Saturday, November 1, 2008

Unreality TV

Normally I avoid reality television like a gasoline douche, but tonight I got wrapped up in it. And because of that, my IQ points have actually dropped far enough for me to almost think that Obama might make a good president (No, I don't like McCain either).
This evening I sat through three episodes of 'Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling' on CMT-- I am not at all a fan of wrestling, but I have to admit the prospect of seeing washed up pseudo-celebs beat the hell out of each other appealed to me... And what a line-up: Danny "Partridge" Bonaduce, Dustin "Screech" Diamond, Erin "Tabitha Stephens" Murphy, Dennis "What's wrong with this man?" Rodman, Frank "I wish I was Sly" Stallone, Tiffany (she isn't worthy of a nickname), Todd "Willis" Bridges, Trishelle "Who the heck?" Cannatella, Nikki "I'm... too sexy for this show" Ziering and Butterbean(!!!).
The celebs are divided into two teams and trained by wrestlers, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Brian "Nasty Boy" Knobs, and judged by Hogan, Eric Bischoff (a former wrestling federation president) and Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart (a wrestling manager who now hawks hair plugs on TV).
Unfortunately, that's where the fun ends. The show is a joke. I mean, really, what is the point in making a fake show about a fake sport involving fake people and try to pass it off as reality? Are we really this dumb? Don't answer that...
Each week the wrestlers teach the teams three simple moves and let them perform in front of an audience, ending with the judges eliminating one person. Thing is, it's almost like watching 'Karate Kid Part 12'-- even though they only learn three simple moves, they are somehow capable of jumping off the top rope or throwing each other out of the ring (safely) and many other more complex maneuvers. Then the judges apparently just arbitrarily pick someone to eliminate... they certainly don't base it on any skill level, heart or showmanship/charisma, that's for sure.
I don't watch enough reality tv to know if this show is standard fare, but I can see that it is as phony as the rest easily enough... At least (so far) the forced in-fighting is light. The show could use a little more drama and/or heart though.
Another joke is having Rodman participate-- the man was a pro wrestler for years after he left the NBA and we are now to think he is learning on the same level as 'Tabitha' and 'Screech'?
And Butterbean??? They actually pit the women against him-- I fear no human being, and I have little doubt I could put a hurting on that man if I had to, but come on... how does any normal person wrestle that man??? He's a 400lb brick who was not only a professional boxer (with an incredible record), but also a MMA (mixed martial arts) competitive fighter-- what's the point of even trying? And when each participant had to choose a ring "persona", Mr Bean stretched by portraying himself as................ a boxer (even down to wearing his normal trunks). Bad thing is, he seems to have put more thought into it than most of the others did.
But the worst part is, I... just... couldn't... stop... watching. If they had shown four, five, six episodes, I'd still be glued to the tube (and usually I don't even watch that many hours of TV in a given week). It didn't grab me because it was interesting or entertaining, it snagged me because it was like a car wreck-- I just had to see how bad it would be... and I was not disappointed in that regard.
P.S.-- that Trichelle girl is apparently a reality show "star"... no wonder I didn't know who the heck she was.

One last hope?

Happy Plan Your Epitaph Day...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Some more Halloween toons...

Dead pumpkin day...

Ok, fine, I'll acknowledge that today is the day we systematically slaughter and mutilate pumpkins for our own twisted pleasures-- so here are some Halloween comics...

It's PC time again...

And I can't even blame it on the liberals this time... crap.

