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A collection of 30 Arnold Schwarzenegger TV commercials from Japan, from the early 90s:

Good Lord, I remember seeing almost ALL of these commercials on TV when I lived over in Japan, 1990-92.

One of my treasured possessions from my time there is my Arnold Schwarzenegger cup noodles - yes, Nissin actually made some up with his face on them, they were sort of seafood flavour - probably not edible after 20 years but I have it on my bookshelf still (you can see a glimpse of it in the very last commercial).

And that vitamin drink, like most of the other vitamin drinks they were hawking at the time, tasted like cotton candy dissolved in some water in which someone had left a cigarette butt to steep overnight.

They even had spin-offs from the commercials - I remember one of my students had a page-protector printed with an image from the commercial of Schwarzenegger with the tea kettles (about the 5:55 mark). And I nicked one of those vitamin drink banners from a local pharmacy, and flew it later over our camp the first time I went to Burning Man, when “Shuwa-chan” was governor of California….
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As usual, The Onion says it all... honestly, it's like C. Montgomery Burns is writing the world-script right now.

Governor Walker Should Be Flogged For His Inability To Control His Underlings

By T. Herman Zweibel
Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911)
February 24, 2011 | ISSUE 47•08

By any civilized measure, this should be a golden age for America. My editors inform me that the gap between rich and poor is the greatest in history, which is a comfort, as I wish the coal-smudged wretches as far from me as possible. So, too, are we in a vast recession, meaning I am allowed to appear fiscally pious and unusually virtuous as I refuse to share even a parcel of my staggering wealth with the less enriched. Best of all, the lack of spare spending-pennies among the general population has put every-one in such a foul demeanor that the good people of Georgia may soon pass a law decreeing that any woman over 13 who is not pregnant must be put to death, and about time, I say. Truly, it is a good time to sell news-papers, as people do lap up the repeated failures of their society like a dog its vomit.
But for one noxious exception: This governor of Wisconsin and his glaring impotence in constraining the state's wretched hirelings.

You may imagine my rage when I was informed that the Governor was facing down seventy thousands of angry state workers after informing them that they had lost their right to bargain for Union contracts! He allowed them to rise up like so many aspirational prairie-dogs, without fear of lashing, the gibbet, nor public humiliation! Wisconsin, as we all know, is a hinterland of ruddy-faced, venison-gnashing peasants, so naturally the in-ability of this man to rule there infuriated me so greatly that my iron dentures clashed together with a force sufficient to spot-weld them closed. We have come to a pretty pass in this country when common citizens feel they have the right to assemble in public and shout any God-damned thing they want!

Once I had been calmed and my jaws freed by my house dentrifice-monger, I discussed the matter of the Union workers with my solicitors. My first question, of course, was whether or not these Union toilers could be replaced with vastly less expensive workers under the Confederate model, but I was informed that for various complex reasons this may not be feasible for several years. I was much heartened by the news, however, that Walker was trying to drag the Union work-men down to the level of the average slobbering working person, which should be the goal of every Governor. After all, I would not build a lead-slurry plant in Wisconsin if I can pay the workers in New Jersey a few cents less, and unions make that very difficult. Therefore, if they care one whit about cheap and thank-less jobs, the 48 governors of this nation ought to be scrambling to see which state can beat its citizens into the most hopeless, miserable, and pathetic conditions possible. The governor with the most desperate citizens will then get all the lead-slurry plants and be hailed as a hero. That, as any news-paper will tell you, is how America works, God damn it!

Yet what little blood still seeps through my calcified and brittle veins was brought near to boiling when I was told that minions, lackeys, and servants were threatening to assemble publicly and make their opinions known in the neighboring cesspools of Ohio and Indiana. If this madness were to spread, the grotesque accumulation of capital I and my brother barons so cherish would be under some feeble threat. What would these workers demand next? A six-day work week? Nonsense!

I was quickly informed, however, that many of the plow-and-hammer types actually support their asparagus-spined governor, apparently from the impulse that it is easier to tear others down than to lift yourself up—a principle I wholly support, as it is the foundation upon which journalism and democracy are built.

So while this near-treasonous Governor should resign for slackening the customary iron grip on his state and allowing the common rabble to have a voice, I believe that this will be only a brief setback. The people of Wisconsin have been reasonable, civil, and articulate, I am told, despite the fact that many among them are mere laborers, and, what is even worse, teachers. And if there is one thing I have learned from my time on this God-forsaken Earth, it is that reasonable, civil, and intelligent people have not left much of a mark on history.
Now, get back to work!

