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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Vanity, Thy Name Is Motorist

Back when I was a kid – (shortly after the invention of fire, shortly before the invention of bunt cakes,) you could tell those with more money than brains by looking at their vehicle tags. The tip-off was if the plate, rather than a random collection of numbers and letters, actually spelled something like BOBSCADDY.
A number of things have changed over the last half century. First, there are far fewer people named Bob – especially under thirty. Second, fewer people brag about having a Cadillac. Third, there is a cumulative crap-load of vanity plates out on the road.
So – has the maxim changed? Are vanity plates no longer for people with more money than brains? If we answer in the negative and the maxim holds, does that mean there is a great deal more money out there, or far fewer brains?
I’ll leave those questions to the more contemplative – perhaps we’ll ask the one person under thirty named Bob – if we can find her.

Sociological contemplatives aside – vanity plates can be fun.  Many are just straight-forward.
Right - got it.
Pauli Shore has offered his entire fortune (nearly a hundred dollars,) for the rights to this one.
I think we could have figured that out on our own.
Stay clear of puddles
I suspect this driver just doesn't like tailgaters.
Some are playing the game of - what can I get away with at the DMV?
In Minnesota?  She/he must be cold.
This is why some people still buy large sedans.
This driver likes to meet new people - with side-arms and Breathalyzer kits.
The classic upside-down message.
And backwards, of course
Nothing to see here - All Bengal fans itch.
The ones I like best are those that incorporate other features to make their message - either added on...
Or within the plate itself.
A little repressed evil in this plate?
Or maybe not so repressed.
Maybe the maxim has changed.  Maybe in this era people just feel a greater need to express themselves.  It might be in their DNA
But I wouldn't rule out darker possibilities.

And more plates in our video.
Those of you paying attention may have noticed this post is about 30 hours after the customary Monday time.  I've had a scheduling change.  If you want your stupidity fresh off my Windows 98 wonder-laptop, look for updates now on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Seven Things Too Irritating to be Believed

I think I've been good enough for long enough. Anyone who knows me at all knows where my inspiration comes from: love, peace and baskets of puppies? No? It comes from things that piss me off. So if you’re ready to share my annoyance, read on, because some things are just too irritating to be believed.
1) I’m cooking store brand ravioli because I’m too cheap to get Chef Boyardee. I carefully move them from the frying pan to the plate. One slips off my fork and falls. Laws of physics you say? Laws of physics, my ass! I watched the ravioli follow a convoluted course, first it detaches itself from my perfectly centered fork, it avoids the frying pan directly beneath it, zips around the plate directly in front of it and pushes itself beyond the counter to land on the only shoes I own that could be easily stained by store brand ravioli sauce. The flying Wallendas could do no better.
2) Nascar on the radio:
A sport that is the definition of tedium where the only possible interest is in watching a crash is now, reduced to just the sound. “Oh my gosh, this is unexpected, for the four hundredth and ninety third consecutive time today, the cars turn left! Somebody get me a Goody’s Powder.”
3) Why hasn’t there been a public lynching of the poopheads who change the time slot for our favorite programs?
Can anyone tell me when Prairie Home Companion rebroadcast is on? I’m still trying to figure out why they ever cancelled Hill Street Blues.
4) I’ve asked and nobody’s ever told me why they have those useless piercing tones the phone company uses to introduce a canned message:
BEEEEEEEEEP! The number you have called is no longer in service. Either you used an old phone book or you are a complete moron. Check the number, or stay on the line with our high pitched, over-modulated tones and then you can buy one of our very expensive printout phones for the deaf.
5) Why do some people race to pull out in front of you in traffic and then hit their brakes? Why? I sure don’t like having pissed off people driving where they can give me spinal injury.
Are they brake inspectors or do they work for a body shop?
6) When I’m too lazy to change the station, I sometimes here TV Preachers and hucksters scream at me, “Listen, now this is important!”
Face it buddy, I’ve heard your preaching, and it ain’t important. Is he trying to say that the previous half hour of bloviating wasn’t important? Well, at least we can agree on that.
7) Those iddy-biddy flying bugs that you can hardly see:
Why do they want to die in my coffee? Why do they want to fly in my mouth, my eyes, my nose? What beast in its right mind would want to fly up my nose? I hate mosquitoes, but at least they have the decency to be visible. I breathe these things in and I swear I can feel them biting my uvula.
I bet you have things you can add. Feel free to send them to me. Then a few months from now, you can add to your peeves – Hack bloggers that steal my list of things too irritating to be believed.

