Sunday, August 31, 2008

He's Her Son! (Slap) He's Her Grandson! (Slap)

It's a holiday weekend, so Metroville has decided to break the routine of linking to factually verified news stories and bring you some unsubstantiated spicy meatballs:

Newly minted Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's infant son is not her son; rather, he is her grandson, illegitimately birthed by Palin's 16-year-old daughter.

If that bit of insanity turns out to be true, I've hit the blogosphere jackpot. If it turns out to be false, all blame falls to the Daily Kos website.

The important thing is that you were impressed by my Chinatown reference.

UPDATE (09/01): Palin's baby is her baby...but her 17-year old daughter Bristol is also with child out of wedlock. Still scandalous, but not scandalous enough to qualify Metroville's attempt to move into the realm of hot-gossip blogging. Looks like it's back to linking CNN and MSNBC for me.


Thanks to Jennifer for the tip.

Friday, August 29, 2008

He Picked a Girl

After being roused from his nap and placed before a crowd in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday, John McCain asked the broad standing next to him to be a doll and fetch him his slippers.

He was quickly informed by his handlers that the woman was not a secretary but, in fact, the newly anointed Republican vice-presidential candidate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Further awkwardness was avoided by the arrival of Senator McCain's snack time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Have You No Shame, Showtime?

I understand that it's difficult to always be second banana to HBO in original programming, but that is no excuse to have convinced "Californication" star David Duchovny to enter rehab for the same addiction from which the character he plays on the show suffers.

Lower-than-desired ratings for "Weeds" don't give any cable network the right to destroy a guy's family.

Obamapalooza

John McCain wants people to believe that Barack Obama stands for no one other than celebrities. And, sure...on the final night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, famous faces Gymnastics Chipmunk, will.i.am, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder and Academy Award-winner Al Gore all made appearances.

But so did Michael McDonald--a performer so unhip that it makes me, an unrepentant Huey Lewis fan, angry that the Democratic party did not first think to invite the News and their leader.

So I ask you, John McCain: who in his right mind would, in the year 2008, allow himself to be associated with Michael freaking McDonald if he really stood for no one other than celebrities?

Not Barack Obama--a.k.a. the next President of the United States of America, that's who.

Go back to one of your seven houses, "straight-talking" "maverick", and try to come up with a new argument before next week.

(Might I suggest racism? It's your ace in the hole, as it speaks directly to anyone stupid enough to vote for a third term of George W. Bush's policies.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Global Warming Sets a Course For Adventure, Your Mind On a New Romance

The Coast Guard has some bad news for all the polar bear-loving, skyrocketing gas prices-complaining-about, not-wanting-the-planet-to-die hippies who have a problem with global warming: the rapidly melting ice in the Alaskan Arctic is opening up new routes for cruise ships.

Who has a problem now?

Certainly not Admiral Thad Allen, the head of the Coast Guard, who sums up the situation thusly: "I'm agnostic to the science and the debate about what the cause is. All I know is there's water where there didn't used to be."

That's just the kind of unassailable logic that the American people have come to expect from their protectors at home.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

White, Christian Church's McCain Bias Almost as Surprising as Plot of 'Get Smart'

Given that I did not become aware of the "Presidential Forum" at the Saddleback Church/'Superchurch'/Christian Fundamentalist Nonsense Outlet Mall until a few hours before it commenced last Saturday, I was unable to fully comprehend the fact that Barack Obama had agreed to participate in an event designed by a white Christian conservative--Pastor Rick Warren, whose bestselling book, The Purpose-Driven Life, is so vacant and patronizing that it makes The Secret look like The Brothers Karamazov--for his like-minded disciples. All I could do was watch CNN in a partial coma as the presumptive Democratic candidate (who was--shocker!--allotted the opening half of the two-hour program) did his halting, not-so-successful best to ingratiate himself to an audience of whom the vast majority had already made up their minds that they hated him and his funny name and his big-word smart talk--never mind his horrifying skin tone--before John McCain was grandly presented as the main event and commenced to have the crowd eat out of his hand for the duration of the second hour by doing nothing but tossing out Republican catchphrases--"a union between a man and a woman", "the moment of conception", "offshore drilling", et al--at Warren's prompts. It was equivalent to a guest on 'The Daily Show' crying out "weed!" then sitting back while the obligatory cheers from the studio audience fill out his time.