In other news, I scored a very nice pair of Corcoran jump-boots with zippers down the sides at Value Village - they fit well, but I have to break them in a bit more. They look like this, but shinier:

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So, as part of the forced Christmas Office Frivolity, we decorated the office. I cut this shape our of cardboard and hung it from the branches of what was left of my coffee tree:

Can't guess what it is?


Hyok hyok hyok hyok....
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Oh yes, and this of course (though manyof you may have alreaady seen it):
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News from the Hermit Kingdom:

Guidelines for Juche-based Dancing Art

Pyongyang, November 30 (KCNA) -- Twenty years has elapsed since General Secretary Kim Jong Il published a famous work, "Theory of Dancing Art", on November 30, Juche 79 (1990).

The work formulates the distinctive character and basic mission of the dancing art and the orientation of its development newly elucidated by the Juche idea. It also gives principles and ways of applying them to dance creation and performance and expounds all theoretical and practical issues arising in perfecting and fully introducing Korean-style dance notation.

Since the work was published, the originality and validity of Kim Jong Il's idea and theory on the Juche-based dancing art have been fully demonstrated, many famous dance pieces created and the dance notation brought to perfection.

Grand gymnastic and artistic performances "Ever-victorious Workers' Party of Korea" and "Arirang" were created as masterpieces and the folk dance suites "Song of the Seasons" and "People in the Walled City of Pyongyang", dance suite "Army and People United in One Mind around the Leader", dances "I Can Still See Victory in the Revolution!" and "We Will Never Give up Even an Inch of Our Land" and many other dance works of various themes and forms produced on the basis of national customs, grandiose current of the times and the heroic struggle of the Korean people.

The dance notation has become smaller in number of notes and easier to understand the composition and combination of dance movements in a theoretical way and note them.

Thanks to Kim Jong Il's outstanding idea and theory, the dancing art of Korea has developed into a Juche-based, revolutionary one based on national dance style and the people's life.


But what they meant was really this:

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In honour of Easter Sunday I wrote this hymn (tune of "O God Our Help In Ages Past"):

Oh Zombie Jesus Don't Bite Me

On the third day did Jesus rise
Of this we all are sure
But still one question we must ask,
Is, "Were His motives pure?"

The rock rolled back and He came forth
Into the light of day
Parts of Him had gone light green
And others were quite gray

His steady stare and shambling gait
Did not the crowd dismay
Until he seized an Apostle
And tore his arm away

Dear Jesus broke up Simon's skull
And ate the goo inside
His followers ran for the hills
And scattered far and wide

But still He did catch one or two
And gave them each a bite
They died and rose to be undead
And carry on the fight

O Zombie Jesus don't bite me
Please leave me with my brains
And save me from your followers
Their pamphlets and refrains


Surely I am going to Hell, now....
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Yaaaaayyyy!!!! LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11, 2009

Pee-wee Herman Back, and Bigger than Ever
New Live Show in L.A. Costs Millions to Produce; Pee-wee "Ready to Get Back Out There"

(AP) The star may be Pee-wee, but his new live stage show is absolutely huge.

"The Pee-wee Herman Show," opening next month in downtown Los Angeles at Club Nokia theater, cost millions to mount. It boasts 11 actors, 20 puppets and marks the show's first production since 1982.

So, why now?

"Well, you know, I really want to make a movie version of 'The Playhouse,' my Saturday morning kid show!" said actor Paul Reubens, in an interview earlier this week in which he stayed in his exuberant Pee-wee persona.

"This seemed like a great way to do it: reintroduce it, get back out there, introduce Pee-wee to the new generation that didn't know about it."

An impulsive, sometimes naughty child living a fantastical world, the Pee-wee character first made a big splash with the live "The Pee-wee Herman Show," which debuted at Groundlings theater in Los Angeles in 1981. An HBO broadcast of the show spread the Pee-wee gospel across the country later that year, and a 1985 Tim Burton-directed feature film, "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," was an acclaimed and popular success.

Then came the television series, "Pee-wee's Playhouse" (1986-91), which ran for five seasons, earned 22 Emmys and attracted not only children but adults to Saturday-morning television.

