Category Archives: Comedy

Toyota Six Feet Under

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It’s ridiculous! First the accelerator sticks and now the brakes don’t work. Enough with the hollow apologies and hokey whoopsie-doo-baby-made-a boom-boom commercials, alright? We expect more. We didn’t collectively kill our auto industry for shoddy workmanship and unreliability. If we wanted that we could have just bought a Buick. I mean it is a Japanese company. Shouldn’t a couple of those execs be falling on their swords, literally? See that’s the problem. We need to bring back good old-fashioned Samurai ethics. I guarantee that the impending threat of hara-kiri would get ole Akio to personally double check those vroom-vroom pedals and stop-stop pads before they left the assembly line for our crumbling pot-holed highways.

Lucky this didn’t come to light five years ago or it might have sullied Six Feet Under’s stellar season finale montage (one of the greatest product placements in the history of advertising). Where instead of Claire driving her pristine Prius into a panorama of the great wide open to Sia’s Breathe Me, she’d have floored it directly into an oncoming semi-tractor trailer (due to a jammed gas pedal and ABS failure) ending in the sound of screeching metal and a death-rattling scream. Surely a subdued sewing-up and embalming of little sister Fisher’s mangled corpse by David and Rico, concluding in a tasteful yet somber service, would not have held the same place in our hearts. Continue reading

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Punxsutawney Meltdown

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PETA demanded this week that the organizers of Pennsylvania’s Groundhog Day festival replace Punxsutawney Phil with a robotic stand-in.

A disgruntled Phil has steadfastly refused to abdicate his position and be replaced by what he calls a “animatronic fraud”. He has reportedly armed and barricaded himself in his burrow, chittering that he would shoot if he sees “anyone’s motherf*cking shadow” . Recently fathering a litter of six and with unemployment at an all time high in Pennsylvania, the laid-off rodent would be hard pressed to find a job, let alone one with a premium Health Plan for his brood.

Starschmucks Folly: VIA, the Instant New Coke

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You could put lipstick on a pig, but…

So it seems that Starbucks, the U.S. brewing behemoth, has decided to hawk an upscale version of Folger’s Crystals (currently gathering dust at the back of your out-of-touch nattering Nana’s pantry), but don’t you dare display your displeasure whilst within the immediate vicinity of one of their brainwashed baristas, or be prepared for a barrage of inane talking points and propaganda rivaling Liz Cheney’s blind backing of enhanced interrogation techniques. I’m not sure what remedial reprogramming retreat these poor part-timers were forced to attend, but it was apparently led by that murderous maenad Maryanne from True Blood or a direct descendent of Jim Jones ’cause there is zero room for dissension. Resistance is futile. You simply must drink the Kool-Aid… or neo-Sanka swill.

Is it somehow surprising that the franchise’s base of upscale liberal lefty latte-guzzling pseudo-intellects, who pride ourselves on being caffeination connoisseurs, might be a mite perturbed over the prospect of having a white-trash product pimped to us while trying to get our five o’clock fix and recharge our iPhones? We aren’t brewing up a batch of crystal meth in the bathroom units of our double-wides, looking for a quick-fix beverage to wash down our derelict dinner of Cheez-Whiz and Ritz Crackers for Cletis’s sake! Give it a rest; we don’t want to take your stupid taste test! We don’t care if this isn’t our grandfather’s instant coffee, it reminds us of our grandfather (who was last spotted hollering about health care at a town hall meeting due to a combination of dementia and Glenn Beck).

We have already agreed to pay three dollars for a cup of coffee. You’ve won. Don’t insult our intelligence by trying to get us to pledge allegiance to an inferior un-brewed commercialized commodity conceived by some snotty young marketing exec fresh out of grad school with plans for cutting losses by diversifying your elitist appeal to the general populace. Talk about watering down your “brand”. It was bad enough when you started in with that awful homogenized Pike’s Peak to compete with the Dunkin’ Donut’s demographic and their pansy palates. And let’s not forget those putrid pre-manufactured breakfast sandwiches (re-heated in those creepy gray cancer-causing ovens) prominently featured in your fly-ridden refrigerated display cases–yummers!

But for the coup de grace, it’s hard to believe your insolent insistence upon undermining the entire foundation of your existence: freshly ground, percolated C. Arabica that we pay a premium for you to prepare. Something authentic to be ingested and savored as we make our way through another impersonal, cyber-connected, pre-fabricated day. The churning in our stomachs, the burning in our bowels, the bing! bing! bing! of when it finally kicks in and everything is ok in the universe again. Gradual descent into despair transforms into rocketing ascent into possibility, hope and “what if?” Why would you want to dilute that?

