Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Testicles for Peace

Sex Pistols singer John Lydon says Bono's political activism is bogus. "Every time I see Bono in those big fly glasses and tight leather pants I just can't hack it," he says. "He's crushing his testicles in tight trousers for world peace." But I say Mr. Rotten should lay off. At least the lead singer of U2 is accomplishing something. I've been crushing my testicles for years, but only because I keep buying my underwear at Cosco and the damn things are always a couple sizes too small.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Flight Jacket Guy

Saw in the news yesterday that the Piano Man, who turned up last April wandering on a British beach, unable or unwilling to identify himself, ended up being no more than a depressed Bavarian youth with little-to-no musical talent.

Meanwhile, here in America, we’ve got our own ongoing mystery, only ours involves Flight Suit Guy. Seems he turned up one day in Washington, saying all sorts of crazy things and now we're finding out none of it was true.

Said he was a "uniter not a divider". Promised to change the moral climate and give the country back its moral fiber. Told us he was going to turn away from the big spending ways of the Democrats. Swore he was going to be a friend to the environment. Made a big point about how he was going to make us all proud to be Americans again.

Well, six years later, turns out he’s actually a divider, not a uniter. He accuses people who have the audacity to oppose his policies of not wanting to win the War on Terror. He deceives the American people on such a grand scale that he’s singlehandedly put an Oval Office blow job into its proper perspective. He’s spent his way to record deficits. He’s ignored what the rest of the world has come to accept as the obvious and calamitous impact of global warming. And he misled the country into fighting a war by exploiting a frightened public traumatized by the terror attacks of 9/11.

And Flight Jacket Guy's still working it. This week he once again made the case that Iraq is the central front on the War on Terror and warned us we’d be “less safe” if we pulled out now.

The Piano Man finally started talking and revealed his identity. Flight Jacket Guy just keeps on deceiving. But seems like the country is finally starting to wake up to who the guy really is.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Glad To Hear It

According to an AP headline today, "Heidi Klum Enjoys Marriage and Motherhood." Well, I think I speak for everyone when I say thank fucking god.

Now, I'll admit, I was real worried after she broke up with Renault Formula One team boss Flavio Briatore. Dashing race car driver types don't just fall out of the sky. But lucky for her, that's when Grammy-winning singer Seal came along, swept her off her feet and made the German supermodel whole again by marrying her on a beach in Mexico.

By the way, regarding that last paragraph: any resemblance on the part of Heidi Klum to normal human existence is strictly coincidental. I'm willing to bet that with a little makeup and the right representation, even the woman's bowel movements could get their own eight-page spread in Vogue.

Incidentally, what are the odds that the McDonald's hamburger in the picture below ever got even a millimeter closer to Heidi's mouth?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Things That Need to Be Fixed, #5

In today's New York Times, there's an obit for Constance Bannister, who died at the age of 92 and whose claim to fame is that she "photographed 100,000 babies." Big deal. I've photographed the same baby 100,000 times, which is practically the same thing only a little bit weirder, and I'm pretty damn sure it's not going to get my obit in the New York Times. That's screwed up and I think that needs to be fixed.

It's Not The Disappearing And Never Being Seen Again Part That Mystifies Me

Don't get me wrong. I think it's absolutely fantastic that there may be a break in the 75-year-old Judge Crater case. Maybe now we can all get some well-deserved closure on this one. Speaking for myself, it'll feel great to finally wake up in the morning and not have to go straight out to the front lawn and update the number on my "Day 27,409: Where's Judge Crater?" sign. Plus, if I'm being totally honest, the search party thing has become kind of a drag. I mean, I met a lot of nice people over the years and I'm not saying I ever stopped wanting to find Judge Crater. It's just that, well, I kind of wouldn't mind getting my social life back.

In any case, it's definitely satisfying that we may now know what happened to Judge Crater after he was last spotted at a New York City steakhouse on the evening of Aug. 6, 1930. But I have to admit, with the story back in the news again, it's created an entirely new mystery for me. Now what I'd like to know is...

... is this what a 41-year-old guy looked like in 1930? Because I'm 43 and suddenly I'm kind of feeling a lot better about myself. Goiter or no goiter.

Well, Duh

Ripped from today's headlines...