Pee-wee was shelved after Reubens' July 1991 arrest for indecent exposure in an adult-movie house in Sarasota, Florida, resulting in a small fine. Reubens, now 57, continued to act, playing characters other than Pee-wee, scoring successes as the Penguin's father in "Batman Returns" (1992) and a 1995 Emmy nomination for a recurring guest role on "Murphy Brown." But Pee-wee would ultimately rise again.

"Well, I went back and forth between wanting to do it and not wanting to do (the new stage show)," Pee-wee said. "I had a producer that was calling me every two months for two years. And every two months, I would change my mind. And then, finally, one day I woke up and decided, 'This is it, I'm coming back."

As with the original stage show, the new production spins around Pee-wee's desire to fly. The menagerie of "Playhouse" characters is back, as are some of the original cast members, including Lynne Stewart as Miss Yvonne, John Moody as Mailman Mike and John Paragon as Jambi the Genie.

"I think I am grateful for my friends," Pee-wee said. "I am grateful for my fans. I am grateful that people still support me. I am grateful that people are going to buy tickets to come see my fabulous, fantastic, unbelievably incredible show at Club Nokia opening January 12th, playing until February 7th. I hope people have tickets and that is pretty much what I am thankful for."

"The Pee-wee Herman Show" is scheduled to run for a limited four-week engagement, Jan. 12- Feb. 7.

Where do I go when I wanna do what I want?
Pee-Wee's Playhouse, that's the place for me
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Well, I probably would have been disappointed anyway:... stuff about other things snipped:

Penn drops Stooges, Cartel films for personal time-out
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Comedy fans eager to see Academy Award-winner Sean Penn as one of the Three Stooges appear to be out of luck, as the actor has dropped out of his upcoming film projects.

Penn, who won Oscars for his roles in Mystic River and Milk, is taking a break from acting and withdrawing from the Farrelly Brothers' film The Three Stooges as well as the crime thriller Cartel, a spokeswoman for the actor has confirmed.

Mara Buxbaum did not give a reason for the decision, but added that if the start dates of the productions were postponed, the actor could remain involved.

According to industry reports, Penn, 48, is taking an extended leave from Hollywood to deal with personal issues. [snip]

The Stooges project is a longtime labour of love for the Farrellys, who garnered much buzz in March with news that Penn had been cast as Larry, Jim Carrey as Curly and Benicio del Toro as Moe.

Before Penn's announcement, the comedy had been slated to start filming in August and released in 2010.


relates to
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Archie shocker: Comic book hero picks Veronica

B-but this can't be! This eternally wobbly love triangle was what drove the comic, for over 60 years.

Oh well. Maybe sometimes they'll have Betty over to their Daddykins-provided small mansion for a threesome, then make her cook breakfast for them afterwards....
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This is patently ridiculous, but it's one of those It Mostly Only Happens In Canada things: the Copyright Act as currently written is silent on exceptions for purpose of parody or satire, as the American law does. Therefore Canwest is allowed to stomp all over this not-particularly-good joke, while the perpetrator's aren't even allowed to mention what it was they were trying to do with it, or why, or even that, gee, Canwest just happens to be the next best thing to an absolute media monopoly in this country.

Canwest Suit May Test Limits of Free Speech

Test: Where to strike the balance on parody? Defence appeals ruling that case is about copyright, not a citizen's right to skewer with satire.

By Tom Barrett
Published: December 11, 2008

A lawsuit involving a newspaper that mocked Canwest's Middle East coverage may test the limits of free expression in Canada.

The defendants claim the case is about satire, parody and free-speech rights. Canwest Mediaworks Publications says free speech has nothing to do with it -- the four-page paper hurt its business and violated its copyright and trademarks.

The defendants' free-speech defence suffered a setback late last month, when Alan Donaldson, a master of the B.C. Supreme Court, ruled that "parody is not a defence to a copyright claim."
Read more... )
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File this under, "Nice idea but you know somehow it's just going to be bad."

It always amazed me how Bob & Doug took off (nyeah) so quickly in the US - perhaps because it innately confirmed the impression Americans would like to have of us as slightly dim, harmless and basically friendly people.

Funnier still when you consider that Moranis and Thomas invented these characters when they were just goofing around in front of the camera, after the CRTC had made some demands for more explicitly Canadian content (this is why the early Bob & Doug sketches have the long, involved crawl explaining about "Kanadian Korner").

Fox wants piece of Bob and Doug McKenzie

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 | 11:19 AM ET

The Fox network has signed up to develop The Animated Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie, a cartoon based on the famous Canadian hosers.

