Saturday, March 28, 2009

Shopping the Middle Ages for Bras and Panties

Consider this Reason Number 3,999,999,999 that Deborah is grateful for the moderately-modern mindset of the society in which we live here in the West. Not that I'd be embarrassed to buy undies from a guy, mind you--I'd probably enjoy watching him squirm at whatever extremely naughty jokes I'd made a point of telling him--but I would feel an ongoing need to loudly protest the fact that our Saudi sisters not only are prohibited from driving a car, but can't even turn to a lady bra-fitter to help them when they're seeking comfort and support for The Girls, because their law apparently says only men can be lady bra-fitters. Or store clerks or car-drivers. Or something.

Oh dear. I am imagining a loudly-protesting Me, standing in a lingerie store in Saudi Arabia, assuredly not wearing the forty yards of black wool draping they like to throw all over our Evil Temptress Female bodies, and if it's hot outside (!), probably sporting bare legs, bare arms, and at least one wayward bra strap.

Wait! Wait! I want my lawyer! I want my gift-with-purchase teddy bear! I promise not to name it Mohammed!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Inside All of Us is a Wild Thing

Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are--aka The Tornello family's Favorite Book Ever--is coming to the Big Screen, courtesy of the wonderful Spike Jonze.

I'm thrilled to bits; after all, there are at least three copies of the book lying around my house, and I know we had all the monster puppets at one point (though Heaven help me try to find them right now). And each of us has one variation of the t-shirt or another, even Mama.

Wild Things Fever really took hold when Son One turned six, and we threw him a huge Where the Wild Things Are birthday party. On the morning of his big day, Son One walked into the back garden to find a real, full-sized and red-painted wooden sailboat that Robert and our friend Jeff built, complete with a bamboo mast and a yellow canvas sail sewed by Yours Truly. We also set up a washing-line-and-flowered-sheet tent (just like the one Max plays in) over one of the lower oak branches, and designed a cake that looked like a limb from the scary forest and covered it with plastic creepy-crawlies. I had painstakingly copied the book title's font when making the invitations. And, of course, stuffed versions of the Wild Things were stationed around the house.

Everyone had a ball and no-one was sent to his room--not even Robert, who, later that evening, somehow managed to completely burn off the handle of my favorite wok while BUI (Barbecuing Under the Influence).

And in a world where it seems that pink maribou-bedecked books and rhinestone-covered fantasy gear dominate the real estate of children's retail and juvenile publishing, I have to say, thank goodness for Maurice Sendak, as well as Roald Dahl--both are children's authors who wrote brilliantly, sensitively, and unflinchingly about the dark (and funny!) sides of human nature.

Where the Wild Things Are will be in theatres just in time for my own birthday, this October. Hooray!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Incitement In My Sights: Townhall and Worldnet Daily Offer Fearmongering and Free Guns

Gun print by Andy Warhol

incite -- v.t. (from the Latin incitāre): to urge forward;
to stir, encourage, or urge on; to stimulate or prompt to action.

Fresh from my In box: via Townhall comes this risible wad of rubbish breathless and urgent call to action, titled in all-caps (of course) thus:


Here's the main body of the e-mail, emphasis mine and inciting links removed (should you be so inclined, you can access the original Townhall link to this offer here):

Dear Reader,

The next four years may prove to be a turning point for all freedom loving Americans.

With the new administration holding party majorities in the House and Senate, we are facing the worst political environment for the passage of unchecked gun control legislation and further erosion of our constitutional right to bear arms than we have previously seen in our lifetimes.

As the nation creeps from recession to depression, the potential for civil unrest in every major city grows more likely. There has never been a more crucial time in our nation's history to make sure you are armed and trained for the protection of yourself and your family.

One man in our country knows this better than most, and I'm proud to tell you, he is doing something about it.

His name is Dr. Ignatius Piazza.

He is the Founder and Director of Front Sight Firearms Training Institute and is known by his hundreds of thousands of students as 'The Millionaire Patriot' because he has literally given away millions of dollars in free and discounted training to law abiding citizens to assist them is securing what he refers to as "The Comfort of Skill at Arms."

