Saturday, January 21, 2006

The West Coast Response to "Lazy Sunday"

"Lazy Monday" is the L.A. answer to the Narnia rap from SNL that everyone (even 7- and 9-year olds) seems to be into.

It is hilarious, check it out. Though in the interest of full disclosure I should say that it co-stars Mark Feuerstein, a friend of mine. I only hope for his sake the East Coast/West Coast rivalry doesn't erupt into gunfire.

You Know How Much I Love Dogs...

...but this is the first time I've ever wished I were one.

Finally My Home Theater Goes Where I Do

Okay, this is really cool. I've told you before about Sony's LocationFree TV, a television with a base station you set up at home, then you carry the TV with you and watch your home entertainment via broadband.

Well, this is even better, because I don't want to carry a TV. But I do carry a PSP. And now they make LocationFree for the PSP. Just use the wi-fi on your PSP (it also includes software for the PC) anywhere there's a signal, and you're watching TV, DVR, or a DVD from home on your PSP's widescreen.

That can be in a hotel or a Starbucks, or in the growing number of cities with free wi-fi (like downtown Burbank). It's also probably great for when you want to head for bed with just fifteen minutes left on that movie or TV show that's playing in the living room. Just put the PSP on the bathroom counter and watch while you brush your teeth. If this works as promised, it's my newest, bestest friend.

The Asshole Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

By now you probably heard that George Clooney made fun of lobbyist/soultaker and Boris Badenov dress-alike Jack Abramoff at the Golden Globes.

What you might not have heard is that Abramoff's father, Frank Abramoff, who did such a sensational job instilling values in his sonny boy, fired off a letter to Variety in outrage. Outrage, I tell you! (As Variety points out, of course, George doesn't actually work for them, so Abramoff, Sr. is apparently a bad father and a dumbshit.)

Abramoff the Elder says that George's words were "deeply hurtful to many innocent and decent people."

Let me repeat that:

Jack Abramoff's father feels that George Clooney was "deeply hurtful to many innocent and decent people."

I wonder how Frank Abramoff feels about keeping women as slaves in Saipan and forcing them to have abortions, as Jack Abramoff and Tom Delay helped do? Would that be considered "deeply hurtful to many innocent and decent people"?

I can only hope Frank will put his crayon to paper once more, and write a book on how to raise a fine, upstanding young man like Jack. I hope if I have a son, he can bribe and steal and cheat and lie and enslave and be indicted someday, too... instead of being talented and honored and awarded and raising millions for charity like that bastard Clooney!

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Pong Clock

It's pricey but it's cool: the Pong Clock (via Gizmodo) is now available for pre-order for somewhere north of $200. The score is the time; as the website points out, the player on the left sucks.

Scared Yet?

So if you paid close attention to the news yesterday or today, you probably heard about the dispute between Google and the Justice Department.

If you haven't, the Bush Administration, having successfully won the War on Terror -- phew! -- is turning its attention to the War on Internet Pornography. I have to admit, this is a War I was not familiar with, and one I certainly would not have voted for, but apparently we've already committed our troops to fighting it.

Anyway, Justice asked Google, MSN, Yahoo, and AOL to turn over every search conducted on their sites during a particular week.

Once again: Every search conducted during a week.

Only Google refused. Search with Google from now on.

The Justice Department maintains the request is legit because the searchers' identities are not included in the request.

Yes, this time.

Besides, I don't know about you, but I search for the names of friends of mine all the time. I search for my own name sometimes.

I sure hope no one ever searched for my name! I really hope no one searched for my name and "sex with children"! Or even worse: my name, "sex with children" and "Al Qaeda"!

But I guess here's the big question: According to figures quoted in the Washington Post, 25% of active U.S. Internet users visited an adult Web site in December, and Americans spent $2.5 billion on adult entertainment last year.

Not since Prohibition has the government declared such a potentially unpopular war. And at a time when we can scarcely afford to divide our focus.

Forget the raping of our privacy. Could we maybe pause and ask for a show of hands: Who wants important Justice Department resources diverted from chasing terrorists for this?