The Hollywood Reporter said Monday that Fox has become involved with the pilot episode and will back Canada's Global network to create the first 13 episodes.

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, who developed the original Bob and Doug for an SCTV skit in 1980, will voice the cartoon.

They created an unlikely hit by playing the slightly dim, beer-swilling, lumberjack jacket-wearing Bob and Doug.

Thomas told the Hollywood Reporter the animated series will set the hoser brothers in a fictional town with family and friends.

Comedians Dave Coulier, Colin Mochrie, Pat McKenna, Derek McGrath, Ron Pardo, Jayne Eastwood and Ho Chow will also voice characters in the series.

Fox has had great success with its animated series, including The Simpsons and American Dad.

The co-production deal between Global and Fox marks a trend in Canadian TV. Global is working with NBC on Howie Do It, a prank comedy show starring Howie Mandel and CTV is working with CBS on cop drama Flashpoint. CBC's Sophie is also to air on ABC.
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Subculture news story generator.
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From the news summary "ThisisTrue" (the story's about a month old):

Commuters stuck in traffic on a Los Angeles, Calif., freeway saw something unusual when they passed the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels: a gigantic advertisement projected on the steeple. "Your Ad Here" alternated with "Your Corporate Logo Here". Officials at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles were as perplexed as motorists, since they didn't authorize the advertisement. "A church tower is different from a billboard," said an archdiocese spokesman. "If it wasn't, we would have been selling ad space 2,000 years ago."

Rather, it was a piece of performance art by 28-year-old graphic artist James Cui. While the church was reasonably amused, bureaucrats weren't. "What he put up is the equivalent to an advertising sign and not a work of art," said city code enforcement head Dave Keim, noting illegal ad signs are punishable as a misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000 and six months in jail. "To us, anything that attracts the attention of the public is a 'sign' and you need a permit." (Los Angeles Times)

From this week's Onion:


Child-Safety Experts Call For Restrictions On Childhood Imagination
February 20, 2007 | Issue 43•08

WASHINGTON, DC—The Department of Health and Human Services issued a series of guidelines Monday designed to help parents curtail their children's boundless imaginations, which child-safety advocates say have the potential to rival motor vehicle accidents and congenital diseases as a leading cause of disability and death among youths ages 3 to 14.

"Defuse the ticking time-bomb known as your child's imagination before it explodes and destroys her completely," said child-safety expert Kenneth McMillan, who advised the HHS in composing the guidelines. "New data shows a disturbing correlation between serious accidents and the ability of children to envision a world full of exciting possibility."

The guidelines, titled "Boundless Imagination, Boundless Hazards: Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe From A World Of Wonder," are posted on the HHS website, and will also be available in brochure form in pediatricians' offices across the country.

According to McMillan, children can suffer broken bones, head trauma, and even fatal injuries from unsupervised exposure to childlike awe. "If your children are allowed to unlock their imaginations, anything from a backyard swing set to a child's own bedroom can be transformed into a dangerous undersea castle or dragon's lair," McMillan said. "But by encouraging your kids to think linearly and literally, and constantly reminding them they can never be anything but human children with no extraordinary characteristics, you can better ensure that they will lead prolonged lives."

Although the exact number of child fatalities connected to an active imagination is unknown, experts say the danger is very real. According to a 2006 estimate, children who regularly engage in imagination are 10 times more likely to suffer injuries such as skinned knees from mythical quests, or bruises and serious falls from the peak of Bookcase Mountain.

One of the HHS recommendations emphasizes increased communication between parents and children about the truths behind outlandish fantasies. "Speak with your children about the absolute impossibility of time travel, magical powers, and animals and toys that talk when adults are not around," reads one excerpt. "If this fails to quell their imaginations, encourage them to stare at household objects and think clearly and objectively about their actual, physical characteristics."

The HHS also discourages aimless playtime activities that lack a rigid, repetitive structure: "Opt instead for safe activities like untying knots, sticking and unsticking two pieces of Velcro, drawing straight lines of successively longer lengths, and quietly humming a single note for two to three hours."

But even these relatively safe activities can become imaginative, experts warn, without proper precautions. "Do not let children know that, for example, sailors and pirates untie knots," McMillan said.

Although no cure has yet been developed for childhood imagination, preventative measures can deter children from potentially hazardous bouts of make-believe.