Dr. Piazza, the Millionaire Patriot, wants YOU armed and trained and he is putting his money where his mouth is.

He is providing you with the opportunity to attend five days of world class training at his Front Sight Firearms Training Institute with everything you need to secure permits to carry a concealed handgun in over 30 states—all for pennies-on-the-dollar!

Plus, if you act quickly before all the guns he set aside are gone, he will give you, free of charge, a Springfield Armory XD Pistol in your choice of 9mm, .40SW, or .45ACP!

That's right. This is legitimate. Thousands of people have already taken advantage of it AND YOU SHOULD TOO!

I can personally vouch for Dr. Piazza and his Front Sight Firearms Training Institute.

I believe now more than ever before that EVERY American should be armed and trained to the highest levels possible—levels that exceed law enforcement and military standards. Take advantage of the Millionaire Patriot's offer. Get armed and trained to prepare for what may be coming in the next four years!

NOW is the time to get armed and trained. Don't wait until it is too late.

Click for more details about the Millionaire Patriot's amazing offer.


Joseph Farah
Editor and Chief Executive Officer

P.S., You have never seen me make such a personal endorsement, so take heed to the fact that I am telling you to take advantage of Dr. Piazza's offer to get five days of world class training at Front Sight, concealed weapon permits good in 30 states, and a FREE Springfield Armory XD Pistol.

Can I get away with pulling a Michelle-Malkin-style single-word comment here? Of course I can. (Because you know I'm usually good for several pages of ranting when it comes to Wingnut Mental Disorders and are thus relieved to only have one word of litbrittery to confront.)

Okay, here it is, then: treasonable.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Greetings From Santa Fe Plus a Must-see South Park

I am a nervous flier, but a confident drinker and valium-swallower.
--Martin Amis

The boys and Boy and I arrived in Santa Fe yesterday (your home state is gorgeous, Stephen!), and I'm taking the morning off to sleep late, read e-mails and blogs, watch a South Park episode with Son One, and generally enjoy the wonderfulness of Not Having To Be Anywhere or Do Anything at Any Time Unless I Feel Like it. This vacation was long overdue--I'd forgotten how much I love being Elsewhere, how much I love mountains, and how funny South Park can be when Matt and Trey are really on their collective game.

Anyway, once I get myself out and about--there is a snowy mountain to be conquered, after all, despite the deceptive blue sky I can see outside the picture window--I'll have some pics and observations to share. (Although I can tell you this right off the bat: Santa Fe appears to be a terrific foodie town, certainly insofar as its Indian cuisine--sampled yesterday--is concerned.)

So, go watch last week's hilarious South Park, The Ring*, in which Eric and company address the hypocrisy of using wholesomeness, purity, and non-badness--you know, Christian Family Values® as demonstrated by the Palins--to sell to little girls what is, at its core, the same old thing everyone else in the entertainment and advertising worlds is trying to sell: sex. I only wish that in the real world, we could similarly retard--or, better yet, completely obstruct--the dread Disneyfication Creep that we in Florida have long been decrying.

I must pay more attention to Son One's teevee recommendations, as it would appear he has inherited his parents' wit, bless his twisty little heart.

Peace, everyone.

*Not even remotely safe for work or small children, as this is the uncensored version (not that the censored versions of South Park are especially safe for small children, but in this case, it might be distressing for kids to hear Mickey Mouse going verbally medieval on the asses of the Jonas Brothers followed by Mickey Mouse bloviating, in Rush-like tones, his true opinion of little girls--and more.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Truth-Not-Cherrypicked: Sweet and Quite Delciious

Here it is, to watch in amazement and watch again. (Is it conceivable, do you suppose, that Jim Cramer really believes that it is all just a big game? I mean, look at the guy and consider how...Nah. Never mind.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jon Stewart For the Win

As a follow-up to the previous post, I'm compelled to share this latest bit of Jon Stewart brilliance.

