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Archive for October, 2009

Japan!

Expect fewer posts over the next week or so as the missus and I tour the Land of the Rising Sun. Perhaps a cry for help from a Western Union!

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2 CBS
According to TMZ, David Letterman’s Top 10’s lately seem more like Top 5’s.

2 CBS
“NCIS Los Angeles”: A routine procurement fraud case has everybody falling asleep at their desks this week.

2 CBS
“Criminal Minds”: Cannibalistic vivisectionist serial killer plays scat games on pregnant women; Rossi makes funny small talk about divorce lawyers.

3 ABC
Dancing Under Criminal Indictment

3 ABC
“Shark Tank”: This week, an entrepreneur pitches a new business idea–a black box that you put one dollar into and ten new dollars magically come out the other end. It’s called a hedge fund and how it works is none of your fucking business.

4 NBC
“The Biggest Loser: Existential Crisis.” This year’s theme is, “If I do not eat trans fats, starches and high fructose corn syrup, do I exist?”

10 CNN
Reality TV show amateur scientist Richard Heene unveils his elaborate new invention: the Bipolar Media Manipulator

13 Telemundo
A show whose English title translates to, “Those poor parents, they are so stupid!”

14 Fox
“The Angels can bite my ass.”

20 Discovery Kids
Richard Heene hoped to get his family on The Learning Channel, but now it looks as if he’s going to be on a very special episode of “Trading Spaces.”

22 CNBC
Book Chat: “‘This Is Just You And Me Talking Here’ And Other Famous Slang Phrases of White Collar Criminals”

23 HBO
“Cathouse: Al Dente”: These girls have their own HBO show, for chrissakes. Won’t somebody put them in an ambulance and send them to the god damned orthodontist?

24 E! Entertainment Television
“The Girls Next Door”: Advanced cloning techniques used in the pursuit of building better girlfriends for Hugh Hefner fail abjectly when the new clones turn out to be stupider than ever.

25 Headline News
If Nancy Grace has to make fun of your stutter, your pimples and your wheelchair to make her point, she’s not afraid to do it.

26 Bravo
“The Real Housewives of Conjugal Visit Trailer No. 7” These castrating harpy fishwives are all blonde, tan and broke and they don’t like that tone in your voice.

27 Bloomberg News
Goldman Sachs becomes the darling of Wall Street once again as it shows how effortlessly it can print money for its own employees.

28 Fox News
Americans watch enthralled in slack-jawed silence for hours as a silverish gas bag floats on high over the airwaves with nothing more in it than thin, suspect material that is poorly taped together, only to find out that it is actually the work of a publicity whore whose plangent appeals to viewer emotion are the scurrilous work of a hack actor. But let’s stop talking about Glenn Beck for a moment and get back to that Richard Heene guy. That guy’s going to jail big time!

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–*Setting our kids loose in balloons

–*Lying about setting our kids loose in balloons

–*Swapping our wives, lying about setting our kids loose in balloons

–*Becoming a prostitute (HBO only)

–*Becoming a prostitute but only for Hugh Hefner (E! Entertainment Television)

–*Beating up wife, hoping the crew from the TV show “Cops” shows up

–*Injecting ourselves with fertility drugs, having a shitload of extra babies

–*Injecting ourselves with fertility drugs, having a shitload of extra babies, browbeating passive-aggressive husband in front of TV crew and grocery store customers

–*Injecting ourselves with fertility drugs, having a shitload of extra babies, browbeating passive-aggressive husband, driving him to leave you, fighting a messy divorce in public, suing him, never minding that six of the eight extra babies have turned to street crime, heroin addiction and womanizing to replace the love that you’re not giving them

–*Blackmailing David Letterman

–*Selling diarrhea-making pirogues to tourists at the South Street Seaport for $12 a pop at the behest of Donald Trump

–*Trading off our celebrity of being in Van Halen for a month

–*Being a celebrity with herpes

–*Being a celebrity with herpes who was in Van Halen for a month

–*Giving a celebrity herpes

–*Eating bull penises

–*Growing our hair really big, getting a toxic brown tan, moving to New Jersey and making friends with a lot of horsy voiced bitches

–* … and eating bull penises

–* … and letting our kids fly away in home-made balloons

–*Pretty much sleeping with anyone, eating anything, getting pregnant by anyone, committing any sort of crime or doing just about whatever the producer asks us to do after we’ve signed our rights away in one-sided, exculpatory adhesion contracts.

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New York (API) Symbolizing the hope of Americans everywhere, local New York vagrant Arthur P. Heidelman was seen Thursday afternoon wearing a “Dow 10,000” hat while walking down New York’s Bowery area, a signal, say economists, of inevitable economic rebound.

“I found this in a trash bin about two years ago,” said Heidelman of his hat. “Frankly, I don’t know what it means, but it sure does keep my ears warm.”