After announcing at the start of the program that McCain would be interviewed during the second half and Obama during the first, Warren--like any false idol worth his salt would have done--attempted to jokingly offset any perception of bias by stating that the presumptive Republican nominee would be spending the first half of the show "in a cone of silence". The remark was a reference to a moment in the widely-seen trailer of the less-widely-seen 2008 summer movie Get Smart, and the Saddleback audience lapped it up accordingly.

With the exception of Steve Carell's valiant performance, Get Smart pretty much sucks (and is an insult to the legacy of the late Don Adams). Targeted as it was, however, at Americans who have no interest in originality or thoughtfulness or anything that might challenge their narrow-minded worldview, the film made for an ideal allusion in terms of Pastor Rick's purposes.

Also in term of those purposes...it was an outright lie. While Barack Obama was being asked the exact same set of questions that John McCain would be asked in the subsequent hour of the forum, McCain was not in a "cone of silence"; rather, he was in his motorcade--aboard the hilariously hypocritically-named "Straight Talk Express"--en route to Saddleback Church, having full access to any live television feed that his heart desired.

What do you think he and/or his handlers were watching?

If you can prove that it was anything other than Rick Warren's interview with Barack Obama, I will give you twelve kabillion dollars for every Academy Award that Get Smart wins next year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Acorns

The chipmunk defeated the snake in the balance beam competition. As a gambler and even more so as an American, I regret not having gone with my gut.

I'll get 'em next year...provided that the Olympics start taking place more frequently.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Golympics!

While I appreciate athletic prowess as much as any other dedicated sports fan, my interest in the Olympic Games has always been casual, at best (perhaps with the exception of 1992, when I got to watch Larry Bird and Magic Johnson unite to pulverize team after team of shell-shocked factory workers who made their shoes). I'm not a fan of forced patriotism; I find it difficult to muster a personal interest in athletes that I've never heard of before and will likely never hear of again in a span of two weeks; and, most importantly, the vast majority of Olympic sports are all Greek to me [Ed. note: rim shot].

But that was before this year...when I became involved in a Fantasy Olympics League.

Gambling changes everything.

A little over a week ago, I had only a vague notion of who Michael Phelps--the face of not only my country's team but the entire 2008 Olympics--was; today, I could confidently engage in a detailed discussion about Germany's chances in the 25 meter rapid fire pistol (Ralf Schumann should set the table on the men's side). What inspired my drastic turnabout was surprisingly simple: the day before the games started, a group of my friends--gambling fiends, all--led by my wife, came to the arbitrary realization that the Beijing Olympics could serve as a platform for individual competition among themselves. When my wife offered me a piece of the action, I couldn't say "yes" fast enough; seeing, for the first time, the Olympic Games as a forum through which I might score more points than my friends and family members might score, I was suddenly an Olympics superfan.

Unfortunately, my fantasy team's chances got off the wrong foot twofold: not only did I draw a terrible position in the draft order, I was late to arrive to the event and my first two picks were chosen for me by committee. (I recovered as best as I could with my subsequent selections.) I have yet to even see the league scoreboard because it's at my wife's office; Monday through Wednesday, her only response to my nightly inquiries about my team's standing was, "you don't want to know". I didn't earn a single medal until Frederica Pellegrini finally got with the program and won gold in the women’s 200 meter freestyle...but by then, my chances for victory were long gone (especially since my "friend" Mikey--despite the fact that I made him my best man at my freaking wedding--refused, during the draft, to trade me Michael Phelps as a show of sympathy). Given that I had possessed minimal interest in the Olympics less than a week earlier, one might assume that I would have had no trouble accepting my failure in my Fantasy Olympics League...

One would only assume this, however, if one had never participated in fantasy sports.

Prior to Pellegrini's victory Wednesday night, I had discerned from my wife that there was one person in the league besides me who had yet to earn a medal. After my Italian lady swimmer won the gold, my enthusiasm was renewed and refocused: with first place out of reach, my goal now was to defeat Alex--the other guy with no medals at the time--for not-last place.

It wouldn't be easy, and it would be very American: my team's best remaining chance for success was U.S. female gymnast Nastia Liukin; Alex's team's best remaining chance was Liukin's teammate and closest competitor, U.S. female gymnast Shawn Johnson. This was the kind of Olympic drama that you couldn't make up...the kind that fourth-place network NBC has been desperately attempting to fabricate at every opportunity.