Che Gueverette: Rodizio Slayer

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Like grandfather, like granddaughter, I guess. As it seems that 24-year-old Lydia Guevera is now taking up the revolutionary reins from her famous family patriarch. Is she waging war against U.S.-controlled conglomerates that have diabolically implanted puppet dictatorships and repressive regimes around the world? Helping those aging Castro hermanos get their hands on some brand spanking new thermonuclear-armed ballistic missiles to test the mettle of yet another U.S. prez in a life-or-death showdown, bringing us all to the brink of atomic annihilation? Desperately trying to drum up a Neo-Marxian revolution by teaching remedial guerilla-tactics classes to the natives in the deep, dark jungles of the Congo? Don’t bet your Batista!

Don’t get me wrong, she’s still serious about defending the rights of masses that have been forced into labor, their entire lives consumed by hungry capitalists who just see them as a meaningless multitudes of bodies and oh so much meat–they just happen to lack a cerebral cortex and prehensile thumbs! That’s right, folks, Lydia is taking the fight to the carnivorous powers that be by posing semi-nude for the latest PETA ad campaign. ¬°VIVA LA REVOLUCION DE VEGETARIANS! Yesiree, the ole family legacy lives on as the Butcher of La Cabana’s bodacious petite-fille is out to butcher the butchers by showcasing her prime cuts.

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And have no doubt that her titillating spread will become equal in notoriety as her revolutionary progenitor. Just look at the publicity still where she strikes the Guerillo Heroico pose (which graces the hats and t-shirts that so many disaffected over-privileged, upper-middle class white teenage suburbanites wear–not with any consciousness of its historical context or meaning, but because it looks so f*cking badass dude!). I mean the similarities are uncanny. Both look highly bangable in their sexy berets and bandoliers (only his is comprised of life-stopping bullets while hers is fashioned from organic baby carrots whose high concentration of vitamin A help maintain healthy retinas). One wonders if she’s also armed with extra-firm tofu grenades and a flax-seed thrower for when things get totally FUBAR.

I for one am totally stoked for the inevitable five-hour Steven Soderbergh biopic of this young woman’s harrowing struggle against sweetbreads and tripe. If I can only somehow manage to attain tickets to the gala premiere (fingers crossed!) I will most certainly doll myself up in my best pleather pants and hempen baja (and if it’s wet wintery day, my lush faux-fur-lined galoshes) to celebrate.

Preparing for the Swine Flu Apocalypse

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First SARS, then Avian Bird Flu, and now the Iddy Biddy Piddy Pandemic. Here we go again, and this time we are at DEFCON 2, apparently. And of course in times of artificially manufactured duress we must remember to not under any circumstances remain calm–it is very important to panic and support a good healthy public hysteria. Do your part. Support the mass media’s fixation on a modern-day Captain Trips narrative. They need the ratings. There hasn’t been a good old-fashioned saucy sexual scandal among the politicos in quite some time, all is quiet on the tsunami/volcano front, and the Craiglist Killer just doesn’t got what it takes (hard to empathize with sinners’, who were utilizing casual encounters, most unfortunate endings when they were financially hawking happy ones). I mean we seriously can’t be expected to sit in front of the boob tube drooling over Arlen Specter’s spectacular defection to the Democratic Party can we? Where are the tantalizing titillation or doom and gloom? Please! I might as well read a book or pursue my dreams or something.

Also, it is important to boycott bacon and pulled pork sandwiches, even though the offending pathogen’s transmission has not been scientifically connected to the consumption of the succulent buttermilk-bathed bodies of these mud-trolling cob rollers. It shows that we are serious and committed to overreacting. I mean you’d think the United States would take a world leadership position here. Instead we have to idly watch as other nations out-frenzy us. Russia and Gabon are blatantly banning all imports of the other white meat, while Egypt has ordered the mass-execution of all of their unhallowed hoggies (although this could merely be a convenient excuse to settle an age-old Islamic grudge–why must unsanctified flesh taste so delicious!).

Meanwhile, pork industry lobbyists are out to ruin all our fun by trying to change the name of the swine flu back to H1N1 Flu or even worse: Hybrid Influenza. Borrrrring! One sounds like a Star Wars robot and the other like an environmentally sound automobile that runs on germs (actually not a bad idea–someone contact Al Gore), but neither is particularly catchy. How are we supposed to foster widespread irrational pandemonium with these mundane lab-coat clad monikers?

