thought up." "Are cartoons too violent for children? Most people would say, 'No, of course not, what kind of stupid question is that?''' "Settle down boys and girls, or Krusty will have to bring out his old friend, Corporal Punishment again. " "Join us tomorrow, when our topic will be, 'Religion: Which is the one true faith?''" 8/10

8. "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star" -- Yet another sixteenth-season episode with a guest star. (Thrillhous, are you sure these are random?) This one featured Liam Neeson as a priest who helps introduce Bart to Catholicism. Apparently, it was never aired, because Pope John Paul II died that same week and the network thought mocking Catholics was a bad idea. Anyone seen this? N/A

9. "Radioactive Man" -- Thank God. This may be one of my favorite episodes of all time. From the campy '70s show featuring Paul Lynde as special villain "the Scoutmaster" -- BORT! POOO! NEWT! -- to the one-two punch of Ranier Wolfcastle and Milhouse van Houten, this one is pure gold. "We'll blow up our dams, destroy forests, anything! If there's a species of animal that's causing problems nosing around your camera, we'll have it wiped out!" "Our extra patients make patient extras!" "Luckily, the original Alfalfa was an orphan owned by the studio." "Lionel Hutz, your new agent, body guard, unauthorized biographer, and drug deal...uh, keeper-awayer." "I'm sorry: Crispy the Clown has been cast. But I will hire you for Angry the Crown, Silly Sailor, and Dr. Clownius." "Uh, these aren't real X-rays, are they?" "Good question! We'll check into that. OK, X-ray machine to full power, and -- action!" And, of course: "Ach! Zee goggles! Zey do nuthink!" 10/10

10. "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" -- Nice. When I first saw "The Old Man and the Key," I was hoping it was this episode. Some classic bits of Abe Simpson: "Now, my story begins in 19-dickety-two. We had to say 'dickety' 'cause that Kaiser had stolen our word 'twenty'." "I'd like to digress from my prepared remarks to discuss how I invented the terlet." "Hey, Grampa, do you thing I could've been a Flying Hellfish?" But the best line might belong to the piece of Eurotrash who comes to claim the old paintings at the end: "Hey, fun boys! Get a room!" 8/10

Well, a whole lot of crap this week, capped off by a couple classics. Discuss.

Update: As luck would have it, I just stumbled across this Homer Simpson Fill in the Blank Contest. They have ten video clips from the show, and you have to guess the right bit of Homer dialogue for each scene.

Ten clips there, ten shows here? Hmm. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.

Anyway, I scored a perfect 1000. No pressure, hotshot.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Triumph of the Insults

Conan O'Brien sent his intrepid reporter Triumph the Insult Comic Dog out to cover the Tony Awards. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ron Mexico Sings!

The shiftless drunkards over at With Leather have uncovered a stirring musical tribute to pro athlete and amateur dog-fighter Michael Vick.

No words. They should have sent a poet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Caption Contest

You know the drill.




Monday, June 11, 2007

Case Closed

Well, the effort to have a no confidence vote over Alberto Gonzales didn't come through today, but there was a stunning resolution to the Attorney General scandal all the same. Shocking.

Ouija News of the Day

Once again, the Bush administration shows that it has an ironclad command of the situation:
Maybe Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and his staff are just in denial. Or maybe they don't read the papers, thus missing the sad news that Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) died Monday, seven months after he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Whatever the case, Leavitt's office called Thomas's office late Thursday afternoon to request a meeting with the late senator. Needless to say, grief-stricken Thomas staffers were stunned.
I guess you're not dead until the Decider decides you are.


Well, it looks like all the other internet tubes are getting clogged with discussion about last night's final episode of The Sopranos, so why not here too?

What did you think? Too much? Too little?

Leave your praise, complaints and spoilers in the comments below.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday Random Simpsons

Alright, folks, it's time once again for our new weekly feature which, in case you're too cool to read the titles here, is the Friday Random Simpsons.

Spin the wheel, raggedy man!