'Zack and Miri' Banned in Utah
by Jonathan Crow
If you're looking forward to seeing Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks in director Kevin Smith's new R-rated comedy "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" this weekend and you live in Salt Lake City, you might be out of luck. Utah Jazz and Megaplex Theaters owner Larry Miller has refused to book the film. The chain's spokesman Cal Gunderson expressed concerns about the film with The New York Post, citing the film's "graphic nudity and graphic sex" and that it was "too close to an NC-17."
The company's standards seem a little odd considering that the chain had no problems screening ultra-violent fare like "Saw V," which features beheadings and explicit self-mutilation. When asked why Megaplex Theaters did not object to the gory horror sequel, Gunderson had no comment.
Furthermore, the company's decision might make sense if "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" were in fact pornographic. Instead, Kevin Smith's surprisingly tame and sentimental movie has a few flashes of nudity, a handful of love scenes played mostly for laughs, and a whole lot of foul language. In fact, the film's raunchiness level is comparable to that of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin", "Knocked Up" and "Sex Drive," all of which screened at Megaplex theaters.
It has been a difficult road for Kevin Smith's film, but it is not the first time he has encountered resistance to his frank and bawdy sense of humor. His first film "Clerks" was originally rated NC-17 for language, and his religious comedy "Dogma" sparked protests from Catholic groups. For "Zack and Miri," he again was forced to appeal an NC-17 rating with the MPAA, a teaser trailer had to be removed from his website, and the battle over the poster resulted in a design where the stars only appear as stick figures.
So what's the problem with this movie? The word "Porno" in the title. Aside from Larry Miller's theater chain, fifteen newspapers along with several TV stations and billboard owners have been refusing to promote the flick across the country because of that word. As Philadelphia deputy mayor Rina Cutler said in a phone interview with The Wall Street Journal, "If they want to call the movie 'Zack and Miri,' that's fine, but Zack and Miri cannot make a porno on my bus shelters."
This isn't the first time Miller's company caused controversy by banning a movie. In early 2006, Miller pulled Oscar-nominated movie "Brokeback Mountain" from the screens when he learned that the film was a gay love story between two cowboys. He later stated that he regretted that decision.
As a footnote to this story, this past weekend an audience full of children and pre-teens expecting to see the G-rated "High School Musical 3" at one of Miller's theaters in South Jordan, UT were surprised when the beginning of the R-rated "Sex Drive," which features nudity and swearing, was shown accidentally. But at least they didn't see Seth Rogen in his underwear.
"Zack and Miri Make a Porno" opens everywhere (almost) on Friday.

Happy National Magic Day...

Today is also 'Increase Your Psychic Powers Day'...
Seems like there is another holiday on October 31st-- can't recall what it is right off... oh, yeah it's 'National Knock-Knock Jokes Day'!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

WTF??? 45

Funeral home parties with replica Elvis casket
BARTONVILLE, Ill. – The owners of Endsley Funeral Home in Bartonville wanted to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the business by putting a little "fun" into "funeral." So, for their open house Saturday, they put a replica of Elvis Presley's 650-pound casket on display and hired Elvis impersonator Dave Stovall to dance around it and sing a few of the King's most famous songs.
Stovall said he was so impressed by the casket he wanted to lie down in it for a while.
Embalmer Stephanie Van Oppen explained the apparent irreverence by saying the staff wanted people to have fun at the funeral home for once, and get to know that its employees aren't creepy and weird (This shows they aren't weird???).
Nearly 300 people from Peoria and Tazewell counties attended the bash.

Girl finds $1,000 at thrift store, returns it

HONOLULU (AP) ― The best bargain at the Salvation Army thrift store in Kailua-Kona was a Richard Simmons videotape. But Mikela Mercier, 11, decided to pass up the chance to buy the tape for a few coins after she found a surprise inside: $1,000 in $100 bills.
Mikela said that when she discovered the money while browsing through the used tapes, she immediately looked for her mom who was inside the dressing room and told her they needed to turn it in.
Store manager Jimmy Thennes put out a news release on the discovery, praising Mikela for her honesty.
Her mother, Jodi Mercier, said she is very proud of her daughter who she says knew it belonged to the Salvation Army so the agency can help more people in need.


Monday, October 27, 2008

What a difference a few words can make...