And keep up the good work out there by continuing to make stupid jokes about acts of bestiality with our pink, hooved, pot-bellied friends, poor Kermit’s marital bed quandary, and awful puns about overweight women and those who protect and serve on the police force. Hysterical! You are quite a card! And doing your duty producing uneasy titters and groans while perpetuating paranoia among your co-workers. Sales of Purell should increase by 20%.

I myself survived the dreaded SARS epidemic (in the heavily populated Asian neighborhood of Elmhurst, Queens) in which a total of 779 people died worldwide. There were eight U.S. cases, all non-fatal. I may be wrong but I think more people have actually lost their lives at Great Adventure… and that’s just from the concession stands (More Flags, Less Fun! ). Though that didn’t stop the local populace from panicking like pros. I rode the subway into NYC daily across from faces covered in surgical masks and red bandanas. As if we were heading towards some bizarre convention catering to Wild West outlaw bank-robbing bandits and the medics who loved them. It was exciting. Why not full Hazmat suits and oxygen tanks this time? Let’s go full-blown Outbreak and spice up the morning commute!

Ultimately, though, the excitement it bound to end and the drama to abate as the world survives another media spin cycle and the perfect storm for virulent virus mutation once again fails to form. Odds are most of us will survive to watch yet another sub-par episode of American Idol thanks to the technologically advanced art of hand-washing we practice. It also doesn’t hurt to have access to stockpiles of Tamiflu or the ability to mass-produce more, this being a first-world country and all. And let’s remember this is a strain of influenza, not AIDS, and the majority of us would probably kick it on a mucus filled Nintendo-Wii-filled sick day vacation from our cubicles.

However, if it comforts you more to fantasize about a dark and dreary post-apocalyptic dystopia where a sole bedraggled man trudges down I-95 with a shopping cart desperately searching for any signs of other survivors (perhaps, with the re-tread REM ditty Cause it’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel swine, as background score), I say go for it. It’s either that or waiting for the much-anticipated cinematic adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to come out…or you could just go outside, live your life and enjoy the spring. Nah! What if???

Dog the Pirate Hunter???

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(Please feel free to refer to the Pirate Glossary for all terminology)

Avast, ye picaroons! If landlubber Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has his way, good ole American privateers will be set loose on ye wily pillaging Somali buccaneers and get all War of 1812 on yer booties. According to his yellow-tinged amateur YouTube video (seemingly recorded on a Betamax device preserved from the early 1980s in front of a motley assortment of reading material being balanced on a rickety bookshelf that is mounted on the wall of a faux-wood-paneled den in the Old Batty Cave), Ron advocates reinstating the archaic letters of marque and reprisal, last utilized in the early 19th century, to bring down these bilge-sucking blaggards.

Of course, things would have to be a little different these days. Privateers would no longer be able to possess the vessels and treasure they seize. In fact, the wealth of most of these renegade seadogs is no longer romantically secreted in chests full of golden doubloons destined to be buried in the briny deep, but gets wired into Swiss bank accounts as cold hard cash destined to be lavished on flashy sports cars, semi-automatics and saucy Somali wenches. Instead, our government would have to offer sizable bounties as incentives for capture. Much like the 25 million dollar one on the head of Osama Bin What’s-His-Name.

Blimey! On second thought, using a colonial-era policy to solve a 21st-century problem might not be so legally hunky-dory with the rest of the planet, especially if we unbeknownst employ a backwater Blackwater to flog alleged marauders with a cat o’ nine tails, feed them to the fish, or make them dance the hempen jig. Do we really want to trust these disparate conglomerations of ex-military, post-traumatic-stress-disordered servicemen, soldiers of fortune, and racist rednecks armed to the teeth (the ones they have left) looking for action outside the double-wide trailer park and five-and-dime to police international waters and be the minutemen of diplomacy? I mean I loved the A-Team too, but it was a TV show, not a model for global relations.

The African corsairs in question themselves consist mainly of local fisherman (the brains), ex-militia men (the brawn) and technical experts (GPS navigators). Many of them who, in addition to seeking independent wealth (73% of the Somalian population lives on a daily income below 2 dollars a day–with an estimated per capita GDP of $600/year for the entire country), hold a personal grudge due to the ten million tons of toxic waste dumped on their shores by European firms (causing highly elevated rates of radiation-related sicknesses among coastal inhabitants) and the 300 million dollars’ worth of illegal trawling and poaching that takes place in their territorial waters (the pirates themselves only accumulate about 100 million dollars in ransom annually). So it’s safe to assume they would rather visit Davy Jones’ locker than surrender. No quarter!

