Archive for November, 2012

Mahatma Gandhi is Highly Quotable…

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Some Came Running

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

“Aesthetic medicine” practitioner Dr. Jack Berdy has figured out a way to beat the game of poker by selling Botox injections to mid- and high-stakes card sharks to eliminate their “tells.” He calls this “Pokertox,” and while it’s really just a gimmicky repurposing and promotion of a ho-hum cosmetic, what it says about Berdy’s clientele is fascinating.

As Berdy deadens his patients’ faces to prevent nervous ticks, twitches, jumpy eyebrows, frowns, trembling lips, and other obvious signs of relief, annoyance, elation, or fear, he essentially removes all traces of the life they’ve lived from their expressions. On the one hand, if he’s successful and the other players are unable to read that face, Berdy will have replaced his client’s actual “character” with the character of a “winner.” He or she will, after all, have “won,” right? Since these days a receipt for that win is all that matters, whoever’s counting the pot at the end of the game is the clear victor here. It’s just funny that we’re talkin’ about adding or removing character with a syringe to triumph in a game traditionally viewed as a test of one’s mettle. (more…)

WHAT DID ELMO KNOW?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Did Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, have  a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy? Apparently unaware that it’s still gross, Clash claimed things started only after the boy turned 18. What, did he wait for the kid’s “special” birthday? And WAS ELMO THERE? Sesame Street Workshop execs have known about the situation since June. Did Elmo protect the man who operated the puppet for more than 27 years? Will our furry red friend go out like Paterno, disgraced and weakened, or will he persist, forever a symbol of parental awkwardness?  

And who’s going explain Elmo’s sudden, if slight, voice change? (more…)

The New Zero Hour

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

A lit road flare in your hand is less recognizable than the shape of an AK-47 rifle. As a kid I once heard an adult describing U.S. Army soldiers in Vietnam who’d pulled AK-47s from the mud, shouldered or ditched their M-16s, and fought back with the superior rifle. It’s an impression that’s outlasted all subsequent glorification.

Take the AK-47 off the battlefield and into in Idaho strip mall, as the serial bank robber known as the AK-47 Bandit did earlier this week, and everyone will know just how much business you mean. Snap in a 75-round capacity drum magazine and the police will know it too. With one of their own recently having caught a round in Chino from the very rifle in question, there’s no forgetting.

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Bad Winners, Bad Losers: There’s No Excuse for Either

Friday, November 9th, 2012

I admit it crossed my mind to worry over what we might do with America’s sudden realization that white dominance is no longer the rule in our “united” states. I got a little nervous that some bad winners might try to remind the wrong people that they were just given a wake-up call (’cause they were).

And who are the wrong people? Let me put it this way: most of the time it’s not gonna be your colleague or neighbor who leans in another political direction or who happens to be white. If you’re not pointing your finger directly at a pundit, podium, or politician, you’re just surfing an excuse. 

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Just to say you did…

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

VOTE LIKE THE MAYANS WERE RIGHT!

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Voting is what you make of it, just like anything else. For a quick and easy way to understand the ballot propositions in your state, spend a few minutes with Ballotpedia. Check out its Regional Ballot Measure Breakdown and replace campaign noise for “actionable intelligence.” Find out who is endorsing what and why. Learn for yourself who stands to gain with each ballot proposition.

Californians – follow the money to see who’s funding both sides of each ballot proposition.

 Look, whatever direction you think is best for the United States, if the Mayan calendar’s right, this is America’s last election! Go vote just to spite those little turds.

Vote – because they couldn’t!

 

The Voting Booth: (Also) Where Excuses Go to Die

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

I don’t hear excuses at polling places, do you? (Visit one to find out!) People tend to be nice to one another and there’s a sense of pride in the air. Maybe it’s just me, but standing in line at, say, a movie theater I overhear all sorts of moaning and groaning, griping and complaining, excuses and bullshit. Not so at polling places. Could it be because they quite literally host groups of people looking to follow through on a civic duty? Does that participatory feeling  – our basic right to vote –  somehow reduce a person’s desire to hear themselves rationalize and bitch? 

I enjoy walking to my elementary school polling place with neighbors of many years, getting all those sour grapes out of our system as we go. We clam up at the door, each of us growing reverent and and willing to follow instructions. There are usually about six of us; it’s a tradition and a community I cherish.

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