Having acclimated myself to the U.S. women's gymnastics team two nights earlier--when they were ultimately defeated by the 9-year-old supermonkeys of the brazenly cheating Chinese team--I was worried that I had bet on the wrong horse: Nastia Liukin appeared to be a cold-blooded snake, while Shawn Johnson--who was on par with Liukin in terms of ability--came across as a good-natured and likable (if weirdly bemuscled) chipmunk. As a result, I wanted to write the whole thing off; I wanted not to care.

Nevertheless, I found myself glued to the television at 12:30 a.m. Friday morning--three hours after what I, on the west coast, was seeing on NBC's alleged "live" feed had actually happened--living and dying with every moment of the women's gymnastics finals.

I can't say that I'm not ashamed of myself...but I definitely would be a lot more ashamed if Nastia Liukin hadn't ended up totally kicking ass.

Go, Olympics! Go, America!

But mostly...go, uneducated wagers from which nothing can be gained but a slight and fleeting ego boost, if even that!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Julia Child Could Have Easily Killed You with a Pastry Brush

Bobby Flay has grilling skills; Rachel Ray has a contract with Dunkin' Donuts; Emeril Lagasse probably has Robert Urich's autograph. But there's one thing that no living celebrity cook has on the late Julia Child:

None of them was ever a secret agent.

The National Archives has released the previously classified names of nearly 24,000 members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II-era precursor of the CIA...and Julia Child--the chef lady from TV!--is on that list. (Other inconceivables include Chicago White Sox catcher Moe Berg, Police drummer Stewart Copeland's dad and the guy whose life story inspired "Eight Is Enough".)

Take note, Food Network stars. Sure, you might sell a lot of cookbooks...but have you won any wars lately?

I didn't think so.

(You might still get a chance, though, if you're interested.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

End of 'The Dark Knight's' Box Office Dominance Foretold by Children

video
"For truly it is to be noted, that children's plays are not sports, and should be deemed as their most serious actions." - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Neat as the above amateur trailer may be (and it is pretty neat), it is likely that those who enjoy it most--including the adult nerds who made it--are the least likely to recognize the underlying prophecy brought forth by its very existence...

Children are indeed the future--but that applies not only to the longview of humanity, but also to the short-term view of popular culture. The moment that the future embraces any aspect of the present, that aspect becomes a part of the past. Ergo, The Dark Knight's historic reign atop the box office will come to an end this weekend. Thus the children have spoken; thus Metroville guarantees it.

(Also, Tropic Thunder comes out on Wednesday; that kind of helps my fortune-telling confidence.)


[video courtesy Wizard Universe via Defamer]

Bush Administration Deems Scientists Unnecessary

Continuing its quest to turn their president into an actual cartoon character before he leaves office, on Monday the Bush administration ruled that when it comes to deciding if construction projects could endanger animal species, scientists--what with their fancy book learnin' and "knowledge"--will no longer have a say in the matter.

Who will be making those calls from now on? Why, the agencies working on the construction projects, of course. No possibility for conflicts of interest there.

Suck it, nature!

Fireworks Feet, Don't Fail Me Now

While watching the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday night, I remarked to my wife that they probably had to make the fireworks extra-bright so they could be seen through the thick Beijing smog. This bit of culturally relevant sarcasm was met with amusement by me and, if I'm not mistaken, my cat. Little did anyone know at the time, however, that the joking observation was pretty much one hundred percent correct:

"...the elaborate display broadcast to the world as part of the opening ceremony was faked, done digitally in 3-D computer graphics...the Beijing Olympic Committee defended the ruse because of the city’s hazy, smoggy skies, which made such an elaborate fireworks display at night too difficult to pull off successfully."

One the one hand, China--not cool. But on a more personal level, thanks for making me look smart.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

American President-Illegal So Relaxed by Latest Vacation that He Inadvertently Speaks Truth

We've all been there: You take a job that you don't really want and for which you are vastly underqualified because the money's good, the perks are great and--most importantly--it's a real "fuck you" to your dad, who never thought you'd make anything of yourself. A year or so in, you're met with challenges of a severity that you could never have possibly imagined; unequipped as you are, you respond with a totally inappropriate action that only compounds your problems...and then another that does the same...and then another, then another, and another...and so on. But--because the perks are so great and you hate your dad so much that you don't want to lose the job--your only choice of recourse is to progressively remove yourself from reality, defending your actions with a deepening degree of ignorance as the years go by and the chaos that you wrought snowballs exponentially.