  • Singer Courtney Love has been ordered to enter a drug rehab clinic by a judge who said he would consider sending her to jail for violating her parole terms.
  • Actress slash Playboy model Jenny McCarthy and her husband John Asher have filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.
  • The Kansas City Royals lost their 19th consecutive game tonight, bowing to the Oakland Athletics, 4-0.
  • Roughly Half Of Americans Think Aliens Visiting Earth.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid Has Mild Stroke

Once is clever, Mr. Rove. Twice is milking the bit. Lay off the stroke shit, dude. We get it. You're an evil genius.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Forced to Leave Crawford Vigil Due to Mother's Stroke

I'm not saying that he was involved. I'm not saying that he wasn't involved. All I'm saying is that Karl Rove is one nasty bastard.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Absolute Stinkiest Headline of the Day (UK Division)

Mistakes Led To Tube Shooting reports that elite British firearm officers shot Jean Charles De Menezes eight times in the head and upper body, despite the fact that the unarmed Brazilian electrician was behaving "normally" at the time of the incident and turned out to be completely unconnected to the July 22 bombings in London.

Really, You think maybe some "mistakes" were made?

Keep up the shitty work.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Absolute Best Headline of the Day

Bobby McFerrin Decides To Take Time Off.


Just so I'm clear, I didn't name the above headline the "Absolute Best Headline of the Day" because I was somehow happy that Bobby McFerrin was going to stop singing. It's just that I didn't know he still was singing and that he was singing so much so that he needed to take time off. So enjoy your hiatus, Mr. McFerrin. I'm sure you've earned it for whatever the hell you've been doing sing you sang "Don't Worry Be Happy".

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Don't Look At This As A Failure, PETA...

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is supposedly reconsidering its campaign that compares present-day abuse of animals to the treatment of blacks during the slavery era. This comes after the animal rights group had to apologize this year for running a campaign comparing the treatment of factory animals to the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust.

Well, I say you hang in there, PETA. Don't let the bastards get you down. Just because slavery and the Holocaust have been taken away from you doesn't mean you have to sit on your hands. There are still plenty of examples of human tragedy out there practically begging you to shamelessly and tastelessly exploit them. Heck, just off the top of my head I can think of the Armenian Massacre of 1915, the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, the Cambodian genocide of the late 70's, the '84-'85 Ethiopian famine... See? That's four right off the top of my head and I barely broke a sweat.

So I implore you PETA -- think big. Open yourselves to all the possibilities and stretch. If you really put your minds to it, I'm sure you can do much, much worse.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Summer of Sudoku

There's a bit of a battle going on in my house. For years, my family has been aware that a summer vacation doesn't really feel like a summer vacation unless it acquires a name derived from something memorable that occurred during that June to September stretch when school was out. As such, I've been leading an aggressive and fairly well-funded campaign for this to be referred to as "The Summer of Sudoku". As you may have guessed, this has a lot to do (okay everything to do) with my new-found love for those addictive little Japanese brain teasers that the local paper has started to run and may be running in yours, as well.

And "campaign" may be the wrong word to use because it's not like I'm not out there twisting arms or anything. Let's just say it's more of a well-thought-out, focused marketing strategy that involves me using the phrase "The Summer of Sudoku" over and over and over, even in circumstances where it's not really applicable. I realize that may sound nonsensical or even a little annoying, but trust me, 1987 didn't become known as the "Summer of President Ronald Reagan's Prostate Surgery" by accident, particularly since the procedure in question was performed in early January.

My fear, however, is that in my house, we may be well on our way to this becoming known as "The Summer of 'Friends'", given how much my kids are watching the show these days. Another possibility that's recently made a showing and could be a real dark-horse candidate is "The Summer of 'What Not To Wear'". Now, I suppose "Summer of 'Friends'" has a nice warm, rosy glow to it that they might look back fondly on in the years to come. But the name does sort of point to my weakness as a parent for allowing them to sit in front of the TV for hours on end when they could be engaged in something more active or healthy, or at least more financially lucrative. Not to mention that I've never really been the show's hugest fan and I'm even less of one now given the continuous TiVo loop it's been on for the past 63 straight days.

I actually have less of a problem with calling it "The Summer of 'What Not To Wear'," but it doesn't exactly trip off the tongue and it sounds a little too catty for my taste. Maybe if we were talking about it being "The Month of 'What Not To Wear'" or "The Day of 'What Not To Wear'". But we're not. Summer is what's up for grabs here and I really think we've got to be more discriminating than that.