1. "Mobile Homer" -- This is a fairly tame episode from 2005, one in which Homer decides to blow the family's savings on an RV. Marge gets mad and throws him out, the two start competing for the kids' affections, Homer invites other RVs to park in the yard, etc. etc. There are a couple nice exchanges between Marge and Homer -- "I am so sick of that story about finding an onion ring in your French fries! It was twenty years ago!" "That was my Woodstock!" -- but the rest is a lot of filler. 3/10

2. "Homer Defined" -- A nice early episode from 1991, right when the series started to hit its stride. This is the one in which Homer averts a meltdown by poking blindly at the control panel. He's first hailed as a hero, and then, when he can't duplicate the feat in Shelbyville, rejected as a lucky idiot. Lots of nice quotes. "These unfortunate people here will be instantly killed. This circle, which I am sad to say we are in, will experience a slower, considerably more painful death." "Well, sir, your point about nuclear hysteria is well-taken. This reporter promises to be more trusting and less vigilant in the future." "Bad influence, my ass! How many times have I told you? Never listen to your mother!" 9/10

3. "Grift of the Magi" -- A fairly decent episode which features Springfield Elementary getting turned over to Kid First Industries, a company that uses the students as focus groups for the development of a new toy named Funzo. Some decent gags and nice lines, though the guest spot by Gary Coleman was a little weak. "Residents are advised to stay inside unless you wear sunscreen or are very, very hairy. Experts recommend a class 9, or Robin Williams, level of hair coverage." "This is a proud day. Now when people ask if we're in compliance the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1975, I can say, we are closer than ever before!" "The ironing is delicious." 7/10

4. "King of the Hill" -- This one features Homer's quest to get in shape with PowerSauce Bars in order to climb the region's largest mountain, the Murderhorn. With Ranier Wolfcastle in the mix, there are lots of nice moments. "Our beef jerky is now nearly rectum-free!" "Now step over to the abdominator and I will shout slogans at you." "I only eat food in bar form. When you concentrate food, you unleash its awesome power, I'm told. That's why I'm compressing 5 pounds of spaghetti into one handy mouth-sized bar." 7/10

5. "Marge Gamer" -- You can't beat an anagram title, but this is an episode I haven't seen. Apparently, it aired this April and involved Marge getting into online computer gaming. Yeah. I've got nothing. N/A

6. "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder" -- This is the one where Homer sneaks out of work to go bowling with Lenny and Carl ("Are POO and ASS taken?"), giving Marge the excuse that there's been a horrible accident involving Lenny. ("Oh no! Not Lenny!!") Homer winds up bowling a perfect game, despite Lenny's miscues ("What? I paid 7.10 for this split!") Kent Brockman covers the event, noting "This could be the greatest individual achievement in the history of Springfield, which proves just how pitiful this town is." Pretty nice. 8/10

7. "Lost Our Lisa" -- A mediocre episode, in which Lisa takes the bus to the museum but gets on the wrong route and winds up lost. There are a couple good lines, including "I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there ... save me Superman!" Other than that, not much. 4/10

8. "Separate Vocations" -- In this episode from the third season, Lisa and Bart take vocational aptitude tests, only to discover that Bart's best suited to become a cop and Lisa a homemaker. Lisa rebels and steals all the teacher's editions of the textbooks, and Bart the hall monitor has to investigate. Some nice moments. "I'll be frank with you Lisa, and when I say frank, I mean, you know, devastating." "Bart, I'm not sure random locker searches are permitted by the Supreme Court." "Pfffffft. Supreme Court. What have they done for us lately?" 6/10

9. "Homer Goes To College" -- Jackpot! This is one of the best episodes they ever did, and I'm sure this crowd could spend all day trading quotes from this episode alone: "A bee bit my bottom! Now my bottom's big!" "Is 'TV Guide' a book? Son of Sniglets? Katherine Hepburn's 'Me'?" "Ugh. Reading his essay would only waste valuable seconds." "Your Bra Bomb better work, Nerdlinger!" "I am so smart! S-M-R-T!" "There are two kinds of college students: jocks and nerds. I am a jock." "We played Dungeons & Dragons for three hours! Then I was slain by an elf." "Mr. Simpson, Gary spilled his ear medicine." "Hell-oo ... that sounds like a pig fainting!" "Oh, I'm going to lose my job just 'cause I'm dangerously unqualified!" Pure gold. If you want to understand why the Simpsons writers hate the alt.obsessive.nerd "fans" who mercilessly nitpick the show, just go take a look at their inane comments and poor opinions of this episode here. Pfft. 10/10

10. "Bart's Dog Gets an F" -- An even earlier episode, one where Santa's Little Helper is sent to obedience school. "'Choke chain' is a misnomer. Trust me. They are always breathing." "Sit! I said, Sit! ... Um, take a walk. Sniff that other dog's butt." A little thin on the funny, but some nice moments. 5/10

Alright, that's all I've got. There's plenty more to talk about here, so feel free to look the episodes up -- is a good bet, despite their asinine opinions -- and add in your own favorite moments and quotes in the comments below.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

"No, No -- They're Saying Booooo-ush."