Shiver me timbers! It seems we have quite a quandary here. Do we really want to dispatch mercenaries to further muddy the waters? Then again, me hearties, dead men tell no tales.

Taxing THC: Turning Old New York into New New Amsterdam

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Bollocks! How is that California, the crossroads of implants, spray tans and superficiality (Find Yourself Here–no thanks!), has a leg up on the Empire State, historical haven of beatniks, punk rock and Andy Warhol, on the possible legalization and taxation of Cannabis sativa? Where is our Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, calling for the replacement of the corner pusherman with an over-the-counter sale sanctioned by our own groovy, bearded, winking Uncle Sam (with a red, white and blue bong in one hand and a star-spangled hacky sack in the other)?

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I mean aren’t we Sodom to their Gommorah? Seriously, let’s get that sin tax a-rollin’! We’ve got a 1.2 billion-dollar budget gap just for the Transit Authority alone. Two-fiddy a ride is getting pretty ridiculous, especially for those post-Metrocard swipes when you realize you forgot your ID or mace and must return home to equip yourself properly (you never know when you might have to deal with state bureaucracy, a random bag check or a hostile homeless man in a state of psychosis who must be put down). You would think that our optically challenged governor (who was rushed to the emergency room late last year to alleviate severe pain associated with glaucoma) should certainly empathize with medical Mary Jane advocates’ plight enough to begin planting the seeds for the grow- houses of tomorrow. If he plays it right he could be NORML’s modern-day Davey Kushyseed.

Depending on the actual size of the crop (and I’m leaning towards the higher end here based on sales for Hot Pockets and Paul Blart: Mall Cop), nationally taxing the sticky icky could bring in anywhere from 2.4 billion to 31.4 billion a year (which states would get about one third of) according to economists and policy analysts. That’s enough to seriously subsidize our failing school system, healthcare for all… or launch a pre-emptive assault on yet another autonomous nation in the Middle East (that’s how we’ll have to pitch it to get the party pooper neo-conservative vote–apparently swilling bourbon, puffing on cigars, masticating red meat and nurturing an unrelenting xenophobic blood lust are All-American but smoking grass and preaching peace and tolerance are socialist, detrimental to the fabric of society and definitely do not do much to up recruitment for the military-industrial-complex-motivated attack machine–um, sorry, I was listening to War Pigs).

Back to New York. Being that as a state we traditionally consume more of the aforementioned organic hydroponic panacea (hell, we even have home delivery services here–no, I don’t have a number you can get!) we would therefore collect a higher proportion of taxes which could be used to shore up our deficits, re-build our ailing infrastructure, provide much needed raises for underpaid public servants and even make the fantastical tales of a future Second Ave subway line become a dank, underground, urine-drenched reality (although I think whatever lives and breeds on the Upper East Side should stay there, with the occasional Lincoln Town Car chauffeured trip to Barneys or Saks Fifth Avenue to stimulate the economy).

And think about what it would do for the tourist trade. Why should the dikey Dutch have a monopoly on specialty “coffee shops”? Hell, we could just dispense it from our Starbucks (there are two to three on every city block as it is). Really, who could resist a Venti Carmel Machiatto, Cranberry Bliss Bar and 1/8 of Mauwie Wauwie Combo? It would also increase traffic to all eateries from the trailer-trash-trodden Ranch One to the overly indulgent credit-card-maxing Il Mulino. Hello Euros! Best of all, with any luck it might actually put a stop to the endless picture-snapping at Ground Zero, on account of it being too much of a bummer! There really is nothing more reprehensible to a native New Yorker than some rube on hiatus from his hick town making rabbit ears over his gap-toothed Cheshire-grinning girlfriend (clad in matching, ill-fitting, street-hawked USA t-shirts) as if our dire tragedy is ride at Disney World. I mean you never see people yucking it up capturing a digital still with “the fam” in front of the levees that burst open in the Eighth Ward in New Orleans. Have a little respect, Silas!

Speaking of Disney, what better way to make the crass commercialization of Times Square less repugnant to the local populace? After all, in a slightly altered state it’s easier to suspend disbelief, cynicism and see it for the truly magnificent magical wonderland that city planners, marketing executives and licensors have painstakingly worked to simulate for the selfless sake of the bottom line.

Really, what are we waiting for? As a society we’re currently doing a good job of dismantling our out-of-date Blue Laws, how’s about mowing down the Anti-Green ones, shattering our antiquated puritanical shackles and moving forward into a slightly hazy but free-choice-filled future where we can choose to be as indulgent or abstinent as we want, individually, while everyone makes a tidy profit and the public coffers are filled to the brim. That sounds like America to me.