That's why I much prefer "Summer of Sudoku" and I honestly believe I'm being pretty objective here. I say that with such confidence because when our housekeeper uses the phrase "Summer of Sudoku" (and before anyone writes in, don't worry -- I'm paying her on a per-usage basis and quite handsomely, I might add) it gives me the feeling that the school vacation has been an interesting and well-spent one, a summer where I've, say, travelled to some exotic new locale where I've had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a vibrant and dynamic culture heretofore unknown to me. When in actuality, all I've really done is sat at the kitchen table in my t-shirt and boxers and screamed at the family to shut up while I search vainly for that elusive "9" in the upper right hand box.

Anyway, I guess I'm writing this because I need your help. Obviously I can't possibly pay each and every one of you to use the phrase. (To be honest, I wasn't quite anticipating how many times the housekeeper would be able to fit "The Summer of Sudoku" into her talks with the kids but I guess it just goes to show the value of a good incentive). But if it's not too much of an imposition, it would be really terrific if you could throw it into conversation whenever possible. I'm not asking you to go overboard with it or anything. It can be as little or as much as you feel comfortable with.

Oh, and one more thing. I can't stress enough that I'm aware there are many important things going on in the country right now that definitely deserve our attention more. It's just that we're so very close to "The Summer of Sudoku" catching on and going wide. And quite honestly you may be all that stands between me and the past couple months being known in perpetuity as "The Summer of Dad's Massive Weight Gain".

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

An Open Letter to the Kansas State Board of Education

Dear Kansas State Board of Education:

Kudos and bravo! Your call for “greater criticism of evolution” in the science classroom is a breath of fresh air and long overdue. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear that someone else feels as I do that evolution needs to be taken down a peg or two. Stupid arrogant evolution. I mean, that theory’s been getting away with murder for years and I can’t believe it’s taken this long for a group as august and wise as yours to show the temerity to stand up and say, “Sorry, evolution, but you’re not getting away with it one second longer. I’m calling you out. Game on.”

It’s in the spirit of open-mindedness and sticking up for the little guy that you are so obviously trying to nurture, then, that I offer you some of my own criticisms of evolution that I’ve come up with over the years. Mind you, it’s a partial list. The full list would be far too large to reproduce here and to be honest, many of the problems I thought I had with evolution actually turned out to be problems with puberty and most of those have pretty much worked themselves out or I’ve learned to deal with them.

In any case, here are some of my criticisms of evolution that you should feel free to add to the ones that I’m sure you’ll soon be sharing with the youth of Kansas.

Bill Diamond’s Criticisms of Evolution

1. What the hell happened to our tails, prehensile or otherwise? Seems to me a tail would be very helpful for balance, particularly among the elderly and people with new breast implants who might still be seeking their center of gravity.

2. What gives with the whole walking-on-two-feet thing? Walking on all-fours seems like it would be a lot more comfortable, particularly if you’re going to be spending the day at a place like Disneyland. Sure, we’d all have to shell out twice as much money given our sudden need for hand-shoes, but I suspect the significant decrease in chiropractor bills would more than make up for it.

3. Personally, I find the fact that Tay-Sachs disease afflicts mostly Jewish people to be kind of anti-Semitic. And just so I’m being clear here, it’s not that I wish the disease on other faiths. I’m just saying the fact that it wasn’t spread around more evenly among other faiths is, well, “suspicious” to say the least.

4. Is it just me or wouldn’t it be more efficient if we cried from our mouths rather than our eyes? That way, all the wet stuff would be located in one place and if you didn’t want someone to see you cry (like a schoolyard bully or a very macho dad who didn’t approve of you wanting to take flute lessons), you could just keep your mouth closed and swallow a lot.

5. Armpit hair? Armpit hair?!

Anyway, there you go. I think you’ll agree – I’ve got some real beefs listed there and so far no one’s made evolution come clean and own up to some real boneheaded moves. In any case, I’m so glad you’re on the job and I want you to feel free to do with them what you will.

Your friend,

Bill Diamond

P.S. If for some reason your new school science standards have less to do with criticizing evolution and more to do with trying to sneak the concept of “intelligent design” into Kansas classrooms, please disregard the above because I think you’re wrong and couldn’t disagree with you more.

P.P.S. But either way, please feel free to use my criticisms.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Things That Need To Be Fixed #4

The other night I drove by a building with a sign out front that read, "For Rent: Ultra-Luxurious Apartments." I was curious, so I climbed up a trellis and crawled into one of the units through an open third-floor balcony and it was pretty clear the place was anything but "ultra-luxurious". In fact, if it was ultra-anything it was ultra-messy. That's screwed up and I think that needs to be fixed.