"Many of the suggestions are really quite simple, like breaking down cardboard boxes or sewing cushions to couches so they cannot be converted into forts or playhouses," McMillan said. "Blank pieces of paper, which can inspire non-reality-based drawings, should be discarded unless they are used in one of our recommended diagonal folding and unfolding activities. And all loose sticks left lying in the yard should be carefully labeled 'Not a Sword.'"

Unfortunately, removing everything from a child's field of view that could stimulate his active young mind is extremely time-consuming, and infeasible as a long-term solution, McMillan acknowledges. "To truly protect your children, you must go to great lengths to completely eliminate their curiosity, crush their spirit of amazement, and eradicate their childlike glee. Watch for the danger signs: faraway expressions, giggle fits, and a general air of carefree contentment."

Added McMillan: "Remember, if you see a single sparkle of excitement in their eyes, you haven't done enough."
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Co-creator of Yogi Bear, Flintstones dies at 95
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 | 11:01 AM ET
CBC Arts

Joe Barbera, half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such beloved cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and the Flintstones, died Monday, a Warner Bros. spokesman said.

Barbera, 95, died of natural causes at his home with his wife Sheila at his side, Warner Bros. spokesman Gary Miereanu said.

With his longtime partner Bill Hanna, Barbera first found success creating the highly successful Tom and Jerry cartoons. The antics of the battling cat and mouse went on to win seven Academy Awards, more than any other series with the same characters.

The partners, who had first teamed up while working at MGM in the 1930s, then went on to a whole new realm of success in the 1950s with a witty series of animated TV comedies, including The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo and Huckleberry Hound and Friends.

Their strengths melded perfectly, critic Leonard Maltin wrote in his book Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. Barbera brought the comic gags and skilled drawing, while Hanna brought warmth and a keen sense of timing.

"This writing-directing team may hold a record for producing consistently superior cartoons using the same characters year after year —without a break or change in routine," Maltin wrote.

"From the Stone Age to the Space Age and from primetime to Saturday mornings, syndication and cable, the characters he created with his late partner, William Hanna, are not only animated superstars, but also a very beloved part of American pop culture. While he will be missed by his family and friends, Joe will live on through his work," Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Barry Meyer said Monday.

Hanna, who died in 2001, once said he was never a good artist but his partner could "capture mood and expression in a quick sketch better than anyone I've ever known."

The two first teamed cat and mouse in the short Puss Gets the Boot. It earned an Academy Award nomination, and MGM let the pair keep experimenting until the full-fledged Tom and Jerry characters eventually were born.

Jerry was borrowed for the mostly live-action musical Anchors Aweigh, dancing with Gene Kelly in a scene that become a screen classic.

After MGM folded its animation department in the mid-1950s, Hanna and Barbera were forced to go into business for themselves. With television's sharply lower budgets, their new cartoons put more stress on verbal wit rather than the detailed — and expensive — action featured in theatrical cartoons.

Cartoon Network should have a Harvey Birdman marathon in memoriam tonight.
And I'm pretty sure Yogi and Boo-Boo were queer... sharing a cave and all that.

"Hey Hey, Boo-Boo! Assume the position!"
"Ohhhh, Yogi...."
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Dudley Do-Right writer dies

Last Updated: Monday, December 18, 2006 | 11:56 AM ET
CBC Arts

Chris Hayward, a television writer who brought his off-beat sense of humour to the Rocky and Bullwinkle TV show and comedies such as Get Smart and Barney Miller, has died.

Read more... )

This guy had some of the cleverest scripts, and certainly the concept guy behind The Munsters deserves to be remembered.

All of the good humour seems to be draining out of this world. I think it was Mort Sahl who started the practice of reading newspaper headlines to present truth as comedy, this is all we are left with now....
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Recalling my earlier clipping:

Borat plaintiffs want DVD halted
Last Updated: Friday, December 8, 2006 | 12:10 PM ET
CBC Arts

The future DVD release of the recent hit Borat could be jeopardized as a judge weighs the complaints of two frat boys who claim they were duped into making racist and sexist comments in the movie.

Read more... )

Again, sympathy for drunken Yahoo frat boys is pretty sparse 'round this here blog. What difference does it make if they were told, falsely or no, that the film would not be shown in the States?