Heidelman, who was laid off from a job as a bricklayer 12 years ago, has spent most of his career in the last decade panhandling, cage fishing for blue crab at Battery Park, and leaning drunk against the bollards on the promenade walk when the local park police aren’t rousting him. He is also wanted for a few misdemeanors and is a deadbeat dad who hasn’t seen his family since around 1996.

“This just goes to show that America is on an upward trend and that confidence has been restored to the markets,” said former equities analyst Henry Blodget, now a finance blogger and editor-in-chief of the Silicon Alley Insider. “People have worried that consumers, who are in saving mode, will not be doing the kind of spending that will lead the economy out of recession. But the American economy is the comeback kid. All you need to know about it you can see right there on Arthur Heidelman’s hat, god bless him.”

Heidelman spends most of his days eating out of a dumpster in front of Taco Bell and does most of his bathing in a Central Park bathroom sink near the Bethesda Fountain. He often stays at the Bowery Mission. Sometimes, for loose change, he shows people where the movies Ransom and The Spanish Prisoner were filmed. He also is a jokester and asks many a passerby, “Won’t you please contribute to the United Negro Pizza Fund?”

The Dow Jones first made its trip above 10,000 in March of 1999, and at the time, New York Stock Exchange chairman Dick Grasso and city mayor Rudy Giuliani let loose a hail of the famous, commemorative blue hats down onto the floor of the stock exchange for awaiting traders. Since then, however, the Dow has sped toward the 10,000 in both up and down directions several times, and traders now pull out the hats mostly from mordant humor rather than enthusiasm.

That irony is lost on Heidelman, however, who says the hat is very nice and never fails to excite the envy of fellow homeless people.

“Somebody tried to take it from me once and I stabbed him in the hand with a corkscrew,” he said.

Even some famous Wall Street skeptics like James Grant of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer says that many indicators, including a slowing of the rate of decline in house prices, suggests turnaround.

“We can’t tell from just every indicator that a recovery is coming,” Grant said, “The rallying in equities and corporate bonds, for instance, is just one. But mostly I’m moved by the unmistakable sign I get when I see regular people like Arthur Heidelman walking down the street wearing a Dow 10,000 hat–or sleeping in it or maybe using it to swat at imaginary flies he’s seeing when he’s got the DTs. In any case, there’s a new mood in this country, and Arthur’s got me feeling that much more bullish on the economy. … You know, somebody really ought to give him a blanket.”

Grant acknowledges that unemployment is still at its highest in two and a half decades and that home foreclosures are still high as well, but he claims that the market is undervalued and the enthusiasm of everyday people is still clear. The bounty experienced by Wall Street banks and investors will soon be shared by all, he said.

“Employment is a lagging indicator,” said Grant. “Most people will need to grit their teeth and tough it out for a couple of years. I’d like to say to them, ‘If a toothless vagrant who doesn’t even answer the census can make it, so can you!'”

When asked if he would like to go back to work and take part in the rebound, Heidelman said that would be nice but also suggested that wage deflation had made it difficult for most people at his level of the economy to become active participants in wealth generation.

“You gonna give me $16,000 a year, m***er f**ker?” he asked. “If not, I like it fine right here in the park.” He then said he wouldn’t work anywhere that there were bats, birds or mice and then he nodded off, grumbling incoherently.

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Forbes recently profiled several billionaires on the Forbes 400 list and tried to descry the traits that make people ultra-wealthy. What are the characteristics shared by the richest people in the world?

–*They all worked at Goldman Sachs.

–*They all had sex with Anna Nicole Smith.

–*They all saw Nirvana back in the band’s club days.

–*They all keep their urine in descending order size jars.

–*They emit a dark blue flame when they burn.

–*They like to use countersunk rivets on everything they build — from computers, to airplane wings to hedge funds to Jane Russell.

–*Many of them either attended elite Yale fraternity Skull & Bones or the Hogwarts School, both of which provide members with an invisibility cloak.

–*Many dropped out of college when they could not find the “World Domination” courses they had anticipated on the curriculum.

–*They were all good at math, and thus somehow figured out there was no money in teaching.

–*If for some reason they should die in 2010, their holdings are not subject to the estate tax. A great incentive for a smart person to save some money.

–*They all live in the same house.

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Hollywood (API) — Scrapping tradition and handing out awards in mid-season, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today awarded the Oscar for best actor to Barack Obama for the 1993 film The Piano, a movie about a mute New Zealand woman who wins her prized piano back by giving sexual favors to an illiterate ex-sailor. The decision to give untested and green president Barack Obama the award shocked actors, directors and moviegoers the world over.

“Barack Obama has been a guiding light since his historic election last year,” said academy president Tom Sherak. “There are some who might think it a little odd that we break precedent by giving him this prize at this point. But we felt that it was important to send a signal. Granted, we don’t know what that signal is. But we have decided to be very forceful in sending it.”

The news sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry for many reasons, not least of which was that the movie is almost two decades old, the subject matter is quite risqué and Barack Obama is not in it.