I stole this idea from someone-- don't remember who mentioned it...
Of course click to enlarge... ;)

WTF??? 44

The Stink in Farts Controls Blood Pressure
Amelia Tomas LiveScience Staff
A smelly rotten-egg gas in farts controls blood pressure in mice, a new study finds. The unpleasant aroma of the gas, called hydrogen sulfide (H2S), can be a little too familiar, as it is expelled by bacteria living in the human colon and eventually makes it's way, well, out. The new research found that cells lining mice's blood vessels naturally make the gas and this action can help keep the rodents' blood pressure low by relaxing the blood vessels to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure). This gas is "no doubt" produced in cells lining human blood vessels too, the researchers said.
"Now that we know hydrogen sulfide's role in regulating blood pressure, it may be possible to design drug therapies that enhance its formation as an alternative to the current methods of treatment for hypertension," said Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., a co-author of the study detailed in the Oct. 24th issue of the journal Science.
Snyder and his colleagues compared normal mice to mice that were missing a gene for an enzyme known as CSE, long suspected as being responsible for making hydrogen sulfide. As they measured hydrogen sulfide levels taken from tissues of the CSE-deficient mice, the scientists found that the gas was depleted in the cardiovascular systems of the altered mice. By contrast, normal mice had higher levels of the gas, thereby showing that hydrogen sulfide is naturally made by mammalian tissues using CSE.
Next, the mice were subjected to higher blood pressures comparable to serious hypertension in humans. Scientists had them respond to a chemical called methacholine that relaxes normal blood vessels. The blood vessels of the CSE-lacking mice hardly relaxed, indicating that hydrogen sulfide is a huge contender for regulating blood pressure.
Hydrogen sulfide is the most recently discovered member of a family of gasotransmitters, small molecules inside our bodies with important physiological functions.
This study is the first to reveal that the CSE enzyme that triggers hydrogen sulfide is activated itself in the same way as other enzymes when they trigger their respective gasotransmitter, such as a nitric oxide-forming enzyme that also regulates blood pressure, Dr. Snyder said.
Because gasotransmitters are common in mammals all over the evolutionary tree, these findings on the importance of hydrogen sulfide are thought to have broad applications to human diseases, such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.
The research was supported by grants from the U.S. Public Health Service and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as well as a Research Scientist Award.

So remember, an apple a day may keep the doctor away, but beans are the musical (and healing) fruit...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jerry Lewis Uses Anti-Gay Slur ... Again

Dammit, Jerry...

Jerry Lewis made an anti-gay slur on Australian television similar to one he apologized for using on his annual telethon a year ago.
Following a news conference in Sydney Friday, Lewis, 82, was asked by a Network Ten national TV reporter for his opinion on the Australian nation sport of cricket. "Oh, cricket? It's a f-- game. What are you, nuts?" Lewis replied.
The network broadcast the comment in full on its Friday evening news bulletin along with footage of Lewis handling an imaginary cricket bat with an effeminate gesture.
Lewis apologized in September last year for using a similar anti-gay slur in Las Vegas during his annual Labor Day telethon that raises money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
New York-based media discrimination watchdog Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, as well as gay rights group Australian Coalition for Equality called for Lewis to apologize again.
"Last year, Mr. Lewis apologized for using an anti-gay slur on live television, and expressed his desire to raise public awareness about the impact of this kind of defamation," GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano said in a statement.
"Clearly he did not take the lessons of that unfortunate episode to heart because, in an effort to be humorous, he has once again managed to offend and defame the gay community," he said.
"For someone so well known for helping others, Mr. Lewis shows an incredible lack of dignity and respect when he makes comments that contribute to a climate of intolerance," Giuliano added.
Lewis was still in Australia on Saturday and has performances booked there through Nov. 1. His Australian spokeswoman Julie Cavanagh said he did not intend to comment.
The comedian held Friday's news conference to promote his latest stage show that is touring Australia. It is a retrospective of his career that includes show tunes with a 24-piece band, excerpts from his scores of movies and television shows, and his trademark slapstick comedy.