Courtesy of TPM, I'm delighted to see that John Edwards is pushing back against the inanities of Rudy Guiliani. After his speech today, he said this in response to a question about Il Dunce:
"If Mayor Giuliani believes that what President Bush has done is good, and wants to embrace it and run a campaign for the Presidency saying, 'I will give you four more years of what this president has given you,' then he’s allowed to do that. He’ll never be elected President of the United States, but he’s allowed to do that."
Beautifully played. Suck it, Rudy.

General Outrage

Yet another retired general has come out against the war in Iraq. This one's a stunner.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Stopped Clock

In a revealing slip, Roger Ailes from Fox News has admitted what the rest of us have known all along -- Fox News is just as evil and dangerous a threat to America as Al Qaeda.

Caption Contest

Time for another caption contest.

As always, this is stolen from Dependable Renegade. And she already made the Dick Cheney joke, so work another angle.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Go Cheney Yourself

In the latest development in the U.S. Attorney purge scandal, the Senate committee today heard testimony from Bradley Schlozman. If you've been following the scandal, you'll remember that Schlozman was one of the chief figures involved in suppressing minority voting.

But, as the video from today's testimony reveals, he's also apparently a twelve-year-old girl trapped in the body of a middle-aged dentist. Seriously, give it a listen. Between this eunuch and his fellow soprano Kyle Sampson, I'm seriously wondering if there was a policy in place at the DOJ that called for all male aides to be ceremonially castrated. If Monica Goodling was enough of a prude to cover the bare breasts on a statue of Justice, maybe she demanded that all the menfolk have their naughty bits removed as well.

Anyway, Schlozman's testimony was not just high-pitched, but high on fireworks. If you're interested, the fine people over at TPM have a nice segment of Sen. Pat Leahy efficiently ripping him a new asshole. Enjoy.

Fear Itself

Keith Olbermann had a fantastic segment the other night, a retrospective of all the times the Bush administration has raised the terror alert level or revealed a supposed terrorist plot.

Shockingly, these incidents of fear-mongering always seem to be false alarms and, in a stunning coincidence, always seem to occur right when the administration wants to distract the public from bad news in the media. Unless you're in the zombie base that still thinks Bush is doing a heckuva job, the idea that he's politicized homeland security is certainly nothing new. But seeing all the incidents linked together is pretty amazing.

Crooks & Liars has the clip. Definitely worth the look.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Suck it, Kobayashi.
His record was smashed yesterday when Joey "Jaws" Chestnut consumed a whopping 59 1/2 hot dogs in 12 minutes during the Southwest Regional qualifier for the Nathan's Contest in Arizona.

They will go tubesteak a tubesteak on July 4 at Nathan's Hot Dogs in Coney Island. This is our Independence Day!

I can't tell you how badly America needs this lift right now. America has needed a new breed of hero ever since Rocky's reversals of fortune.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Caption Contest

I'm ashamed we waited this long to use this picture in a caption contest, but the Joementum ain't what she used to be.

Have at him.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy!

Matt Tiabbi has a piece on Rudy Giuliani in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. It's hard to tell how he feels about him:
Rudy Giuliani is a true American hero, and we know this because he does all the things we expect of heroes these days -- like make $16 million a year, and lobby for Hugo Chávez and Rupert Murdoch, and promote wars without ever having served in the military, and hire a lawyer to call his second wife a "stuck pig," and organize absurd, grandstanding pogroms against minor foreign artists, and generally drift through life being a shameless opportunist with an outsize ego who doesn't even bother to conceal the fact that he's had a hard-on for the presidency since he was in diapers. In the media age, we can't have a hero humble enough to actually be one; what is needed is a tireless scoundrel, a cad willing to pose all day long for photos, who'll accept $100,000 to talk about heroism for an hour, who has the balls to take a $2.7 million advance to write a book about himself called Leadership. That's Rudy Giuliani. Our hero.
He's just getting started there, and headed to a conclusion that judges Guiliani to be "worse than Bush." Read the rest.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Support the Troops

If you're not familiar with the name Adam Kokesh, you should be. In fact, the odds are good that you've probably seen him. He's a former Marine and an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He recently had a memorable moment during Alzheimer Gonzales's congressional testimony, where Kokesh kept a running tally of Gonzo's pathetic "I Don't Recall" routine.