“I know that there are some who will say that Obama has not earned this Oscar yet, and that he is not even an actor. But when we were making the decision, we said to ourselves, ‘We can’t wait three years! It might be too late by then.'”

The Piano caused a minor sensation when it hit American shores 17 years ago. Made by New Zealand feminist filmmaker Jane Campion, the story touched on the sensitive themes of male domination, female sexual submissiveness, the brutality of eroticism, the exploitation of natives, the commodification of female value and suicidal despair. There was also a lot of sex and Harvey Keitel showed his penis.

About this time, Barack Obama was a constitutional law professor and a community organizer with Project Vote, which registered African-American voters in the state of Illinois. There is no evidence that Obama was anywhere near the set of The Piano or that he had any say over its outré subject matter and themes.

“I’ve got to say I’m scratching my head over this,” said Campion. “I mean, I quite like Barack Obama. But my general feeling, and I say this with much respect, is that maybe the American president should have done some acting first. That is only my feeling.”

Right wing-aligned actor Jon Voight was less sanguine.

“I worked for years to get my Oscar. I struggled and built from nothing. Barack Obama is a false messiah. A man whose mellifluous, honeyed words make him seem like a god when he is anything but and he’s instead a false prophet of socialism and hedonist, communist depravity. But hey … you don’t have to listen to a lot of cantankerous crazy talk from me. Just let me remind you: He wasn’t in the g** d***** Piano. Am I losing my mind? Am I having a stroke? Is the light on?”

Even the president’s defenders were a little wary of embracing the prize wholeheartedly, and sensed that maybe there was a strange agenda at work.

“I believe the president can do anything,” said his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. “But we’re only nine months into his presidency and the only acting he’s done was two seconds in an SNL skit. It kind of cheapens the award a bit if you just hand out freebies. But I guess he’ll take it. Sure! Why not?”

Officially, said the Academy, it awarded him the prize for “making the world a better place through his tireless efforts to speak in front of people.”

Obama himself said forcefully after the announcement that even though he’s humbled by the award and proud that people see in him such a stirring symbol of human aspiration, he can in no way endorse the act of trading sexual favors for chattel goods such as musical instruments and thus he must distance himself from the film.

“I applaud Holly Hunter’s performance,” he said. “But how would it look for me to say to the young women of America, ‘Hey girls, be careful if Harvey Keitel tries to turn you into a whore because you just might like it too much.”

Opined film critic Roger Ebert:

“I sort of feel like they gave the award to Obama more because of what they’re hoping he can do rather than for what he’s actually done. Because even though I like him a lot, he hasn’t had a chance to do a whole hell of a lot yet. Maybe a key to the city might have been a bit less gushy and obsequious.”

“But then again, if I know Hollywood and American politics, I’d also say there’s a more insidious game going on here … at this point I think somebody’s really just trying to rub Winona Ryder’s nose in it that she didn’t win that year. Everybody really hates her.”

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New Killer Apps

What new killer applications are available for download on your IPhone or Blackberry?

–*FoodZap – A new app that allows you to take a phone picture of a meal and tell if the food is South Beach Diet-friendly.

–*VirusGauge – An app that goes through your e-mail and tries to figure out which of your friends most likely has the H1N1 virus.

–*MidnightXPress It  – An app that tells you which Turkish prison you’re in.

–*Nixoner – An app that looks through your e-mail and tells you who your enemies are.

–*BombMe – An app that allows you to commit suicide by summoning a U.S. drone aircraft.

–*MoodMinder – An app that uses an enhanced GPS system, microwaves, servos and reco photographs to tell you what emotional state you’re in if you’re not sure.

–*Pandora Deluxe – An app that allows you to listen only to music by The Cowsills.

–*DonutCounter – An app that tells you how much time on Earth you’ve lost after eating that doughnut.

–*Plasma TV Money Watch – An app that tells you how much your plasma TV would be worth today in a parallel universe if you had spent the money responsibly instead.

–*OverPop! – An app that tells you how you personally are destroying ecological stability on the Earth just by being alive and consuming things.

–*Fetus Friender – An app that gives you first-person fetus narratives written by schizophrenics.

–*Shut UP! – An app that drowns out the other person on the phone and makes them shut the fuck up and listen for a god damned change.

–*The Edge – The Edge from U2 is wearing a microphone and you now get to listen to him play guitar, breathe, eat, snore and engage in painfully awkward small talk with fans 24/7.

–*Virtual Boyfriend – This app is the only boyfriend you have right now.

–*GooGoo Talk – This app talks to you like you’re a god damned baby, if that’s how you’re going to act.

–*No Speaka English! – This app changes all your phone settings to Kanji, Cyrillic and Sanskrit so that you have no idea what the fuck you are reading and you’re trapped in a world that’s foreign, alienating and hostile.

–*Pass Ag! – This app does nothing but give you an excuse to look at your BlackBerry so you don’t have to actually make eye contact with that person sitting across from you on the subway.

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