There is an old Japanese proverb: "tabi no haji wa kakisute", which literally means "scrap the shame from your shoes" but is better translated as "the shame incurred while traveling can be easily discarded and forgotten." Not exactly applicable here but it explains why people feel that as long as it's overseas, it's acceptable.
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Borat's humour lost on unwitting victims

Erin Carlson, The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NEW YORK -- While teaching American humour to a gregarious and absurdly out-of-touch foreign journalist, Pat Haggerty realized something was off -- who WAS this guy?

Haggerty, a public-speaking coach from Washington, D.C., is one of the unwitting co-stars of the surprise hit movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit of Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Haggerty has no hard feelings toward Borat, a.k.a. comedian Sacha Baron Cohen -- but the same can't be said for others who were humiliated or even lost their jobs thanks to the awkward fellow with the bushy moustache.

Their embarrassment over the film's hilarious, cringe-inducing blend of fiction and improvised comedy is magnified by its success -- Borat has topped the box office two weeks in a row, earning a total of $67.8 million.

Last year, Haggerty agreed to be filmed for what he thought was a benign documentary on his client's journey across America. He hurriedly signed a release form, was paid $400, and the lesson began.

As cameras rolled, his client told raunchy stories in garbled English and laughed heartily at the expense of handicapped people. "And then, I'm starting to smell a rat," Haggerty told The Associated Press. "Each passing minute I'm going, you know, this can't be real."

Confused, he ended up playing along. He later figured out -- thanks to his son, an HBO-watching college student -- that he'd been duped.

"They were exercising a First Amendment right," said Haggerty, adding that he enjoyed the movie. "And this Sacha Cohen guy's going to make 87 gazillion dollars. You know, good for him. I'm just sorry that he had to do it in such a way that he allowed people to make jerks out of themselves exposing their character flaws."

Two of Cohen's targets -- fraternity boys who made drunken, insulting comments about women and minorities -- are suing 20th Century Fox and three production companies. The lawsuit claims that a production crew took the students to a bar to "loosen up" before participating in what they were told would be a documentary to be shown outside of the United States, and that they signed waivers after drinking heavily. Studio spokesman Gregg Brilliant said the lawsuit "has no merit."

Cohen's behaviour also wasn't funny to Dharma Arthur, who claims she was fired as a morning show producer in Jackson, Miss., after being duped into giving Cohen air time. Cohen's live appearance, in which he said he had to go "urine" and hugged a bemused weatherman, led her life into a downward spiral, she told the AP. She is seeking an apology.

Kathie Martin, who runs an etiquette school in Birmingham, Ala., was also left out of the joke. Even though she was gracious and calm when Borat showed her nude photos of his son, Martin admitted she was "taken aback" by his shtick during their on-camera meeting.

"Unless you can figure it out for yourself, you have no way of knowing you have been tricked into being part of a childish prank with an R rating attached," she told the AP via e-mail.

"And even if you figure it out, you've signed a release that Mr. Cohen's people say relinquishes any rights on your part to take action against them."

Ronald Miller, of Natchez, Miss., was baffled by the ruse. He and his wife attended a dinner at a plantation house, which they were told would be an interview with an "Eastern European television reporter coming to Natchez to film social customs in the South," he told the AP.

Cohen's kerfuffle with Vancouver Island's Pamela Anderson, however, did make the cut. The Baywatch babe was attacked by his alter ego at a book signing, and he later chased her through a parking lot.

Did she learn of his antics in advance? Anderson's not telling.

"Unfortunately, Pamela is not doing any press interviews for Borat," her spokeswoman, Tracy Nguyen, wrote in an e-mail.

"Regarding if it was a surprise or not, we'd like to leave it to the imagination. Pam loves Borat and Borat loves Pam."

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2006

Several lessons here foax:

1. Read the goddamn fine print when you sign a waiver.
2. Behave yourself in front of the camera if you don't wish any consequences.
3. Better yet, don't get in front of it in the first place.
4. Especially if you are a drunken frat boy or closet racist.
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Well, I posted yesterday's entry on the provincial election to the [ profile] victoria_bc user community, and it was mere moments before people were screaming at each other (and at me).

In the middle of people saying, "I voted Green or I wouldn't have voted at all - I hate the NDP" and other people saying, "Guilt tripping people because they have different political leanings or priorities than you just sucks", no one seemed to notice that the way I phrased my post, it could as easily have been written by a gleeful Liberal as from a bitter NDPer.

The joke was lost. I got too "meta". I should just give up this whole humour thing, these days the satire writes itself. No wonder Jon Stewart is considered more of a responsible journalist than a comedian.