Things That Need To Be Fixed #3

Sheryl Crow doesn't really look natural when she's listening to her own music in those Dell Home Theater commercials they're running on TV right now. That's screwed up and I think that needs to be fixed.

Things That Need To Be Fixed #2

The space shuttle landed at 5 o'clock this morning and caused a couple of sonic booms. I guess that means that the thing was travelling faster than the speed of sound and that sound waves given off by the spacecraft couldn't get ahead of it and so they collected in a cone behind the thing and ultimately that's what caused the booms. But I don't really care because it woke me up and I still had a lot of sleeping left to do. Anyway, after I changed the soiled bedsheets, I turned on CNN and heard Miles O'Brien say something like when a space shuttle reenters the Earth's atmosphere you hear a couple of blasts in quick succession and then he went on to say it's "what's you want to hear" because it means reentry has been successful. Well, I consider myself very pro-astronaut or at least as pro-astronaut as you can be before it gets weird but I didn't "want to hear" it at 5 o'clock in the morning. Here's an idea: maybe next time, I'll go cover the shuttle landing for CNN and Miles O'Brien can sleep in my bed and see how much he "wants to hear" it at 5 in the morning. That's screwed up and I think that needs to be fixed.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I Beg to Differ

My hometown newspaper, The Canton Citizen, printed a story last month that kind of got me mad. The small-circulation weekly paper ran a front page story in its July 21 edition about how the Village Shoppes at Cobb's Corner "rang in the anticipated arrival" of the latest Harry Potter book. Not sure why they needed to throw that "anticipated" in there, since I doubt they could've gotten a bunch of cranky, sleepy kids to line up at midnight in an empty mall dressed in ill-fitting Harry Potter outfits if they didn't have an actual copy or two of the book lying around. That's just begging for a riot or at the very least a serious tantrum or two.

Anyway, that's not what has my dander up. What's got me more than a little upset is a photo accompanying the story that shows a cute kid holding a fake owl and a caption underneath that reads, "Teddy Andrade is a perfect Harry Potter."

Excuse me? A perfect Harry Potter? Can the editors of the Canton Citizen seriously be trying to tell me there's absolutely no room for improvement here? That Teddy's appearance in black gown and eyeglasses represents the be-all-and-end-all of dressing up like Harry Potter?

Don't get me wrong. The kid's good. Real good. Maybe the best I've seen. But give me a break -- I bet even Teddy knows he's got a ways to go, that he's still got some moves to learn, that there's a trick or two he may still want to try out.

So come on, editors of the Canton Citizen. Don't do this to us. Don't be part of the lowering of our national standards. Lift us up and set an example. We need you -- maybe now more than ever.

Marilyn and Me

Just read the transcript of Marilyn Monroe's last shrink session, wherein she describes how she stood naked in front of a full-length mirror and took stock of her 36-year-old body. Always ready for a challenge, I decided to drag out my full-length mirror to determine how my 43-year-old body stacks up against her slightly younger but far more celebrated one.

Marilyn Monroe: "My breasts are beginning to sag a bit."
Bill Diamond: My breasts appear in pretty good shape, though it's kind of hard to tell because they're covered in hair, some of it gray.
Winner: Draw

Marilyn Monroe: "My waist isn't bad."
Bill Diamond: I'm wearing the same size jeans as I did in high school, only the ones I wore in high school were those stupid flared, bell-bottomy things that were all the rage back then.
Winner: Draw

Marilyn Monroe: "[My] buttocks are still 'the best.' "
Bill Diamond: Maybe they were the best... but only till my sweet cheeks came along.
Winner: Bill Diamond

Based on the above objective assessment, I feel confident in concluding that I'm hotter at 43 than Marilyn Monroe was at 36.

Things That Need to Be Fixed: #1

A baby should not be allowed to hold a balloon while watching an R-rated movie. I went to see a midnight screening of "Wedding Crashers" last night and the stupid kid in the seat behind me totally ruined the hand-job scene for me. That's screwed up and I think that needs to be fixed.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

How Much Do I Love England

Where else would an article start out talking about a guy peeing on his neighbor's hedge in a year-long attempt to kill it and end with a bullet-pointed discussion about the idiosyncracies of the Leylandii tree? In America, we would have stopped with the pissing-in-the-bushes angle. We have so much to learn.