FYI, I'm hearing rumors that Jim Cramer will appear on the Daily Show this Thursday. Ooo-kay.

(Seriously, bringing in Dora the Explorer and her feces-throwing sidekick monkey was awesome stagecraft. Bravo, Daily Show!)

Jim Cramer & Company: 10b* or Not 10b?

That is the question. Not that matters moral and metaphysical would seem to have great relevance in the lives of the Stone-Cold Evildoers of CNBC®.

Honestly (ha!), after the events, revelations, and embarrassing re-broadcasts of Staggering Wrongness that we've witnessed over the last week or so, I've come to think that we ought to view Jim Cramer's ridicule via the Daily Show as a mere warm-up, an amuse-bouche to whet our collective justice-seeking appetite.

Because look at this. Go on, watch it. And then tell me why these folks--Cramer, in this case--are different from any other mid-level criminal-for-hire. Exactly--they're not. They're just garden-variety perps with manicures and pinpoint Oxford shirts. They're Money Honeys and Street Sweeties who've finally caused enough bottomless cavities that their eroded metiér is now collapsing in on itself.

Via the HuffPo comes this footage of a Jim Cramer interview, aired on TV in 2006:

The money quotes (so to speak) (emphasis mine):

On manipulating the market: "A lot of times when I was short at my hedge fund, and I was positioned short, meaning I needed it down, I would create a level of activity before hand that could drive the futures."

On falsely creating the impression a stock is down (what he calls "fomenting"): "You can't foment. That's a violation... But you do it anyway because the SEC doesn't understand it." He adds, "When you have six days and your company may be in doubt because you are down, I think it is really important to foment."

On the truth: "What's important when you are in that hedge fund mode is to not be doing anything that is remotely truthful, because the truth is so against your view - it is important to create a new truth to develop a fiction," Cramer advises.

*It's been more than twenty years since I got my Series 7 License, but Rule 10B-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 is not something you tend to forget, and Wiki is always there to remind you of the precise language:

Rule 10b-5: Employment of Manipulative and Deceptive Practices

It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, by the use of any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, or of the mails or of any facility of any national securities exchange,

(a) To employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud,

(b) To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, or

(c) To engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person,

in connection with the purchase or sale of any security.

So, what do you think--paper or plastic? I'm referring to the question of prison-issue coffee-cups. Plastic can leach chemicals into the java, and paper tends to burn the hand (unless the coffee is lukewarm). Metal is probably not a good idea--they'll be rattling them against the bars all night long, something I wouldn't wish on even the meanest privately-contracted warden.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Is it Fun, Being a Billionaire? F*ck YOU!

Everyone needs to watch--and share--this clip from The Daily Show that Sir C (along with countless others in the 'Sphere) linked to last night. Jon Stewart absolutely eviscerates the oblivious, villainous, egomaniacal morons so-called financial experts at CNBC. And then feeds their sorry entrails to the metaphorical lions while making the viewer laugh and cry simultaneously.

I'm going to go out on a limb and pronounce this one of Stewart's best and most important pieces of social commentary to date. Yes, it is that spot-on. Kudos to Stewart's writers, too, for the Dow stats and dates that really sledgehammer the point home: that these cocksure men (and a few women) are, at best, incredibly stupid and irresponsible people. At worst, well, let's just say these characters are stone-cold evil, and they're craven enough that if this were another time and place, they'd be changing their haircolor, packing up their protein bars and bulletproof vests, and heading for the hills, hoping madly that someone among them had, at some point, learned how to forage and cook.

Meh, a wealth-reduced girl can dream. Go watch it!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Friday Wednesday Frank: My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama; Dweezil & Friends

Something to cure the mid-week blues (and a serious treat for fellow guitar-heads): Frank Zappa's classic, solo-inspiring My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama, brought to you by Steve Vai, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Sardinas, Tony MacAlpine, Dave Weiner, and Billy Sheehan (on bass).

Enjoy, and Happy Wednesday.