Can you guess what this dog finds too irritating to believe?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Art of Terry Gilliam by Walter Bego

Walter Bego has asked to use this blog to play tribute to his favorite artist.
He was the only American-born member of Monty Python, and perhaps the most accomplished director of the cast as well, but Terry Gilliam has always been the artist - the man who took us away from the familiar faces of the players and gave us something completely different.
The era leading into Python was a time of Pop, influenced by the Beatles, and by LSD.
It seemed like all the rules were broken already.  How is an artist supposed to deal with that?  Gilliam found ways of breaking rules we didn't know we had - like art was supposed to either be animated or still.  Gilliam refused to follow.
The largely stationary head with one moving part - frequently the jaw, eye or teeth, became something we identify with him to this day.
Gilliam brought the absurd to the spiritual - a favorite theme of Monty Python.
He also held a mirror to the absurdity of modesty.
It was well that he was taken in by Monty Python - American broadcast television in the 60s and early 70s never would have tolerated him.
A little girl harvesting hands from a grave-site would not have meshed well with Mayberry RFD.
But Gilliam didn't shock for the sake of shock.  In Holy Grail, Arthur and his knights run in fear of a great monster.  Gilliam might have created something truly fearsome.
Instead he gave us something so absurd, that the chase scene had no element of terror.
It wasn't because he lacked the talent to do otherwise.
Gilliam gave us great landscapes.
And streetscapes.
And interior scenes where the characters are dwarfed by their surroundings.
And, of course, he gave us countless images of the human foot.
And the reconstituted human body.
Why is he relegated to the title of comedian, while Warhol and others are called artist?  I don't know.  But I think he understands.
I am grateful to share in this suffering.

Now in his words.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sport Bozos

Adam Carolla (never heard of him, but I know the car,) was quoted in the March 16 Sports Illustrated (page 34,) “why do we have Joe Buck and Troy Aikman?” His point was that stand-up comedians (apparently including the ones I haven’t heard of that are named after Japanese compacts,) should take over sports broadcasting.
“When I watch sports with Jimmy (Kimmel – who I’ve heard of,) it’s nonstop joking.”
I have two words for Mr. Carolla –
 Dennis Miller.
The short-term Monday Night Football pundit’s desperate hit and miss and miss and miss one liners left me wishing that Dan Dierdorf would return to his seat in the booth – preferably on top of the crumpled and silenced former funnyman. What sounds good on stage before a drunken audience, or in a living room with beer-sodden friends doesn’t always sound as good while sitting in front of a TV camera.
Do you think Bubba and Clevis would rather hear how many cheese steaks Vince Wolfork can eat, or whether Demarko Murray’s last second reach made a first down?
Do they want to hear arcane 70’s references to hi-rise basketball shoes with gold fish in the heel, or if the Bulls have the possession arrow with two minutes to go in regulation?
Do they want to know what Linsay Lohan would make of a bunt signal, or what Russell Martin’s caught stealing percentage is with runners on the corners?
Miller proved that sports broadcasting is not the venue for stand-ups. That’s not to say it’s a comedy-free venue. In sports, comedy comes from…
Though clowns are in bad taste almost everywhere (circuses included, horror movies excepted,) there’s a forty-five year tradition of broadcast clowns (both intentional and non) in sports.
Do you think Roone Arlidge gave Dandy Don and Howard those bright yellow jackets because they were serious journalists?
Ed Wynn (or somebody that once shook his hand,) once complained that in Vaudeville you could do the same act across the country for years before you needed a new one, but you do an act once on television and everybody’s seen it. That’s true for stand-up commentators, once you've spouted off Belichick joke number 37, it goes into your dirty laundry bin, but sports clowns can hack out the same old material game after game.
How many times have the pregame folks kidded Bradshaw about all his marriages?
Think of Madden’s constant use of the word, “boom!”
Dick Vitale is such a predictable caricature that even when he’s not on the air doing his shtick – other sportscasters imitate it.
There are lovable clowns like Bob Uecker, annoying clowns like Boomer Esiason, deadpan clowns like Kenny Maine, and guys that should just give up trying to be a clown like Tim McCarver.
Actually, I’d like sports a lot better if they’d all stop trying to be clowns.
But that’s the state of sports broadcasting, Adam Carolla (of whom I've never heard.) So if you want to break in, buy yourself a red nose.
The real tournament begins in a couple hours. I've studied the field for numerous seconds, and I've found no reason to budge from my pick the last two tournaments: The State University of New York, Albany. Go Great Danes!
Though I worry what might happen if they meet the Northeastern Huskies in the final.

What a dog-fight that would be!

Okay - this is an ad - but it's still a great concept by an EVIL corporate biggie.