Hey, What Do You Know?!

I just read that pop star Jessica Simpson and I have two things in common. She says she plans to avoid taking "deep, dark movie roles" and says she's "on a mission to make people happy." Oh my god -- ditto and ditto. And wait, I didn't even see this. Sez Jessica: "I'm not going for an Oscar." On second thought, make that ditto, ditto and ditto!


I read that South Korean scientists have cloned a dog they're calling "Snuppy". Big deal. I'm not saying it was an easy feat to pull off. I'm sure they had to read a lot of thick books and make a lot of calculations. I'm just saying it opens up a huge can of worms.

Here's what I mean. Let's say we come home and find that Snuppy has piddled on the carpet. Are we not supposed to get mad at him just because he looks up at us with those big, drippy "I'm just a clone" eyes? Or how about when he gets scared during a thunderstorm and jumps through a plate-glass window -- are we not supposed to punish him or send him to his cage when he cocks his head and gives us that "Sorry, sir, but I'm not genetically encoded to deal with loud noises" look?

I hate Snuppy already.

Sympathy for the Devil (In All of Us)

I feel Robert Novak’s pain. Like journalism’s Prince of Darkness, I too cursed while on the air and found myself similarly forced to issue an embarrassing and widely written about public apology.

Whereas Novak, whose 2003 column outed undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame and whose carelessly-scheduled, $600-a-ticket political forum caused me to cancel my own eponymously-named (and potentially far more interesting) political forum (see earlier post), was kicked off CNN for using a barnyard epithet (okay, okay, he said “bullshit”), I was banned from my local supermarket for yelling the same word into a microphone at one of their registers and for broadcasting the same word (okay, okay, I said “fucking bullshit” but it’s the basically same thing) to all the shoppers who happened to be in the store at the time. And, since I'd accidentally turned up the volume, to the dozen or so elderly people waiting at a senior shuttle bus stop on the sidewalk outside.

I can’t speak for Bob Novak (my voice isn't nearly that gravelly and I can’t quite capture the hint of malice that seems to come so easily to him) and I really have no idea why he unraveled so quickly and petulantly on “Inside Politics”. As for me, all I can tell you is I needed to go to the bathroom pretty bad and when I was finally able to work my way to the back of the store (the place was pretty crowded, not to mention slow-moving), I discovered the bathroom door was locked. I started banging away at the door and yelling and when the manager approached, I told him what the problem was. He nodded and said quite politely that someone was obviously in the bathroom but that I could use the facilities when they were vacant.

Well, things get kind of hazy for me at this point (most of what I remember I’ve had to piece together from several eyewitness accounts as well as a pretty detailed police report) but I believe what happened next was I must have started walking away (no surprise, since I tend to be fairly scared of direct confrontation) and must have muttered something under my breath along the lines of, “Oh yeah? Well, I think you’re kind of vacant.”

I don’t know why I said it. It wasn’t a particularly clever line and my friends tell me I’m generally capable of much better retorts. All I can think is I must have really, really had to go to the bathroom and the pressure got to me. But as I told the judge a few weeks later, there really was no excuse for my behavior. It was just totally uncalled for on my part. I mean, obviously the manager guy was just doing his job and he was only, like, 23 or something.

In any case, the manager did a good job of keeping his cool and told me that what I’d said was “a little bit rude and kind of unnecessary” and like I said, I really wasn’t in a position to argue with him. But I did anyway. And that’s when I told him that I thought his produce sucked. He sighed and told me that it was entirely within my rights to hold that opinion but that he held an entirely different opinion, namely that his produce most decidedly didn’t suck. Well, one thing led very quickly to another and the next thing I know a couple of store goons (okay, they were from the butchery department so they weren't so much "goons" as "goon-like") are dragging me out of the store kicking and screaming and I’m pretty much grabbing at anything I can to slow them down or just generally make it harder for them to get me out of there. Anyway, as I'm flailing around, I happen to get a decent grip on the microphone and… well, that, unfortunately, is when the “fucking bullshit” thing popped out of my mouth.

As I think you can tell, I’m actually very sorry about the whole incident. "Filled with remorse" is how I think I put it. And not just because I can’t shop at that supermarket any more without putting on a wig, a fake nose and really thick makeup. Though I suppose that is a way for Bob Novak to go if he really, really wants back on CNN. Speaking just for myself, it really wouldn’t affect how I feel about his many and varied political insights. Not one bit.