How to Add an Extra Audio Jack to Your Treo

Jose at Treo 650 Tips, Tricks and Hacks is a madman, a genius, or probably both, because he has figured out a way to put a 3.5 audio jack in the middle of the antenna of a Treo. And while his patent is pending, he will show you how to do it, sell you one, or install yours for you. Please don't rip him off and steal the millions his genius entitles him to. If you own a Treo, you know how irksome it is to have to use an adapter to plug in a set of headphones. And while you're at his blog, check out his other clever workarounds.

Quote of the Week

"This is a war against secret enemies that may not end. Don't we
need secret powers that have no limit?"

Stephen Colbert to Carl Bernstein,
The Colbert Report, 1/10/06

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sydney Bristow Wishes She Had This turns your cell phone into a scanner. Take a picture of a document or whiteboard, email it to Scanr, and they'll email it back to you as a scanned PDF. So if your boss is mean to you, just head for his or her filing cabinet with your Treo in hand. Whether you wear a red wig and there is a driving techno beat is entirely up to you.

Degrees of Scumbaggery

You can't turn on your TV here in California without seeing an ad depicting cigarette manufacturers as sadists or criminals or worse.

Yet, somehow, I never see any ads depicting handgun manufacturers the same way. I'd rather be a victim of secondhand smoke than secondhand bullets, wouldn't you?

I've said it before and I will say it again, and I will say it to anyone who'll listen:

There is no reason for any law-abiding citizen to own a handgun.

They're not for hunting, right? I mean, even those who are sick enough to consider killing an animal "sport" aren't twisted enough to walk up to a deer, pull out a handgun and say, "Hey, Bambi, say hello to my little friend."

If you are not in the police or army or some other well-regulated militia, handguns have one purpose: crime. They're sensational for crime.

Handguns are, by their nature, designed to be concealed. Law-abiding citizens do not conceal weapons.

If you are the kind of person who wants to protect your home by keeping a gun in the house -- in other words, an idiot who wants to guarantee that the next "who gets the last pork chop" argument turns deadly -- then you should want the biggest, scariest gun in the world. You should want a giant shotgun or rifle, so that when a prowler comes in your home you can come down the stairs with your big giant gun and scare him into submission. Why keep secrets at that point? Why walk in appearing not to have a gun... and then whip one out? To see the priceless look on the prowler's face?

But back to the evil businessmen. If you are in the business of making guns that won't hold fingerprints and won't set off metal detectors and can be loaded with cop-killer bullets that can't be traced, I think you're probably a worse guy than the one who designed Joe Camel.

The Toilet Snorkel

From comes this actual patent for the Toilet Snorkel, a device to help you find breathable air during a high-rise fire. This proves that there really are some fates worse than death.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Medical Miracle? Sure, But Let's Not Lose Sight of Priorities

Remember that woman in France who received the first-ever face transplant? And how it miraculously gave her a new lease on life, replacing her mangled nose, chin and lips with one from a corpse, that her body somehow has not rejected?

Well, her doctors just revealed she's smoking.

Yeah, well, I guess she really missed it, so she's smoking again, and the doctors, according to news reports, say it could raise the risk of rejection by inhibiting circulation. But hey, c'est la vie!

Rochell D. Thomas and Her Time Machine

Okay, so I'm very confused.

As far as I know, tonight is the premiere of Fox's Skating With Celebrities, a show I really don't care about, despite the presence of Kristy Swanson.

Every week, when I get the new TV Guide, the first thing I turn to is Rochell D. Thomas' column "Is It Just Me?" because usually it is just her. It's fairly worthless, and amusingly so.

But today, when TV Guide arrived, one of her questions was, "Are the Skating With Celebrities judges blind?" She goes on to complain about who skated well and who skated badly and how the judges scored them and so on.


Did this show air already and I don't know, which is entirely possible? Or did she get an advance tape of the show that will air tonight, and like an idiot she ran the results in her column?

And if she isn't smart enough to know the show hasn't aired yet, shouldn't TV Guide know when the show airs? They are, after all, TV Guide. They kinda have an inside track on when things air, don't they?