Well, Kokesh is in the news again, stemming from a protest he and a few others staged at the Senate building. Here's a small sample from his story:
The Reverend said his prayer, and all the while the police were warning us that, “what you are doing constitutes a political protest and you are subject to arrest.” I had been under the impression that political protest was constitutionally protected, but then we are talking about a Senate building here. Kevin Zeese of Voters for Peace yelled, “Respect the funeral!” and was arrested immediately. I stood up. The Reverend did an about-face, took three steps, and did another about-face. At that point, I had done what I had come to do, and would have done an about-face and walked away, but we were still inside this perimeter of cops. Then we both stood at the Position of Attention facing each other, and he was arrested. Then one of the cops asked me if there was someone there that I wanted to give the flag to, because I was being arrested. I ignored him and just stood still. Then someone (I kept my eyes locked forward) pulled the flag out of my hands and I dropped them to my sides in the standard Position of Attention. Then I was flex-cuffed and led out the front door to a waiting paddy wagon van.
I put the particularly galling part in bold here for a reason. Does anyone know when "political protest" became an arrestable offense? I seem to recall something in the Constitution allowing us to do that sort of thing, but I guess it might have been erased by the brain-dead Monica Goodling fuckwits at the Justice Department as part of Patriot Act XXIII or something.

Anyway, as galling as the reason for Kokesh's arrest is, the repercussions are even worse. Kokesh was granted an honorable discharge from the Marines when he left the service, but now they're going to try to retroactively change that from honorable to dishonorable, because Kokesh wore parts of his old camo uniform, with all the insignia removed, during the protest. Unfuckingbelievable.

If this pisses you off as much as it does me, IVAW has a handy list of things you can do to help out. This guy has put himself on the line twice -- first during combat and now after it -- and it's time he gets a little support from the rest of us.

You know, other than the SUV stickers and the nice handcuffs we gave him.

Update: As noted at TPM, the leader of Veterans of Foreign Wars -- an arch-traditionalist, bedrock-conservative veterans organization -- is now telling the Marines to back off this witch hunt. I'm sure they don't agree with the politics behind these Marines' protest, but it's nice to see them standing strong behind their right to do so.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Random Simpsons

As both of our regular readers will recall, last week I was out of town on a fact-finding mission and asked Thrillhous to take over the reins for the Friday Random Ten.

Never one to stand by tradition or his man, Thrillhous shook things up and launched a brand new feature which we're calling the Friday Random Simpsons. Frankly, after two years of iPod shuffling, I've maxed out my interest in the FRT, and will happily let other bloggers take charge of that duty. From now on, it'll be Simpsonsapalooza here.

Let's do this thing.

1. "Treehouse of Horror XII" -- The Halloween episodes are often classics, but this one from the unlucky thirteenth season wasn't that great. The three stories were "Hex and the City," where a gypsy curses Homer and he has to get a leprechaun to lift it; "House of Whacks," where the family gets an automated home with the voice of Pierce Brosnan and the attitude of Charles Manson; and "Wiz Kids," a spoof of the Harry Potter franchise. Eh. 3/10

2. "Brother from the Same Planet" -- Alright, now this is a classic episode. The main plot involves Bart and Homer each manipulating the Bigger Brother program ("What's your reason for volunteering?" "Uh, revenge?"), but the subplot is a nice story about Lisa's addiction to the Corey Hotline ("Here are some other words that rhyme with Corey..."). This episode is full of terrific quotes: "Look, we could spend all day arguing about who forgot to pick up who...." "It's pronounced learn'd, Pepsi." "Bart, I could kiss you, if the Bigger Brothers hadn't made me sign a form promising not to." "Marge, when kids these days say 'bad', they mean 'good'. And to 'shake your booty' means to wiggle one's butt. Permit me to demonstrate." One of their best. 10/10