But I can't stop playing with these numbers, and a footnote to Paul Willcocks' last column in his political blog [] said:
Footnote: It's clear that Green voters could have delivered victory to the NDP or Liberals in 10 close races if they had changed their votes. But it's not at all clear which of the other two parties those voters might have moved to if they had opted to vote strategically. Green voters increasingly come from both sides of the political spectrum.

So on adding up some more, I found 13 districts where the Liberal-plus-Green vote could have defeated the NDP winner:

Burnaby-Edmonds, Cariboo North, Cariboo South, Coquitlam-Maillardville, Delta North, Malahat-Juan de Fuca, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, North Island, Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, Powell River-Sunshine Coast, Saanich South, Skeena, Vancouver-Fairview.

So then, making that simple-minded assumption that the Liberals and Greens collude against the NDP, we would have 60 Liberal seats, 19 NDP.

What does this mean? I guess it really only means that the Green Party held the balance of power in 25 of 79 districts, but only if they had changed their votes. We'd have the existing 46-33 (or it might be 47-32, the recount is still on) situation if they had all stayed home to keep the Spotted Owl company.

[my new backup motto is going to be, "you said there would be rodents".]

I suppose, as many people posted, we should be grateful that there's a semi-credible third party at all in the province - though third parties, of usually right-wing ideological stripes, have held seats in the Legislative Assembly more often than not in the last 40 years, they were never power-brokers or deal-makers.

One more numerical diversion:
I thought I would try a simple test of "attachment". I went through the numbers and picked out all districts where there was a difference of 20% or more in the popular vote between the two parties. I found:

21 "strong Liberal": Abbotsford-Clayburn, Abbotsford-Mount Lehmann, Chilliwack-Kent, Chilliwack-Sumas, Fort Langley-Aldergrove, Kelowna-Lake Country, Kelowna-Mission, Langley, North Vancouver-Seymour, Okanagan-Westside, Peace River North, Peace River South, Richmond Centre, Richmond East, Richmond-Steveston, Surrey-Cloverdale, Surrey-White Rock, Vancouver-Langara, Vancouver-Quilchena, West Vancovuer-Capilano, West Vancouver-Garibaldi.

9 "strong NDP": Nelson-Creston, Surrey-Green Timbers, Surrey-Newton, Surrey-Whalley, Vancouver-Hastings, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, Victoria-Beacon Hill, Victoria-Hillside, West Kootenay-Boundary.

Again, does this really mean anything? Perhaps none of it does. After 12 years in and around politics, it seems to me that 95% or more of the business of government is exactly the same no matter which party is in power. We're all squabbling about where to put the goal posts in a big game of Kick The Can played in a prison yard. [ugh, can't you tell it's raining outside?]
ltmurnau: (Default)
From Gravity's Rainbow:

∫(cabin) = 1/(log(cabin)) + c = houseboat

Yuk yuk yuk yuk.

ltmurnau: (Default)
Every Wednesday morning is "Goodie Day" at my office - one of the side benefits of working in a branch that consists of 26 women and 4 men. We take it in turns to do this, and whoever gets the goodies is usually expected to speak on something (not necessarily work-related).

Today it was my turn - I had forgotten, so I had to nip out to the Rheinland Bakery on Fort St. where I usually get my baked nummies.

So that was that taken care of, now what was I going to talk about? A month or so ago someone had set up a "poetry day" where you drew the name of a co-worker out of a hat and had to write some kind of ditty about her. I declined to participate because I felt I could not refrain from insulting someone inadvertently. But today I thought I would read some of my poetry, written years ago when I was an ESL teacher in Japan. It was 1991, Dr. Seuss had just died so I composed some doggerel in imitation of his style - though in retrospect it seems more like Percy Dovetonsils.

Here is what I read, An ABC of Japanese Substance Abuse. And obviously, once again I totally misjudged my audience. Some people got it right away while others stood there as if I'd banged a railroad spike between their eyes. Didn't even get much of a laugh when someone asked me if I used that to teach English and I told them the Cigarette Joke.

A great flop and this time I really embarrassed myself. I guess what sets me doing something like this now from me doing this 20 years ago is that I won't dwell on it and I think, fuck, if they don't understand it, it's their fucking loss, right?

I mean, what the fucking fuck, eh?
Ya buncha stiffs....


ltmurnau: (Default)

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