This tactic takes you only so far--six or seven years, maybe; eight, at best--and by the time you see the writing on the wall, you are pleasantly surprised to find that with the realization of your job's finality comes a sense of freedom. At long last, everybody else has gotten wise to what you knew from the beginning: you are utterly and hopelessly incapable of handling your professional responsibilities. There are papers to be signed and formalities to be dealt with, of course, so you'll have to stick around for a few months--but those are the months during which you can finally be yourself. A time that you can relax, use up your remaining sick days and vacation days, doing whatever the heck you want...all on the company's tab.

And when you're on the final leg of your all-expenses-paid vacation, perhaps in some exotic locale that you couldn't find on a map if your life depended on it, the reality of your situation finally hits you: you've got nothing left to prove, and no reason to hold yourself back. So, emboldened by alcoholic beverages and/or hard drugs and/or intense prayer, you decide to let it all it out, tell anyone who will listen what you really think. Maybe it doesn't fit with the company line, but it makes sense on a deeper, much more important level. It's what's right, in the big picture.

If you've ever done such a thing, good for you. Your expression was well deserved.

That is unless you were, at the time, the President of the United States...in which case you're an idiotic jackoff of an unprecedented degree who could have only done such a thing to mock your own country, every country on Earth and all of humanity.

(...and probably mostly your dad.)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Major American News Outlet Encourages Former Supermodel to Destroy Civilization

What gives, MSNBC? The news media had paid more than enough attention to the desperate attempt for self-promotion that was Tyra Banks' "imagine me as a super-hot Michelle Obama" Harper's Bazaar photo spread; there was no need for any self-respecting media outlet to take the non-story any further.

And yet, you did exactly that...in the process giving credence to nonsensical rumors that the poor man's Jerry Springer's pool cleaner has legitimate designs on becoming the First Lady of the United States of America.

People believe what you tell them, MSBNC. Therefore, what you've done is fast-tracked the potential for the death of not only America but humanity-based democracy worldwide. I hope you're happy.

Three or four years from now, when Earth is a waterless rock and its remaining inhabitants live fearfully beneath the iron fist of World President Oprah and her army of vengeful zombie polar bears, will your remaining corporate representatives think this "scoop" of yours was worth it?

I'd like to think not...but, in all likelihood, no one will give a damn. We'll all be too busy watching season 9 of "So You Think You Can Dance Without Sufficient Oxygen".

(I'm voting for the one who's pretty!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Those Hillary Clinton Supporters Sure Hold a Grudge

If I told you that a Florida man was arrested by federal agents on Thursday for threatening to assassinate Barack Obama, you'd probably figure, "Bush supporter," right?

Wrong. Although aspiring-bail- bondsman-who-lives-on-a-sailboat Raymond Hunter Geisel did allegedly say of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, "If he gets elected, I'll kill him myself," he appears to be no fan of the current president-illegal, having allegedly also remarked that he wanted to "put a bullet in [George W. Bush's] head." Since you can't like McCain if you don't like G-Dub (and if you think otherwise, McCain has a bridge he would like to sell you), the process of elimination leads us to only one logical conclusion:

Would-be Obama assassin Raymond Hunter Geisel is a Clinton man.

What is with those people? Isn't it enough that the Democrats are going to let Bill speak at the convention? Talk about not being able to lose with dignity...

Friday, August 1, 2008

We Have Confirmed that His Last Name Is Also Massachusetts' Nickname. Now Let's Move On.

The good news is that Jason Bay, in his Red Sox debut, played a pivotal role in Boston's extra-innings victory over the Oakland A's. The bad news is that he's barely been on the team for twenty-four hours and the "BAY State" references--permeating the news media and, more tiresomely, handmade signs in and around Fenway Park on Friday night--have already worn out their welcome.

We can't be both a nation and a state, Red Sox fans. Also, Boston's a city. Also (and most importantly), in no conceivable scenario does a proper noun warrant such high levels of excitement.

Let's all make an effort to be more imaginative from here on out. We owe that much to Jay-Bay™. (See? It's that easy.)