Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jimmy Fallon Makes Me Laugh, Both Accidentally and On Purpose

First is Jimmy asking if we can help Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert "squash their beef" (!) And yes, I do have a junior high school mentality.

And below that, the very, very funny "Let Us Play With Your Look" co-starring Will Ferrell. I warn you, though, the song is a total Ceti eel (or "earworm" as Stephen King calls them).

Later in that same episode, by the way, Kyra Sedgwick's segment (and Will Ferrell's participation) was a reminder of how great talk shows can be when guests move down the couch instead of fleeing after their plug is done.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Aretha Franklin: Nessun Dorma (1998)

I was telling a friend about this, one of the most exciting performances I've ever seen on TV, and decided what the heck, I'll post it here. Along with, of course, the thrilling (and final) performance by Pavarotti himself. Enjoy.

Amazing: A Great Bluetooth Speakerphone

I have tried every bluetooth implement known to man. Even the ones that everyone else loves, best among them the Samsung, Jawbone and BlueAnt. And they're all fine, up to a point. Some easier to keep paired than others, some more comfortable than others, some louder than others, some better voice quality than others. All have drawbacks that, for me, offset any advantages.

The Contour SurfaceSound Compact Bluetooth Speakerphone is different. Pairing it is a painless process, and it's a slim unit that clips to the visor in your car. That's it, you're set. The mic arm folds up to power the unit off. If the phone rings, swing the arm down and the unit automatically connects with your phone and answers. And the speaker is fantastically, wonderfully loud (unlike, say, the iPhone's built-in speakerphone). You'd think the mic being so near the speaker would result in echo, but the cancellation works perfectly.

It charges with a proprietary cable, which is irksome... but it's a USB cable, which is always nice, since you can use your laptop when an outlet isn't handy. At a street price of $59.99, it's priced in the high end for this category, but even at that price it's still cheaper than all the $20 and $30 headsets and speakers sitting in my drawer. In fact, it's so good that when I get out of the car I bring it inside and clip it to a lamp in my office.

If you decide to buy it, it would be great if you use the link below. As with all Amazon purchases you launch from this blog, my cut goes to the Humane Society and the ASPCA.

Scarborough Gets Reamed by The Daily Show, Then Begs For More

Last week:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Corporate SynerJoe
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview

Then, last night:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Morning Joe's Sarcastic Starbucks Sponsorship
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview

Colbert in Iraq: Head Shaved by Order of the President

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Obama Orders Stephen's Haircut - Ray Odierno
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorIraq

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Dr. John "Iko Iko"

Once and For All, Can We Please Admit Ronald Reagan Was Not Funny?

Chris Matthews, among many others, STILL quotes Ronald Reagan's "jokes"... especially "There you go again." Even today, it's still invoked on cable news as some sort of high watermark of political wit. Sarah Palin even clumsily quoted the line in a vice presidential debate, interrupting the flow of her clumsily saying everything else.

Unlike Sarah Palin, however, "There you go again" is not a joke. Not by any definition. Has no actual joke structure or even content. Worse, it's not funny. Never was. If anything, it's just a cheap way to belittle what your opponent just said without having to refute it. Kind of the definition of being a douchebag.

It seems even more so when you watch the actual clip and see what Reagan was responding to. President Carter was pointing out that Reagan began his political career campaigning against Medicare. Which is completely, 100% true. (You can listen to the proof here, if you can stand it.) So when he denied it, Ronald Reagan was lying. There you go again.

President Carter was also talking about how this country needed national health care. Which we still desperately need and still don't have. Because douchebag politicians still trot out the old Reagan "socialized medicine" wheeze. So there you go again.

See, the reason we have videotape and Google and all that is so we can eventually realize that the people we made fun of at the time may have deserved better. Yes, Sinead O'Connor tore up a picture of the Pope on
SNL, but do you remember why? It was to protest the Church's silence on the sexual abuse of children by priests. If it seemed funny and crackpottish to you at the time, does it still?

And can we finally admit that Al Gore was right about the "lockbox"? And that sighing in exasperation when George W. Bush was debating was actually the sensible response?

Only when we cleanse our media of the myths of the past can we begin the serious work of fighting the myths of the present.