And by the way, Skating With Celebrities is the ad on the back cover.

"Here Comes the Bus! Here Comes the Bus!"

Reading the news that Rosie O'Donnell is talking about exhuming Rosie magazine reminded me of that deliciously awful TV movie, Riding the Bus With My Sister, where she played a woman who was, it is important to note, developmentally disabled... not "retarded."

That reminded me of, her blog, which is, it is important to note, retarded... not "developmentally disabled."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

And Now a Word From Chopped Liver

I don't want to give anything away unnecessarily, so I won't name the show, but on a certain TV drama this week a hostage was about to be shot in the head, and said, "Please... I have a wife."

You see this all the time, on TV and in movies. Hostages, pleading for their lives, by saying, "Please... I have a wife." Or, "Please, I have children."

Hey. I don't have a wife or children.

So if I were a hostage, too, what is this guy saying? They should let him live and kill me instead??

And everyone would be fine with that?

Thanks a whole fucking lot.

Lately I've started to realize that my life might be worth a lot less than everyone else's... and it's not just because I didn't have the foresight to get married and impregnate someone in order to avoid a bullet in the head down the line.

Remember that guy who went a little nutty at the airport in Miami (allegedly)? And was shot dead (allegedly)? I heard one of his neighbors on TV expressing surprise that such an awful thing happened to him. After all, she said, he volunteered at the local church.

I don't volunteer at the local church! I don't volunteer at the local anything!

If I got shot, what would my neighbors say? "He had it coming. Unmarried, childless, non-volunteering prick. Better him than a real American."

Well, I hasten to add that it's real, childless Americans like me who pay a fortune into the tax system while drawing very little out of it that keep the whole phony business afloat. So all of you should really be kissing our asses, thank you very much.

So the next time terrorists have a bunch of us rounded up, it wouldn't kill one of you to jump up in my place and say, "Take me! I have children!" Well, I mean, yeah, it would kill you... that's kinda the point. But you get my meaning.

Worst. Song. Ever.

Josh Horowitz of Better Than Fudge is made of stronger stuff than I. He actually paid close enough attention to that excruciating Golden Globes opening song last night to transcribe the lyrics. Read at your own peril, then thank him for his invaluable and selfless service.

Virgins? Getting Married? Like to Share? Have I Got an Opportunity For You!

Broadcasting & Cable spotted a casting notice on Craigslist seeking engaged virgins for an upcoming reality show about people saving themselves for marriage. "You must be willing to talk openly on camera both pre- and post-wedding day." Well, duh.

A Golden Globes Cheer & Jeer

I'm going to take a leaf from TV Guide and give a Cheer and a Jeer -- as lame as that shorthand is -- to the Golden Globes.

A Cheer to honoring Steve Carell over the heavily-favored Jason Lee... who seemed to spend the rest of the night sulking. I think Jason Lee is very talented, and My Name is Earl is a funny show... but even its most ardent fans have to admit there is, shall we say, a wide gap in "degree of difficulty" between the role of Earl Hickey and that of Michael Scott on The Office.

I'm not saying any schmo off the street can play Earl as well as Jason Lee does. Clearly that's insane. I'm just saying that any actor will tell you what Steve Carell does on The Office is virtuoso and complex work, and we're lucky to have a chance to see him do it every week. I'm glad he was rewarded.

Now the Jeer: Is there a single human on Earth who actually enjoys the song that opens the Golden Globes every year? I mean, sure, it's unintentionally hilarious, in a jaw-dropping way, but you always figure someone will wise up and this will be the last year they do it. But no... every year they come back with an even worse one!

Monday, January 16, 2006

I'm So Glad 24 is Back

It's so awesome. And now American Idol, too?

Don't try to make it up to me for Arrested Development, Fox! It won't work!

"Why Do We All Feel So Happy Here?"

Okay, so as anyone who reads this blog knows, I love the Huffington Post. I think the site does amazing reporting, and is an important part of your media diet.