3. "Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play" -- I didn't even remember this one until I read the synopsis. It's from last season, an episode in which Marge and Homer try to patch things up between a ballplayer for the Springfield Isotopes and his trampy singer wife, voiced by Mandy Moore. There's one classic Moe line -- "Hey Buck! How does it feel that your wife is turning on a creep like me? Weird, I bet. Heh heh" -- but that's about it. 1/10

4. "Cape Feare" -- I'm sensing a pattern here, as we swing back to a classic episode featuring Sideshow Bob. It's crammed full of classic quotes: "Ja? Maybe you are all ho-mo-sexuals!" "Roman numeral three: surprise boy in bed... [sips his tea] ...and, er, disembowel him! No, I don't like that 'bowel' in there. [erases it] Gut him! Ah, le
mot juste
." "Oh, no one who speaks German could be an evil man!" "Hello, Mr. Thompson. ... I think he's talking to you." "It's a good thing you drifted by this brothel." I hate to become Paul Abdul here, but this is another perfect one. 10/10

5. "Bart Has Two Mommies" -- Aaaaand, we're back. Another fairly mediocre episode from last season, one in which Marge teaches Rod and Todd Flanders to be a little more adventurous. There are a couple decent Ned Flanders lines -- "Hey, Marge, I don't, I don't really want a computer. Y'know, all those complete strangers Googling each other makes my flesh crawl" -- but not much more. 3/10

6. "The Otto Show" -- Yes, this came up on the randomizer. This is an old one, from the third season, in which Otto winds up living in the Simpsons' garage. It contains most of the Otto quotes in my profile, including "I stand on my record. Fifteen crashes and not a single fatality!" and "You got anything from the vampire's point of view?" and, of course, "I've never been called an adult before, but I've been tried as one." It also features one of the few worthwhile guest star appearances, by the boys in Spïnäl Täp, and Bart's dream of becoming a rock star. I'm biased, given my namesake's centrality to the episode, but this is a keeper. 8/11

7. "Mother Simpson" -- Alright, two good ones in a row. This one focuses on the return of Homer's long-lost mother, complete with a lot of nice flashbacks to the '60s, when she disappeared. Lots of nice moments there, including the comparisons of Unitas and Namath's haircuts, Mr. Burns and his biological warfare, an asthmatic Clancy Wiggum and a young reporter named Kenny Brockelstein. Plus, a classic Homerism: "Do I know what rhetorical means?" Nicely done. 8/10

8. "I Am Furious Yellow" -- A fairly recent episode in which Bart turns Homer into a comic strip called "Angry Dad." There are some nice lines in the scenes where we see the world making Homer so angry -- the TV canceling his favorite show for "The Boring World of Niels Bohr," the Flanders singing "God Said to Noah," and his transformation into the Hulk -- as well as a great cameo by Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, whose mind is said to be no longer in "mint condition." 5/10

9. "Secrets Of A Successful Marriage" -- This one starts with Homer getting called slow at a poker game ("Something said ... not good ... ") and Marge telling him to take adult education classes to improve his mind. (Homer: Oh, and how is "education" supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and I forgot how to drive? Marge: That's because you were drunk! Homer: And how!) Homer winds up teaching a course on marriage, which leads to his marital secrets and others' coming out, and then Homer living in the treehouse. As a bonus, it features my favorite line from the Squeaky-Voiced Teen: "Wait! I need closure on that anecdote!" Very nice. 7/10

10. "Lisa's Substitute" -- A classic episode, where Miss Hoover gets lyme disease and is replaced by a substitute teacher named Mr. Bergstrom. The character clearly sounded like Dustin Hoffman, but for some reason Hoffman had it put into his contract that his name couldn't be used on the episode or in the promotional tools, and they listed the voice of the kindly Jewish teacher as "Sam Etic" instead. (I guess "Jewy McJew" was too obvious.) The main plot is solid and actually very sweet, but the side one about Bart and Martin running for class president is chocked full of funny as well. ("Well I say that's not enough. We demand more asbestos!") 9/10

Alright, that's all I've got. There's plenty more to talk about here, so feel free to look the episodes up -- is a good bet, if you can handle the alt.nerd.obsessive vibe they have going over there -- and add in your own favorite moments and quotes in the comments below.