But there is an interview this morning with the co-owner of the Urth Caffe chain that is the most unintentionally hilarious journalistic tongue bath ever. It is not so much an interview as like one of those full-page ads for a dentist or a realtor or a salon or a chiropractor in Valley or Brentwood magazines that is supposed to look like a news article.

Nothing against Urth Caffe, which is very nice. But this is about the article itself... Well, I'll let the writer set the scene:

I had to find out more about this "petit je ne se quoi" so I met with co-owner Shallom Berkman on a misty afternoon recently at the seaside Urth Caffe in Santa Monica. As the interview begins, Shallom is pouring us delicate Taiwaiinese Oolong tea. Its warmth and perfume unfold upon violin music wafting luxuriously in the background of the restaurant.

Karen: Shallom, something works here. Why do we all feel so happy here? What keeps us coming back for more?

By the way, as I was reading this, I was pouring a delicate Diieet Peepsii as the sound of my own wretching wafted in the background.

(Also, you will not believe how often that phrase petit je ne se quoi pops up in this piece. Someone got a "Learn French in the Car" tape for Christmas!)

The article was written by Karen Michelle Powell, whose bio reads as follows:

Karen Michelle Powell is a writer and a mom in an incredible family of five. She moved to LA from El Paso, Texas in 2002. She loves conscious people, seeing the world, her animals, and drinking good coffee.

How did the conscious coffee mom from El Paso rate an invitation to blog on the Huffington Post?! How do I get one of those?? Maybe her family is actually The Incredibles!

Not to give away the ending, but aw, what the hell, I'll give away the ending:

Shallom: We take our time. We go in and give to the farmers what we can and we learn from them, too. This is part of the "petit je ne se quoi" of Urth.

Karen: That's it! That's the "little I don't know what"--You use standards that benefit everyone involved to provide us pleasure and excellent service, so we actually feel good about being pampered. Thank you, Shallom Berkman.

No... Thank you, Karen Michelle Powell! Not just for solving the mystery of where you picked up the petit French phrase which you now ladle over your prose like hollandaise sauce, but for giving us the funniest blogvertorial of this young year.

Brent Bozell "Swift Boating" John Murtha

I've previously written that Congress should tell Brent Bozell to go fuck himself, but that was on the basis of his phony campaign to "clean up" TV. Now I think the entire nation should tell him to go fuck himself, now that he's doing a Swift Boat-style smear of real-life American hero John Murtha.

His "Cybercast News Service," which is as credible and well-respected as my newly-established "My Refrigerator Door Magnets News Service," has "reported" that Murtha didn't earn his two Purple Hearts. If Bozell has a heroic military record -- or any military record at all -- I apologize for not being familiar with it.

Oh, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Cybercast News Service? In his day job he's on the payroll of -- wait for it -- the Republican National Committee! Read more in Whatever Already (via Crooks & Liars).

And the Huffington Post (via Daily Kos) reports what we all already know: this started in the White House, not with Bozell, who's just an opportunistic puppet like all the rest of them.

But as Media Matters reported, this Bozell douchebag made twisted and blatantly untrue statements about Rep. Murtha back in November, and yet still persists in wagging his finger at the rest of us and telling us we're not living up to his high moral code.

Bozell keeps harping on (and profiting off of) the idea that most Americans are starving for a return to morality in their entertainment. Most of the American public knows their morality is not linked to their entertainment at all, or they wouldn't be lapping up Hostel and C.S.I. and Desperate Housewives.

Most Americans know morality isn't about the entertainment you consume, it's about the life you lead. And they know it's immoral to lie about a man who served our country with honor, to serve as head of a seemingly endless string of "foundations" all designed to further the ends of the White House, while bilking the gullible out of their Social Security checks.

Those on the right wing, for some reason I can't fathom, think sex trumps lies. I completely disagree.

Quick morality quiz: You're at the beach, and you're going swimming. Who do you trust to hold your car keys and wallet while you're gone: Brent Bozell, or Warren Beatty?

Jesus, I'd trust Paris Hilton long before I'd trust Brent Bozell with my wallet.